Open Bethlehem

Operation Bethlehem

Open Bethlehem is now completed; had its UK release in 2015; its Bethlehem Premiere in Spring 2016 and continues its journey across the globe – the Middle East, Europe, North America. For more info click here.

NB Open Bethlehem is the new release title for The Road to Bethlehem.

I am delighted that Tipping Point has become the home of my film in the UK. I couldn’t have a better partner in my journey to bring the story of Bethlehem to the world.
– Leila Sansour – Open Bethlehem

What would you do to save Bethlehem?

In 2004 director Leila Sansour set out to find the answer for herself.  Four years later, she found it.

This documentary is a personal story filmed over four critical years in the life of Bethlehem. This most famous little town also happens to be Leila Sansour’s hometown. She left it as a teenager, pledging never to return. But in 2004 she went home for Christmas. The journey changed her life.

The film is shot over four Christmases in the life of Bethlehem as, piece-by-piece, hundreds of slabs of concrete are lowered into place to build a wall that will seal the city from the outside world. The story is told through the eyes of the film’s director. It is her own very personal story.

To hear the latest news from Leila read her blog, or for a small taster of the film watch the clip below.

Raising the completion budget

Tipping Point Film Fund has helped raise funds in excess of £100,000 to support the editing and completion of the film, as well as the international outreach plan for the film.

The film mobilised a fund-raising base that raised more than £70,000 towards this final sum – from individual donations, collective group contributions, dedicated fund-raising events and appeals. Supporting donor organisations include Trocaire (Ireland), Development and Peace (Canada) CBA Dfid (UK), and most recently McCabe Educational Trust.

Leila has a proven track record as a feature documentary director – her first film was the internationally acclaimed Jeremy Hardy versus the Israeli Army.

Campaign outreach

The film is now complete. The campaign accompanying the film on its release will be a 2-3 year long international effort to engage the public and decision-makers on the critical issues affecting Bethlehem and Palestine more widely, and inspire audiences around the world to get involved and really help make a difference.

Open Bethlehem

At the heart of the film and the campaign, founded by the director herself in 2005, is Open Bethlehem, an international campaign set up to address the state of emergency in Bethlehem. It has secured widespread attention and endorsement from world figures such as Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Jimmy Carter and is a campaign that will enhance the film’s international impact with the intention  of creating a positive impact for her home town.

Timescale & Events

July 2014

TPFF hosted NGO screening for organisations working in or on the Israel/Palestine issue. Hosted at Mosaic rooms.

Sept 2014

The film was previewed at the Royal Geographical Society in September 2014 at a sell-out event hosted by Melvyn Bragg.

Open Bethlehem at the Royal Geographical Society with Melvyn Bragg

Dec 2014 – and into 2015 – UK release

“One of the most remarkable and moving documentaries I have seen. The tragedy
of the Palestinians encapsulated in the life of one town, Bethlehem”
Jon Snow

Open Bethlehem was released across the UK, beginning on December 5th. It has been shown in London, Liverpool, York, Oxford, Bristol, Norwich, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee, Aberdeen and Inverness to full house audiences with enthusiastic feedback. There were great Q&As of Leila with Jeremy Hardy, Irvine Welsh, Paul Laverty, among others. TPFF hosted two sell-out screenings at the Lexi cinema and the Ritzy Picturehouse. Screenings start again in the new year. Don’t miss the chance to see this wonderful film in the cinema.

“Leila Sansour’s documentary Open Bethlehem follows her campaign to stop occupying Israeli forces encircling her hometown with a concrete wall. Sansour’s film, which follows her attempts to unite Christians, Muslims and Jews in their desire for free access to the Holy City, is the kind of art that peace processes are built on.”
Peter Bradshaw

Watch the whole Guardian’s video review here.

Bethlehem syndrome: understanding the little town of ‘Brand Holy Land’

‘We might not achieve a victory, but we at least can tell a story’

Open Bethlehem Campaign

Integral to the release is an international outreach campaign of same name. Open Bethlehem works to promote global engagement with Bethlehem as a real and contemporary city in the Middle East. It does so by supporting the distribution of communication tools about Bethlehem to boost international interest and awareness and by promoting visits to Bethlehem through established and specialized tour operators. The campaign also works to develop a network of passionate ambassadors for the city through the Bethlehem Passport Program.

More information:

More Press Articles

Leila recently wrote this article for The Elders website, ahead of the Pope’s visit, warning that the city’s tradition of peaceful coexistence is in danger of vanishing completely.

