The Power of Us

Developed by TPFF with support from The co-operative

The Power of Us, a new film about co-operation, is fully developed and seeking production funding.

Co-operation is in our DNA – from the personal to the political, from the social to the economic. The fruits of this human endeavour  is all around us to see – and not least in the global economy where co-ops have a turnover of $1.1 trillion, represent 800m members securing the livelihoods of 3bn people. (UK Co-operative Economy, Co-ops UK 2011)

Picking up the baton of the UN Year of Co-operation, The Power of Us will be a film to shine a very bright spotlight on a global movement that has its roots in the UK and will initiate an urgent and timely global conversation about the power and possibility of cooperation.

The story

There is a quiet revolution taking place across the world, right here, right now. Sometimes it’s hidden and often it’s missed by the global media. But it’s there – a low-level rumbling, motivated by the financial crisis, bolstered by the Arab Spring and global protest movements; and fueled by a general sense that something has to change.

The Financial Crisis exposed many things. One was that our economic model is fragile. Another is that the way the majority of people choose to live is not the only way. When the global economy went into free-fall, people started to look around and ask – can we stop it happening again? Is there an alternative? But in fact, there were people are already out there, living the alternative. These groups of individuals were more than surviving the crash, they were often immune from it. And these people who have chosen a different model are not just in Wales or California: they are all over the world. These are the stories at the heart of this film.

The film will show that beyond the brutal individualism of our world today lies a thrilling – and viable – future alternative. An alternative that has already been put into practice across the world for more than 150 years and has been flourishing in recent times. It evokes a future, which could bring about a radical shift in human values and happiness. A future which could result in a more stable economic model, more benign business processes, smarter technology, more meaningful government, leveled inequality, reduced crime. A future whose potential is infinite.

Propelling the visibility of the co-operative movement ~ where-ever it is ~ to the forefront of global public attention

It’s safe to say that  the co-op movement as a whole – its principles, reach and success – is far from being as prominent or as widely appreciated as it deserves to be. The Power of Us intends to build on the success of the UN Year of Co-operation by delivering a film of quality and impact that will reach audiences, media and decision-makers around the world in order to raise the level of awareness and debate about co-operation. In other words,  the power of ‘us’….

Our ambitions for the film

  • have a tagible, positive, economic impact on the co-op economy
  • draw a whole new generation to the co-operative vision and movement
  • empower existing co-ops to use the film as a way to take their message to new members.

And you can help us achieve this!

Crowdfunding campaign

Reflecting the film’s international content, we will be launching a major global crowd-funding campaign for The Power of Us.

In readiness for this, we’re putting the word out and developing our co-op partnerships around the world as we invite the international co-op movement – from the smallest to the largest co-operatives– to be involved in this fundraising campaign.

The Power of Us can take up the baton of the UN Year of Co-operation, and play an important  role for the movement in the coming decade.

Background on the co-operative movement

Proof - Co-ops do it better

Values and principles that underpin much of what we cherish in our day to day human relationships also are embedded in the ethos of co-operation and the co-operative movement. Values that are being re-discovered as essential to a fully rounded (global) society.

Such values and principles have been central to the co-operative movement  for more that 165 years – and then as now, it was forward-looking and standard setting.

A century before the application of ethical labour standards were main-streamed into the consumer conscience of today, the co-operative wholesale (CWS) movement had adopted a ‘no sweat’ principle to the production of its garments. (See image – from Wheatsheaf Magazine 1899. Thanks to the National Co-operative Archive).

This is a truly global movement founded on the principles first laid down by the Rochdale Pioneers in 1844. Today, the International Co-operative Alliance (founded in 1895) has 222 member organisations from 85 countries active in all sectors of the global economy. Together these co-operatives represent more than 800 million individuals worldwide.

For More Information:-

Free tickets to Michael Moore’s new film

Free tickets to Michael Moore’s new film

This offer has come to an end. But do check out Rajesh Thind’s review of the film.

To celebrate the release of Michael Moore’s new documentary, Capitalism: A Love Story, we are offering 2 free tickets to the film to everyone who signs up to join the Tipping Point Film Fund 360° regular giver network.

