Environmental Activism

Mirage of El Dorado | Feature Film on Environmental Activism

Directed by Martin Frigon | Productions Multi-Monde| Documentary | 75 mins | 2008 | Canada/Chile


Grand Prize 2008, 26th Festival International du Film d’Environnement 2008 in Paris

Grand Prize (Premio Festival) 2009, 7th Festival Internacional de Cine Digital de Vina del Mar

Mirage of El Dorado leads us into the mountains of northern Chile, where the devastating operations of Canadian mining companies threaten a fragile ecosystem in one of the driest parts of the globe.

Our political cowboy flick follows the pitched battle between a farming community in the Huasco valley and Canada’s mining giant Barrick Gold with its sidekick Noranda (now part of the Suisse corporation Xstrata). It’s a battle fought high in the Cordilleran Andes where farmers and local representatives fear the ravages of open pit mining operations in a place where a fragile system of glaciers feeds the rivers that flow into the farmlands built out of the advancing Atacama desert.

The camera reveals a Chilean government impotent in the face of unprecedented, potentially devastating, mining projects. The film also exposes the hypocrisy of the Canadian government towards its own mining companies which corrupt foreign governments and weaken the process of environmental assessments. The permissive legislation enjoyed by the Canadian transnationals was imposed under the Pinochet dictatorship and carried over by successive transition governments, bowing to the dictates of neoliberal economics.

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• A River Runs Through Us

Directed by Carla Pataky | Documentary | 22 mins | 2011 | International

A River Runs Through Us offers a personal and hopeful introduction to the issue of the impacts of large dams on the world’s rivers, as told by the activists at the forefront of the global movement to stop destructive dams.

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Directed by Andrew Garton | Documentary | 38 mins | Australia/Malaysia

Sarawak Gone is a micro-documentary series raising awareness to the persistent decline of indigenous life and culture in Sarawak, the native land titles and human rights that remain at stake and the rapidly diminishing habitats that remain.

Sarawak is one of two Malaysian states on the island of Borneo and is home to more than 40 unique sub-ethnic groups, or Dayaks. These include the Penan, Iban, Bidayuh, Kenyah and Kelabit.

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Directed by David Fedele | Documentary | 46 mins | 2011 | Australia/Papua New Guinea

The story is told through the voice of villagers. It is a tale of exploitation and broken promises, where local people are treated as second-rate citizens in their own country by Malaysian logging companies and corrupt politicians. Customary landowners are forced into signing documents they don’t understand, for the promise of “development” – fresh water, roads, health and education, but these essential services are rarely provided. Instead, their traditional hunting ground is destroyed, and their traditional way of life is ruined forever.

Filmmaker David Fedele spent almost three months traveling solo in Sandaun Province, Papua New Guinea, in order to film Bikpela Bagarap. Based in Vanimo town, David traveled extensively into the jungle visiting local villages and exploring current and past logging operations. A lot of time was also spent in two of the main logging camps in Sandaun Province – Maka Basecamp and Amanab 56 Basecamp.

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Carteret Islands : Documenting Culture on Islands Disappearing under the Sea

Directed by Tara Jones | Documentary | 18 mins | 2011 | Australia/Papua New Guinea

[EngageMedia Curated Film]

The Carteret Islands, low lying atolls east of Bouganville and Papua New Guinea, are being threatened by a rapidly advancing ocean. This has caused its population to become one of the first indigenous cultures forced to prepare for and implement measures for the permanent resettlement of their entire community. This film was a cultural documentation project carried out to assist the Carteret Islanders with preserving cultural knowledge and continuity across community fragmentation and resettlement.


• Bunker 0 : Sumirib Plus

Directed by Jan Philippe V. Carpio | Documentary | 11 mins | 2006 | Philippines

The film focuses on the lives, thoughts, feelings and coping mechanisms of the people of Sitio Sumirib, Guimaras province, as they face difficult times brought about by a man-made ecological disaster caused by a massive oil spill from the sunken tanker Solar 1 chartered by the Petron Oil Corporation.


• Gaharu: Selamatkan Manusia dan Hutan Papua / Save the People and Forests of Papua

Directed by Andre Rimbayana | Produced by the Secretariat for Justice and Peace (SKP) Merauke, Papua | Documentary | 16 mins | 2010 | Indonesia

[EngageMedia Curated Film]

The documentary explains the multidimensional impacts of the gaharu trade on the environment and indigenous Auwyu dan Wiyaghar, in Assue District, Mappi, in the South of Papua Province. The film then explores the new hopes that emerged with the deployment of a government fact finding team to resolve the issues, which produced some solutions, suggestions, and reduced disagreement.


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