WORLD FOCUS - NATURE / ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
 
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WHY ON EARTH
BY KATIE CLEARY
(UNITED STATES)

Why On Earth is a compelling new feature-length documentary by prominent animal advocate and filmmaker, Katie Cleary, which takes a comprehensive look into our current condition as a people; uncovering many issues that are affecting our natural world and the animals who inhabit it.

Three years in the making, the powerful documentary was shot on a RED camera by Director of Photography, Hunter Nolan, in five countries including South Africa, Kenya, and Indonesia. The film includes a host of exclusive interviews with well-known leaders in the animal welfare and conservation world including fellow filmmaker and animal advocate, Clint Eastwood.

Why On Earth establishes a vital connection between humans and animals through rarely before seen footage exposing the rapid rate of deforestation in Borneo and Sumatra due to the careless and inhumane extraction of palm oil, along with the rescue of endangered orangutans in Indonesia.

The film illuminates the sentience of these beautiful animals and how by harming them, we ultimately harm ourselves, and conversely, by caring for them, we begin a healing process that eventually helps us all,” shared Cleary, whose previous award-winning documentary, Give Me Shelter debuted on Netflix in 2015. Cleary is also the Founder of the animal welfare organization, Peace 4 Animals and its popular animal news network, World Animal News.

Why On Earth exposes the depletion of sharks in South Africa as a result of the illegal shark fin trade, as well as the incessant poaching of the nearly extinct African rhino, elephant, and lion populations throughout Africa. The film also takes an in-depth look at the issues these species are facing on the ground and how legislation is passed to protect them in the United States. The film also reveals the connection between humans, animals, and the growing plant-based movement.

"The powerful interviews highlight the benefits of not consuming animals and their by-products by exposing the horrors of factory farming, a detriment to our overall health as a society,” continued Cleary.

“Our goal is to educate the public about the steps they can take on a daily basis for the betterment of our planet, as well as, the animals who we share it with. We believe this film will be a significant catalyst of change for the future and well-being of our earth collectively,” stated Why On Earth writer Kristin Rizzo.

Why On Earth also features gripping interviews with Damien Mander (Founder of International Anti-Poaching Foundation, along with his history-making all-female anti-poaching team, Akashinga, as well as Dr. Birute Mary Galdikas (President and Co-Founder of Orangutan Foundation International, Petronel Nieuwoudt (Founder of Care For Wild Rhino Sanctuary, Alison Towner (Marine Biologist, Save Our Seas Foundation); Paul Hilton (Conservation Photographer, Racing Extinction), Jim Abernethy (Conservationist, Photographer, Filmmaker), Shawn Heinrichs (Cinematographer, Racing Extinction), Wilfred Chivell (CEO of Marine Dynamics), Ian Singleton (Program Director, Pan Eco), Panut Hadisiswoyo (Founder of Orangutan Information Center), and the compassionate team at David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

You can help all animals and our planet by choosing compassion on your plate and in your glass.

 
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LAND OF THE FREE: IN THE SHADOWS
BY JAMES GANIERE
(AUSTRALIA)

"Land of the Free: In the shadows" is a groundbreaking documentary containing never-before-seen nefarious and subversive facts, blowing the lid off secrets behind the big business of LEGALLY killing endangered species for pride, pleasure and profit.

 

It contains attributable contributions filmed around the world including Sir Roger Gale MP (UK), Tippi Hedren (Los Angeles), Priscilla Presley (Los Angeles) Queen Elizabeth II (House of Lords, London) 2019 Albert Schweitzer Award winner John Thompson (Washington DC) , former NCA covert operative Reg Dickason (Brisbane Australia) , John Mitchell-Adams of Destinations Africa (Sydney Australia) Derek Joubert (South Africa) and the unsung hero of the piece who saved thousands of animals on the front lines in Africa, Meryl Harrison (Zimbabwe), as well as both stunning and shocking overt and covert footage. The piece is narrated by Stargate’s Cliff Simon (who passed in a sudden tragic accident shortly after filming the narration).

 
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TOMORROW
BY MOHAMMAD SHIHAB UDDIN
(BANGLADESH)

Ratul, a young boy in Bangladesh, is magically shown two very different visions of the future. In the first scenario, Bangladesh has been inundated by rising sea levels, causing great suffering; in the second scenario, fossil fuels have been replaced by renewable energy, and Bangladesh is prosperous.
The purpose of this film is to teach children about fossil fuels

and climate change.

 
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AFTER THE WILDFIRES
BY CIAN O'CLERY
(AUSTRALIA)

Australia’s fauna has a long, impressive history of surviving on the driest inhabited continent on Earth. Fire is a force that has shaped the nature of Australia. However, as this bushfire season has made brutally clear, climate change is increasing the scale and intensity of bushfires.

