WHAT a couple of months it has been! We’ve been at Cannes, in the Arctic, and at all manner of events in our ‘home’ locations of London and Brussels. So much to tell….
CANNES FILM FESTIVAL
It was our immense privilege to bring impact to Cannes once again this year with a programme of no less than SEVEN events – which was quite a challenge to navigate!
In the Marché du Film, we hosted Main Stage panels on ice music and climate change (with Oslo Pictures), the power of journalism and documentary coalescing together for democracy (with Impact Partners), and disability accessibility (with Greta & Stark). Danielle and Amy also moderated additional panels with EFA, FIFDH and Movies that Matter.
We also joined forces with Impact Partners to host a happy hour, and awarded Canadian Indigenous film Yintah – telling the Wet’suwet’en families fight to protect their land from fossil fuel corporations – the Cannes Docs Impact Award.
A major highlight came on Sunday night, when we co-hosted a high-powered panel and DJ reception with National Geographic Docs for The Territory at the American Pavilion. After a powerful panel discussion which introduced guests to the Uru-eu-wau-wau’s story and heard from Marie Toussaint MEP and French ICC Advocate William Bourdon how the issue of ecocide is being taken up as a cause in Europe, the conversation flowed and we danced the night away….
It was a priority for us this year to spotlight diverse creators and amplify stories often overlooked. We loved celebrating the launch of Outlyer Entertainment to drive greater disability inclusion across the arts and entertainment industries and speaking at AfroCannes on the power of African-led stories. Danielle also participated pre-Cannes as an expert in the impACT Lab, which was established after our launch of the programme with Marché du Film last year.
An epic year with so many great connections made and strengthened; we left exhausted and re-energised in equal measure!
ESODOC / OSLO
In typical Think-Film fashion, Danielle and Amy immediately travelled from Cannes to Arctic Norway to train a new crop of 21 ESoDoc-ers in impact. It is always an enlightening experience learning about the ESoDoc projects, and wonderful to see how this year’s cohort are especially deep-thinking about the issues in their stories and the change they want to make in the world.
In a rapid trip through Oslo on the way (finally) home, Danielle and Amy also had the chance to catch up with the teams behind Arctic Blue and Ella’s Riot, and discuss ideas for some interesting new co-operations….
We are extraordinarily proud to continue supporting The Territory’s international impact campaign. In advance of the film coming to cinemas in the US and Europe in the autumn, the trailer was launched this month and has already been seen by OVER 3 MILLION people! It’s also been featured in Europe at the Amsterdam Declarations Partnerships Stakeholder Meeting, World Food Summit and London Climate Action Week events hosted by Chatham House, The Barbican and New York Times.
London Climate Week was a fabulous opportunity to support young Indigenous activist and The Territory Executive Producer Txai Surui, who was primarily in the UK for the premiere at Sheffield DocFest. Txai wasted no time in emphasising that Indigneous people don’t need saving but are doing the saving for all the world, and she determinedly called out governments, businesses, financial institutions and consumers for all passing responsibility for ending deforestation onto someone else in the chain.
During the week, we also co-hosted a stakeholder roundtable with the APPG on Deforestation to discuss the urgent need for action to protect Indigenous lives, and the film was earlier privately screened for a special convening of the EU Environment Council – this is the Environment Ministers of all EU countries.
Peace for Nina
The film was included in the Cannes Docs Ukraine Showcase; the emotion in the overflowing room was strong, and it was palpable how much the moment meant to the Ukrainian storytellers showing the truth of the past eight years of war.
We also arranged for the film to be presented to Brussels policymakers as part of a cultural and humanitarian fundraising event on Ukraine hosted by the Government of Scotland and the German State of North Rhine-Westphalia’s Representation to the EU. This was also an emotional moment for all, and inspired many conversations on war crimes justice.
The humanitarian mission in Ukraine continues; the bus has been donated to the Mayor of Uman, so it can continue to be used by local citizens for humanitarian missions. Find out how you can help #SaveUA here.
Stay Alive My Son
An epic piece of Virtual Reality storytelling and gaming, we are thrilled to share the news that Victoria Bousis’ craft has been recognised by the industry to have its world premiere at Venice Film Festival!
It so happened that on the very day we heard this news we were convening an exclusive virtual stakeholder gathering to introduce Cambodian Genocide survivor Pin Yathay’s heart-aching story of a father-son bond to a key group of experts working on family reunification. We’re grateful to all participants for their rich discussion and insights, and are now looking forward to the project’s launch in a few weeks’ time!
It has been an absolute privilege to participate in the first-ever EU-Sami Week in Brussels and to platform Sami popstar and activist Ella Maria Hetta Isaksen’s message for the environment and protection of her people’s land and heritage at a special event within this.
The week, convened by the Saami Council and full of Indigenous art, music and advocacy, sparked important dialogues that we hope continue to grow from here. As one youth advocate said, we now need the action to follow the beautiful words. This is only the beginning of Ella’s Riot’s impact journey.
Our project list is ever-expanding and we are proud to announce our partnership with two new projects:
Bayo Bayo Baby, a former sex worker’s story to take back her power and free the girls from the cycle of violence and poverty that plagues Freetown, Sierra Leone.
The Recovery Channel, a dynamic blend of fiction and documentary, spotlighting the harmful coercive practices used in Norway’s psychiatric care.
As always, we don’t want you to miss out on updates or opportunities to get involved! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @thinkfilmimpact #thinkimpact