Leila Sansour writes about her and her family’s experience of life growing up under Israeli occupation and considers the impact of Palestine’s UN Bid for recognition.


‘As a child growing up in Bethlehem, I was entrusted with burning all the political books in my father’s library whenever there was an Israeli raid. Now my city is surrounded by walls and ring-fenced by more than forty Israeli settlements built on Palestinian land.’


In September 2011, as Palestine  prepared for its bid for UN recognition, Leila writes about this hugely significant step.   ‘The Palestinian UN bid – an uncharted territory.  Is the risk going to the UN? Or is the greater risk doing it half- heartedly? Read it here.

TV and Radio

Renowned  “60 Minutes”  series on US network CBS report on Christian Palestinians

And for US faith group audiences,  here are some syndicated radio reports about The Holy Land

Survey: Americans back Bethlehem but not sure where it is

Early on, as Leila and her team started making the documentary, they decided to commission a nationwide survey in the United States about American perceptions of Bethlehem. The findings where stunning and in total contrast to another survey we commissioned in Bethlehem at the same time.

The survey, carried out by top US political pollsters Zogby International, showed that only 15 percent of Americans realized that the biblical Bethlehem is a Palestinian city and even fewer still guessed that its inhabitants were a mix of Christians and Muslims or that Bethlehem was located in the West Bank. 15000 Americans were canvassed.

The Zogby survey showed strong support for the town in the US, where 65.5% of the population wanted the UN to list it as a world heritage site. It is worth mentioning that Bethlehem was finally listed as a world heritage site only in 2012.

The film crew also conducted 150 interviews in the streets of London at the same time producing a humorous montage of people’s perceptions. One woman said: “I don’t know where it is but I strongly believe the men there must be very attractive”. The clip did not make it into the film but it will be part of our press kit and promotional film take outs.

To read more about the survey

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.

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.

Vanishing of the Bees

Vanishing of the Bees

If you could imagine your food cupboard / plate / picnic without the things that rely on bees to pollinate them…then you would have a sad half-empty cupboard/plate/ picnic…
We need bees that much.  and if you are an urbanised soul, then you may not quite realise that, without bees – those small little things that you pay no attention to – our food chain is in trouble….
Bees are in a critical state of emergency – which means we are too.  If we don’t get to the bottom of how and why this is happening and then take all the measures necessary to address it, we can kiss goodbye to the bee – and all that it does for us.
VANISHING OF THE BEES will make a vital contribution to raising awareness on all these issues.  Like the film, Tipping Point Film Fund – a newly launched organisation – is supported by The Co-operative. We are generating a new fund drawn from donations by the public to support mainstream, cinematic social action feature documentaries that tell us stories we need to know about and act upon.  We believe in the power of people and film to make change through ‘giving, watching, campaigning’.  See our short trailer at:
Deborah Burton, Tipping Point Film Fund

The Vanishing of the BeesBees are dying in their billions. In the UK alone one fifth of the honeybee hives were lost in the winter of 2008/09.  Bees pollinate a third of the food we eat, and this contributes £200million a year to the UK economy.  The Vanishing of the Bees is an eye opening account of the shocking truth behind the declining bee population.

If you could imagine your food cupboard / plate / picnic without the things that rely on bees to pollinate them…then you would have a sad half-empty cupboard/plate/ picnic…

We need bees that much.  and if you are an urbanised soul, then you may not quite realise that, without bees – those small little things that you pay no attention to – our food chain is in trouble….

Bees are in a critical state of emergency – which means we are too.  If we don’t get to the bottom of how and why this is happening and then take all the measures necessary to address it, we can kiss goodbye to the bee – and all that it does for us.

Vanishing of the Bees (UK Première on Thursday 1st October) will make a vital contribution to raising awareness on all these issues.  The film, like Tipping Point Film Fund is supported by The Co-operative. The film is another example of a powerful mainstream cinematic social action feature documentary that will tell us a story we need to know about and act upon.

The Vanishing of the Bees and Tipping Point Film Fund have alot in common – we both believe in the power of people and film to make change through – giving, watching, and campaigning.

Read more

From Richard Attenborough to Michael Moore

From Richard Attenborough to Michael Moore

Reclaiming the cinema: films for social change

From Richard Attenborough to Michael Moore, there’s no doubt that films have changed the world: but in a changing world, how are filmmakers and campaigners keeping pace?

