For Immediate Release
Tuesday January 13
Coast Salish Territory/Vancouver— With seed funding from TELUS STORYHIVE, three Vancouver filmmakers and Raincoast Conservation Foundation are launching a national tour to ask Canadians, “How are you Directly Affected by oil sands development?” It starts tomorrow on Burnaby Mountain.
The filmmakers, lead by Vancouver-based documentary photographer Zack Embree, and joined by codirector Devyn Brugge and cinematographer Machio Lall, have been working with Raincoast on a short film funded by TELUS public access programming. This followed overwhelming public support on www.storyhive.com to tell the story of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion proposal by Houston-based company Kinder Morgan, and the people directly affected.
The Directly Affected team and Raincoast, are now launching a national tour with the original film and are in production on their new web series ‘Where We Live’ having once again received public support. The series pilot will piece together community voices in the wake of the Burnaby Mountain protests of November 2014 that are echoing around other pipeline proposals across Canada. Their next two screenings and community discussions will be at SFU Images Theatre in Burnaby on January 14 and Pender Island on January 15 with additional screenings planned across BC, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec.
The filmmakers will create six eight-minute episodes if they can win the final Storyhive contest, and receive a $50,000 production grant. The title ‘Where We Live’ plays on the common misconceptions and assumptions that communities across Canada are concerned for only NIMBY-ish (‘Not in My Backyard’) reasons when it comes to pipeline and related projects. Instead the series will reveal how Canadians here in BC and across Canada, want to be heard and are making a stand for the places they love, their communities, their shared values and the reputation of a country once renowned for environmental leadership.
“The series will not only explore the Trans Mountain pipeline,” said director Zack Embree. “We are going to look at modeling dialogue around resource development and that includes comparison with other projects across Canada and consideration of climate change. It also means we need to cut through a lot of polarization. To do that, we’re speaking with real people here in BC and across Canada including those who are in favour of the project.”
The film’s title ‘Directly Affected’ is a play on the National Energy Board’s “streamlined” public process that excludes thousands from participation on the project’s review by only hearing from those that could prove they were Directly Affected. The film is a means to give this conversation back to the public and allow key issues such as climate change, currently excluded from the review by the National Energy Board, to be fully considered.
“Communities across BC and Canada want to hear and open public dialogue regarding resource development and climate change and are a key function of any democracy in the modern world. Projects like the Trans Mountain Expansion will affect us all, including wild species across Canada, from killer whales here on BC’s coast to woodland caribou in Alberta’s oilpatch, both now endangered. We need to consider how we are all directly affected and what risks we are willing to take in exchange for the purported economic benefits,” said Ross Dixon, Policy and Program Manager at Raincoast Conservation Foundation.
The SFU screening includes an introduction by SFU Professor and energy policy expert Mark Jaccard and an expert panel including Carlene Thomas, Tsleil Waututh Nation, Andrew Weaver (MLA and Climate scientist), Raincoast Biologist Misty MacDuffee, SFU Professor Lynne Quarmby and community group BROKE.
The ‘Where We Live’ pilot launches this March and audiences are urged to follow the project at www.facebook.com/directlyaffectedfilm ahead of voting for the upcoming episode on www.storyhive.com. Communities members are also being encourage to use social media to share how they are directly affected. Public votes will influence which of fifteen British Columbia filmmakers wins $50,000 to complete their story.
You can also follow the Directly Affected on Twitter (@DirectlyAffectd) For more information on the Trans Mountain Pipeline Proposal, see raincoast.org/trans-mountain-pipeline/