57 Degrees North

57 Degrees NorthNick Jones, 2014, 14 min

Saturday 9/20
Program II starts: 7:20pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2013 Buy Tickets

57 Degrees North was inspired by a trip to the Isle of Skye. I was blown away by the sheer scale of the landscape and the attitudes and lifestyles of the people that lived there. The Islanders embodied a quality very different from that found in residents of cities. In contrast to life in large cities, where people are often close in proximity but quite isolated, the islanders were geographically isolated but very well connected to each other and their environments. With this in mind, I set out to explore one of the most remote areas of the United Kingdom: The Outer Hebrides. I was in search of people that had a real connection to nature, often relying on the land and sea for food and fuel.

Issues such as global warming, climate change and overfishing are modern symptoms of an over expanding population. The industrialization of food supplies was a humanistic approach to meet the demands of the expanding population; this however has had a dramatic effect on the natural world.
The fight against overfishing in particular is a cause I feel very passionate about. Despite the fact that fish is the daily source of protein for 1.2 billion people, it is predicted that in less than 50 years, there will be a total collapse of all types of fishing, and this does not look likely to change.

We, in the city, are some of the worst offenders in the overfishing devastation and since we are almost completely disconnected from the sources of our food, we are generally ignorant to the scale of the problem The city consumer demands cheaper produce which places a heavy burden on fish stocks. Poor legislation and corrupt or poor advised fishing policies such as bi-catch have resulted in a completely unsustainable industry. This is not simply problematic as a source of food but as a much more harrowing ecological disaster for the entire planet.

Living in a city, I wanted to explore the impact of of our demands in order to gauge a true estimation of the situation and explore an alternative way of life – where people live much closer to the source of their own survival, and in turn have a different respect for it.” -Nick Jones

A2-B-C

A2-B-CIan Thomas Ash, 2013, 70 min

Saturday 9/20
Program I starts: 6:00pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

Eighteen months after the nuclear meltdown, children in Fukushima who were not evacuated are found to have low white blood cell counts and thyroid cysts and nodules. A collection of perspectives from the community, A2-B-C chronicles the tensions of a citizenry fighting against ignorance on all fronts. Outsiders don’t want to get involved, locals can’t escape, and the poison spills down to further generations.

Website
Trailer
Filmmaker website

Baykeepers

BaykeepersMichael Lutman, 2014, 26 min

Saturday 9/20
Program II starts: 7:20pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

Baykeepers chronicles efforts to clean up the shores of local beaches in Port Phillip, Australia, an area whose rich ecology and natural beauty is put in jeopardy by plastic waste. Spearheaded by Neil Blake, the port’s baykeeper, the project unites the community through an array of programs and perspectives.

Trailer
Port Phillip Baykeeper website

Magnus: A Spring Day

Magnus: A Spring DayMagnus Lilleberg, 2013, 18 min
Producer – Munin Film

Friday 9/19
Program II starts: 10:30pm

* Winner: Best Documentary Short

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

We join Magnus Lilleberg on an intimate journey into his everyday life as a heroin addict in the capital of Norway. He films himself with his hand-held camera and he describes a tough reality without demanding compassion in return.

In Norway, and elsewhere, heroin addicts are often perceived as a homogeneous group who are outcasts from society at large. Magnus wants to alter this picture by documenting his own life and the struggles he encounter because his medicine, heroin, is criminalized by law. The Norwegian government offers methadone, a medicine that doesn’t work for Magnus. Because of that he finds himself living in inhuman conditions in one of the best health and welfare systems in the world. In partnership with Munin Film, Magnus was able to tell his story on his own terms. His short documentary has been screened for politicians at the Norwegian Parliament, won the prestigious Amanda Award for Best Short Film and been critically acclaimed for its innovative form and its ability to raise questions around human dignity.

Facebook

My Toxic Backyard

My Toxic BackyardKatie Damien, 2013, 60 min

Friday 9/19
Program I starts: 8:00pm

*Winner: Best Documentary Feature

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

My Toxic Backyard chronicles one rural community’s struggle to get clean, safe water. When an old manufacturing plant closes and moves away, it leaves behind contamination from chemicals dumped directly onto the ground. Over the years, the toxic chemicals began to leak into the water table. Residents in the area drank high levels of contaminated water for years, not knowing what was making them sick.

Even after community members alerted the Environmental Protection Agency, the site was not deemed a threat and toxins continued to leak unchecked for years. When the site finally became designed a Superfund site and was ranked among the worst contaminated sites in the nation, the community expected a cleanup and safe water, but instead the site seemed to enter a perpetual state of tests and evaluation with little, to no action.

Unfortunately the problems of this community are not isolated. One out of every four Americans lives with in a four mile radius of a Superfund site. Do you know what’s in your water? Your air? In the ground around you? The struggles that this community is facing are just the examples being presented in a system that has failed them for decades.

Trailer
Film website
Director’s website

Not Anymore: A Story of Revolution

Not Anymore: A Story of a RevolutionMatthew VanDyke, 2013, 14 min

Friday 9/19
Program II starts: 10:30pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

Not Anymore: A Story of Revolution is a short film about the Syrian struggle for freedom as experienced by a thirty-two-year-old rebel commander, Mowya, and a
 twenty-four-year-old female journalist, Nour, in Aleppo, Syria. The film shows why Syrians are fighting for their freedom, told through the emotional words of two powerful characters whose lives have been torn apart by war.

Nour is a schoolteacher-turned-journalist who faces death on the front lines to tell the world about the war. The film’s title is derived from the opening line of the film, when Nour says, “I used to wear fancy dresses and high heels. Not anymore.” Now she wears body armor and a helmet. She is fearless, but lives with the pain of friends who have been tortured, raped, and murdered by the Assad regime. She tells not only her story, but theirs, and in so doing she shows the audience what  life is like for a Syrian girl who is spending her twenties in war as everything she loves is destroyed.

Mowya is a young rebel commander who bears the scars, physical and psychological, of seven months of torture. Yet this has not broken his spirit. With incredible wit he tells his story. With disbelief and sadness he walks the streets of ancient Aleppo, telling of how life used to be in a thriving, vibrant city whose heart, as Mowya says, has stopped. With a great deal of charisma he clearly articulates why the Syrian people are fighting for their freedom.

Film’s website
Trailer
Director’s website

The Conditioned

The ConditionedMichael Marantz, 2014, 5 min

Friday 9/19
Program II starts: 10:30pm

Greenpoint Film Festival 2014 Buy Tickets

For its 10th anniversary, Facebook commissioned Michael Marantz to tell a powerful story — one of a homeless man in Brazil whose greatest passion in life is writing poetry and dream is to publish a book. Living on the streets made it an impossible dream. However, a series of unimaginable events take place that transform the life of Raimundo Arruda Sobrinho dramatic ways. “The Conditioned” is an inspiring tale of the power of connection.

Film’s website
Director’s website