The Yes Men Fix the WorldTipping Point Film Fund is please to announce that it will be taking part in the Take One Action Festival.  A festival that brings people and movies who are changing the world together.

Deborah Burton, co-founder of Tipping Point Film Fund, will be taking part in the symposium Reclaiming the Cinema at the festival on Friday 25th September. The symposium will look at funding, presentation and distribution of films for social change.

Mixing debate, new work and compelling talks from some of the leading players in Britain’s emerging global action cinema scene, the symposium event will give you the opportunity to explore the latest thinking about popular film as a tool for social change. Open to everyone, but of special value to activists, filmmakers and people interested in communications and culture.

Speakers include distributor Oli Harbottle (Dogwoof – Burma VJ, Age of Stupid, The End of the Line), campaigner and director Mike Bonanno (The Yes Men Fix the World), campaigner turned talent-spotter Deborah Burton (Tipping Point Film Fund – Bamako, Black Gold) and Simon Bateson (Director, Take One Action).

Cry Freedom achieved more to tell the world about apartheid in South Africa in one year than all my years on Robben Island…
– Nelson Mandela
Greenbelt Report Back

Greenbelt Report Back

Film has powerIntroducing Tipping Point Film Fund’s ‘smallest cinema in the world’

Tipping Point Film Fund spent a very enjoyable weekend in the company of many a lovely festival-goer at the Greenbelt festival in Cheltenham. We whisked as many as were willing into our ‘smallest cinema in the world’ and we also chatted film with anyone who would listen.

The result – we know all about the films that have opened your eyes to new issues. If you want to check out your photo or see which films where chosen check out all the images on flickr or facebook.

For a great ready-made list of films ‘to watch’ check out: Blood Diamond, Age of Stupid, The day after tomorrow, It’s a free world, Black Gold, Amazing Grace, Secrets and Lies, Killing Fields, Babel, Bamako, Hotel Rwanda, Gandhi, Slumdog Millionaire, Sicko, Syriana, Cry freedom, American History, Schindlers List, 11th Hour, Constant Gardener, In the name of the father, The Color Purple, An Inconvenient Truth, Burma VJ and London to Brighton to mention just a few!

It was great meeting everyone at the festival and finding out what films get you interested. Post Greenbelt do stay in touch – become a fan of our page on Facebook and visit our website if you want to know more about us.  And remember if you discover a new ‘eye opening’ film do drop us a line and let us know what it is.

We couldn’t sign off with saying a few ‘thankyous’ without which the ‘smallest cinema in the world’ would not have been possible! Special thanks go out to Deb’s ‘man for all jobs’ –the brilliant Bob Elson; Woody and Ben from the Greenbelt crew, and the one and only Ralph …of the festival fire service.  !!Thankyou!!

-And finally – a very big thank you to the Greenbelt Angel for her very generous donation…

Road to Bethlehem secures more funding

Trocaire We are delighted that Irish development agency Trócaire has shown it’s support with a grant of 7,500 EURO towards the finishing fund for Road to Bethlehem. We are looking forward to working with them, and other agencies, on the outreach campaign for the film. As a faith-based organisation Trócaire is united with similar organisations across the world through CIDSE (International Cooperation for Development and Solidarity).

Other recent funders to come on board include CBA DfID Broadcast Media Scheme, which is supporting the film with a grant award of £10,000. The CBA-DFID Broadcast Media Scheme was established in 2001. The CBA (Commonwealth Broadcasting Association) has funding from DFID (the UK Government Department for International Development) to manage the scheme which is editorially independent.  The objective of the scheme is to improve UK  public understanding and awareness of the developing world via the mainstream broadcast media.


The effective outreach of the film is central to our plans. Leila – who has many years experience campaigning on the issues concerning her country –  was recently asked by the Carter Center to travel to Atlanta to make an Open Bethlehem presentation at a conference designed to bring faith agencies together around a new push for the US to play a more constructive role in its policy-making toward Israel/Palestine. It was a hugely successful event in the lead up to President Obama’s first meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his first trip to the Middle East.


Tipping Point Film Fund will be profiling Road to Bethlehem at this year’s Greenbelt Festival – the main focus of the festival this year is on Palestine. Tipping Point Film Fund will be unveiling the ‘world’s smallest cinema’ at the festival in the G-Source tent.  If you are at this year’s festival then please do come and see us.  Not going to the festival?  You can follow what we get up to on Twitter and on Facebook.

