In a fast-changing media world, it's hard to wrap your mind around how much clout Lilly Singh has. So here are a few statistics to help you out: 8 million subscribers to her YouTube channel ("IISuperwomanII"). More than a billion total views. A new documentary, "A Trip to Unicorn Island," about her recent 27-city world tour. Not bad for a girl from Scarborough, Ont., wouldn't you say?
If there was ever a time to educate our children, outside of the classroom, now is the time. Our earth is in crisis, the global population is expanding by approximately 80 million people a year, poverty is increasing dramatically, and we don't have enough fresh water for about 20 per cent of the population.
Radical Grace shines a spotlight on the growing chasm between progressives and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church. Director Rebecca Parrish was less concerned with the church itself and more concerned with telling stories about these strong women whose convictions, commitment and compassion she greatly admired.
My father, Robert Hunter, had coined the term "mind bomb" as an expression that our greatest tool for revolution was our own consciousness. He believed that mass media (early broadcast media at the time) could help spark that consciousness shift and a societal shift by changing the story of our times. The reality is the tides are turning. Despite the stories of impossibility in the fight against climate change, there are some new stories being written of possibility. It will still take many more of us -- millions and billions of us -- to continue to share these news stories and to create the "mind bomb" moments.
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.