Press Release

SOURCE: 5th Annual Artivist Film Festival and Awards
September 28, 2008 15:42 ET

5th Annual Artivist Film Festival & Awards Announces Opening Night Film and Overview of Official Program Lineup

ZEITGEIST ADDENDUM – Sequel to the Most-Downloaded Video in Internet History Selected as Opening Night Film; 2008 Festival to Screen 40 Films From 40 Countries

LOS ANGELES, CA–(Marketwire – September 28, 2008) – The 5th Annual Artivist Film Festival & Awards today announced its opening night film along with an overview of the official 2008 program lineup. Artivist is the first international film festival and awards dedicated to addressing human rights, children’s advocacy, environmental preservation and animal advocacy. It runs from October 2-5 at the historic Egyptian Theatre, in the heart of Hollywood. This year’s festival is hosted by our Community Partner, Petrobras, one of the largest distributors of ethanol fuel in the world.

“Artivist is the premiere venue for advocate filmmakers to screen their cause related films,” said Diaky Diaz, President and Cofounder. “It’s an opportunity to raise awareness for the interdependence between Humanity, Animals, and the Environment.”

“Filmmakers from all around the world unite at the annual Artivist Film Festival to address the importance of Art & Advocacy in our global community,” said Dr. Bettina Wolfe, Vice President and Cofounder. “We are pleased to bring this annual, crucially needed, arena for the community.”

ZEITGEIST ADDENDUM, the highly-anticipated sequel to Director Peter Joseph’s controversial and eye-opening documentary, ZEITGEIST, has been selected to open this year’s festival. The first ZEITGEIST, released in 2007 on Google Video, made its official World Premiere at last year’s festival and earned the “Artivist Spirit” honors for Best Feature Film at the 2007 ARTIVIST AWARDS. Since then, ZEITGEIST has become an on-line phenomenon as the most downloaded film in Internet history. While the initial film focused on challenging perspectives on religion, The World Trade Center attacks of September 11th, and the formation and function of the Federal Reserve Bank, the follow up will explore several new topics including the potential positive transformation of our global societies.

“Director Peter Joseph demonstrates the ability to take risky subject matter and turn it into a visually, emotionally, and intellectually compelling case for a greater point of view,” states Diaky Diaz. “Millions of people gravitated toward Peter’s first film. We are excited that this year’s Artivist Film Festival will provide a platform to once again, pique the curiosity of millions of viewers and continue the dialogue about topics concerning Americans and citizens worldwide.”

As in past years, the festival will conclude with the ARTIVIST AWARDS on Sunday, October 5th, honoring celebrities and filmmakers for their art and advocacy. The 2008 Artivist Awards honorees will be announced in the coming weeks. Previous honorees include Ted Danson, Alyssa Milano, Claes Nobel, Matthew McConaughey, Joaquin Phoenix, Ed Begley, Jr., Mira Sorvino, and others. This year Artivist will honor the community advocate radio station, KPFK in celebration of their 50th Anniversary.

The 5th Annual Artivist Film Festival will showcase entries that delve into a host of topics such as mankind’s changing and challenging relationship to water; women artists in recovery from substance abuse; ordinary women in Vietnam, Bosnia and Mali overcoming deep-seeded gender barriers; and an enlightening and emotional cross-country train journey where the passengers learn of the American media’s indifference to the Darfur tragedy.

Individual tickets and special packages including access to the awards banquet, multiple film screenings and filmmaker Q&A’s can be purchased at http://www.ARTIVISTS.org

The 2008 Artivist Program includes 40 films from 40 countries including the following selections :

Thursday, October 2

ZEITGEIST ADDENDUM directed by Peter Joseph.

The failure of our world to resolve the issues of war, poverty, and corruption, rests within a gross ignorance about what guides human behavior to begin with. It addresses the true source of the instability in our society, while offering the only fundamental, long-term solution.

PLAYING FOR CHANGE: PEACE THROUGH MUSIC directed by Jonathan Walls.
Traveling across four continents over three years, Mark Johnson and Jonathan Walls embarked on a search for musical inspiration. What they discovered was the power music has to connect the world together.

Friday, October 3

A POWERFUL NOISE directed by Tom Cappello.

Hahn is an HIV-positive widow in Vietnam. Nada, a survivor of the Bosnian war and Jacqueline works in the slums of Bamako, Mali. Three very different lives. Three vastly different worlds. But they share something in common: Power. These ordinary women are overcoming deep-seeded gender barriers to rise up and claim a voice in their societies.

BOMB HARVEST directed by Kim Mordaunt.