 

‘After the Wildfires’ charts the long-term recovery of wildlife in the aftermath of Australia’s recent catastrophic bushfires through stories of hope, human intervention and resilience. It provides an urgent message to safeguard our environment and bring about the necessary intervention required to maintain biodiversity on our planet, before it is too late.

 
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AMAZON 4.0, THE RESET BEGINS
BY ALAN TEIXEIRA
(BRAZIL)

In this short documentary film, we show that the Amazon is very close to the tipping point of the disappearance, which will impact the whole planet. But the film also focuses on solutions and how we can look for a sustainable future for the Amazon.

 
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KILLING THE SHEPHERD
BY TA OPRE
(UNITED STATES)

A remote community in Africa, led by a woman chief, attempts to break the stranglehold of absolute poverty by waging a war on wildlife poaching. For decades illegal wildlife poaching by both subsistence and bush meat gangs has led to the government declaring this community’s homeland

“depleted” of wildlife.

The chief finds help in the form of a safari operator and they work together to bring stability to the community. But all was not well. Disease, food stability, and rampant alcoholism hamper basic needs like health care and education. Even young girls, just after reaching puberty, are sold by their parents as child brides in order to feed their family for one year. Dark forces including South African land speculators, criminal poaching gangs, and her own people conspire against the chief. Even elements from the modern world work against the chief’s wishes.

Will the chief and her community see success?

 
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STALKING CHERNOBYL
BY IARA LEE
(UNITED STATES)

Stalking Chernobyl examines the underground culture of the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. Three decades after the world's most infamous nuclear disaster, illegal hiking adventurers (known as “stalkers”), extreme sports afficionados, artists, and tour companies have begun to explore anew the mysterious, ghostly landscape, where trees and forest animals have reclaimed land abandoned by villagers.

 

Even as survivors continue to reckon with a dishonest government’s attempts to cover up the extent of the disaster, and as humanity faces new nuclear incidents in place like Fukushima, the Chernobyl site has turned into a bizarre tourist attraction, drawing seekers with a taste for the post-apocalyptic.

 
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THE DARK SIDE OF GREEN ENERGIES
BY JEAN-LOUIS PÉREZ, GUILLAUME PITRON
(FRANCE)

Electric cars, wind turbines, solar panels... The energy transition holds the promise of a more prosperous and peaceful world, finally free of oil, pollution and shortages. But this official thesis proves to be a myth : by breaking free of fossil fuels, we are setting ourselves up for a new dependence on rare metals. Severe ecological, economic for the supply of these strategic resources have already begun. And if the “green world” that awaits us turned out to be a new nightmare?

 
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THIS MORTAL PLASTIK
BY JESS IRISH
(UNITED STATES)

A personal dive into the world’s most impersonal substance: plastics. Amid the lockdown, a bereaved mother unfolds a surprising journey within and across oceans to understand the contemporary landscape of single-use synthetics.

 

From the noble intentions behind its invention to scales of havoc it has wrought, this experimental documentary brings together art, history, science, and the everyday. Playfully crafted with hand-drawn illustrations and poetic interludes, this evocative “pause between deep time and no time” will change how you think about this ordinary “thing without thingness.”

 
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ENVOY: SHARK CULL
BY ANDRE BORELL
(AUSTRALIA)

Off the beautiful beaches, and amongst the beautiful coral reefs of Australia - lurks a deadly, indiscriminate killer. It’s thirst for blood kills 1000’s per year.

It lies in wait for innocent victims to swim right into its mouth. It’s not sharks, it’s the Government Shark Control program.

 

The Queensland and New South Wales Government’s shark control programs use tactics and methods first established in the 1930s, such as Baited Drumlining and Shark Netting, in a vain attempt to protect swimmers and surfers. These archaic methods have been scientifically proven to pose a huge risk to not only sharks, a species under great threat, but also to other marine life, and even horrifically the swimmers and surfers they are intended to protect.

 

This feature-length documentary film will follow some of the biggest names in ocean conservation, such as Sea Shepherd, Ocean Ramsey and Madison Stewart, as they explore and expose this scarcely understood topic, and explain why we need sharks in our oceans.

As part of their work, countless more advanced, ecologically-suitable and effective shark protection technologies available today are discovered, and lessons are learnt from the progressive work and historical failings of other states and countries.

This film is the voice of a dedicated few, who are desperate to facilitate change. It will examine the failings of the shark control program, the Government’s desperate attempt to keep this from the public eyes, and also the political pressure that slows down positive change.

 
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BETWEEN THE TREES
BY CHRISTIAN LAWES
(UNITED KINGDOM)

Between the Trees immerses you deep in the welsh rainforest of Snowdonia. We follow Arne’s journey in the summer of 2020 as he emerges from a lockdown that deprived many of us from nature. He ventures deep into the forest as the hidden complexity of trees and the incredible community they create is revealed. Arne explains the fascinating, slow-grown life of the forest, and tries to recapture a lost connection with nature.

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