Launch Success

Launch Success

And we’re off…

Launch PartyOne hundred and fifty people gathered together to celebrate the launch of Tipping Point Film Fund. If you came along – or even if you didn’t – check out our photos from the event on Flickr.  Not only did we have a great shin-dig and chance to catch up with lots of lovely people but we also got a whole host of media coverage.

To see what others have to say about us – feel free to explore some of the links below:

  • Screen Daily – Socially-conscious film fund Tipping Point launches in UK
  • Real Screen – Two new funds for socially conscious docs launched
  • Cineuropa – Documentary funding reaches Tipping Point
  • Sheffield Doc Fest – Scroll down to 11th July – Tipping Point Film Fund: excellent
  • Film London – Film London News Bulletin

What next?

Want to stay in touch with Tipping Point Film Fund as our fund starts to grow and projects develop? There are three easy things that you can do to stay up-to-date with what we’re up to:

  1. Sign up to email updates
  2. Follow us on Twitter
  3. Become a fan of our page of facebook

Tipping Point Film Fund launches

TPFF launchesFilm lovers and activists have come together to bring films with a conscience  to the big screen.  Tipping Point Film Fund is an innovative, not-for-profit fund to help finance the making of documentary films launching in London on 8th July.

Tipping Point Film Fund (TPFF), supported by The Co-operative, is extending the idea of ‘crowd funding’, whereby independent filmmakers can tap into their networks in order to raise production funding.  TPFF aims to grow its donor base by reaching out to campaigning networks, independent film goers and online social networks, through a mix of regular giving, one-off donations and support from major donors.

Through these routes, TPFF aims to create a rolling, sustainable fund that can support a number of films at any time, and which can ultimately contribute a large enough portion of a production budget to ensure it can be made and allow creative independence. Equally important will be TPFF’s involvement in the outreach of the film at home and abroad.

TPFF founders are a unique mix of film and campaign professionals whose experience with documentaries such as ‘Black Gold’ ( led them to explore the potential of traditional charity donors funding films that advance public and political debate.

As feature documentaries about social and environmental issues find a growing global audience, the struggle for production funding remains constant – despite the recognition that such films can and do contribute to significant social change.  We want to create a new funding stream for accessible and cinematically strong social issue feature documentaries. To be able to support such film-makers, we want to build a donor base of regular givers – people who are excited by and see value in directly supporting films for change. People of all ages, all walks of life, who want to come with us on the journey from development, through to distribution to campaigning.
– Deborah Burton, Co-founder Tipping Point Film Fund.
The Co-operative has three million members and a unique 165 year history of campaigning. Using a democratic co-operative model, we believe that Tipping Point Film Fund can play a unique role in bringing important untold stories to people’s attention, and hope that these films will help mobilise our members and the general public”.
– Paul Monaghan, Head of Social Goals and Sustainability at The Co-operative.

TPFF co-founders previously campaigned with Danny Glover on the critically acclaimed film ‘Bamako’, by Abderrahmane Sissako, which was executive produced by Glover and his producing partner Joslyn Barnes of Louverture Films.

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. In the US, we have an opportunity right now – with an administration that is hopefully listening – to exert an influence on how policy is shaped and implemented. We must make use of that opportunity and momentum and ensure our voices are heard.
– Danny Glover – Actor, producer and campaigner

Download the full launch press release.
All media enquiries to Thea Palmer – 0772 3090 787.

Danny Glover shows his support

Danny GloverHollywood actor and producer Danny Glover shows his support for Tipping Point Film Fund.

He says:

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. In the US, we have an opportunity right now – with an administration that is hopefully listening – to exert an influence on how policy is shaped and implemented. We must make use of that opportunity and momentum and ensure our voices are heard.
– Danny Glover – actor, producer and campaigner.

Tipping Point Film Fund co-founders previously campaigned with Christian Aid and Danny Glover on the critically acclaimed film ‘Bamako’, by Abderrahmane Sissako, which was executive produced by Glover and his producing partner Joslyn Barnes of Louverture Films. In the below clip he and Joslyn talk about the issues the film addresses.

Burma VJ: The Saffron Premiere

Burma VJ

Burma VJ: The Saffron Premiere

The Co-operative is bringing to life the film Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country, the award-winning story of the continuing fight for democracy in Burma. The film tracks the brave new breed of young ‘video journalists’ who, using hidden cameras, put their lives on the line to tell the real story of the 2007 Burmese uprisings and the subsequent repression by the ruling military regime.

