Interview with I Too Have a Name director Suba Sivakumaran

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Review: “Bag It” (2010)

A film by Suzan Beraza

Bag It is a documentary that follows Jeb into the world of the omnipresent single-use plastic bag.  Plastic bags are the number one consumer item in the world.  Americans consume about one million plastic bags per minute.  He finds out they are expecting their first child and this gets him more concerned about plastic bags and chemicals that could harm his child.

Plastic bags are being banned in countries across the world.  With any luck, the US will take their lead and get rid of them once and for all.  The American Chemistry Council would like to see their plastic in rotation for as long as possible.  Unfortunately, they have the money to back them and can easily win legal battles.  They also duped Americans into thinking that most plastic is recyclable because of the revolving arrow recycle symbol.  In reality, only a few of these (HDPE and PETE) are actually recyclable.  There are no regulations for recycling and vary from state to state.  I was appalled when I moved to Montana and found out that recycling wasn’t even mandatory.

The oceans and marine life are at great risk due to plastics.  Sea turtles will see plastic bags and eat them mistaking them for jellyfish.  So many species are ingesting and continually exposed to plastic.  Sadly, plastic kills about 100,000 marine animals per year.  All the plastic in the seas comes from land sources.

They also talk in length about phthalates and BPA’s (endocrine disruptors) and how they are affecting us, especially infants.  Boys are becoming more feminized and girls are becoming masculinized.  There is also a direct correlation with exposure to BPA’s and ADHD and autism as well as low sperm count and type II diabetes.  We need to deal with these chemicals now to protect our children and their children.

 Within minutes of finishing the film I had my kids scouring the house for plastic bags.  We loaded them up and recycled them at our local grocery store.  We decided to take all the plastic milk jug tops and clean them to make an art project.  I checked our toiletry products and made note of the ones that probably contain phthalates (contain Parfum/fragrance) so I wouldn’t purchase them again.  The BPA’s are a little trickier, but we are trying to purchase less canned goods.  They stress in the film that everyone can do a little bit to pitch in, and it will end up making a big difference.  Three easy things you can do are bring your own bag, bring your own coffee cup, and bring your own water bottle.  And buy less stuff! Hopefully, after watching Bag It, you will also feel moved to do whatever you can to curb your use of plastic and steer clear of phthalates and BPA’s.  Check out www.bagitmovie.com to learn how to get more involved.

Watch the trailer:

 

You can follow Bag It on twitter @BagItMovie and on facebook at fb.com/BagItMovie.

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Lotus Wollschlager is the official Her Film movie reviewer.  Find her bio on the HF.Reviews page.

Africa story wars: Two black female cultural leaders discuss the importance of narrating Africa-sourced stories

Steppes in Sync

Tsotsi is one of her favorites.

Her name is Zama Mkosi, a daughter of a South African Supreme Court judge and a lawyer herself. Initially involved in maritime law, she provided legal services to such international co-productions as South Africa-based and directed Oscar winning film, Tsotsi.

Starting in 2012, she got in charge of the National Film and Video Foundation in Johannesburg, which means Mrs Mkosi is a prime promoter of the South African film industry both domestically and internationally.

She has climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and run the New York Marathon (it took her slightly north of five hours to do the latter). Together with her husband, Mrs Mkosi founded an event management company for married couples under the name Uthando Events.

Zama Mkosi talks about the importance of developing creative projects that tap into local stories for inspiration. Animation is in high esteem for her.

“Until lions learn…

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Her.Stories: Women & Screenplays, female character added to The #Hobbit, #BAFTA Study, the women in #Argo & more

The Documentary Summit on Nov. 3-4 in Toronto
(Speakers include filmmaker Michèle Hozer, Program Manager Marcia Douglas (Bell Broadcast and New Media Fund), Stephanie McArthur of Doc Ignite, and more)

Venevision International Enters Initiative for Female-Created Programs
at World Screen

BAFTA Study: Young People ‘Discouraged’ From Careers in Film, TV and Gaming
at The Hollywood Reporter

Sexism In Cinema: Where Are The Women In Argo?*
at Thought Catalog

(*As I mentioned in a facebook post today, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson and Fran Walsh, writers of the new Hobbit movies, created a female character that wasn’t in The Hobbit (the book), but in keeping with Tolkien’s world, so as to avoid the crushing masculinity that the film was suffering from with 13 dwarves, a hobbit, a wizard, etc. — all male — in lead and supporting roles.  This new character, “Tauriel,” played by Evangeline Lilly, was mentioned in a video of a Comic-con panel I saw but can’t locate it now.  You can google it, though.  I will say I am terribly disappointed in the utter lack of a positive look at the creation of a female character, and disappointed in Geek Girls Network which posted a piece called “Tauriel, Shmauriel,” in which the writer states she’s a feminist, but goes on to express her feelings that it’s unnecessary and ridiculous to have more “feminine energy,” in the film, as Boyens herself has stated as a reason for the creation of Tauriel in the first place.  Fans of the Middle Earth stories  (and I am a hardcore one, and yes, have even read the oft-claimed “inaccessible” book, The Silmarillion, and think it’s the best of all the Middle Earth books), have a right to be disappointed or surprised by changes occurring during the book-to-screen adaptation process, but fans can oftentimes become so invested in the authenticity of the movies, comparing them to how they follow the books, that they forget that there have already been numerous changes by Jackson, Walsh and Boyens from the books to the screen.  Why should the creation of “Tauriel” be treated any less acceptingly than the changes we’ve already witnessed with The Fellowship, The Two Towers and The Return of the King when adapted from books to films?)

The new ‘Star Wars’ and women: Female sci-fi directors on Leia, Amidala, and what lies ahead
at Inside Movies

Question Time: Women & Screenplays
at Wellywood Woman

Feminine mystique (The Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival)
at CS Indy

2012 Houston Cinema Arts Festival Focuses on Women Directors
at Women and Hollywood

British woman, 79, becomes martial-arts action hero
at the Los Angeles Times

Preview Stark ‘Living/Building’ (A Thorough Look At Technological Change In A Remote Part Of Chad) — by filmmaker Clemence Ancelin
at Shadow and Act

War on Women, Waged in Postcards: Memes From the Suffragist Era
at Collectors Weekly  (Note: some disturbing content)

TIFF: Interview with Margarethe von Trotta and Barbara Sukowa – Director and Star of Hannah Arendt
at Women and Hollywood

With multiculturalism such a big part of Canadian culture, even written into laws and deliberately recognized and practiced, it seems a short jump to actually include multiple races, multiple ethnicities, women and transgender people, etc., within that larger framework of diversity. Canada tends to think of itself as a mosaic, with each part (read: each community) doing its part to create Canadian culture, rather than the American version of a “melting pot,” where people are expected to become American, assimilate, and somehow, perhaps, give up a part of who they were as immigrants to become American.

A Brand New You

by SHAWN WHITNEY

It’s funny: Just last night I was engaging in that favourite past time of Canadian filmmakers – complaining about the Canadian film industry. Complaining about the lack of government financing and the difficulty of breaking into a distribution market that is locked down by the studios and mini-majors and, here in Canada, where there is now “1.5 distributors” to choose from (as my co-conversationalist described it).

We didn’t even get on to the lack of women and minorities in the Canadian film and TV industry. But it’s true also. For an industry that is widely reputed to be liberal and progressive it is one of the most segregated and exclusionary industries in the country. Just check out this report in Playback Online.

“…out of the 130 Telefilm-funded films made in 2011, only 17% were directed by women, with only two directors being minority women.

Women were…

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