Thursday, December 05, 2013

Job Opportunity - Local TV Launch Manage

Job Opportunity - Local TV Launch Manager

Sheffield Community Media, a new social enterprise, is seeking to 
recruit a Launch Manager to drive the creation of Sheffield Live TV, 
the new local digital TV channel for Sheffield.

Sheffield Community Media is working in partnership with Sheffield 
Live community radio to develop the Sheffield Live brand as a cross 
platform community media service - radio, TV, web and mobile - 
providing new opportunities for local media producers and offering 
local news, information and creative content.

The SLTV Launch Manager will be responsible for taking to launch the 
local digital TV channel including project management, fundraising, 
programme schedule, staff recruitment and launch promotion.

The deadline for applications is 20 December 2013.

Further information including how to apply is available here:

http://www.sheffieldlive.org/2013/12/sltv-launch-manager/


Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Monday, November 25, 2013

Prague Cannafest- my video report

My latest video from Prague for Freedom Seeds is released today. We decided to include some background to the city by inserting images of the 1968 invasion of Russian tanks. The last time I was in Prague in 2000, I recorded the mass protests against the IMF and World Bank Summit. It was a riot of a time, in contrast to this years chilled out Cannafest - at least until Police raided 50 grow shops across the Czech republic.



Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Saturday, November 16, 2013

When an interviewee just can't get her words together

I had fun filming this interview in Prague at Cannafest- Lorena from Sweet Seeds in Spain couldn't get her words together.



Freedom Seeds caught up with Lorena from Sweet Seeds, at Cannafest Prague 2013. In between getting a little tongue tied she spoke to us about Sweet Seeds new F1 Fast strains (Cream Caramel F1 Fast, Green Poison F1 Fast, Sweet Cheese F1 Fast and Sweet Special F1 Fast) and the latest mix pack, Sweet Mix Auto.

For more information on Freedom Seeds head on over to: http://freedomseeds.com

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Saturday, October 26, 2013

My latest music video- contains Zombies!



I found myself editing late into the night to put an anarcho Zombie music video together for Cosmo.  Filmed in a squatted pub in Cardiff, the song reflected his views as he looked back on 2 decades of performing in dead end gigs.
Cosmo's Zombie Flick - I Can't Believe I'm Still Doing This Stuff!

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions.http://www.undercurrents.org

Friday, October 18, 2013

My latest film will have it's premiere on October 27th

My latest film will have it's premiere on October 27th
A film about community gardens in South Wales.

The film was funded by  Community Foodie who state;

We are delighted to be hosting the first showing of the Foodie video,  and the crowning of 3 community foodie champions in the Local Food Champions marquee at the Cowbridge Food Festival Fringe.

‘We have been really fortunate to support some great projects over the past two and a half years and meet some really inspiration people and the Foodie team think it’s time to celebrate this. We would like to offer all those involved in Community Foodie supported projects a chance to come together, celebrate what they have achieved and take part in a day of Foodie based events at the Cowbridge Food Festival  on Sunday 27th October. The day will consist of a live cooking demo hosted by a top local chef, the premier showing of the Foodie video which includes footage of foodie  projects in action and three people being crowned Community Foodie Champion of their region.’

http://www.hubcowbridge.com/2013/09/community-foodie-celebration-at-cowbridge-food-festival-fringe/


Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Monday, October 07, 2013

UK PREMIERE: 2012 The Mayan Word

Undercurrents movie, 2012 The Mayan Word gets it's big UK airing this Sunday

2012 The Mayan Word brings us the voices of the Mayan people as they share their perspectives on the prophesies of their ancestors, their fight to defend Mother Earth and their culture from destruction. This film is an extraordinary journey into the heart of Mayan struggle and spirituality – A message of hope and a call to action.

Dir. Melissa Gunasena / 2012 / Maya (Tzutu’jil, Lacandon). Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Belize & Honduras / 64′    View trailer – contact Director

Sunday 8.30pm, London
Details on http://www.nativespiritfoundation.org/

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Funds for small groups- Deadline October 14th

Get in there now!

Edge Fund are open for applications until 5pm on Monday 14 October. We're looking to support people and small grassroots groups challenging injustice and inequality in the UK. We're particularly looking for work that is unlikely to be funded elsewhere.

Apply in writing or over the phone. If you'd applied before and would like help reapplying please get in touch.
http://edgefund.org.uk/2013/09/16/were-open-for-applications/


Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Monday, September 23, 2013

New film about Police Spies

Jason, a filmmaker living in Germany has started his new documentary after finding out a good "friend" of his was actually the undercover cop Mark Kennedy, who had been spying on protesters over a number of years.


He has uploaded a number of video clips to explain the impact which the spying, the secret police and the private corporate spies has had on activists.


Jason told me
'I've been working really hard on this project, and am hoping to spread the word about it, especially before we kick off our Crowdfunding campaign and UK Tour in October. If you also are shocked by this story, you could help support the film project by spreading the word and telling your other friends who might be interested. I'd be really grateful.'

