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Living In The Shadow

A look at the relief effort put together by the Ukrainian Canadian diaspora in the wake of the Chernobyl disaster and how that potentially led to independence. Includes never before seen first hand photos and video footage of the disaster zone, taken a few short years after the accident.

The Friendship Village

A timely, award-winning film about our ability to transcend war, The Friendship Village tells the story of Vietnam veteran George Mizo, a war hero turned peace activist after losing his entire platoon in an opening salvo of the 1968 Tet Offensive. George’s jourey to heal the wounds of war leads him back to Vietnam where he befriends the general responsible for killing his entire platoon. Through their friendship, the seeds of the Vietnam Friendship Village are sewn: a reconcilation project neart Hanoi that treats children with Agent Orange-related illnesses.

Water on the Table

Water On The Table is a character driven social issue documentary by Liz Marshall that explores Canada’s relationship to its fresh water, arguably it's most precious natural resource. The film asks the question: is water a commercial good like running shoes or Coca-Cola? Or, is water a human right like air?  The film features Maude Barlow who is considered an international “water-warrior” for her crusade to have water declared a human right.

Kinngait: Riding Light Into The World

Set in the Canadian Arctic, this is an intimate, first-hand account of how the isolated Inuit community of Cape Dorset became the internationally celebrated art capital of the North. This is the story of the success of Inuit artists who emerged from the most unlikely circumstances to capture the imaginations of people around the world. The Baffin Island community of Cape Dorset is world-renowned for the art produced at the Inuit owned and operated Kinngait Studios. Weaving together many voices with images of iconic artworks, the film is a captivating chronicle of how art making replaced fur-trapping in the 1950s, detailing the complex relationships between the artists and their network of supporters. ‘Kinngait: Riding Light Into The World’ brings together artworks of successive generations that eloquently illustrate the immense changes experienced by Inuit to their way of life and their environment over the past half-century. Featuring hauntingly beautiful Arctic scenery and evocative music by Tanya Tagaq, Lucie Idlout and other contemporary Inuit performers. Length: 47:50' (broadcast) 64:00' (festival version).

Dirt

"What is it about feeling dirty that shames us into silence and disgust?" asks director Meghna Haldar in the feature documentary Dirt. From the slums of Kolkata to Vancouver's Downtown Eastside to a barbeque joint in Central Texas – everyone has a different story – sex workers, poop scientists, sanitation artists, Catholic priests, cemetery workers, historians and little kids. Dirt isn't just a four letter word, it contains a world of meaning spanning the divine to the profane. A panoply of ideas, opinions and images captured with formal precision and overripe colour on super 16 mm, featuring animation to make Hieronymus Bosch blush, interviews with artist Mierle Laderman Ukeles, tracks from Godspeed You! Black Emperor and an experimental soundscape by Clinker, Dirt digs deep to illuminate the positively filthy experience of being human. 52 minute version also available. In addition to festival screenings, Dirt has screened at the Global Conference on Multiculturalism, Conflict and Identity, Oxford University, University of Regina and will also be screened at a conference on dirt at NYMASA. Dirt will also be part of the Wellcome Trust museum exhibit on the same subject in London, 2011.

Tales of a Yellow Bike

In a world of automobiles, can one yellow bike make a difference? Of course not. But a fleet of bikes might create a new model for sustainable transportation. Toronto’s Bike Share Program is at a crossroads. Internationally recognized, it cannot maintain funding for its yellow bike program without stepping on a new path. Maogosha Pyjor is the Manager of Bike Share. Now that the program is cancelled, she is searching for models that can work for the challenges faced in North America. Maogosha looks for bikes and finds visionaries in Europe, North America, Columbia and China. Models for bike loaning are many and have different purposes. Corporate, political and community leaders share their lessons and thoughts on how the successes and failures of their system. But can Maogosha find a model that her community needs: accessible use of bicycles for everyone? Meanwhile, BikeShare is struggling to maintain a presence in Toronto, as the Community Bike Network evaluates its programming and explores a new model for operations. Geoff Bercarich was one of Maogosha’s key volunteers when BikeShare was running. He delivered bikes to the lending hubs using a cargo bike. While Maogosha travels the world, Geoff is still delivering bikes around Toronto trying to keep the yellow bikes of BikeShare visible. The fate of the yellow bikes rests in the hands of the Community Bike Network, and the new model it has found may not include the colour yellow. Join us on a trip that takes us to Beijing, Amsterdam, Bogotá, New York, La Rochelle, Paris and back to Toronto. Models for bike loaning are many and have different purposes. Corporate, political and community leaders share their lessons and thoughts on the successes and failures of their systems. We look for bikes and finds visionaries. Tales of a Yellow Bike is produced by Symmetree media for OMNI Television in English, Mandarin and Spanish and will be available in 2009.

Green Dream

Perhaps this is a film about a grown woman and a little girl who live between two different worlds of reality and dreams, wilderness and culture, order and chaos, short grass and tall grass. And perhaps this film tries to unite these separate worlds through the delicate power of love. But most of all, this is a film about about a woman who tries to realize her dream. Green Dream is a feature length auteur film. The story follows Maia Iotzova trying to create her dream, a playful and poetic exploration of our everyday relationship with nature. The story is told mainly through the images that she films in her everyday life, and is weaved together with her narration about her personal experience of nature, and of the difficulties of creating her dream film.

Louisiana Fenceline, God & Greenpeace in Cancer Alley

There are 150 sprawling chemical plants in what is notoriously known as Cancer Alley, Louisiana. Thousands of people live on the fence lines surrounding the plants and are exposed to outrageous levels of toxic chemical pollution day and night. The residents of one small community fight back with fiery activist Albertha Hasten leading the way. They are up against Dow Chemical but look to God for help - and along the way warily accept the support of Greenpeace and a busload of celebrities.

Shipbreakers

Welcome to the ship breaking yards of Alang, India, where the world's oceangoing ships come to die. Tens of thousands of Indians live and work here, systematically dismembering, by hand, the hulks of hundreds of vessels every year, piece by piece. Shipbreakers is a visually stunning portrait of this vast maritime graveyard. It follows the daily lives of workers and owners who will spend months toiling from sunup to sundown to methodically destroy enormous vessels with little more than acetylene torches and back breaking effort.

Think Peace: Portrait of a 21st Century Movement

On February 15th, 2003 the largest protest in human history occurred. Millions of people from all seven continents marched in the streets of more than 800 cities to show that they did not support the invasion of Iraq. New peace groups were formed and old ones strengthened to promote an ideology of peace. This movement led to the World Peace Forum which was held in Vancouver in June 2006. Driven by their passion for peace and video over 40 citizen journalists united to research, produce, film, and edit over 120 hours of footage to document this historic event. Think Peace: Portrait of a 21st Century Movement is their achievement. We talked to such diverse people as Hans Blix, Rex Weyler, Holly Near, K'Naan and many others in order to find out what it will take to achieve a world of peace. A large portion of the profits of Think Peace: Portrait of a 21st Century Movement will go to assist the War Resisters Support Campaign in Canada and the Iraq Veterans Against War in the U.S. We believe in supporting the troops.
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