Commit to donating from £10 monthly to Tipping Point Film Fund in order to qualify for the 2 free tickets. The ticket offer is available for the duration of the film’s UK release.  Donate now.

Capitalism: A Love Story
is showing at cinemas everywhere from Friday 26th February and you can have your two tickets at the cinema of your choice.

More about your donation

Tipping Point Film Fund is a not for profit organisation that, through public donations, supports great non-fiction films that can change our world. A regular donation enables the growth of a sustainable fund that can stay committed to funding films that help make change happen. Find out more about how to donate. Email us at to claim your free tickets after setting up your regular donation.

More about the film

With both humour and outrage, Michael Moore’s Capitalism: A Love Story explores a taboo question: What is the price that America pays for its love of capitalism? Years ago, that love seemed so innocent. Today, however, the American dream is looking more like a nightmare as families pay the price with their jobs, their homes and their savings. Moore takes us into the homes of ordinary people whose lives have been turned upside down; and he goes looking for explanations in Washington, DC and elsewhere. What he finds are the all-too-familiar symptoms of a love affair gone astray: lies, abuse, betrayal…and 14,000 jobs being lost every day.

Capitalism: A Love Story is both a culmination of Moore’s previous works and a look into what a more hopeful future could look like. It is Michael Moore’s ultimate quest to answer the question he’s posed throughout his illustrious filmmaking career: Who are we and why do we behave the way that we do?  Read more about the film.

Commit to regularly donating to claim your 2 free tickets – donate now.

Terms and conditions
You must sign up to be a regular giver with Tipping Point Film Fund. Minimum monthly donation to qualify for the 2 free tickets is £10. Donations can either be made via paypal or standing order. When a donation is made by paypal Tipping Point Film Fund will contact you to arrange which cinema you want to go and see the film. When you set up to donate by Standing Order you need to email to tell us that you have arranged for a donation. We will then issue your tickets to the cinema of your choice when your first donation is made. This promotion does not apply to one off or annual donations.


Fairtrade Fortnight Film Screenings

Fairtrade Fortnight Film Screenings

To celebrate Fairtrade Fortnight Tipping Point Film Fund have teamed up with Lewisham Council to present a series of film and discussion events to raise awareness and explore the issues behind fairtrade. The screenings will all take place in libraries across the borough of Lewisham.

Film Programme

Life and Debt

– Lewisham Library, 5.45pm on Monday 1 March

– Forest Hill Library, 5.30pm on Thursday 4 March



Black Gold

– Downham Library, 7.30pm on Monday 1 March

– Manor House Library, 2.30pm on Saturday 6 March



The Luckiest Nut in the World – aimed at children and families

– Downham Library, 3.30pm on Tuesday 2 March

– Forest Hill Library, 12noon on Saturday 6 March

– Manor House Library, 1pm on Sunday 7 March


More about the films…

Life and Debt

Life and Debt is a documentary looking at the effects of globalisation on Jamaican industry and agriculture. The movie makes you think and question the motives of rich and powerful organisations.

If you care at least a little bit about what’s happening in the world, you should definitely take the time to see this movie. It talks about the negative effects of globalisation in developing countries. Perfect example of “the rich are getting richer because the poor are getting poorer.”

It shows the social implications of IMF policies and the human tragedy, Economic strangling of developing countries, total dominance over them financially, abuse of power, leaving no other choice but to agree to the terrible terms of big organizations. Many ordinary workers speak up.

It is a great movie!  Catch it at Lewisham Library at 5.45pm on Monday 1 March or Forest Hill Library, 5.30pm on Thursday 4 March.

Black Gold

As westerners revel in designer lattes and cappuccinos, impoverished Ethiopian coffee growers suffer the bitter taste of injustice. In this eye-opening expose of the multi-billion dollar industry, Black Gold traces one man’s fight for a fair price.

Multinational coffee companies now rule our shopping malls and supermarkets and dominate the industry worth over $80 billion, making coffee the most valuable trading commodity in the world after oil.

