Opening Night Gala
Opening Double Bill of two Vancouver Premieres
Theatre 5 (Room A130) Langara College
7:30 pm February 15, 2013
33 min. 2012
Director: Catherine Murphy
In Cuba in 1961, 250,000 volunteers taught 700,000 people to read and write in one year. 100,000 of the teachers were under 18 years old. Maestra explores this story through the personal testimonies of the young women who went out to teach literacy in rural communities across the island–and found themselves deeply transformed in the process. In the midst of the literacy campaign, Cuban exiles launched the CIA-supported Bay of Pigs invasion. Although it was discovered and thwarted by the Cuban armed forces, escaped mercenaries combed the countryside, harassing the peasants and their literacy teachers.
Maestra is a compelling and beautifully filmed reconstruction of one of the most significant campaigns in Cuban history. Fifty years on, the film clearly demonstrates the impact that it had on the lives of all those who took part and tells the story with power and panache.
“The historical significance of this archive, and its lessons for the present, cannot be overstated.”
“Catherine Murphy’s project rescues the most important literacy experience in the Americas. Her protagonists share their own experiences, each telling a formidable collective adventure.”
Watch a trailer of Maestra here.
See an interview with director Catherine Murphy about the making of the film here.
73 min. 2012
Directors: Beth and George Gage
Bidder 70 tells the story of Tim DeChristopher and his stunning act of civil disobedience in a time of global climate chaos. On December 19, 2008, DeChristopher, as Bidder #70, derailed the Bush administration’s last minute, widely disputed federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Oil and Gas lease auction, acting to safeguard thousands of acres of Utah land. Bidding $1.7 million, he won 22,000 acres of land with no intention to pay or drill. For his disruption of the auction, he was indicted on two federal charges. His actions drew national attention to America’s energy policy and criticism to the BLM’s management of public lands. Refusing to compromise his principles and rejecting numerous plea offers by the prosecution, he is willing to sacrifice his own future to bring this vitally important issue to global attention.
Bidder 70 is Tim DeChristopher’s story: his actions, his trial and his possible prison sentence. It is also the story of the scientists, activists, writers, and movements that influence and support his actions. He says, “At this point of unimaginable threats on the horizon, this is what hope looks like…With countless lives on the line, this is what love looks like, and it will only grow…” Powerful, intelligent and very entertaining, Bidder 70 will show you how one person can change the world.
“Once in a while someone comes along that totally wows you. That’s how we felt when we read about Tim DeChristopher. As bidder #70, DeChristopher bid 1.8 million dollars and saved 22,000 acres of pristine wilderness. No property was destroyed, no one was hurt…Bidder 70 was a story we wanted to tell.”- from the film directors’ statement.
Watch a trailer of Bidder 70 here.