Saturday, November 29, 2008

Che in the movies!

Benicio Del Toro plays Che in a new movie.In the movie, to be released in two parts (The Argentine and Guerrilla), Del Toro's Che Guevara grunts through five hours of action. This is a walking, rarely talking, gun-toting revolutionary wheeze machine.
• Che part 1, The Argentine, is released on January 2

News reader comes under attack

A TV presenter at an anti-government satellite station in Thailand has come under fire in his studio.

The presenter can be seen running from his seat after hearing what appear to be gunshots.

The ASTV channel supports the current six-month protest to oust the Thai government

Watch video

Friday, November 28, 2008


A great Oscar accepting speech by the winner of the best docoumentary feature Alex Gibney:

Wow. Thank you very much, Academy. Here's to all doc filmmakers. And, truth is, I think my dear wife Anne was kind of hoping I'd make a romantic comedy, but honestly, after Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib, extraordinary rendition that simply wasn't possible. This is dedicated to two people who are no longer with us, Dilawar, the young Afghan taxi driver, and my father, a navy interrogator who urged me to make this film because of his fury about what was being done to the rule of law. Let's hope we can turn this country around, move away from the dark side and back to the light. Thank you very much.

Their film- Taxi to the Dark Side
Alex Gibney and Eva Orner

The case of an Afghan taxi driver beaten to death in 2002 while in U.S. military custody forms the heart of this examination of the abuses committed during the detainment and interrogation of political prisoners. When New York Times reporter Carlotta Gall investigates the death of cab driver Dilawar--officially declared by the military to be from natural causes--she uncovers incontrovertible evidence to the contrary.

London International Documentary Festival (LIDF)


The London International Documentary Festival (LIDF) in association with
the London Review of Books is calling for submissions. The call is open and
international. All subject matter is considered. Films must be produced
after January 1st 2007. First time and established filmmakers all welcome.

The LIDF is scheduled to run for 8 days between 28th March, and Saturday,
April 4th, 2009. Other supporters and venues include: the British Museum,
the Barbican Centre, Curzon Cinemas, and the Roxy Bar and Screen. 2009 sees
a continued association with The Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival (New

We are looking to support new and innovative filmmaking talent, and to ask
filmmakers to participate in a series of intertwining 'conversations' to be
run alongside the screenings. These 'conversations' will involve academics,
journalists, policy-makers, NGOs, and other cultural commentators

For further details and to use the on-line entry form please go to:
Any other enquiries please write to:

Deadline for Submissions: 1st December 2008
Late entries accepted until 30th December with penalty (see regulations).

A short list of films will be selected by the LIDF for entry to the
Margaret Mead Film and Video Festival, November 2009.

Undercurrents online videos in Japanese, Korean and Chinese

We are doing a deal with a language school in Japan. Soon you will be able to watch our videos with Japanese, Korean and Chinese and English subtitles online!
How cool is that?

Bike2Oz episode 1 is now online here

*Reel Education: 50 Free Open Courses for Movie Lovers*"

*Reel Education: 50 Free Open Courses for Movie Lovers*"

Beyond TV 2008 panel discussion Part 1

Thursday, November 27, 2008

BeyondTV Panel discussion part 2

BeyondTV Panel discussion part 3

BeyondTV Panel discussion part 4 (Final)

How to fund your film

For all the travellers in the world...a comdey

STEEP- sking

Insane trailer for a new film

The reality about celebrities and fame

Spot on about mass media society

Grow food in the white house

Grow food an upside down bus or the white house lawn!

Film distribution

MercuryMedia is a leading international documentary distributor spanning theatrical, tv, dvd and online markets., is our worldwide pay per view / subscription broadband documentary channel, created in association with the multi award winning British broadsheet newspaper ‘The Independent’. is actively interested in acquiring non-exclusive online rights for a range of documentary genres from both producers and distributors.

Film Festival of the sea

BLUE Ocean Film Festival is a global film festival and conservation summit for underwater filmmakers and marine researchers. A simultaneous community festival will share the best of the film competition with the public, and will include presentations from the filmmakers and scientists who created them. Following the festival a selection of winning films will tour the world, providing those who may not otherwise have access to these great films, a chance to learn more about our oceans.

The goal of BLUE Ocean Film Festival is to share at all levels, the latest insights on what is happening in our oceans, and to provide tangible ways people can make a difference.

Immigration, Refuge films wanted

Refuge in Films 2009
Call for films

Refuge in Films is calling for films produced between January 2006 and
April 2009, on the subjects of Immigration, Refuge and Displacement. The
call is open to national and international filmmakers from all backgrounds.
The festival will run during Refugee Week 2009 on 19th to 21nd June in
London at the British Film Institute, South Bank.

The deadline for film submission is 30th April, 2009.
Please send your film in DVD format, with two stills in JPEG format, and a
short synopsis.