Rural poverty in Laos has triggered a brisk illegal trade in bomb scrap metal left from America’s ‘Secret War’ over 35 years ago, and the local children are out hunting for bombs. This timely story is terrifying and yet filled with eccentric characters and humor, vividly depicting the consequences of war and the bravery of those trying to clear up the mess.

THEY TURNED OUR DESERT INTO FIRE directed by Mark Brecke.

Brecke tells the story of the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Darfur, Sudan, through the perspectives of Amtrak passengers during a cross-country train trip, becoming an enlightening and emotional journey through an indifferent American media landscape into the heart of the Darfur tragedy.

Saturday, October 4

ZEITGEIST ADDENDUM directed by Peter Joseph.

Encore screening and Q&A!

BLANK CANVAS – CREATING A NEW LIFE directed by Ashley Phelps

An honest portrayal of six female artists in recovery from substance abuse, each on her own transformational journey… a journey that not everyone survives.

COMPANIONS TO NONE directed by Bill Buchanan.

An in-depth look at the companion animal overpopulation and abuse crisis in Mexico , the consequences of which are horrific animal suffering and serious human health issues.

ONE WATER directed by Sanjeev Chatterjee

Filmed in 14 countries across the globe, One Water brings home stunning non-verbal visual sequences, compelling expert commentary, local music and an overall score performed by the world renowned Russian National Orchestra, to highlight mankind’s changing and challenging relationship to water.

Sunday, October 5

30 YEARS ON THE FRONT LINE directed by Jonny Vasic.

The story of Paul Watson and Sea Shepherd have been sailing the high seas for over 30 years enforcing international conservation law to protect marine wildlife. This is their incredible story told though the eyes of the media and accounts from Paul Watson and his crew mates.

THE DEADLINE directed by Philip Stebbins

A chronicle of how illegal fishing is depleting the world’s oceans.

For more information about the Artivist Film Festival and Awards and to purchase tickets go to http://www.ARTIVISTS.org.

ABOUT PETROBRAS

Petrobras, a Brazilian company and the largest benefactor of Cultural Arts Programs in Brazil, is one of the largest distributors of ethanol fuel in the world, with a 30 year history of producing, distributing and using ethanol from sugar cane as fuel for vehicles. The Petrobras Environmental Program is focused on water protection and biodiversity. Their program supports hundreds of projects that aim to recover the water bodies and sources including promoting the rational use of water resources and environmental education. Petrobras is the only energy company that is part of the Global Compact Board of the UNITED NATIONS, committing its corporative government to the 10 principles set forth by the UN. Petrobras is a partner of various animal advocacy programs which include endangered sea turtles, the manatees, and various save the whales programs.

ABOUT ARTIVIST
“ARTIVIST” is the first international film festival and awards dedicated to addressing Human Rights, Children’s Advocacy, Environmental Preservation, and Animal Advocacy. Our mission is to strengthen the voice of advocate artists — “ARTIVISTS” — while raising public awareness for social global causes.

Reference : Marketwire.com

March 17, 2009

They’ve Seen the Future and Dislike the Present
By ALAN FEUER

Two hours into Z-Day, the educational forum associated with the online movie “Zeitgeist,” Peter Joseph, the film’s director and the evening’s M.C., stepped out from behind his lectern and walked forward earnestly on the stage.

In his goatee and mustache and tieless in a brown suit, Mr. Joseph had been lecturing for nearly 90 minutes on the unsustainable nature of the money-based economy — on cyclical consumption, planned obsolescence, corporate malfeasance and piles of poisonous waste. “It’s time that we wake up,” he intoned, speaking solemnly through a wireless clip-on mike. “The doomsday scenario, the big contraction, might be happening right now. The system of monetary exchange is — in the face of advancing technology — completely obsolete.”

This drew wild applause from the sold-out crowd, a patchwork of perhaps 900 people who paid $10 a head on Sunday night to sit in a packed auditorium at the Borough of Manhattan Community College on Chambers Street near the West Side Highway. Z-Day events were taking place from New England to New Zealand, but this was the big one: the marquee happening with the marquee names.
There, in the crowd, was Jacque Fresco, an industrial designer and the engineering guru of what people unironically called “the movement.” Mr. Fresco, an elfin 93-year-old, sat beside his partner, Roxanne Meadows, smiling self-effacingly.

Mr. Joseph, back on stage, waited patiently as some of the crowd, still cheering, refused to leave their feet.
If the election of Barack Obama was supposed to denote the gradual demise of churlish, corporate governance and usher in a new, sustainable era of visionary change, there was little sign of it at the second annual meeting of the Worldwide Zeitgeist Movement, which, its organizers said, held 450 sister events in 70 countries around the globe.