But while we continue to pay for our lattes and cappuccinos, the price paid to coffee farmers remains so low that many have been forced to abandon their coffee fields.

Nowhere is this paradox more evident than in Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee. Tadesse Meskela is one man on a mission to save his 74,000 struggling coffee farmers from bankruptcy. As his farmers strive to harvest some of the highest quality coffee beans on the international market, Tadesse travels the world in an attempt to find buyers willing to pay a fair price.

Catch the film at Downham Library, 7.30pm on Monday 1 March and at Manor House Library, 2.30pm on Saturday 6 March.

Luckiest Nut in the World

The film follows an animated American peanut, who sings about the difficulties faced by nuts from developing countries.

The singing peanut presents a mixture of animation, music and archive which sweeps the viewer through the stories of the cashew, brazil and ground nuts – all of whom suffer as world trade is liberalized. But it is a different story in America – where the peanut is protected by tariffs and heavily subsidized, and worth over four billion dollars a year to the American economy. Certainly the luckiest nut in the world.

The film helps people to see how the pressure to embrace free market’ economics, with it’s promise of a wealthy, abundant market place has actually driven many countries further into poverty.

The Guardian’s take on the director Emily James:
Emily James is a genius, and will, in time, be revered as a TV innovator, dead clever and a woman who really knows her nuts.”

Catch the film at the following times and places:

  • Downham Library, 3.30pm on Tuesday 2 March
  • Forest Hill Library, 12noon on Saturday 6 March
  • Manor House Library, 1pm on Sunday 7 March

Find out more about other events taking place in Fairtrade Fortnight across Lewisham.

Black Gold at Cafe Diplo

Black Gold at Cafe Diplo

Black GoldOn Monday the 23rd November one half of the director/producer team that made the award winning film Black Gold, Nick Francis, will be taking part in a film evening at Cafe Diplo alongside Tipping Point Film Fund co-founder Deborah Burton.

As westerners revel in designer lattes and cappuccinos, impoverished farmers in Ethiopia, where 15 million people depend on coffee growing for their survival, hover on the brink of destitution. In their documentary Black Gold director and producer Nick Francis provides an eye-opening expose of the $80 billion dollar coffee industry, now the most valuable trading commodity in the world after oil.

The film traces the efforts of one man, Tadesse Maskada, to achieve a fair price for the exploited African farmers who support it. Against the backdrop of his journey to London and Seattle, the enormous power of the multinational players that dominate the world’s coffee trade becomes apparent. Deborah Burton is the co-founder of our very own Tipping Point Film Fund which (as you know) raises money to support independent film-makers, and she was involved in the production of Black Gold.  Following the film showing, Nick and Deborah will respond to a Q&A from the floor.

Friends of Le Monde Diplomatique is a UK-based affiliate of the Les Amis Le Monde Diplomatique which supports the writings and tradition which has evolved over 50 years of publication of the Le Monde Diplomatique Newspaper. The Cafe Diplo meetings are held at The Gallery, Farringdon on selected Monday evenings. The sessions give an opportunity for lively debate between speakers and audience.

The Road to Bethlehem receives more funding

Development and PeaceWe are delighted that Canadian development agency Development and Peace/Caritas Canada has shown it’s support with a grant of $20,000 Canadian towards the finishing fund for The Road to Bethlehem.

We are looking forward to working with them, and other agencies, on the outreach campaign for the film, including its partner organisation Trócaire, who has already pledged its support to the film.

The Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace is a democratic movement for international solidarity, supporting partners in the Global South in the pursuit of alternatives to unjust social, political and economic structures. It educates the Canadian population about the causes of impoverishment of peoples; mobilizes actions for change; and in the struggle for human dignity, Development and Peace associates with social change groups in the North and South.

Development & PeaceAs an organisation working to improve the lives of all human communities in a lasting way, in the Palestinian Territories Development and Peace assists Caritas Jerusalem in relieving people’s hardship and the Society of Saint Yves in defending the human rights of those most in need of help.