Refuge in Films 2009
357 Kennington Lane
SE11 5QY

For more information please contact Beatriz Villate at: or (+44) 07903494703.

Here's Johnny

I saw a wonderful film in Sheffield Doco festival a few weeks ago-i grew up reading 200AD and Judge Dread so to hear that the artist now has MS saddened me but his film inspired me.

Here's Johnny enters the surreal world of famous graphic artist Johnny Hicklenton, who is battling against Multiple Sclerosis. Living in an increasing state of immobility and frustration, Johnny escapes the confines of his frontroom through his artwork. Through the expression of his brilliant and sometimes troubled imagination we learn about the disease that he cannot escape from.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Hitler's BNP membership gets leaked

An angry Fuhrer learns his name's on the leaked BNP membership list.

Would you like to produce documetaries you believe in?

Saturday 6th December 10-5.30pm
@ The Bath House 96 Dean Street London W1D 3TD

POLITIC DOXS 1 is a one day workshop on producing social and political
campaigning documentaries.

In the POLITIC DOXS 1 workshop participants will learn how to:

* Produce social and political campaigning documentaries, which are
powerful, passionate and successful
* Create teams where the people campaigning for change are a central
part of the documentary production
* Produce treatments for potential donors and investors

On line support

Following the one - day workshop, producers who have attended POLITIC DOX
will also be offered individual mentoring on line. Over six weeks you or a
team from the workshop will be supported in the development of your
documentary, online and one to one meetings.

This is a workshop for Producers, Directors and internet video producers
and human rights campaigners who want to produce social and political
documentary and develop their own practices. Absolute beginners are
welcome, if they have the interest to produce documentaries with this

The workshop will be led by Siobhan Cleary a Documentary Producer/Director
her work extends over several decades, from the award winning feature doc
of the nineties, The Truth Lies in Rostock to the late eighties when she
was a founding member of Despite TV producing the ground breaking
investigative Battle of Trafalgar on the Poll Tax demonstration in 1991, to
her most recent work on a number of successful social campaigns in Kosovo
from training through production documentary project Open Eyes and a range
of international media campaigns raising awareness on Missing people.
Siobhan has extensive and international experience in the production of
social and political campaigning documentary with social movements and NGOs
standing for human rights and social change, both internationally and in
the UK.

BOOK A PLACE by email at and/or contact Siobhan
Cleary for further details on 07950 929 591.

Cost 120.00 (75.00 for students and low waged)
This includes the one-day workshop and all on-line support.
10% Discount to Shooting People members!

Funding for ideas

What if social networks were for more than just talking ... ?
... What if they were for doing?

The SUSO Project is an exploration of collaboration, a social network for
creative pioneers which aims to forge unlikely collaborations and uncover
what happens when diverse talents meet.

To kick things off, the Project is funding a selection of ideas and
projects posted on The SUSO Project. If they capture the imagination of our
panel of creative luminaries, they could be in line for anything from
1,000 to 10,000 to help bring them to life. The closing date is January
31st, 2009.

So post an idea, browse other projects, build teams or join them. It's a
creative conspiracy. Sign up at

Funding for social change

Today, the Government is announcing £1.5 million to support third
sector regional networks in delivering many of the Government's
policies and programmes at the regional level. The Office of the Third
Sector will provide £1million over two years, whilst Capacitybuilders
has identified a further £500,000 for 2009-10.

Regional networks help ensure that the voice of local third sector
organisations shapes regional policy and strategy, and provide a
channel of communication between regional bodies and frontline
community groups. The Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) networks have a
particular role in ensuring their communities' voices are heard,
tackling discrimination and building strong relationships between

Kevin Brennan, Minister for the Third Sector said,

"I am delighted to announce this continued support by the Government
for regional networks, this is in recognition of the important role
third sector organisations play in delivering and also influencing
Government policy. It is vital during a time of economic uncertainty
that we continue to support and develop third sector organisations.
Today's announcement is a great example of how committed the
Government is to supporting the sector."

Since 1999, the Government has supported third sector networks in each
region. Currently funding is delivered through the Regional
Infrastructure Programme, established in 2005 for three years. From
April 2009 Capacitybuilders will be delivering the fund. Over the
coming months they will work with the networks and other stakeholders
to shape the investment for the next year.

Channelling the new funding through Capacitybuilders will streamline
funding distributed to third sector support providers.
Capacitybuilders has an existing relationship with many of the
networks and a strong understanding of the environment in which they
work. Capacitybuilders will issue a further announcement later this
financial year to update on progress.


Notes to editors:

The Office of the Third Sector is part of the Cabinet Office that
deals with Government policy on charities, voluntary organisations and
social enterprise. More information can be found at .uk/third_sector

For further details contact: Cabinet Office Press Office 22 Whitehall
LONDON SW1A 2WH Tel: 020 7276 0436

My film is up for an award!