His website all about the film is on spiedupon.comhttp://spiedupon.com

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Cut energy use on your electical items

Trying to cut energy use on our video equipment has always been a goal and finding this website has been very useful. Sust It is on  http://www.sust-it.net/
and includes TV, laptops, vehicles and much more.

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sol Cinema in the news this week

The Sol Cinema is a miniscule movie house which I co-founded and have toured all over the UK for the last 3 years. This week we have had a flurry of news coverage.

Chris Evans wrote for The Independent  about 'The most unusual places to munch popcorn'. The the Daily Mail took all his text, got their own photos and published their own story about Sol Cinema titled;

'The movie goer's guide to the weirdest places to watch the latest blockbuster'

In a sign of how the media works, our local newspaper, the South Wales Evening post then phoned wanting to write about our little cinema. It resulted in a 2 page spread about our cinema. This followed quickly by ITV Wales getting in touch to feature us on the Welsh News. So it's all go here.

We have just finished a tour of the UK including London, Liverpool, Manchester and Birmingham and Leeds. Check our cinema here and come join us in the next performance.

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Armstrong Lie- documentary


In the aftermath of the scandal that disgraced Cyclist Lance Armstrong as a cheat and bully, one of those former believers, film-maker Alex Gibney, gradually realised he was sitting on a goldmine.

He had been commissioned to make what most people expected would be an uplifting documentary about Armstrong's second comeback, for the 2009 Tour de France. Instead he got the inside story of a scandal that would rock the sport for ever.

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions.http://www.undercurrents.org

Monday, September 09, 2013

Tories try to bring back National service for the UK

Politicians are now trying to sign our sons and daughters for their armies.

Army recruitment figures are drastically falling, so they need new bodies for their wars on Syria and Iran. National Service ended in the 1950s after WW2 and now a bunch of Tory Ministers want to take us back there.

1 National service system

(1) Every individual who has attained the age of 18 years, and who has not
attained the age of 26 years, shall be liable to serve one year of national service
at some point between these years unless exempt.
 
(2) 5Exempt individuals are those with severe mental or physical disability.
(3) National service shall be defined as participation in a full time scheme
accredited by HM Government as meeting the requirements of national service
and set out in regulations by the Secretary of State.

Check out the proposed bill here
http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/bills/cbill/2013-2014/0032/cbill_2013-20140032_en_2.htm#l1g1

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Thursday, September 05, 2013

Why is the BBC so pro-war over Syria?

The BBC flagship news programmes, news channel, online news service and radio news outlets have spent several days in constant hysteria about the probability of a second vote on Syria, after parliament rejected military intervention last week.  Why is the BBC obsessively attempting to answer a question only they are asking?  A look at the interests and characters running the organisation help explain their seemingly rabid hunger for war.

Who Runs the BBC?
 BBC2
The BBC Trust is responsible for granting licenses to all BBC outlets and stations, managing value for money on license fee payments and ‘the direction of BBC editorial and creative output’.  The Trust consists of 12 Trustees and is headed by Lord Patten.

Lord Chris Patten is a conservative peer and former governor of Hong Kong; he also happens to have 13 others jobs besides chief of the BBC.  These include an £80,000 year role as an advisor for oil company BP, and £40,000 a year from EDF Energy.  Some might well be surprised that the Chairman of the BBC Trust is receiving more pay from just these two advisory roles than the £110,000 a year he receives for his chairmanship of the BBC Trust.
A war with Syria would increase the price of oil, which would in turn increase profits for the likes of BP – not to mention the possibilities of access to Syrian oil reserves if an alternative, compliant regime were in place.  Energy giant (and employer of former US Vice President Dick Cheney) Halliburton made $39.5bn from Iraq related contracts over the last decade.  Oil prices have already risen on the back of the mere threat of military action, the BBC gleefully reported just days ago.

Syria aside – can we expect Lord Patten to have no conflict of interest in managing the ‘direction of BBC editorial output’ on matters such as Fracking, New Nuclear Energy and climate change when he is receiving more money from the energy industry than the media?

The recently appointed Director of News and Current Affairs at the BBC, James Harding, is a former employee of the Murdoch Press. While Editor of The Times newspaper, he was responsible for exposing the identity of police blogger NightJack by hacking the bloggers email accounts – which his legal team then covered up during a court case against the action.  Harding has also gone on the record as ‘pro Israel’.  This is the figure responsible for hiring the news teams, presenters and journalists who will report on matters of hacking, privacy, Middle East issues and of course the planned assault on Syria.

Raffi Berg, Editor of the BBC News Website, was outed for clenched teeth inducing behaviour in a report by Electronic Intifada.  During the 2012 eight day assault by Israeli forces on the Gaza strip, in which hundreds of Palestinians were losing their lives, Berg was emailing journalists with ‘guidance’ to maintain a pro-Israel tone in their reports.  This from the report:

In one, he asked BBC colleagues to word their stories in a way which does not blame or “put undue emphasis” on Israel for starting the prolonged attacks. Instead, he encouraged journalists to promote the Israeli government line that the “offensive” was “aimed at ending rocket fire from Gaza.”
This was despite the fact that Israel broke a ceasefire when it attacked Gaza on 14 November, a ceasefire which the Palestinians had been observing — firing no rockets into Israel.