“The mission of the movement is the application of the scientific method for social change,” Mr. Joseph announced by way of introduction. The evening, which began at 7 with a two-hour critique of monetary economics, became by midnight a utopian presentation of a money-free and computer-driven vision of the future, a wholesale reimagination of civilization, as if Karl Marx and Carl Sagan had hired John Lennon from his “Imagine” days to do no less than redesign the underlying structures of planetary life.

In other words, a not entirely inappropriate response to the zeitgeist itself, which one young man, a philosophy student in a roomy purple blazer, described before the show began as “the world as we know it coming to an end.” As the evening labored on with a Power Point presentation, a panel talk with Mr. Fresco and a spirited question and answer session, some basic themes emerged: modern economics is a fraud; global debt will crush the planet; society itself is dying from the profit motive; and people ought to wise up to the fact that more than legislation — or presidential administrations — needs to change.

Though they were never actually shown — as most in attendance had seen them several times — Mr. Joseph’s two films, “Zeitgeist, the Movie” (released in 2007) and “Zeitgeist: Addendum” (released last fall), were the subtext of the evening: online documentaries that have been watched, he says, by 50 million people around the world.

The former may be most famous for alleging that the attacks of Sept. 11 were an “inside job” perpetrated by a power-hungry government on its witless population, a point of view that Mr. Joseph said he has recently “moved away from.” Indeed, the second film, the focus of the event, was all but empty of such conspiratorial notions, directing its rhetoric and high production values toward posing a replacement for the evils of the banking system and a perilous economy of scarcity and debt.

That’s where Mr. Fresco came in, an author, lecturer and former aircraft engineer at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio who has spent the last six decades working on the Venus Project, a futuristic society where (adjust your seatbelts, now) machines would control government and industry and safeguard the planet’s fragile resources by means of an artificially intelligent “earthwide autonomic sensor system” — a super-brain of sorts connected to, yes, all human knowledge.

If this sounds vaguely like a disaster scenario out of “2001: A Space Odyssey,” Mr. Fresco did not seem worried in the least. Machines are unemotional and unaggressive, unlike human beings, he told the crowd during the question-and-answer phase. “If you took your laptop and smashed it in front of 50 other laptops, trust me, none of them would care.”

The audience — white, black, young, old, baseball caps and business suits alike — received such words like a tonic, and the questions kept coming: What would family life be like in the future? What would happen if the automated system decided that a person had to die? Mr. Fresco and Ms. Meadows are planning the production of a major feature film to bring the Venus Project to a wider, global audience. Before the night began, Mr. Fresco, a small man with a V-neck sweater and a hearing aid, sat signing books and answering questions from a dozen or so college students gathered like acolytes at his feet.

As the evening came to a close, someone finally asked: So what would it take to actually put such a program into action? A grassroots movement, Mr. Joseph said.

“We already have a quarter-million members,” he insisted from the stage. “At the rate things are going, this will be at Madison Square Garden next year.”

Reference : nytimes.com

 

Posted: March 16, 2010 05:29 PM
The Zeitgeist Movement: Envisioning A Sustainable Future

“It takes a different value system if you wish to change the world,” Jacque Fresco said to a sold out crowd of over 800 in New York City’s Upper West Side. Though he may not need to convince these people, many his ardent followers, it will indeed take a restructuring of the mind for those unfamiliar with Fresco’s work to realistically accept the ideas he proposes of a new global society that has given up money and property in favor of a shared, sustainable, technology-driven community. The caustic skepticism can already be heard, critics crying out with pointed fingers, decreeing communism, socialism, insanity! But as Fresco himself will tell you, communism is still just another system with banks and social stratification. The kind of world he imagines for the future is much different. To ease the transition, The Zeitgeist Movement provides a wealth of dizzying information detailing why a new global system is not only preferred, but necessary, and just how we can get there.

March 13th, 2010 was the second annual celebration of ZDay. Coordinated by The Zeitgeist Movement, ZDay is an educational event geared toward raising awareness of the movement. While 337 sympathetic events occurred in over 70 countries worldwide, NYC was home to the main event, a 6-hour live web cast presentation with lectures from the movement’s key figures, and 30 different countries represented in the audience.

So what exactly is The Zeitgeist Movement? Not even two years old, the movement declares itself as the activist arm of The Venus Project, an organization started in the 1970s by Fresco and his partner, Roxanne Meadows. The Venus Project distributes resources promoting Fresco’s vision of an improved society, with the main component being a resource-based economy, rather than a monetary-based one. In Fresco’s resource-based economy, the world’s resources would be considered as the equal inheritance of all the world’s peoples, and would be managed as efficiently and carefully as possible through focusing on the technological potential of sustainable development. It is toward this idea that The Zeitgeist Movement works to educate and inform people.