I heard today from Japan-
My film Climate Cycle about 2 people cycling from England to Australia is in the running for an award.
They said

"We are pleased to inform you that a work from JPE UK has been nominated as one of the top 100 finalists (Entry:4501 Title: Climate Cycle). Next month our external judges will decide which works will win which awards."

Watch it here

So fingers crossed!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Docufragmentary Rehearsing Reality

Nina Simoes- Docufragmentary Rehearsing Reality

Master class at the Ritzy Cinema in Brixton as part of the Discovering Latin America Film Festival. So, if you still have not seen it, this is your chance.

Date: Saturday 06 December 2008
Time: 11:00am
Where: Ritzy Cinema Brixton
read more

UK police arrest people for political pamphlet.

UK police arrest people for political pamphlet.

On Saturday 22 Nov 2008, UK police arrested 12 British National
Party members for handing out a "racist" political pamphlet in

The British National Party, or BNP, is a nationalist "white-rights"
party, which in recent years has gained support due to its otherwise
unrepresented combination of anti-immigration and anti-globalization
policies. The BNP, whilst taking a far from center position on
many matters, is a registered political party which claims 50 elected
members of council in the UK.

The pamphlet, titled "Racism cuts both ways", is a relatively sober
account of immigrant violence towards UK residents. While clearly
being designed to support the BNP's anti-immigration policy platform
and occasionally rhetorically overstating its case, it is typical
of campaign material and can not be said to be any sort of incitement.

Wikileaks spokesman Jay Lim stated "The UK is increasingly viewed
as medievil backwater with the worst speech protections in the
Western world. We deplore the arrest of members of a registered
political party for distributing what is clearly a political pamphlet
supporting political policy positions."

"If there is any example of speech which must be protected, surely
political pamphleting is it. While we may not personally agree with
the BNP's policies, the BNP must be permitted to state its case,
and other parties and must be permitted to respond in kind. " he added.

Last Tuesday Wikileaks exposed 12,801 BNP members and contacts
and several internal BNP emails.
read more

Beyond TV 2008 panel discussions with film makers

The filmed panel discussions from last weekend Beyond TV international film festival are now online.

Hear from documentary makers, news broadcasters, internet TV producers and feature film makers.

Tune into

Monday, November 24, 2008

Coal is the future...or so the fools think

Having spent all day filming in an open cast mine, i am shocked to learn that the UK is going hell for leather to dig up more coal!

Britain is poised to expand its coal mining industry, despite fears that the move will lead to a rise in climate change emissions and harm communities and the environment.

Freedom of information requests and council records show that in the past 18 months 14 companies have applied to dig nearly 60 million tonnes of coal from 58 new or enlarged opencast mines. At least six coal-fired power stations are planned. If all the applications are approved, the fastest expansion of UK coal mining in 40 years could see southern Scotland and Northumberland become two of the most heavily mined regions in Europe.


The photo is Selar open cast which is where i filmed today..incredible size


Preloader is Wiltshire's short film festival for young people and emerging
talent. We aim to create opportunities for new or young filmmakers to show
their work and reach a wider audience.

Preloader 1:

Send us your films - in any genre, on any subject, in any style. We are
looking for the best films made in and around the region. Enter to
experience the festival vibe, find out what other local filmmakers are
doing, and see your film on the big screen in front of a public audience.

The audience votes for their favourites, and the winners go through to the
Preloader Gala Final at Salisbury Arts Centre. Submit your film to your
closest venue Salisbury, Swindon, Chippenham or Westbury. For more info
on venues and dates check out our website below.


Films must be 10 minutes or shorter
Filmmakers must be under 21, or emerging talent
Filmmakers must be from Wiltshire or the surrounding area

Preloader Gala Final:

All the winning films from Preloader 1 will be shown at Salisbury Arts
Centre on Thursday 19 February. Join us in black tie and posh frocks and
enjoy the evening in Hollywood Premiere style. Be in with the chance of
winning prizes from a panel of industry judges.

Start: 7pm

For entry forms, full rules and more information (including films from
previous winners) check out

Buy Nothing Day

2pm Sat 29th November – Topshop Oxford Street
Credit Crunch!

In the light of the current economic crisis and the outrage over the sweatshop conditions that most high street brands make their clothes in, the swapshop is your chance to re-vamp your wardrobe with a free conscience! Leaping away from the drudgery of big corporate fashion with it’s dodgy business practices and spend spend spend attitude, the Topshop swapshop takes fashion back to it’s roots.

Simply turn up at TOPSHOP on Oxford Street wearing an outfit you wish to upgrade, then on the stroke of 2, marvel as hundreds of fashion moguls offer to trade your clothes with you.

Fancy that girls jumper? Why not offer to swap your belt for it?
That boy’s hat is to die for, how about a trade for your jeans?
Nice skirt, fancy trading my t-shirt for it?

After a hectic re-working of your look you can then walk proudly back onto the streets of London town with a new wardrobe and not having spent a single penny.

You can buy lots of clothes but you can’t buy style.

