Most high-profile NCR patients -- that is, sufferers of mental illness who have committed horrific acts of violence and have been declared "not criminally responsible" by the courts -- are usually kept well-hidden from public view. But on Wednesday, October 8, another high-profile NCR patient, Sean Clifton, who tried his best to stab to death a complete stranger because his psychosis led him to believe he had to kill "the prettiest girl in the mall," will bravely step on stage to face the public after the screening of my documentary NCR: Not Criminally Responsible, in which he is featured.
I'm caught up in the whirlwind of the world's biggest film festival, Cannes. Here, young filmmakers are realizing their dreams. My turn will come on Thursday afternoon when I present Jutra on the Croisette at Cannes. My stomach is doing flips at the thought of going onstage to introduce my film. But I'm also deeply proud.
Canadian governments and broadcasters have been quietly withdrawing all support for documentary. Commercial television, now concentrated in the hands of a few megacorps, does its shareholder diligence by playing strictly to the cheap seats; its screens are filled with sporting fights, gun-toting men, bouncing breasts and dancing cats. Federal governments, increasingly influenced by neo-liberal doctrine, have been shrinking the NFB and CBC for a generation now while refusing to enforce license conditions which might force TV to create a little public parkland within the malling of our mindscapes.
There he stood with his excellent manners telling me politely that he did not want to be in my film, or discuss his tragic case or for that matter have anything further to do with me, not now or ever. And for the next few months, cut me dead. Welcome to the cruel realities of the world of documentary making. It's supposed to get easier when you've won four Emmys.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like for a film crew to follow you day in and day out, documenting your daily rituals all in an effort to create a successful film? I have a chronic condition called Dermatillomania, which has left me scarred and disfigured on the outside, alienated and "different" on the inside.
It was a gruelling schedule. I came to deeply respect the life of the touring musician as I battled reoccurring ear infections and worriedly Googled the symptoms for scurvy after eating at McDonald's three times in one day, and enlisted our coats and bags to construct makeshift bunks on the overnight bus rides.
For about two weeks now, everyone who stops by our office has been wondering the same thing: Why do we keep glancing obsessively at a second screen, over there on the side of the room to the left? That second screen shows a small map of the world, scrolling bars and a number that changes constantly: the number of people playing Fort McMoney at this very moment.
In a few days, Fort McMoney will finally emerge after more than two years of gestation. The experience is going to plunge you into the heart of the black gold rush and let you explore the city, interact with its residents, and address questions to oil industry bosses and environmental activists. The Fort McMoney experience will be a kind of web-era platform for direct democracy. The winner, if there is one, will be the battle of ideas.
In 2007, Chicago-based historian and collector John Maloof discovered 100,000 negatives and hundreds of hours of Super 8 film footage and audio recordings which he acquired during a storage locker auction. What he didn't know was he was on the cusp of uncovering some of the most prolific American street photography of the 20th century. Vivian Maier spent next forty years working as a nanny for various families of Chicago's upper crust neighborhoods. She also spent much of her time with a Rolleiflex camera hanging from her neck, shooting people and scenes around the city, a hobby she kept quiet throughout her life. Her subjects ranged from the rich and affluent to the poor and impoverished with a penchant for politics and highlighting historical moments.
Fight Like Soldiers, Die Like Children humanizes the global struggle to end the use of children in armed conflict. Pushing aside the morass of international norms and NGO reports -- important and useful as they are -- Dallaire asks a simple yet harrowing question: how is it that we can go "apeshit" -- to use his word -- when our own children's rights are violated, but passively accept the reality of child soldiers throughout the world?
When B.C. filmmaker Velcrow Ripper started making Occupy Love in 2009, some of his activist friends weren't sure what to make of his questions. How can the crises we're facing socially, economically and environmentally become - of all things - a love story? But as he continued to film social movements from the Arab Spring to the European Summer, Occupy Wall Street and environmental movements, he started seeing a shift, with more and more people responding: "Of course it's a love story."
Since my departure from Canada five days ago, I've flown from Lima to Cusco, met up and spent time with my friend's in Cusco, rented a 4x4, explored various remote regions in the Sacred Valley, developed the FindingLife 2014 student initiative, paragliding, mountain biking and canyoning were all part of the agenda.