The movement’s founder, Peter Joseph, came to notoriety with his 2007 internet film sensation, Zeitgeist, and it’s 2008 successor, Zeitgeist: Addendum. While many people may find it hard to digest the idea of a world without currency, Joseph’s argument that our economic system is the source of our greatest social problems was supported with valuable evidence.

Describing how the margin between upper and lower classes is growing larger every day, Joseph cited that 20% of the American population controls 85% of the money. Also mentioning that the Walton family (of Wal-Mart) owns $90 billion while the lower 40% of America own $95 billion. The most startling revelations he divulged, however, were found when he graphed the amount of specific social issues in the world’s richest countries against those countries’ level of income inequality.

The results were astounding, showing that America, a wealthy country but with a vast gap between its rich and poor, is plagued with higher homicide rates, drug use, obesity, mental illness, teenage pregnancy, infant mortality, and imprisonment. On the other hand, countries with much more equal income levels, such as Japan, have better educational scores, longer life expectancies, and higher levels of trust among their populations. The strong correlation is difficult to ignore: the higher a country’s income inequality, the more social problems that degrade it, regardless of its GDP.

Joseph seemed well prepared for all the naysayers. For those who argue that the free market is an open system where anyone can achieve wealth, he displayed figures showing that America is one of the most socially immobile countries in the world, meaning that those born poor are likely to stay poor, and those born rich are likely to stay rich. For the argument that the competitive nature of capitalism produces more innovation, Joseph showed statistics that the countries with higher income equality filed more patents per million people each year than the United States and similar countries of larger income gaps.

This is aside from the obvious impact on the climate that a capitalist system creates. In a monetary society, Joseph points out, obsolescence is encouraged, as the shorter lifespan a product has, the more profit it generates in the long-term. Excess waste is built into the system, which flourishes from disposability and inefficiency. In a monetary system, Joseph says, change, abundance, sustainability, and efficiency are the enemies of profit. He goes on to add, “Corporations are not in competition with other corporations but with progress itself.”

The plights of today are plainly evident, but how do we solve them? Getting rid of money, ownership and even government might sound like a ludicrous fantasy, but to the over 386,000 registered members of the fast-growing Zeitgeist Movement, it is not an option, but the only chance we have at creating a peaceful society, in harmony with nature, that provides a high-standard of living for everyone. Joseph made the focus clear in his presentation: resource preservation is equal to human survival, and all the social ideologies that currently exist are inadequate because they don’t address resources as a part of their fundamental principals.
Joseph emphasized that the solution begins with a remodeling of our social values, starting with education based on sustainability. The ideal society, proposed by the project, would have a worldwide automated computer system actively monitoring the levels of the world’s surveyed resources and ranking them according to factors such as their potential, renewability, and pollution. This computer would intelligently make objective decisions as to the uses of these resources based on empirical fact, not biased legislation.

Automated labor would be perfected on a mass scale, something frowned upon in capitalism because it is equated with job loss and unemployment. Fresco insists eliminating all mundane jobs that insult human capacity when they can instead be relegated to machines that will act more precisely and productively.
From the maximization of resources and efficiency of automated labor, Fresco imagines a world of abundance, where everything is available to everyone. As idealistic as this may sound, keep in mind that there is currently enough food to feed everyone in the world, but not enough money to pay for it. One billion people (one-sixth of the world) are starving, yet American’s throw out approximately 40% of their purchased food. Fresco says that in a world where everything is supplied, the majority of today’s crimes would be non-existent, as they are primarily related to obtaining money and property, or born of social inequality. The crimes that still exist would be considered symptomatic of mental aberration, and these people would be given treatment and help, not punished, as no prisons would exist. People would be rewarded with an incentive system for contributions based on social relevance.

Celebrating his 94th birthday, Fresco was lively and animated as he guided the audience through a visual presentation of his conceptual ideas and models for sustainable technology. Wowing the crowd with images that seemed of science fiction, the audience was assured that nothing was unrealistic about his designs, and if science and technology were focused on progress instead of consumption, they would all be easily realized.

The members of The Zeitgeist Movement seem to face an intimidating wall of those who decree their goals as unattainable. But with 250 international chapters forming in just one year and the membership count rapidly growing, it’s undeniable that many easily identify with the message. The evidence shows that our current system is leading us on a collision course; our present model of society cannot sustain itself. While some deny this, others ignore it, and there are those who still try to profit off of it. The Zeitgeist Movement highlights that there are individuals who believe in a sustainable future where humanity is not united by religious or political ideology, but by the scientific method, venerated as the savior that can develop a system of human equality, thriving from the cooperation and balance of technology and nature.

Reference :  huffingtonpost.com

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