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Nature/Environment

The Last of the River People

In the City of Richmond, British Columbia, a tiny village on stilts clings to the bank of the south arm of the Fraser River. Settled more than a hundred years ago by Finnish fishermen, Finn Slough's residents now are mostly artists and eccentrics who choose to live along a narrow strip of water between Lulu Island on which Richmond is built, and a tiny island in the Fraser. Each has a story to tell of the struggle to maintain a way of life: the fisherman who struggles with ever-diminishing salmon catches, the sculptor and painter unable to make a living from his art, and the two rivermen who earn their livings from the water and boats. And through their daily lives, the Fraser River flows on, and the tides come and go, as the natural life of the river and the wildlife who make it home provide a backdrop to the human lives lived at Finn Slough, and a counterpoint to the encroaching urbanization. The film is a meditation on life lived in the tidal zone.

Urban Roots

Urban Roots is an inspiring ocumentary on urban vegetable gardening. Meet three dynamic gardeners who share their personal stories on living a more self-sustainable lifestyle while providing practical information on how to garden. Learn to grow your own food, it's more nutritious and you will save money! http://www.urbanrootsgarden.com

The Antarctica Challenge: A Global Warning

Al Gore's Academy Award-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth has done a lot to raise the international awareness of the environmental issue of global warming. But where do things stand today? The Antarctica Challenge: A Global Warning is a one-hour documentary that will go to the source of the climate change crisis: Antarctica. Here we explore first-hand the environmental challenges facing that frozen continent and, by extension, the world. This documentary features interviews from polar experts and research scientists around the world as well as rare HD footage of breathtaking landscapes and Antarctic wildlife including penguins in their hatching season. One of the highlights of the film will be an interview with Alexandra Shackleton, granddaughter of the legendary explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton whose courageous expedition to cross Antarctica from sea to sea in 1914 to 1917, blazed a trail for all of mankind today. Among the recent discoveries the world's scientific community has made here this year is the new phenomenon of suicide among penguins. Never-before-seen footage of a penguin marching off alone to his death is featured. Other discoveries include the imminent rise of the world's sea level due to ice melting and amazing footage of new vegetation growing in the world's largest desert. It is the mandate of this documentary to bring to light the theories and statistics first brought to the publics attention in An Inconvenient Truth with hands-on exploration of the continent, its wildlife and the brave men and women who have given up the comforts of civilization in order to save it. This is The Antarctica Challenge</p>

CAT LADIES

Cat Ladies is a verité documentary that pierces the intimate world of the “cat lady” – women who give and seek love in their world with their cats. Four different women who have been slapped with the same label: “The Crazy Cat Lady”. Through intimate access with Diane, Margot, Sigi and Jenny, we create a sensitive and emotionally honest portrait of women whose lives and self-worth have become intractably linked to cats. Some of these women have only a few cats; others share their small homes with hundreds. They’ve created an alternative society for themselves that they share with their feline companions. It’s not however, the number of cats they possess that defines them, but rather their struggle to find acceptance and value in a society that rejects them. A figure of fun, they’re easily dismissed but these women deal with the issues that all of us face to some degree – rejection, loss and loneliness.

Get Involved

A young man (myself) journeys to Cameroon, West Africa to spend three months as a volunteer at a sanctuary for orphaned chimps and gorillas affected by the illegal commercial bush meat trade. While there he puts his knowledge of construction to use in the building of an enclosure for five baby gorillas.

In the Shadow of the Chief

On a rain-soaked morning in May 1961, amidst the snow-capped mountains and verdant forests of Squamish, British Columbia, two young climbers; Jim Baldwin and Ed Cooper started up the Stawamus Chief. Within two weeks news of their attempt had spread and soon 12,000 cars crowded the base of the Chief with onlookers convinced they were about to witness a deadly fall. Braving relentless heat, mosquitoes and a barrage of reporters, it seemed at times doubtful that Ed and Jim would finish the climb. Using never-before-seen archival footage, In the Shadow of the Chief is a unique look at a part of climbing history and the spirit of the community that rallied behind them. It is directed by Ivan Hughes and produced by Angela Heck.

When Silence is Golden

When Silence is Golden follows the film`s director in her quest to lift the silence on the gold mining activities of a Canadian mining company near a small town in Western Ghana. Through her journey, we meet the inhabitants of this town who, despite efforts by the government to silence them, cannot hide their anger and are eager to express their grievances.

Mirage of El Dorado / Mirages d'un Eldorado

This feature-length documentary by Martin Frigon takes us high into the Andes of northern Chile where Canadian-owned Barrick Gold, the biggest gold producer in the world, is set to move glaciers if necessary to get at the mineral riches beneath. The area borders on the Atacama Desert, one of the driest places on earth, and many people in the Huasca Valley and beyond fear for their source of water and the glaciers that help supply it. The struggle around Pascua Lama is a David and Goliath confrontation with global consequences in an isolated region far from public scrutiny. (Available in English, French and Spanish sub-titled versions.)

A Growing Season

A Growing Season follows vegetable farmer John Gorzo Jr. and his family over eight months on his farm in the Holland Marsh, located north of Toronto. This growing season gets off to a cold, wet start in April delaying the planting season. As he waits for things to dry up, John and his workers spend time doing routine tasks around the farm. Fortunately, things begin to improve by late May. He has crops in the ground and some of his acreage has plants sprouting up. But it's already getting dry and John is forced to get out the irrigation to keep things moist. By July, it's hot and dry and irrigation day and night has become crucial to keep the crops alive. John walks through his fields and is happy with how things are growing. They are beginning to harvest a few crops already and that can't begin soon enough. John admits the bill collectors are calling and money has been in short supply. The entire Gorzo operation is into full harvest mode when August rolls around. A number of crops are being harvested daily for delivery to markets in Toronto. But the days are long... sometimes John is working from 3 am to well past 10 pm over the same day. In early September, John is beginning to harvest his onion crop. Due to the dry conditions, the onions are smaller than he would like. He talks candidly about the marketplace and how hard it is for farmers to make a decent living. Things continue to be tight money wise and he wonders how things are gong to end up this season. A few weeks later he continues to struggle to get the crop off as the colder fall weather begins in early November. The family has only managed to cover their bills this year after selling some land John had purchased years earlier. As the documentary concludes, John admits that he'll likely need to get a job because he's made so little over the past year. A growing season is over but it looks as though John is unsure if he wants to endure another.

Saving Luna

Luna, a wild baby killer whale, gets separated from his family and seeks friendship from people, but when officials try to stop him, his life becomes a saga of conflict, loneliness, sorrow and love.
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