Politics, football and festivals – May Newsletter

Politics, football and festivals – May Newsletter

Wow – what an exciting few weeks. Here, we were on the edge of our second-hand seats (thanks Stop Climate Chaos for the free chairs), as election fever unfurled, parliament was hung, the Prime Minister resigned, and a new, never-would-have-thought-it government formed. Ironically, on the night the Con-Lib Dem deal was finally struck, we saw One Night in Turin – a James Erskine film documenting the violence and hooliganism of British soccer fans during the last years of Thatcher’s government, and how Bobby Robson’s 1990 World Cup Team united a nation in disgrace. Plus, we also liked give your vote, a brilliant idea by film-maker, political researcher and our colleague James Sadri – giving citizens in Afghanistan, Ghana and Bangladesh the opportunity to vote in the UK General Election.

In the midst of these changing political times, we’re looking forward to the summer festival scene! In association with Good With Film we’ll be screening some of the best docs of 2009 & 2010 – including Burma VJ, Dirty Oil and The Yes Men Fix the World. Thanks to the solar powered Groovy Movie Picture House we’ll have a great cinematic and ‘green’ venue at Glastonbury, Lounge on the Farm (Canterbury) and Stokes Bay (Wickham). And at the Greenbelt Arts Festival in Cheltenham, late August, we’ll have films and panel discussions a plenty. Do keep an eye on our website for programme plans and screening times.

Essential Viewing

In the Land of the Free tells the compelling story of US prisoners Herman Wallace, Albert Woofox and Robert King, between them, sentenced to almost a century in solitary confinement for a crime the evidence suggests they probably didn’t commit. Today, Herman and Albert are still being held in solitary confinement. The film tells their personal story, documents the campaign for justice, and follows the legal case to free the final two. Log on to www.inthelandofthefreefilm.com for trailer and screening info.

The Alberta Tar Sands is big-doc news again as the new Peter Mettler film, Petropolis is released this month – another one from The Co-operative and Dogwoof. Shot primarily from a helicopter, Mettler takes us on hypnotic flight of image and sound across giant oil reserves, where Canadian wilderness meets large-scale industrial efforts with devastating impacts on the environment. Effects that will be felt far beyond Alberta. To watch the trailer, order the DVD, or to take action log on to www.petropolis-film.com. Plus, as part of the campaign, The Co-operative are offering £500 for the most creative idea (posters, short-films, photos or animations) to highlight the issue.

We haven’t seen this one yet but it looks right up our street. Bananas the movie follows Juan “Accidentes” Dominguez on his biggest case ever. On behalf of twelve Nicaraguan banana workers he is tackling Dole Food in a ground-breaking legal battle for their use of a banned pesticide that was known by the company to cause sterility. Watch the trailer www.bananasthemovie.com

Project News

The Road to Bethlehem
Leila Sansour’s film is now moving towards the final stage of editing. At the same time, we are now starting to plan the outreach campaign that will accompany The Road to Bethlehem. We also continue to raise funds for post production as well as outreach and have recently secured a further £10k towards the film’s completion budget. Click here to find out what Leila’s been up to and the latest from Bethlehem.

As the development of Cashback progresses, the story around tax and developing countries continues to be a lively issue. ‘Blowing the Whistle: Time’s Up for Financial Secrecy’, a new report from Cashback supporter and development agency Christian Aid, reveals how the same tax-haven secrecy that allows football club owners to hide their business practices – and even their identities – is also facilitating massive tax dodging in developing countries. To download the report or find out what you can do visit Christian Aid. And if you want a simple intro to why tax matters to developing nations check out this video by Global Financial Integrity.

Contact us to find out how you can support Road to Bethlehem or Cashback.





Want to support Tipping Point Film Fund?