  • To find out more about the film and how it’s developing read on here.
  • Donate to help Tipping Point Film Fund gather together the final money to make this film a reality.
First Major Donor Secured

First Major Donor Secured

First Major DonorFirst Major Donor Secured.

We at Tipping Point Film Fund are delighted to have secured our first major donor.

It is a £20,000 donation from an individual, who has decided to support an organisation

‘with a strong vision and sense of direction, lots of positive energy and deep commitment to the power of films to change our world – all of which I endorse. I hope this donation will encourage other donors – large and small – to back what I think is a very exciting – and timely – initiative.’
– First Tipping Point Film Fund Major Donor.

On behalf of all of us at Tipping Point Film Fund, we want to offer our deep thanks for this significant donation.

A special evening with Tipping Point Film Fund


Come along and get more involved

You are invited to come along to find out how to get more involved with supporting Tipping Point Film Fund. During the evening we will be introducing the idea behind our 360° network.

Come along and meet up with a group of people who believe in the power of people and film to make change. The event will be held in central London but there will also be a chance for people all over the UK and around the world to take part online.

As part of the evening we will be hosting a special screening of one of the most highly acclaimed documentaries so far in 2009.  Want to find out which film we will be screening? Come along on the night and all will be revealed! – with thanks to dogwoof for allowing us to show this film.

When: Thursday 12th November
Where: St. Anne’s Soho, 55 Dean Street, Soho, London, W1D 6AF – map.
What time: 6.15pm for 6.30pm
Drinks and light snacks will be provided during the evening.

Not able to make it to London?

You can take part in the event over the web. Just RSVP and let us know that you will be joining us online on the night and we will send you instructions how to link up with us.

As Tipping Point Film Fund supporter Caroline from Edinburgh says:

I met the Tipping Point Film Fund team at Greenbelt Festival in the summer and then again at the Take One Action Film Festival in Edinburgh. I think what they are doing is really important. I can’t make it down to London for the event but I will be joining the evening virtually and am looking forward to getting more involved.

Please RSVP to by Monday 9th November to let us know if you can attend the event either in person or online.  RSVPs will be treated on a first come first served basis.

A quick reminder of who we are…

Tipping Point Film Fund is a new, non-profit organisation that aims to grow a fund drawn from donations from the wider general public in order to support outstanding social action feature documentaries – films which also have an integrated campaigns involved.  Our aim is to offer funding as well as campaigning support on each and every film. Tipping Point Film Fund is for people from all walks of life, all ages and all parts of the world – supporting challenging, truth telling films.

We hope that you can make it on the 12th!

Please RSVP to by Monday 9th November to let us know if you can attend the event either in person or online.  RSVPs will be treated on a first come first served basis.

All the best,

from Debs, Thea, Kev and all at Tipping Point Film Fund.
Giving. Watching. Campaigning.

‘I’m fully supportive of what Tipping Point Film Fund is doing. To use the medium of film to move and inspire people to get involved in important social justice issues is critical… we have an opportunity right now… we must make use of that opportunity and momentum and ensure our voices are heard.’
Danny Glover – actor, producer and campaigner.
‘Tipping Point is crucial to ensure more films like Black Gold continue to made and now is the perfect time for this fund to be launched.’
Nick Francis, Producer/Director – Black Gold.
‘Tipping Point Film Fund has just launched, with the explicit aim of getting cash to great filmmakers making social/political docs. Why didn’t they invent that five years ago, goddammit?’
Franny Armstrong, Director of The Age of Stupid
‘So to the really exciting news in doc land which is the launch of the Tipping Point Film Fund, a new UK initiative to crowd-fund documentaries with big ambitions to change things. It aims to unite ‘campaigning networks, independent film goers and online social networks, through a mix of regular giving, one-off donations and support from major donors’ and I hope so much that it takes off. I’m a massive advocate of ‘crowd-funding’ and this is a perfect opportunity to invite people who love documentaries to roll up their sleeves and help make it happen. So, go donate, OK?!’
Charlie Phillips, Sheffield Doc/Fest and Tipping Point Film Fund Regular Giver