Beyond TV 2008 festival

Beyond TV 2008 festival a great success

The Phone Co-op

The brother of Jules, a trustee of undercurrents set up the Phone coop

Short Films Wanted - Rotoreliefs at Vibe and Roxy

Short films of any style and genre: drama, experimental, videoart,
documentaries, music clips, animation, etc. below 20 minutes for
Rotoreliefs, a free networking screenings every month at Vibe (Brick Lane)
and Roxy (London Bridge) in London.

To submit your work for the selection process please go to: => 'Contact' and download the Submission Form.

Rotoreliefs is a free networking platform oriented to emerging and
upcoming talents in the independent art and film industries. Through
regular events it renders a different concept of short films and video-art
screenings that focuses on providing a serious and accessible alternative
to an increasing demand for valid networking events in the industry.

At our events the artists showcasing their works, representatives of
companies and professionals collaborating with us, they all have a chance
to talk to the audience and share their experiences behind the scenes,
their view of the industry, upcoming projects, needs, passions...
Altogether Rotoreliefs is a live experience of the industrys heart and
soul in a relaxed and professional environment

Friday, November 21, 2008

IPTV - From local news to local democracy

Please add comments to this funding proposal- we need your vote and feedback!

Project Title:IPTV - From local news to local democracy

Describe your project:This is a 2-year project which uses IPTV to grow local democracy via news. We already have foundation funding to create an IPTV news station (visionOntv), and are bidding to build a multi-faceted but really simple-to-use content management system for this station, so that it can become comprehensively interactive and realize its potential for social change. It is essential that the CMS development be rooted in a local community, so that it can be tested and refined. We are therefore also seeking funding to facilitate Hackney TV, a visionOntv local channel in a London borough undergoing rapid change under the shadow of the 2012 Olympics, which will be this testing ground. If the CMS is successful in Hackney, it can be replicated globally. Hackney TV will be a mix of local news and views, including rapid-turnaround, “live-edit” studio shows, as well as news reportage. We will fully exploit the “micro-broadcasting” that IPTV enables. Our cms is based on the award-winning Liferay system, which is open source. It will encourage physical connections between people that traditional media has no power to do, beginning with neighbours recognising each other, through simultaneous chat while playing a film, to the creation of forums and physical groups around important community issues. Personalised adverts and info-verts will make TV into a community noticeboard. The cms will also draw in data from other existing national and global social networks, blogs, corporate news etc, so that it is constantly up-dated with new info. News becomes interactive through “E-decision” plebiscites by text, web voting and interactive IPTV booths in public venues, community cafes etc. Local business sponsorship by automated advertising makes it sustainable.

Read more

Local paper ignores undercurrents festival

The local newspaper Evening Post South Wales likes to ignore our BeyondTv festival each year. This is the tiny report they have included this week..blink and you miss it.

Green Queen's team too big for their roots
Green campaigner Mo Green and her growing band of volunteers is championing a number of local good causes.But the Queen of Green and her team are getting a bit too big for their roots and are looking for a new home.

MOre Green, a community-focused micro organisation, is currently looking for unwanted sports kit to donate to those who can't afford.
But they are also launching a film, and taking part in an allotment project — and that is just for starters.

Operating from Western Street, Sandfields, a group of volunteers, fronted by Mo Green, is working harder than ever.The only thing now stopping MOre Green taking on more is space.

"We need a larger premises, we need a landlord with a heart," Mo said.

They are also in need of allotments nearer to their premises. At the moment, the only ones available are at Oystermouth Castle, Mumbles.The group have their fingers in a number of green pies.Their work includes collecting used furniture, clothes and books and finding them a new home with families and refugees in need.

"It can be anything from a teaspoon to a hospital bed," Mo said.
"The idea is to divert things that would have gone to landfill, and to work with the community."

And one of their main projects at present is their sports kit recycling scheme.Mo said: "We are working with Swansea Rugby Club to collect rugby shirts, socks, boots and then we send them to the poor in other countries."

Another project that has proved popular is their work at allotments.
"We do a variety of things, one of them is the allotments, where we teach nursery schools and volunteers how to grow things and connect with the environment.

"It is very much a community working project."

The volunteers of MOre Green are now looking forward to their next venture, which is launching a film at the Undercurrents film festival on Saturday, November 22, which shows their work.

The launch is at 3pm and is taking place at the Dylan Thomas Centre, Swansea.
For more information about the project, visit the website at

BBC not to do local video online news

The BBC Trust has rejected controversial plans to launch a £68m network of local news websites with video content.

'Local' newspapers which are usually a corporate network owned by a handful of rich people using the same template and publishing the same police press releases. These papers are now moaning that the BBC doing local news will make them lose money.
A study by broadcasting watchdog Ofcom found that if BBC local video services were launched, annual revenues at existing commercial providers would fall by up to 4%.
Investment call

But my union-the National Union of Journalists said that the rejection was "a missed opportunity to enhance local media".