Volunteer at the festivals this summer! We need you for a couple of hours at Glastonbury, Lounge on the Farm, Stokes Bay and Greenbelt. If you’re already going and would like to get involved, drop us a line

Run a film night for a good cause! Good screenings will calculate the cost of your film licence according to who you are, where you screen and how many people you’re screening to. Any profits you make can be kept by you, your organisation, campaign or cause – including TPFF!

Support challenging films that inspire campaigning by visiting our website to make a donation, follow us on Twitter or become a fan of our page on Facebook.

Dates for your diary

Co-operative Fortnight, 19 June to 3 July
For 14 days, up and down the country, co-operatives like TPFF will be promoting their work! Find out what’s
happening near you.

Glastonbury (25-26 June), Lounge on the Farm (10-11 July) and Stokes Bay (6-7 August)
Join TPFF at the Groovy Movie Picture House. We’ll be showing Burma VJ, Dirty Oil and The Yes Men Fix the World. Check out our website for
screening times.

Screening of Great African Scandal plus Q&A, 29 June at 6.30pm
Unite Trade Union, Venture Community Centre, 103a Wornington Road, W10 5YB
Near Ladbroke Grove Tube Station

Greenbelt Arts Festival, 27-30 August
Check out our website for details of films and speakers nearer the time.

And Finally

We’d like to wish you a very happy May and June and we hope the sun comes out to brighten your day.

With best wishes,
from Deborah, Emma, Thea and all at Tipping Point Film Fund.
PS Keep a look out for news of our brand new 360 film club – coming soon!


Leila Sansour prepares to return to Bethlehem

Leila Sansour prepares to return to Bethlehem

Palestinian film director Leila Sansour is fighting to keep her home town of Bethlehem open as the Israeli barrier slowly carves up and strangles the city, capturing Palestinian land for Israeli settlements. Leila’s next film The Road to Bethlehem will document five year’s of the wall’s construction and its impact on Leila and her community. Here, Leila shares her thoughts with Tipping Point Film Fund’s supporters.

I spent last month in London discussing plans for the release of my film. This is an industry where you have to plan ahead, especially when you are on a shoestring budget. A producer once told me to think of a film as a triangle with the three sides labelled: ‘Good’ ‘Cheap’ and ‘Fast’. She told me, you can only ever have two sides of the triangle at a time, never three. The result is, we are going slow. Being in London gave me a chance to vote in the General Election. As usual, I had British foreign policy on my mind, so while my friends discussed the economy, taxes and immigration, my thoughts were far away, with a people on the other side of the Mediterranean.

Last week our team took a meeting with a potential partner in the States. As usual, I found myself explaining the wall. “It does not encircle Bethlehem as you might think,” I say. “It cuts the entire area into two parcels, with the urban part on one side and the countryside on the other, cutting the farmland off from the town. Once the wall is complete the townspeople will be shunted into just 13 per cent of the original Bethlehem, while Israeli settlements expand into the rest.” The information causes consternation – not least among members of my team, as I discover later. This is the real challenge: when something is so absurd it is very difficult to communicate what it is really happening, even to the most interested and sympathetic friends.

I return to Bethlehem next week to resume the work of editing. I also resume my role as the director of Open Bethlehem, a campaign against the wall. A key part of my activities is providing fact-finding tours to politicians, diplomats, clergy and media. I distinctly remember one very earnest lady joining us on a summer day. After a tour of the wall we ended up at the highest point in Bethlehem, overlooking an expanse of settlements. This woman sat on a rock in bewilderment and devastation. The first thing she said when she opened her mouth was: “I do not understand this. Surely if this is really happening to the Palestinians, the whole world would be up in arms”. The world is not up in arms, but this lady is. She is Jewish-American and she travels the length and breadth of the US to tell our story. I hope my film will bring the reality of Bethlehem to many around the world who cannot make the journey – and that it will encourage others to visit my still beautiful, fast-disappearing city.

To find out more about The Road to Bethlehem or to watch a clip from the film, click here.

If you’d like to support The Road to Bethlehem please donate here and mark your donation ‘The Road to Bethlehem’.