2013 End of Year Round-up

Dear friends, supporters and colleagues,

Can it be another year is drawing to a close?! Before our brief end of year round-up, we wanted to share some festive dates for your diary…

BETHLEHEM UNWRAPPED  Dec 23rd-Jan 5th 2014  St James’s Piccadilly

Tipping Point is a lead partner on ‘Bethlehem Unwrapped’ – a festival of Bethlehem at Christmas, in association with Amos Trust, Holy Land Trust, Interpal, Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions (ICAHD) UK, Jews for Justice for Palestinians, P21 Gallery,  War on Want  and Zaytoun.   

A major installation will be unveiled on the opening evening, Monday 23rd December and our events programme, commencing 29th December, includes musician Nigel Kennedy; singer Reem Kelani;  chefs Yotam Ottolenghi & Sami Tamimi; comedians Jeremy Hardy, Mark Steel, Dave Cohen; actor Adjoa Andoh, film-maker Leila Sansour;  artist Larissa Sansour; spoken word artist Rafeef Ziadah, UK Slam poetry champion Harry Baker; Yasmin Alibhai-Brown and ICAHD founder Jeff Halper.

We would love to see you if you find yourself in Piccadilly!

Tickets for events can be booked here.

Follow events on FacebookTwitter
and look out for an update email from us after 27th December with more exciting news about the festival – especially our Installation, designed by the team behind the Buckingham Palace projections during the Diamond Jubilee.


This year we’ve been involved in a number of collaborative events, most with a campaign focus:

  • In June we partnered with Tax Justice Network on ‘Tax and the Civilised Society’ – two film screenings (St Ethelburga’s and The Barbican) coupled with a tour revealing the secrets of the City of London.  First class speakers contributed to all three events  –  listen or read more here:

City of London walk and talks
Screening and panel discussion of “The Spirit of ‘45″
Screening and panel discussion of ‘We’re Not Broke’

  • Also in June we partnered with the Alliance for Cancer Prevention and the Organic Pharmacy to organise ‘Cancer Prevention: A Toxic Tour’ in Central London. Amongst other things, the tour explored the issue of vested interests that play a role in holding back the understanding of breast cancer as an environmental disease, worldwide .  ‘From Pink to Prevention’ is a new campaign we shall be developing and, as part of this, we will continue to work with the film ‘Pink Ribbons Inc’.  A great line up of  expert speakers and campaigners alike took part  in the tour itself.  Listen or read more here:

Cancer Prevention: A Toxic Tour

More about our new campaign From Pink to Prevention.

  • In August we had another great three days at Greenbelt where we previewed Amir Amirani’s film ‘We Are Many’ to a terrific audience reception; hosted a tax-justice event with Tax Justice Network and Christian Aid around the film ‘We’re Not Broke’ ; and  screened  the wonderful documentary ‘Sing Your Song’ about the life of Harry Belafonte where we were joined by Reverend Rose Hudson-Wilkin for a discussion about the incredible influence of Belafonte and the role of churches and social change.
  • This December, Bethlehem Unwrapped has been conceived by Justin Butcher, one of Tipping Point’s three co-founders. It speaks to the Kairos call by churches and communities in the Holy Land to churches worldwide to join with them in their struggle to ‘get our freedom back’. The Kairos Palestine call is modelled on the Kairos South Africa call.  We are delighted to be a lead partner on this event. An approved, abridged version of the 2009 Kairos document can be read here.

Developing a new global campaign on runaway global military spending

We dedicated considerable time in 2013 to research on our first ‘in-house’ campaign proposal. The Five Percent Campaign will link to ‘We Are Many’ (to be released next year),  but is primarily conceived as a single issue,  international campaign idea that holds the debt campaign or tax justice as a model to aspire to. It focusses on a very practical yet ambitious (over time)  formula that could deliver long-term, sustainable cuts to excessive global military spending (currently $1.7trillion – excluding the costs of conflicts like Afghanistan or Iraq).  We are now sharing the idea with our friends and colleagues across the campaign spectrum, with some already showing support and keen to help us develop the idea further.  This is just the very beginning of a new idea – but we hope it can, over time, gain serious attention and traction.

Tipping Point North South – a new website

As many involved with TPFF already know, we are actually constituted as Tipping Point North South (TPNS) – a ‘for the benefit of community’ co-operative, set up to work in the film and creative industries as well as within the ‘third sector (campaigning on social justice issues with fellow not-for-profit organisations). Tipping Point Film Fund – our main area of work to date – is an activity of TPNS.