"Local papers are closing and job cuts mean thousands of journalists don't have the time to do their jobs properly anymore," said the NUJ's general secretary Jeremy Dear.

read more

Thought for the day

Thought is the cause.
The effect is your reality

To change your reality you change the cause--i.e. change your habitual way of thinking.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

No tree houses in Wales!

So now you can't have a treehouse for your kids?
A father has halted work on a tree house for his seven-year-old daughter Molly after planners ruled it could spoil the view of the open countryside.

Chris Sharples is appealing against the decision made by the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority.

He said the tree house could barely be seen as it was hidden by leaves but the park said it would set a precedent for further similar developments.

read more

End of BBC TV license?

The BBC is to begin showing all its programmes live over the internet
from next week, raising questions about the long-term viability of the
licence fee.

Critics said that although viewers would still need to buy a licence
to watch programmes on their computers, it would become harder to
ensure payment. There are also questions over whether the telephone
network could cope with the expected rise in internet traffic.

Sir Howard Davies, the director of the London School of Economics, who
sat on a committee reviewing the future of the licence fee at the
beginning of the decade, said: "What are they going to do? Seize your
computer and look through your history? Can you imagine the licensing
people doing that level of enforcement?"

The Times 20/11/08

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dancing around the world

How one man got thousands of people to dance with him around the world!

Wales pledges to use only One planet

Jane Davidson, Environment Minister of Wales said ministers would use all their powers "from health, transport to education - to lessen Wales' environmental impact on the world and help protect our country for future generations."

"For the first time, we have committed ourselves to becoming a one planet nation - to only use our fair share of resources to sustain our lifestyles," she said.

"Wales' ecological footprint is currently 5.16 global hectares per person, compared to a global availability of 1.88 global hectares.

So local organic food, free public transport, switch off the lights, stop Port talbot steelworks from pumping out their pollution..hmmmm i wonder how far that will go?

Read more

Win a camera

FourDocs linked up with Passat earlier this year, who provided a fantastic
camera to Eva Weber, for her winning film Solitary Life of Cranes, in the
FourDocs Short Film Competition at BritDoc this year. They also want to
support another visionary director, and are offering 5k of camera
equipment to the person with the best online pitch for a documentary film.

You need to submit a visual clip up to 3 minutes which gives us an idea of
the longer film you want to make. You can make something like a taster
tape, introducing a character or scene, or you can do a photo montage and
explain the story, make a mood board or animate a few key moments against a
soundtrack. Just imagine that this is the only means you have available to
communicate what you want to do - the kind of film you are hoping to make
and what it might look like, so don't stick with talking heads!

You can pitch ANY KIND OF DOCUMENTARY FILM, any style, any subject matter,
set in any country. It must somehow be connected to the theme of
'Beautifully Engineered' though, and entries (with a link to the clip) must
be in by 6pm 28th November. The winner will get 5k to spend ON ANY CAMERA
they want. More info:

The Oscar Documentary Shortlist

The Oscar Documentary Shortlist

I am rooting for Man on Wire..others are

• Joshua Tickell's "Fuel" looks at the energy crisis;

• Patrick Creadon's "I.O.U.S.A." takes on the credit crunch;

• Peter Gilbert and Steve James' "At the Death House Door" examines a case of capital punishment gone wrong;

• Carl Deal and Tia Lessin's Sundance winner "Trouble the Water" looks back at Hurricane Katrina;

• Robert Grossman's "Blessed Is the Match: The Life and Death of Hannah Senesh" remembers the Hungarian poet captured by the Nazis;

- Scott Hicks' "Glass: A Portrait of Philip in Twelve Parts" centers on composer Philip Glass;

- Jeremiah Zagar's "In a Dream" is a study of the director's father, mosaic artist Isaiah Zagar;

- James Marsh's "Man on Wire" celebrates high-wire artist Philippe Petit

- Ellen Kuras' "The Betrayal -- Nerakhoon" follows a family that emigrates from Laos;

- Gini Reticker's "Pray the Devil Back to Hell" studies politically active women in Liberia;

- Daniel Junge's "They Killed Sister Dorothy" reports on a Catholic nun killed in the Brazilian rain forest;

- Scott Hamilton Kennedy's "The Garden" trains its cameras on a community garden in South Central L.A.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Shell activists rename a street in Dublin

Surprisingly, many streets in Dublin, capital of the Republic of Ireland, are still named after heroes of monarchy and colonialism.

Adelaide Road, which is home to the main entrance of Shell's Irish head office as well as the government department which hands out licences for the exploitation of Irish gas and oil reserves, is named after Queen Adelaide, the unfortunate German princess who married the English King William IV (he already had a mistress and ten children).

At the weekend, opponents of Shell's activities in Ireland and around the world took the decision to rename the street after Ken Saro-Wiwa. He was the leader, until his death, of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People and a fierce critic of Shell's destruction of the Niger Delta and its people.

