Q. Why is it important that this story be told?
A. My films always begin with something that is happening inside myself, but that I also see reflected in the world around me. I think people are starting to feel like they're coming to a dead end with the old models of creating change in the world, especially some of the forms of activism that are focused on what we're against, as opposed to what we're for, and that are anger-based. I definitely found that with myself, and so I discovered a new kind activism that has its roots in the attitudes of Ghandi and Martin Luther King Jr. You could call it compassionate activism or spiritual activism -- positive, celebrating life, and solution based.
Read full interview at National Post
Read Velcrow Ripper Blog at MyFilmBlog
Inspirational Film Offered in Homes and on Mobile in Nationwide Launch from Alive Mind at Fiercelight.MyFilmblog.com
NEW YORK (MAY 4, 2009) - Beginning today, millions of people across the United States will be able to access the transformational documentary that captures the wave of Spiritual Activism exploding around the planet, and the powerful personalities who are igniting it on Video On Demand (VOD). Not yet available on DVD, Fierce Light is now accessible to viewers from the comfort of their homes or on the go at Fiercelight.MyFilmBlog.com. Available to all U.S households or mobile devices with a high-speed Internet connection, Fierce Light inspires viewers to embrace the transformational power of what Martin Luther King called "Love in Action," and what Gandhi called "Soul Force." Filmmaker Velcrow Ripper calls this uncompromisingly non-violent phenomenon Fierce Light-and attests that it is this very spirit that swept Barack Obama into the White House.
By Chris Knight, National Post
You might expect the director of programming at Toronto’s Hot Docs film festival to have a fixed notion of what is and isn’t a documentary, but Sean Farnel, now in his fourth year in the job, says it’s a moving target.
“I’m becoming less of a purist about the form as I see filmmakers doing impressive things,” Farnel says. “This is a case where the term ‘non-fiction’ is better than ‘reality’ — whatever that is. Documentary as a non-fiction form has become very fluid in the last 10 years ... You see docs consistently pushing the form in new directions.”
Two popular, form-pushing films released last year illustrate his point. Waltz with Bashir, by Ari Folman, recreates the Israeli filmmaker’s memories of the 1982 war with Lebanon through animation. Guy Maddin’s My Winnipeg was part monologue, part travelogue and partly made up, though clearly even the imaginary parts of Manitoba’s capital are close to Maddin’s heart.
This year’s festival, which opens next Thursday with a screening of Jennifer Baichwal’s Act of God, includes a number of what Farnel calls “creative documentaries.”
Cooking History, about soldiers’ food during wartime, uses tableaux and elaborate reconstructions. Antoine, a Canadian film by Laura Bari, immerses the viewer in the universe of a blind five-year-old boy. Big River Man, which Farnel calls a “demi-documentary” in the festival’s program notes, “might be another example of walking the line between fiction and non-fiction to achieve what Werner Herzog would call poetic truth.”
Yes, it is true, Nik Sheehan and FLicKeR are coming to New York city to the Anthology Film Archive, June 13th.
See you there.
The enthusiasm of Nollywood Babylon is infectious. Focusing on the widely unknown (in the U.S., at least) Nigerian film industry, this documentary speeds its way through seventeen years of their film history. Starting in 1992, the video market in Lagos has provided financial opportunities for hundreds of actors and directors making thousands of films. Clocking in at about 2500 films a year, Nigeria has the third largest film industry (the first and second being the U.S. and India, respectively). Seeing the passion that these artists share for films showing the real experiences of Nigerians, and the love of Nollywood itself, is inspiring for independent filmmakers everywhere, struggling to get their little pictures made.