Mark Achbar's follow up to his blog about the film festival protests and police violence in Kerala.
Letter from Mark Achbar:
Government of Canada
Katherine Dodds AKA "Kat" is the founder of HelloCoolWorld.com, the grassroots team behind The Corporation, and is featured in a "Grassroots Marketing" segment on The Corporation DVD set. She is dedicated to harnessing the power of the film to rein in corporate abuse through the development of the Campaign 4 Corporate Harm Reduction. |
Initially thinking VIBGYOR was some unpronounceable Indian word, I was reminded that it's an acronym for the colours of the rainbow.
Below are some photos I took of a BJP (Hindu nationalist) protest outside the festival gates, trying to prevent a screening of "Ocean of Tears", about violence perpetrated against the people of Kashmir, especially women. They later interrupted the screening, yelled slogans, and tried to tear down the projection screen.
A large portion of the audience got up on the stage and shouted them down for several minutes until the police finally escorted the protesters from the theatre back to the street while the screening continued, to much applause.
We were later told some of the protesters were from the RSS, a right-wing, paramilitary group, which made the intrusion considerably more ominous, in retrospect.
The last photos are of the filmmaker, Bilal. A. Jan, in a post-screening discussion.
All this was going on just prior to a screening of The Corporation, which may have, in addition to the film having been widely circulated here since its release, contributed to a low turnout. Some potential festival goers may have missed the screening because they were preparing for a planned occupation of a Coca-Cola bottling plant nearby.
The theme of the festival this year is "Gender Justice" and I had the pleasure of presenting "Two Brides and a Scalpel: Diary of a Lesbian Marriage" a film I made with Jennifer Abbott in the late 90s. The film was extremely well received, with many requests for copies to show to various groups.
This evening, I'll be showing Manufacturing Consent, which has become required viewing here over the past 22 years in a wide range of courses. Numerous filmmakers and documentary enthusiasts tell me it turned their heads around politically, changed the course of their studies, or opened them to the possibility that documentaries don't have to be boring.
More photos after the break...
The Corporation film is officially 10 years old! What a great decade it has been, and it has been especially fun connecting with people all over the world who are interested in transforming the role of corporations in the world.
On January 16th, 2014 - on the 10th birthday of the theatrical premiere and release of the film - we had a small party in Vancouver with some Corporation Film friends and fans to start a dialogue about how we might be able connect with movements around the world who are interested in collaborating to do some work together. We'll be cutting more 'micro-docs' from the interviews we did, including more about Corporation co-creator and author Joel Bakan's new project! Stay tuned...
We are interested in connecting with all Corporation fans who want to join in on our year of organizing, dialogue, and actions! Check out our vlog about why the film is still relevant, and send in your own comments or videos!
Sign up to volunteer, and we will be in touch with you about how you can help. We can also help you organize a screening in your community - send us an email (firstname.lastname@example.org)!
We're not done yet, but we need your help to make this anniversary year a game-changer.
|David Ng is a Hello Cool World veteran with experience going back a decade. David first worked with us when he was just 14 years old as a participant in the youth advisory group for the sexual health education program Condomania. Now an accomplished videographer passionate about the issues of gender and power, he is currently on sabbatical in South Africa while he pursues a Masters in Gender Studies with a focus on international developme|
Ten years ago, on January 16, 2004 was a busy day for us all. That evening, The Corporation launched in Canadian theatres, was screening at Sundance, and was ALSO playing at the World Social Forum in Mumbai.
Ten years later, we are reflecting back on the film, the launches and how exciting it was to connect with so many amazing people across the world. Most importantly we're looking forward to what we can do to create a legacy for the film's message, and the work that still needs to be done. Because frankly, we've never needed to fight back against corporate omnipresence more than we do now. We're not done yet!
Our plan is to spend the next year celebrating The Corporation's successes, while engaging with even more people to reduce corporate harm, to connect the causes we care about, and to take action for people over profits.
Tonight in Vancouver we are having as small think tank gathering to brainstorm how we can mark this 10th year. We'll be updating this blog with ideas and content from this event.
As we near the 10 year anniversary of the blockbuster hit film, the issues surrounding corporate power loom even larger. The Corporation Special Edition 2 Disc DVD set is still a top seller on our store and features an additional 8 hours of interviews with Naomi Klein, Noam Chomsky, Howard Zinn and many, many others.
We also sell books, campaign materials, and other hard-hitting and inspiring documentaries like The Inside Job.
While you're there, check out the short video excerpt of The Corporation's co-creator & author, Joel Bakan, on being a citizen and the virtues of the Occupy movement. You can buy his latest book, Childhood Under Siege: How Big Business Targets Children.
Use the coupon code - BEACITIZEN - at checkout for 25% off all products in The Corporation Store.
Sandy is part of The Corporation's grassroots team and has been working on the film's outreach efforts since 2003.|