TIPPING MAN 6: The Sixth International Anti-Corporate Film Festival
May 19 – 21, 2011 • Victoria Theatre, 2961 16th Street • San Francisco
The Bottom Line — A blow-by-blow account of the first international grassroots campaign that successfully brought down a government by targeting the powerful corporations that were profiting from and supporting it. After years of pressuring South Africa's racist apartheid regime, activists turned their focus on the big companies such as Polaroid, Shell, IBM, Ford, Chase, BP, GM, and others that were profiting from the exploitation of black workers. They mobilized people around the world to support boycotts and divestment campaigns that eventually led to the country's financial collapse, the downfall of its minority government, and the release of imprisoned ANC leader Nelson Mandela.
Post-screening Q & A with two-time Academy Award nominated director Connie Field and Dalit Baum of the Who Profits?
Barbershop Punk — San Francisco premiere! Muckraking journalist I. F. Stone famously said that "All governments lie", and he could have added, "and all corporations do too". Knowledge is power, and information is reality: What we think we know determines our view of how things are — which is why both governments and corporations seek to control the media and distort the truth. When software engineer and self-described libertarian Robb Topolski caught the nation's largest cable company, Comcast, filtering its customers' Internet traffic, his discovery sparked a federal investigation, along with larger issues of freedom of speech, censorship, and the importance of unfettered access to information in a democratic society.
Directed by Georgia Sugimura Archer and Kristin Armfield. Screening Thursday, May 19, at 9:00pm.
Dreamland — The remarkable story of how Iceland, a volcanic island nation slightly smaller than Kentucky with a population of just 320,000 people (roughly the size of St. Louis), became a lab rat in the hyper-financialized global economy. A modern, technologically advanced, and highly educated European country blessed with stunning natural beauty and abundant resources (especially hydro-electric and geo-thermal energy that offer it independence from fossil fuels), Iceland represented the model of a sustainable future — until its government decided to take advantage of all that cheap energy by letting U.S. aluminum giant Alcoa build an enormous smelting plant there.
Directed by þorfinnur Guđnason and Andri Snær Magnason. In Icelandic with English subtitles. Screening Friday, May 20, at 7:00pm. Your t-shirt is your ticket! Wear a CounterCorp t-shirt to the screening and get in free!
Blood in the Mobile
— Sneak preview and California premiere!
A hundred years after Belgium's savage colonial plunder of the Congo (recounted in the book King Leopold's Ghost
), the hypocrisy of so-called "corporate social responsibility" is laid bare as the country's people and resources are once again being brutally exploited, this time in the name of higher profits. The spoils are rare minerals such as coltan and cassiterite — used to make cellphones, computers, and other electronics — that are financing the bloodiest conflict since World War II, as giant corporations resist efforts to restrict the trade in these "blood minerals". This tense and harrowing film is no 'talking head' documentary.
Directed by Frank Piasecki Poulsen. Screening Friday, May 20, at 9:00pm. Post-screening Q & A with Patricia Jurewicz, founding director of the Responsible Sourcing Network
The Naked Option — California Premiere! Despite an abundance of natural resources and a democratic government since 1999, Nigeria remains one of the poorest and most corrupt countries in the world. The 8th largest oil exporter in the world and the 5th largest exporter of oil to the U.S., most of it coming from the southern Niger River delta region where people live in abject poverty, even as Western oil companies make billions of dollars in profits while leaving behind only toxic waste, environmental destruction, and a life expectancy of just 44 years. Facing violent repression by security forces protecting oil interests, women in the delta have resorted to the threat of stripping naked in public — a serious cultural taboo in a devoutly religous country — in a struggle to hold oil companies accountable.
Screening Saturday, May 21, at 7:00pm. Co-presented by Justice in Nigeria Now
(JINN). Post-screening Q & A with director Candace Schermerhorn, Nigerian women's rights activist Emem Okon, and JINN founder Laura Livoti.
Closing Night Film
White Water, Black Gold — U.S. Premiere! Everyone knows that oil and water don't mix, except apparently the huge corporations whose mad frenzy to extract oil from Canada's vast tar sands threatens one of the world's largest freshwater supplies. In a nature documentary worthy of the Discovery Channel, a professional mountaineering guide, "accidental activist", and first-time filmmaker named David Lavallee spent three years gathering stunning footage of the majestic snow-covered peaks, pristine rivers, and indigenous communities whose short-term health and long-term survival are under threat by the corporate assault on North America's last unspoiled frontier and great natural reservoir.
Screening Saturday, May 21, at 9:00pm. Post-screening Q & A with Michael Marx of Corporate Ethics International
, which describes the issue as "the poster child for why the U.S. needs to end its addiction to oil".