Desert Riders

Thousands of children, some as young as two, were trafficked to work as camel jockeys in the Middle East. At the training schools, they were starved, injected with hormones and physically abused. Many died. Even more never returned. Even though the use of children as camel jockeys has now been banned, many suspect the practice is still continuing. We hear the stories of the children whose lives have been marred forever by their experiences. DIRECTOR: VIC SARIN/ PRODUCER: filmblanc.

Jabiluka

The struggle of the Mirrar Aboriginal people against the Jabiluka uranium mine, in the Northern Territory…. Jabiluka is about us, blackfellas, whitefellas together… and our belief in the future of our nation…

Currently Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) is pushing to open a new uranium mine that is surrounded by the World Heritage listed Kakadu National Park. The traditional Aboriginal owners have told the company and the government that they do not want this mine. They are concerned about its effects on their country and culture. Environment groups and many others are also working to stop Jabiluka and other new uranium mines.

Many Australians are asking how can we threaten the cultural and environmental values of our most famous world heritage listed national park… Kakadu? How can we put at risk the culture and the lives of the indigenous people of Kakadu with a new uranium mine at Jabiluka?

The Federal Government of Australia, the government of the Northern Territory, mining company Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) and the Northern Land Council all want uranium mining to go ahead at Jabiluka… but the Mirrar people are saying ‘No’.

Since the Ranger mine at Jabiru was given approval in 1978 Mirrar opposition to the proposed Jabiluka mine has strengthened… 19 years on. Living and social conditions amongst Kakadu’s indigenous population have worsened and the people are deeply concerned about the impact of mining on their lives and the unknown consequences of storing crushed and pulverised radioactive wastes on their land.

In the culture of the Mirrar. Jabiluka is so sacred not even traditional owner Yvonne Margarula can speak about it. And yet knowing this the Federal Environment Minister Robert Hill has given the green light to the Jabiluka mine… despite the negative findings of a Social Impact Study and warnings from his own departmental bureaucrats that the mining company’s Environmental Impact Statement was deficient in key areas.

Jabiluka is the first of 26 proposed new uranium mines the Howard Government has before it for approval. In this important new film twice Academy Award nominated director David Bradbury captures the controversy over Jabiluka.

The Jabiluka mine will be underground, below the flood plain in an area infamous for it’s big wet season… and beside Kakadu’s famous wetland. ERA plans to clear a mine site and bulldoze a road 22.5 kilometres long to truck the ore to the Ranger mine where it will be processed into yellowcake and then exported.

ERA’s Philip Shirvington (CEO sees management of the mine as a simple matter a job they do well: ‘We don’t add any radioactivity to what’s already there naturally.’ he says. But ‘not so’ say the traditional owners, scientists and environmentalists… who are concerned that the tailings will remain radioactive for the next 250.000 years.

The film Jabiluka clearly shows how the Mirrar were given no choice over the Ranger mine, how they were caught in a misleading process to consent to a lease over Jabiluka… and how today they are resisting those same pressures to allow mining to proceed.

The story of Jabiluka is also significant because it raises questions about the real value of ‘Land Rights’… the Mirrar people now own their land but are wondering whether that actually means anything. On December 16 as part of her steadfast campaign Yvonne Margarula will take her case to the Federal Court of Australia to prevent the Federal Government granting ERA approval to export uranium from Jabiluka.

She must continue the fight first taken up by her father Toby Gangale… for the right of her people to live in harmony with 40,000 years of cultural tradition. “We know we own the country” she says. “We know. We born the country, and we live the country. It is our country… black country… not white country.”

In 1978 Professor Manning Clark visited the ‘Top End’ and was left with an enduring impression of its abundant cultural treasures, of its pristine wetlands and majestic escarpments. Following that visit he stated clearly his opposition to mining Kakadu.

“It would be an evil day in the history of this country if the white man once again showed the black man that nothing else mattered except material grandeur.

Is it too much to hope that the natural paradise of Kakadu National Park might be a setting not so much for a human paradise but at least a place where the white man and the black man can at last live in harmony with each other?”

Another Life

Every year, hundreds of thousands of Africans risk their lives trying to get into Europe. This is their story. We follow a convoy of young migrants. First came the hopes and idealism of the journey’s start. They were going to be the lucky ones who overcome all the odds to build a new life in Europe. Next came the growing comprehension of just what they had undertaken. The loss of their money in bribes to corrupt officials. The dried-out bodies of other migrants in the desert – a constant reminder of what would happen to them if they ran out of water. Then came the hell of Libya’s internment camps. The squalid conditions and beatings. And finally, the bitter knowledge that they are simply pawns, to be used and abused by every authority they encounter. And the sickening realisation that they have lost the biggest gamble of their lives. DIRECTOR: ALEXANDRE DEREIMS.

When the Dust Settles

When the Dust Settles combines comedy and serious content to explain the dangers of uranium mining, the nuclear fuel cycle and the use of depleted nuclear materials – much of which originates in Australian uranium mines – in weapons production. It is presented on location at the Olympic Dam and Ranger uranium mines and Roxby Downs, by veteran Australian actor, and former electrician, Tony Barry. Academy Award nominee and internationally-respected Australian filmmaker, David Bradbury, of Frontline Films, was director. Other participants include Canadian nun, Dr Rosalie Bertell (who led an international team into Chernobyl), Dr Helen Caldicott (paediatrician and high-profile anti-nuclear campaigner), Dr Peter Karamoskos (nuclear radiologist and specialist in the health effects of radiation, including low level radiation), and a representative of the uranium mining industry. The film is based around a family, the Sparkies – played by Austen Tayshus, Mandy Nolan, Zoe Hutchence and Dylan Bradbury – who consider taking the big money on offer for electricians in the uranium mining industry until their son confronts them with the health and environmental risks.

