In the mist-shrouded mountains of Oregon, a tiny community lives quietly, seeking comfort in nature and one another while struggling with life’s challenges. This hauntingly beautiful farmland, hidden and isolated, is home to horses and dogs, ex-cons and ex-addicts, drummers, dreamers and Bigfoot hunters.
Steve is a kind-hearted landlord who allows his renters to be late with the rent – or not pay rent at all. Amber is the woman Steve can’t stop loving, even when she betrays him. Buzz isolates himself in a tent, nurturing dreams of an expedition with his mule. Ron spent a decade in prison and now dwells in a forest cabin with Gale, whose father is suddenly rushed to hospital. Tom Junior has conquered the meth-addiction that killed his brother and is now patiently cooking food for Tom Senior. The passionate drummer Sky is convinced that Bigfoot hides in the woodlands.
Mikael Lypinski approaches this nonconformist village with curiosity and a deeply felt humanism. Unpaved: Respite from the World weaves the stories and destinies into a moving insight into off-grid America, where people have turned their backs on society to live in sync with nature.
Big Fight in Little Chinatown is a story of community resistance and resilience. Set against the backdrop of the unprecedented rise in anti-Asian racism, the documentary takes us into the lives of residents, businesses and community organizers whose neighborhoods are facing active erasure.
Coast to Coast the film follows Chinatown communities resisting the pressures around them. From the construction of the world’s largest vertical jail in New York, Montreal’s fight against developers swallowing up the most historic block of their Chinatown, big box chains and gentrification forces displacing Toronto’s community, to a Vancouver Chinatown business holding steadfast, the film reveals how Chinatown is both a stand-in for other communities who’ve been wiped off the city map, and the blueprint for inclusive and resilient neighbourhoods of the future.
For most viewers, it’s simply a disappointment when their favourite television series is cancelled. But the fans of some series take the loss a lot harder. And they fight back.
United We Fan explores the inspiring true stories behind these unique save-our-show fan crusades – from the letter writing of yesterday to the social media and crowdfunding campaigns of today. Following the stories of fans, stars, creators and more, the film goes far beyond the headlines to give you deeper insights into fandom, identity and community.
In California’s poorest desert region, a colourful group of regulars and their dogs gather at Rob’s cafe for coffee in ‘the last free place in America’.
Slab City is a squatter community in the Sonoran Desert, Southern California. The inhabitants, Slabbers, live in broken trailers or old school buses. Their closest neighbors are the United States Navy and Marine Corps, who practice aerial bombing in the area. Despite living off-grid in extreme weather conditions with no running water, electricity, sewage system or trash pickup, the residents enthusiastically embrace their freedom in the beautiful badlands of the desert.
Rob hates coffee but as soon as dawn breaks he meticulously brews ‘the best coffee in the county’ for the customers of his makeshift cafe. Desert Coffee sketches an intimate, warm portrait of Rob and his friends – an unforgettable bunch of troubled characters and left-behinds.
Groundswell Rising shows how Fracking – an untested energy extraction process – has contaminated drinking water and jeopardized health. We meet scientists, doctors and farmers across the political spectrum engaged in a David and Goliath struggle against Big Oil and Gas, decrying a process that puts profits over people.
Homeowners near wells suffer from respiratory ailments and property devaluation. A former industry employee shows skin lesions and edema, a result of working on drilling rigs, while others witness mistakes (5% of all wells leak) and explosions, against a back drop of rising ill health, as more and more suffer, from nose bleeds to asthma.
But there is cause for hope.
Local mothers groups unite to win some protections, while lease holders outraged by the corporations strong-arm tactics win local bans. Common Cause uncovers corruption as corporations buy influence to evade environmental protection laws, and the movement begins to gather momentum as actor Mark Ruffalo and singer Natalie Merchant support—and sometimes lead—their efforts.
Grassroots efforts have achieved bans, moratoriums, and referendums on Fracking, giving hope to others worldwide faced with the same nightmare. Transcending the genre of environmental film, Groundswell Rising’s passionate stories inspire and empower.
“Groundswell is ultimately a rousing, convincing rallying cry that the little guys, working in numbers, can triumph” LA Weekly
“But however you stand on the issue, you’re likely to be moved by the film’s portraits of grassroots activists managing to make their voices heard despite the opposition of major corporations and the big money at their disposal.” The Hollywood Reporter