Ken Saro Wiwa and eight others were executed by hanging in Port Harcourt prison on November 10th 1995. The Nigerian government claimed he was guilty of conspiracy to murder, but executives from Shell privately admitted that they were behind the prosecution, trial and execution of Saro-Wiwa and the others.

Police payout to student


OXFORD - Jonathan Leighton, the 19 year old St Anne's
College student from Reading, who was arrested "for littering" on 13th
January this year when trying to throw a bottle of water to a tree
protester, has received a four-figure out of court settlement and a formal
apology from Thames Valley Police.

Gabriel Chamberlain had been camping in the Bonn Square tree for 12 days
in protest at the council's felling of around 40 mature trees in the
area as part of their development plans. Many felt their actions were
inhumane after they spent around £12,000 [1] on a metal fence "ring of
steel" and private security contractors, designed to prevent Mr.
Chamberlain being given food and water by supporters.

This settlement comes at an embarrassing time for the City Council, just
before the unveiling of the "new" Bonn Square on November 28th. This
announcement is an awkward reminder of the widely-criticised manner in
which the trees were removed without warning from Bonn Square and the
surrounding area in January, sparking angry local protests, which included
the arrest of Mr Leighton as well as county councillor Deborah
Glass-Woodin [2].

In response to the settlement, Mr. Leighton said, "I am very pleased
with this result. What I experienced was blatant political policing; my
actions were not so much against the law as against the police. The fact
that I was handcuffed and held in a police cell is humiliating. I
wouldn't wish it to happen to anybody else, which is why I think it is
crucial to explore legal avenues and hold the police accountable for
their actions."

Sarah Horne, a local campaigner who was also involved in the Bonn Square
protests said, "Unfortunately many people experience unlawful arrests,
violence, and other oppression when they take peaceful direct action on
climate change and other environmental and social issues. Hopefully this
result will remind the police that they are meant to be protecting the
public, not harassing peaceful protesters."

The money from the settlement will be used to help with local
environmental campaigns.

For more information or interviews, please call 0792 9898 121.


1. Sian Cox-Brooker, Cherwell Newspaper, Friday 8th February 2008

Police harass film makers in london

This morning, four students arrived in parliament square from the kingston university MA film-making course. they intended to make a short film about the life of the protesters in the square and they particularly hoped to interview barbara tucker about the reasons she has joined brian haw's seven year vigil and given up everything to camp outside parliament.

But as they began to set up their camera equipment (borrowed from the university media department), they were approached by police. all four students are overseas visitors and so are not up to speed on british law. the police told them that in order to film in parliament square, they would need a license for which they would have to apply to the rubbish of course but police are once again using fake power to stop people filming social change.

read more

DSC Social Change Awards

The Second Annual DSC Social Change Awards are celebrating the
passionate individuals and effective organisations committed to making
a positive impact on society with our 2008 Social Change Awards.

This change can come about through the everyday actions of one
individual, many people pulling together, a local company that cares
about their wider community or the thoughtful investment of resources.

The awards are fun, informal and inclusive.

Please read the online applications for the three nominees shortlisted
by DSC in each of the four award categories:

* Everyday Impact Award
* Influencer Award
* Investing in Social Change Award
* Public Body Award.

Voting is now open. Vote now!

To find out everything you need to know about the awards, follow the link below:

Interview with director of Man on Wire

More Social Entrepreneur Awards

Bank of Scotland Social Enterprise awards:
*Bank of Scotland Social Entrepreneur Awards, in association with The
Sunday Times, are the first of their kind and an exciting development of
our long-standing commitment to social entrepreneurship in the
communities we serve. *

They want to recognise – and reward – the UK’s two most exciting
established social entrepreneurs,and will be awarding one recipient up
to £5million interest free funding for 3 years or a cash donation of up
to £500,000, and a second up to £1 million funding interest free for 3
years or a donation of up to £100,000 cash.

*Key Dates*
October 2008
February 23rd 2009
February 2009
June 2009

or call* **0845 307 0090*

SocialEntrepreneurs Fund

Bridges Ventures yesterday announced the launch of the Bridges Social
Entrepreneurs Fund (, a new fund
dedicated to investment in social enterprises. The Fund is an
initiative of the Bridges Charitable Trust and has so far raised £4.25
million. NESTA (, the National Endowment for
Science, Technology and the Arts, who made the first commitment to the
fund and acted as a catalyst for private sector investment, hosted the
the launch event.

The other Founder Partners are individuals and institutions from the
financial sector and include Sir Ronald Cohen, Nigel Doughty, Harvey
McGrath, Apax Foundation, The Generation Foundation, Lehman Brothers
Foundation Europe, Deutsche Bank, 3i and the Bridges Ventures team who
have allocated funds from their profit share. All the founder
partners have supported the fund through donations to the Bridges
Charitable Trust creating what will be an Evergreen Fund.

The Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund will invest in scalable social
enterprises that deliver a high social impact and operate financially
sustainable business models. The fund will invest up to £1m in each
social enterprise, through hands-on, equity-like capital and aims to
achieve a high social impact, through recycling capital into multiple
projects, and to establish a track record of financial returns to
attract additional investment into the sector.

The launch of the fund follows on from Bridges Ventures' 2005 report
entitled "Equity-like Capital for Social Ventures"
which was based on its experiences and research in this area. The
report showed that successful social enterprises provide an innovative
means of making a sustained social impact in areas of society where
their help is much needed. As demonstrated by Café Direct, the Eden
Project and Fifteen Restaurant, the sector has enormous growth
potential, but many social enterprises need capital to develop and
they find raising investment appropriate to their needs to be a major

The report also identified the need to give support to social
enterprises to help them attract funding, and Bridges Ventures will
work closely with UnLtd, the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs to
make sure that social entrepreneurs seeking funding are investment

Sir Ronald Cohen, Founding Chairman of Bridges Ventures said:

"The development of social enterprises is being held back by a chronic
shortage of long-term capital. The launch of the Bridges Social
Entrepreneurs Fund is an important development in addressing their
long-term investment needs."

Jonathan Kestenbaum, Chief Executive of NESTA added:

"We believe the fund will change the landscape for investment in
social enterprises. In particular, the blend of public, private and
institutional capital will have radical implications for the field".

Antony Ross, Director of the Bridges Social Entrepreneurs Fund commented:

"We are delighted to be launching this innovative fund and are looking
forward to helping ambitious social entrepreneurs build their
enterprises. The fund will be able to draw on Bridges Ventures'
established networks, experience and resources in reviewing
opportunities, supporting investments and reporting to investors on
both social and financial returns, and we hope that we will be able to
establish a sustainable funding model capable of providing
intelligent, much needed finance to an important and overlooked

- Ends -

Fund enquiries:

Social enterprises looking for growth capital, and investors
interested in supporting the fund, should contact:

Antony Ross / Skye Elliott
020 7298 0189 020 7298 0182

Activist Prank hits New York Times

Fake edition of the New York Times announcing the end of the Iraq war has been handed out to commuters in the US.

More than one million free copies of the 14-page "special edition" newspaper were distributed, mainly in the cities of New York and Los Angeles
Pulled off by the Yes Men they even made a great spoof website

Early this morning, commuters nationwide were delighted to find out
that while they were sleeping, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan had
come to an end.

If, that is, they happened to read a "special edition" of today's
New York Times.

In an elaborate operation six months in the planning, 1.2 million
papers were printed at six different presses and driven to prearranged
pickup locations, where thousands of volunteers stood ready to pass
them out on the street.

Articles in the paper announce dozens of new initiatives including the
establishment of national health care, the abolition of corporate
lobbying, a maximum wage for C.E.O.s, and, of course, the end of the

The paper, an exact replica of The New York Times, includes
International, National, New York, and Business sections, as well as
editorials, corrections, and a number of advertisements, including a
recall notice for all cars that run on gasoline. There is also a
timeline describing the gains brought about by eight months of
progressive support and pressure, culminating in President Obama's "Yes
we REALLY can" speech. (The paper is post-dated July 4, 2009.)

Check out the Yes men here

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Archive of great videos

The Open Video Project which offers an astonishing collection of old films for public use. On the whole they are non-fiction, but since this includes all those stunning public information films of the fifties and sixties, not to mention a seemingly endlessly supply of jaunty newsreel footage sponsored by Chevrolet, it is a veritable treasure trove of oddity.

Who owns your body?

Who owns your body?

Check this out- a 13yr old girl didnt want a transplanted heart saying she wanted to die with dignity surrounded by family and friends. Her family agreed

What did a hospital do?
Hereford hospital instigated high court proceedings. It sought to remove her, temporarily, from her parents' custody to allow the transplant.

She got the last word as she won her case in court. But incredible that the state thinks they own our bodies!

Read it here

Grafitti art

Brighton Documentary Film Festival- films wanted

We are pleased to announce that SEE, The Brighton Documentary Film
Festival will be taking place on the 21st and 22nd February. We are
currently looking for films to fill what will no doubt be another
brilliant programme.

It would be great if you'd like to send me any films that you would like
to submit.

Also, we often run Q+A's alongside the screenings so it would be great
if a representative of the film would be available to do this in
Brighton if your film is selected. I look forward to hearing from you
and watching your film. Thanks very much.

Lauren Simpson
SEE Festival
10 Boyces Street
East Sussex
t. +44 (0) 1273 227700
m. +44 (0) 7766500493
f. +44 (0) 1273 227777

Satirical News

In the latest in a series of apparent personal data blunders, the government has been forced to admit that an Isle of Wight resident found a book containing the names and telephone numbers of hundreds of thousands of people ‘literally left on his doorstep’.