This new Tipping Point North South website has been primarily created to host our growing in-house campaign development activity, as well as an increasing number of campaign-based partnership activities. So, we hope the new site can give a bit more clarity to work which is primarily campaign focussed, rather than film focussed … we will still carry film fund activity on the site and TPFF is still at the heart of what we do.

Film Projects 

Leila Sansour 

We’re delighted Leila can join us as a key contributor to the Bethlehem Unwrapped programme. On 2nd January at 7.30 she’ll be joining is for a Q&A after a screening of her first film Jeremy Hardy versus the Israeli Army; and on 4th Jan she will take part in a panel discussion about Israel’s separation wall.

We know there are very many of you who have been waiting for her film about Bethlehem  to arrive in a cinema near you!- and we are all working to make this happen. Former head of Exhibition and Distribution at the British Film Council,  Peter Buckingham of SampoMedia has now joined our team to lead on the planning and  fundraising efforts to support an innovative and fresh approach to the distribution of the film next year.

The plan for the release of the film and the audience outreach strategy now embraces the incredible archive that Leila accumulated during the course of making her film, making these archives, (eg newsreels and articles from the last century;  testimonies, maps and  more than 7000 photographs from past and present) – all available for viewers at screenings but also downloadable.  The film will release with a simultaneous launch of these archives across a variety of platforms  including  a digital app alongside  a conventional guidebook to the city which will form an extension of the film’s experience on the ground.

So, to reflect this ambitious new plan, the project has been renamed– very aptly! – PLANET BETHLEHEM.  We’ll keep everyone posted as events progress next year…

Amir Amirani – We Are Many

Now completed, the film will be going into post-production early next year. Events surrounding the UK’s ‘Syria vote’ at the House of Commons has added yet one more dimension to the film’s thesis – that protest does work. Recently Amir visited the USA to shoot some new material, including an interview with Hans Blix. We’re hoping for a release in Spring 2014!

And finally, big a  thank you to….

A big thank you to all those who have funded our work this year – individuals and organisations alike

And we are lucky to work with some incredibly inspiring people from the UK and around the world who are powerful advocates for social justice.  We wish them every good luck for their work – as film-makers,   as campaigners, or both –  in the coming year.

        It always seems impossible until it is done

        Nelson Mandela
        July 18th 1918 –Dec 5th 2013

Wishing you a peaceful Christmas and New Year
Deborah, Ho Chih,  Jen and Kevin
PS News about The Co-operative

It has been a very difficult year for the The Co-operative Group  and The Co-operative Bank.  We here at Tipping Point owe our existence to support from The Co-op – and many, many charities and NGOs have been supported over the years,  by The Co-op.  The Bank and the Group have a longstanding track record of backing many influential campaigns – from human rights, to environment to economic justice. We are supporting the Ethical Consumer campaign to ‘Save Our Bank’ – if you would like to know more, click here.

Here is a short summary of the campaign’s update from Save Our Bank Campaign 13/12/13

It’s now certain that the Co-operative Bank’s re-capitalisation plan will go ahead. This means private investors will soon own most of the bank. We know that the Co-operative Group will own 30% of the bank but we still don’t know exactly how the remaining 70% will break down between hedge funds and other private investors. – See more here.

Until now we have been focusing on the Ethical Policy to stop it being watered down. This week we spoke directly to Euan Sutherland, the Chief Executive of the Co-operative Group. He told us that:

  • The current Ethical Policy will remain in place until further notice.
  • The bank will conduct a survey of customers in the first half of 2014 on where they want to Ethical Policy to go in future. A refreshed Ethical Policy will then be proposed around mid 2014.

You can see more on what he told us here.

Ownership None of our supporters are happy with hedge funds as owners of the bank, and most want a return to majority co-operative ownership (see our survey results). There are many ideas coming from supporters as to how this might happen. For example an investment fund allowing customers to buy shares in the bank collectively (a bit like a Supporters Trust). At Save Our Bank we are pretty sure that the hedge funds are not looking to be long-term owners, and we believe there will be real opportunities to influence what happens.   – See more here.

We do not know what the future will hold.  But we believe that if we stick together, then we have a real chance of keeping the Co-op Bank ethical and of moving it back to majority co-operative ownership. That’s why we are still saying don’t switch yet. – See more here.