On the evening of 14 July, The Co-operative is launching the movie with an exciting film event. Cinemas across the country will be linked live to the BAFTA in London to create the ‘Saffron Premiere’, so named after the distinctive orange robes of the Burmese monks. The evening will include a full film screening, as well as a one-off chance to join a live debate with the makers of the film.

The launch of Burma VJ marks 10 years of The Co-operative campaigning for democracy in Burma. This has included The Co-operative Bank’s decision to decline finance to any commercial organisation with a significant presence in Burma, and more recently The Co-operative Travel’s decision to delist the country as a tourist destination, as well as consistent awareness raising amongst our members and the general public.

Find out more:

City Circle welcome film as a way to make change

The City Circle

Friday 19th June – Maxim Sansour from the Open Bethlehem campaign and Deborah Burton, co-founder Tipping Point Film Fund talk at the City Circle.  The City Circle is a charity that promotes the development of a distinct Muslim identity through debate as well as practical and progressive solutions to community problems.

Open Bethlehem is an international public relations campaign set-up to address the state of emergency in Bethlehem and is the campaign linked to Road to Bethlehem. The campaign aims to bring world attention to the crisis facing the city by reaching out to decision-makers, faith leaders and the media and acting as a route into Bethlehem for initiatives of all kinds. Above all, they aim to build a positive legacy for Palestine and the wider region by reasserting Bethlehem’s unique historical character as a living example of an open and multi-faith Middle East.

Open Bethlehem is a non-violent attempt to save a city that belongs to many in the world. It is unconscionable that Bethlehem should be allowed to die slowly from strangulation.
– Archbishop Desmond Tutu
Open Bethlehem is an admirable project.
– President Jimmy Carter

Open Bethlehem is an initiative set up to address the state of emergency in Bethlehem, Palestine, that has secured global attention as well as endorsements from such world figures as Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Jimmy Carter. Open Bethlehem aims to bring international support to a ‘Save the City’ campaign to help reverse the erosion of Bethlehem’s historic character and the dissipation of a community that stands as a living example of a multi-faith and multi-ethnic Middle East.

To find out more about ‘Road to Bethlehem’ film and the Open Bethlehem campaign – read on…

Maxim Sansour is a founding board member of Open Bethlehem and a former communications advisor to the United Nations, the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Palestinian Central Elections Commission.

Redistributing the power

solarHere at Tipping Point Film Fund we are all about harnessing the power of films to drive and build campaigning movements. Recently we’ve been intrigued by the possibility of harnessing another great power – that of the sun….  This is why we are developing a new film on the power of solar.

Here Comes the Sun is inspired by the many visionaries around the world who have led the way on pushing for renewable energy to play a MUCH more prominent role in global energy provision and includes scientists and business people, activists and charities.

The Solar CenturyOne such person is London based Jeremy Leggett, of Solar Century. He has recently edited a new book:-

The Solar Century
The past, present and world-changing future of solar energy

[Leggett has] done more to change attitudes towards the (solar) resource than almost any other individual
Financial Times

Clean, silent, renewable and climate-friendly  solar power is the holy grail of energy. And there’s no shortage of daylight out there: enough falls on the surface of the planet each day to power human society many thousands of times over.

Yet there are still many myths about solar – especially the ideas that it’s prohibitively expensive, impractical for countries with cloudy skies, and will always require fossil-fuel stations on standby.

In the first definitive book on the subject, Jeremy Leggett (founder and Executive Chairman of the UK’s leading solar company, Solarcentury) debunks these myths.  More importantly, he shows how solar energy can be the backbone of a renaissance in which, after the current credit crunch and the impending energy crunch, the world economy will be run on renewable energy, and the worst effects of global warming staved off as a consequence.

Above all, the book provides a positive set of visions which extend well beyond the provision of electricity, heat, and water for anyone with a curiosity about solar power and an interest in our planet’s future.

Read more:
see the impact a 4 degree temperature rise would have on the planet
– how solar power from the Sahara is a step closer

Film-makers meet campaigners

Harnessing the power of film

Deborah Burton, co-founder of Tipping Point Film Fund, and Black Gold Producers and Directors Marc and Nick Francis talk about harnessing the power of films and campaigns on The Channel 4 BRITDOC Foundation website. Click here to watch the clip (scroll to bottom of page).

Not got time to watch the clip?  Nick Francis has this to say:

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.

To find out more about the new film from the Producers / Directors of Black Gold click here.