Great satire from

Monday, November 10, 2008

How to make a Bushcraft Knife

We travel to Sweden to make a high quality knife for use in Bushcraft. A step by step guide under the tutor of Lars- a renowned blacksmith for 30 years. Details about this series can be found on

Man on Wire Trailer

Sheffield documentary festival

Man on Wire

I spent the weekend at Sheffield documentary festival and watched some cracking films..the best being Man on Wire. Incredible story told incredibly well. I will upload an interview with the director soon.

So good i nearly punched someone. An idiot tried to leave a couple of minutes before the climatic ending to beat the rush of people leaving the cinema. I was so engrossed in the film that when this idiot trying to climb over me to get out, i felt so angry that i was missing a few seconds of the amazing film that i wanted to punch him!

Luckily i caught myself in time but go see Man on is released on DVD December 26th

Friday, November 07, 2008

Cult Friction - Anti-Scientology demo in London

Cult Friction Anti-Scientology demo in London, May 2008 As part of the world wide anti-scientology protests the Church of Scientology in London saw two hundred V for Vendetta-masked up demonstrators hold a noise protest outside the scientology building in the square mile. Scientology has always had it's critics and it's only been recently that protesters under the umbrella name of "anonymous" have stepped up their activities and began to picket and publicly highlight the insidious way that this cult can ruin lives and destroy families. Just recently the Church of Scientology have began to fight back by steering a law through the courts that deems the word "Cult" arrestable if used by demonstrators. And would you believe it the City of London Police had no problems with implementing this barmy law to the latter....stupid cults!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Money wins the white house

Obama has to be better than the other muppets who have been in the white house but it does make me much will he have to bend over to the fundraisers?

With the help of Facebook founder Chris Hughes - who devised an innovative internet fundraising system - the campaign eventually attracted more than three million donors. They donated about $650m (£403m) - more than both presidential contenders in 2004 combined. read more here

Thats a lotta dosh so he is going to have to do some payback to a lot of corporates.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Robinson Crusoe TV intro (1964)

Ah my saturday mornings were spent watching this

Photography becomes a terrorist act now?

"Back in April of this year I came across a police stop and search in Trafalgar Square. This was the day before the Olympic Torch was due to arrive in London. I took a few frames of what was going on and then I was stopped by a police officer who made it very clear he knew who I was but he still wanted to take a look at my UK Press Card. He said, “I want your card number for my records”, so he writes down my press card number in his notebook and I take a picture. This was not a new experience for me. But is working on Britain’s streets just about to get harder?

On Thursday 20th November the Home Office will publish new operational guidance to the police on the use of stop and search powers under section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000 of those taking photographs in public places.

The draft guidance says,

“There is no power under the Terrorism Act 2000 to prohibit people from taking photographs or digital images in an area where an authority under section 44 is in place.

“If officers reasonably suspect that photographs are being taken as part of hostile terrorist reconnaissance then they should act appropriately, by searching the person under Section 43 of the Terrorism Act or making an arrest. Cameras, film and memory cards may be seized as evidence but there is no power for images to be deleted or film to be destroyed by officers.”

If section 43 with its powers to seize “cameras, film and memory cards” is misused in the same way that section 44 has been misused by the police then just think of the chilling effect this will have on photography in a public place.

And then we have Clause 83 of the new Counter-Terrorism Bill 2008.

“(1) A person commits an offence who–

“(a) elicits or attempts to elicit information about an individual who is or has been–

“(i) a member of Her Majesty’s forces,
(ii) a member of any of the intelligence services, or
(iii) a constable,”

A “Constable” is the legal term for all police officers. “Elicits or attempts to elicit information” does that include taking a photograph and publishing it?

“(b) publishes or communicates any such information.”

Yep. And you can get 10 years for this one! And I all most forgot, every police force in Britain is going to be equipped with mobile fingerprint scanners which will allow the police to carry out identity checks on people on the street.

Suicides in Wales

Wales comes top in something at last!

On average, about 300 people die by suicide each year in Wales, a lower rate than in Scotland, but higher than England.However, while suicide rates in Scotland have fallen, they remain roughly the same in Wales.

Some 23 young people from the Bridgend area have apparently taken their own lives since the beginning of 2007.
read more

South Wales feels like a place of little hope for young people- i find that people with creative skills or talent tend to leave for London or Bristol. The assembly needs to get a grip and inspire people to stay by providing groups like undercurrents with funds to train and nuture talent to produce real social change.

After a spate of suicides, young people from Bridgend are hoping to convince journalists in London who covered the county's recent suicides to attend their youth council meeting.Since the start of 2007, 19 people under the age of 27 have apparently taken their own lives in the county.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Cops are fueled

Cops have managed to put their vehicles out of action 26 times by filling them with petrol instead of diesel,North Wales Police force has admitted.

North Wales Police say officers made the mistake even though the majority of its new vehicles have bright yellow filler caps marked "diesel".
read more