BLACK DIAMOND: FOOL’S GOLD

It’s an old story with a perverse new twist. Before, it was known as the transatlantic slave trade. Today, it’s just called business.
This is the compelling story of the international web of speculation and trafficking in African boys, under the guise of international football.
Every African boy dreams of being scouted for a Western club. Football means a way out of poverty for their entire families: a passport to a new life. But most of the boys are simply pawns in a cynical game governed by self-interest and money. Tricked out of thousands of euros, they end up abandoned in foreign countries. We travel from the slums of Accra and Abidjan to the petro-dollar sports temples of Arab potentates and unravel the networks ensnaring these African boys. Directed by Pascale Lamche.

Low Carbon: The Economics of Climate Change

The Earth is warming, oil reserves are running out, our way of life is unsustainable. For years, environmentalists have been lecturing us to reduce our carbon footprint or suffer the consequences. A survey commissioned by the British government concluded that climate change will account for a 5 to 20% loss in Gross World Product within the next 30 years. But reducing our use of carbon doesn’t have to mean a rejection of capitalism or turning our backs on the niceties of modern life. From driving electric cars to producing ethanol from waste products, controlling carbon change is in fact creating new economic opportunities. In the words of Jeremy Rifkin, author of “The Hydrogen Economy”, a move to a low carbon economy is ‘the biggest extension of capitalism in history, empowering people’. One of the countries leading the way is Spain. From utilizing solar and wind energy to thoughtful government schemes promoting the use of bikes, Spain is embracing the challenges of climate change. What can be learned from their example? We investigate. DIRECTORS: PEDRO BARBADILLO

Squeezed Like Lemons: Italy in Crisis

The economic crisis and consequences of the strict austerity policies have hit the Italian people hard. Tax offices are being occupied while business people are taking their own lives in despair. We document the current mood in Italy from the point of view of those whose existence is threatened by this crisis. Giorgia Frasacco, 33, is determined to save her family’s company from bankruptcy after her father killed himself. In her spare time, she runs a support group for the families of business people who, like her father, committed suicide in the last months. Franca Stefani, 37, has been unemployed for over a year and is trying to raise her six year old daughter on 250€ a month while Piero Lospi, 47, recently lost his job. He struggles to adapt to this new reality and feels he has lost his dignity, social recognition and the sense of having a useful role in society. Finally, Gian Luca Brambilla, 50, runs a consulting business specialising in cutting costs in big companies. His problem is not getting work but being paid and his clients owe him almost an entire year’s turnover. We follow our protagonists for several month, interweaving their stories.

2 Degrees

Director: Jeff Canin

As the world waits in hope for a new dawn on climate change, 2 Degrees reveals the chaotic failure of the UN negotiations in Copenhagen. It becomes chillingly clear that we cannot wait for governments to lead the way. So if commitment to act won’t come from above, perhaps the voices and actions of communities will bring the revolution that is needed. 2 Degrees takes to the streets of Port Augusta, a small Australian town, and follows the passionate efforts to replace the coal fired power stations with solar thermal power.

If we don’t understand the lessons from Copenhagen, we are doomed to repeat them in 2015, when the world body meets once more in Paris to adopt a legally binding agreement. From the award?winning producer of The Burning Season and The Man who Stole my Mother’s Face, 2 Degrees explores climate change through the prism of climate justice. While An Inconvenient Truth alerted us to the problem of climate change, 2 Degrees is the gripping and vital fight for a solution.

For more information see: http://www.twodegreesmovie.com

Our Generation

Australia’s image to the world often features the didgeridoo and Aboriginal art. The country prides itself on its Aboriginal culture and heritage.

But what is its real relationship with the Aboriginal people living today?

This powerful documentary explores the hidden scandal of Indigenous relations in Australia, and the Australian Aboriginal struggle for their land, culture and freedom. Featuring the stories of the remote Yolngu tribe of Northeast Arnhem Land, one of the last strongholds of traditional Aboriginal culture in Australia, as well as the voices of national indigenous leaders, historians and human rights advocates, the film explores the ongoing clash of cultures that is threatening to wipe out the oldest continuing culture in the world.

Australia’s Aborigines have some of the worst health statistics and living conditions of any Indigenous group in the world, even though they live in one of its richest countries. Despite the government’s National Apology to the Aborigines in 2008, paternalism and assimilation continue to wreak havoc on their lives. Current government policies, whilst claiming to close the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians, are further disempowering Aboriginal communities and separating them from their lands, culture and languages. The United Nations has repeatedly condemned the government for racial discrimination. But Aboriginal lands contain a large proportion of Australia’s precious natural resources, including uranium, which the government and mining corporations are determined to exploit. The “Children of the Sunrise” are fighting for freedom. This is their untold story, and their message stick to the world.

Miss South Pacific

What does a beauty pageant in Suva, Fiji have to do with climate change? Quite a lot, as it turns out. ‘Miss South Pacific: Beauty and the Sea’ is a short documentary film about the 2009-2010 Miss South Pacific Pageant that brought contestants, or Queens, to Suva, Fiji to address issues of rising sea levels, and the salt water intrusion that is destroying their land, crops, and drinking water, and in some cases has resulted in the relocation of entire villages from their native homes. Is it too late to turn back the tide? Watch Miss South Pacific and find out what these beautiful and intelligent women are saying about the issues.