For almost three decades, internationally renowned Canadian artist Edward Burtynsky has been creating large scale photographs of landscapes transformed by industry: quarries, scrap heaps, factories, recycling yards, dams. Manufactured Landscapes follows Burtynsky to China as he travels the country capturing the evidence and effects of China's massive industrial revolution. Rarely witnessed sites such as the Three Gorges Dam (50% larger than any other dam in the world), the interior of a factory which produces 20 million irons a year, and the breathtaking scale of Shanghai's urban renewal are subjects for his lens and our motion picture camera. Shot in sumptuous super 16mm film, Manufactured Landscapes extends the narratives of Burtynsky's photographs, meditating on human impact on the planet without trying to reach simplistic judgements or reductive resolutions. In the process, the film shifts our consciousness about the world and the way we live in it.
This documentary looks at the risks of a proposed sour gas well near Clearwater River, in Rocky Mountain House, Alberta. Farmers and landowners all share concerns. Residents opposed to the well fear a deadly hydrogen sulphide leak. Shell Canada says it must drill to meet energy needs. When mediation talks break down, both sides anxiously await a ruling from Alberta's Energy and Utilities Board.
This short documentary takes a look at the changing face of PEI's agricultural industry. Once famous for its spuds and red mud, this tiny island province now has higher than average cancer and respiratory illness rates. Is there a link to industrialized farming? Rather than dwelling on PEI’s worrisome monocropping practices, Island Green dares to ask: What if PEI went entirely organic?
The stirring words of PEI-born poet Tanya Davis are coupled with beautiful imagery and poignant stories from the island’s small but growing community of organic farmers, reminding us that we can rob the land only so much before it robs us of the nourishment we need for life. Island Green is ultimately a story of hope and healthy promise.
In this feature-length documentary, husband and wife team Karsten Heuer (wildlife biologist) and Leanne Allison (environmentalist) follow a herd of 120,000 caribou on foot across 1500 km of Arctic tundra. In following the herd's migration, the couple hopes to raise awareness of the threats to the caribou's survival. Along the way they brave Arctic weather, icy rivers, hordes of mosquitoes and a very hungry grizzly bear. Dramatic footage and video diaries combine to provide an intimate perspective of an epic expedition.
In his new feature documentary Borealis, acclaimed director Kevin McMahon (Waterlife) travels deep into the heart of the boreal forest to explore the chorus of life in Canada’s iconic wilderness. How do trees move, communicate and survive the destructive forces of fire, insects, and human encroachment? Borealis offers an immersive portrait of the lifecycles of the forest from the perspective of the plants and animals that live there.
This short documentary follows students from Toronto's Jesse Ketchum School as they take steps towards the greening of their schoolyard. Along the way they get how-to advice and inspiration from kids across the country; from Pauline Public School, where students raised $10,000, to Broadacres School, where a family of wild ducks found a home in their pond.
A Crack in the Pavement is a two-part video set that shows children, teachers and parents how they can work together to 'green' their school grounds and make positive changes in their communities
This short documentary shows initiatives kids take to transform bare pavement into dream schoolyards. Some grow trees for shade, and vegetables for a food bank. Others build a greenhouse or a rooftop garden, while others yet construct a courtyard pond as an outdoor classroom and refuge for wildlife.
A Crack in the Pavement is a two-part video set that shows children, teachers and parents how they can work together to 'green' their school grounds and make positive changes in their communities.
Chemical sludge is spilling into the lake. For the city councillor responsible, it’s just a big nuisance. For the wildlife, it’s a catastrophe. One turtle, in her desperate hour, summons up the courage to leave her home and speak truth to power. Turns out there’s more at stake than just the lake.
This short film is a portrait of Tofino, BC intertidal artist Pete Clarkson as he crafts his most ambitious and personal project to date: a memorial to the 2011 Great East Japan earthquake and tsunami. He, like so many of us around the world, was deeply affected by the disaster. Years later, as splintered and mangled timber and other objects started to wash ashore, the disaster hit home again for Clarkson, and the inspiration for his memorial was born. In Clarkson’s caring hands, the remnants from the Tohoku region take on a life of their own as he shapes them into a unique public sculpture. The result is an evocative memorial that is a site of remembrance and contemplation, and an emotional bridge connecting an artist, his community and a people an ocean away.
Pipelines, Power and Democracy is a striking documentary that follows the mobilization of ordinary people to thwart the ambitions of oil companies and halt, even if only temporarily, the advance of pipelines across Quebec. In the process, the film offers a sharp reminder that power can be accessible to all.
In this animated short, a Chevrolet Bel Air 1957 offers an ironic take on the iconic American ballad “Que Sera, Sera (Whatever Will Be, Will Be)”. The Chevy’s bumper transforms into a pair of seductive lips, from which emerge the song’s reassuring lyrics, while a choir of cars performs a breathtaking dance number in the background.
A biting satire of our Big Oil-based civilization, Carface is a musical comedy of spectacular proportions, in which acclaimed animator and illustrator Claude Cloutier (The Trenches, Sleeping Betty) pokes at our contemporary insouciance about the environmental perils that threaten the planet.