Filmed over nearly three years, WASTE LAND follows renowned artist Vik Muniz as he journeys from
his home base in Brooklyn to his native Brazil and the world’s largest garbage dump, Jardim
Gramacho, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. There he photographs an eclectic band of
“catadores” — self-designated pickers of recyclable materials. Muniz’s initial objective was to “paint”
the catadores with garbage. However, his collaboration with these inspiring characters as they
recreate photographic images of themselves out of garbage reveals both the dignity and despair of the
catadores as they begin to re-imagine their lives. Director Lucy Walker (DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND,
BLINDSIGHT and COUNTDOWN TO ZERO) and co-directors João Jardim and Karen Harley have
great access to the entire process and, in the end, offer stirring evidence of the transformative power
of art and the alchemy of the human spirit.
The Ocean Heroes Award was created by Oceana in 2009 to recognize an exceptional personal commitment to ocean conservation.
The first winner, announced on World Oceans Day, June 8, 2009, was John Halas, a marine biologist and manager of the Upper Region of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary.
Halas, who won a $500 Nautica gift certificate and an outgoing voicemail greeting by Ted Danson, has been working to protect coral systems in Florida since 1981. He developed an environmentally friendly anchor and mooring buoy system that prevents damage to coral reefs and has worked to implement this anchorage system in 38 countries.
Bob Schoelkopf was the runner-up for his work rescuing and rehabilitating seals, dolphins, sea turtles and other marine animals in New Jersey. Shark expert Andy Dehart earned the third most votes for his work educating the public about sharks.
Avatar is the story of an ex-Marine who finds himself thrust into hostilities on an alien planet filled with exotic life forms. As an Avatar, a human mind in an alien body, he finds himself torn between two worlds, in a desperate fight for his own survival and that of the indigenous people. More than ten years in the making,Avatar marks Cameron’s return to feature directing since helming 1997’s Titanic, the highest grossing film of all time and winner of eleven Oscars® including Best Picture. He transforms the environments and characters into photo realistic 3D imagery that will transport the audience into the alien world rich with imaginative vistas, creatures and characters.This is a movie that will entertain the whole family over and over again –© 20th Century Fox
Director and Producer: Mai Iskander
Winner of the IDA’s Humanitas Award, GARBAGE DREAMS follows three teenage boys – Adham, a bright precocious 17-year-old; Osama, a charming impish 16-year-old; Nabil, a shy artistic 18-year-old – all born into the trash trade, among Egypt’s Christian, Zaballeen minority. The “garbage people” as they are called, live in a ghetto located on the outskirts of Cairo. It is a world folded onto itself, an impenetrable labyrinth of narrow roadways camouflaged by trash. The Zaballeen survive by recycling the city’s waste. Astonishingly, they repurpose 80% of the garbage, creating what is arguably the world’s most efficient waste disposal system. When Cairo’s city government suddenly decides to replace them with multinational garbage disposal companies, the community finds itself at a crossroads and face to face with the globalization of their trade.
Academy Short List for Best Documentary
NaturalNews) If you see just one film this holiday season (or even this year), make it James Cameron’s Avatar. It’s a powerful, inspiring film that demonstrates movie-making at its best, and it delivers a crucial message for our time: That all living beings are connected and that those who seek to exploit nature rather than respect it will only destroy themselves.
Much of the press about Avatar has focused on the special effects, the motion capture and the 3-D presentation. These are modern filmmaking marvels, for certain, but the film succeeds for a far more important reason: Its story — and its message. Others have reviewed the film in a more critical light; notably Alex Jones who sees it as more of a propaganda piece (http://www.infowars.com/alex-jones-…). But I see the film differently, and I think it carries a strong, positive message. (Spoiler alert: This article discusses some of the plot elements of the film.)
With Avatar, Cameron has delivered a fast-paced fantasy adventure that weaves together a stream of powerful themes that are so important to our modern world that they extend far beyond the world of fictional film: Issues like corporations destroying nature for profit, the lack of respect for living creatures, and the failed policies of “military diplomacy” that the USA continues to pursue. The themes in Avatar reflect the greatest challenges of our modern world, and the message of Avatar is both deeply moving and highly relevant to the future of human civilization.
Not many who view Avatar will understand all this, of course. To the younger crowd, Avatar is simply a cool action-adventure film with a compelling love story that makes it a great date flick. But to those who’ve been around on this planet a little longer, the story of Avatar is a far important story of good versus evil, war versus peace, destruction versus healing and isolationism versus interconnectedness. This depth of sensitivity to life is rare to find in any film these days, much less a blockbuster feature film, but that’s what makes Avatar so truly remarkable: It speaks to viewers at many different levels, intertwining the core themes of human mythology in an extremely tight, fast-paced screenplay that doesn’t let a second go to waste.
That’s classic James Cameron, of course: Cutting scenes, dialog and seconds out of the film until it becomes a polished, tightly-presented story that transports you into the on-screen world and doesn’t let go of you until the credits roll. It’s an emotional story, too. Much like Titanic, Avatar convincingly pulls you into the minds and hearts of the key characters, delivering an authentic emotional connection with the on-screen characters even though their skin is blue.
The overriding theme of Avatar is one of western Colonialism, where western nations use their military might to invade lesser developed countries, terrorize their people and pillage their lands for valuable natural resources.
And yet these acts of military imperialism are always justified by the imperialists. As the top military commander says in the film in response to the natives resisting their lands being pillages, “We’ll fight terror with terror!”
It remains the standard operating procedure of any military imperialist nation: Invade whatever country you wish, and if the locals fight back, condemn them as terrorists and use that as an excuse to turn up the heat with even more bombs and weapons.
Gaia and the interconnectedness of nature
One of the more interesting elements in Avatar is the neural connection fibers that each living creature is born with on the planet. Animals, humanoids and even the trees have these neural connection fibers, allowing all living creatures to “plug in” to each other’s neural networks. Once connected, they can feel each other’s emotions and thoughts. They are, in essence, operating as one single being with expanded sensory awareness.
Avatar is the story of an ex-Marine who finds himself thrust into hostilities on an alien planet filled with exotic life forms. As an Avatar, a human mind in an alien body, he finds himself torn between two worlds, in a desperate fight for his own survival and that of the indigenous people. More than ten years in the making,Avatar marks Cameron’s return to feature directing since helming 1997’s Titanic, the highest grossing film of all time and winner of eleven Oscars® including Best Picture. He transforms the environments and characters into photorealistic 3D imagery that will transport the audience into the alien world rich with imaginative vistas, creatures and characters.This is a movie that will entertain the whole family over and over again –© 20th Century Fox
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