In a second email, sent during the same period, Berg told BBC journalists: “Please remember, Israel doesn’t maintain a blockade around Gaza. Egypt controls the southern border.” He omitted to mention that the United Nations viewed Israel as the occupying power in Gaza and has called on Israel to end its siege of the Strip. Israel’s refusal to do so is a violation of UN Security Council Resolution 1860.”    

Now, it behoves us never to make simplistic links.  However, if one were seeking an independent opinion on a military intervention in the Middle East, surely one would not rely on the opinion of paid employees of energy companies that would directly profit from such action, or those with a declared personal bias to one of the nations in the region most likely to benefit.  Yet, this is what we are doing when we rely on the BBC as a news source.

Read full article here

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

Governnments Lobbying Bill aims to stop all protest

I have seen a great many dodgy bills passed through Parliament since 1993- the year when I actually stopped to notice just how much was being done to stop all forms of protest and dissent.



The Criminal Justice Bill of 1994 wiped out an entire culture of people living in alternative ways. Squatting empty buildings, protesting against fox hunting, losing the right to Silence when interviewed by Police and a whole raft of bills which eroded our sense of being a free people.

Now the Government (Tories and Lib Dems) are trying to bring in by stealth  a 'Lobbying Bill' which will stop anyone protesting against their policies- aimed at stopping dissent during the run up to the next election.

The "transparency of lobbying, non-party campaigning and trade union administration bill" will treat charities, thinktanks, blogs, community groups and activists of every hue as political parties. From tiny groups vocal on local matters to great national organisations, all risk being silenced in the year before a general election. The Guardian
This has got to be overturned.

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Friday, August 30, 2013

Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria: Who Done It?

Chemical Weapons Attack in Syria: Who Done It?
Like a real life game of ‘Cluedo’, we know the weapon, the victims, the place and the time. Only the identity of the perpetrator remains a mystery.   The primary suspects are the Syrian regime or the rebels; both sides have the capabilities to deliver these nasty weapons, as for motive, there is a degree of uncertainty.  The Syrian regime is winning the war on the grounds, and the use of such weapons would only unify the rest of the world against them, thus, such an action looks irrational and counter-productive.  Especially in light of the fact that Obama already stated the use of chemical weapons was a line that could not be crossed. Moreover, the immediate and equivocal Syrian response, requesting an UN inspection team to verify the matter seems to point to their innocence.
Could the rebels have done this? One cannot imagine they would use chemical weapons on their own people, to perpetuate an uncertain military response, with an uncertain outcome, unless it was done by a lunatic fringe extremist group among the rebels.  
Let’s ask: cui bono (to whose benefit?).  An attack on Syria would benefit its rival, Israel. For sure, they have the experience (e.g. Lavon affair) and the capability to engage in a covert operation, if needed in collusion with the CIA, to deliver these weapons and manufacture a crisis. Of course, there is a difference between logic and truth, it does not always follow that the party who stands to gain the most benefit is automatically guilty. 

What about the US? Before anyone dismisses it as a conspiracy theory, just have a look at their track record. We can still smell the stench of blood from the Iraq invasion using the WMD pretext, which eventually became an issue of an illegal regime change and saving the Kurds. Earlier, in the Gulf War of 1991, false reports of Iraqi War crimes in Kuwait; the "babies thrown from incubators" stories propagated by the western based mass media were subsequently proven to be totally false. Prior to launching the Vietnam War, the US manufactured the Gulf of Tonkin" incident, claiming Vietnam had attacked a U.S. ship. The Spanish-American War was justified with an alleged attack on the U.S.S. Maine, the newspaper hyped up the incidence to increase its sale revenue, and helped the US to declare war, and the world was introduced to yellow journalism.
We can safely eliminate economic factors like oil as a motive behind the US-led calls for intervention; Syria is relatively a poor country, no rich resources there, very much like the Rwanda of the Arab world. The Syrian socialist regime has kept the country even poorer with a stagnant socialist based economy; it looks like an Eastern European nation that is trapped under communist rule in the 1950s and 60s.
One can also dismiss the US claims of intervention on humanitarian grounds. Because, the number of casualty prior to the chemical weapons attack has already reached 100,000, and their humanity did not move. In contrast, the number of victim from the chemical weapons attack is uncertain; it seems to be in three digits. Therefore, the vocal opposition to Chemical weapon is a convenient political pretext, but what kind of political pretext is the next question.
Can it be a sudden desire to introduce democracy? That looks unlikely as ever, we know from the Egyptian coup d’état, unless the outcome complies with the US interests, it isn’t really interested. However, the US credibility has been hit hard through its inaction. The God Father of democracy watched the largest Arab country oust a democratically elected leader, then engage in a reign of terror with arbitrary arrests, intimidation, killing of 2000 innocent protestors and imprisonment of its leaders, like some Nazi regime resurrected from the past. Forget sanctions and military action, even token condemnation was absent from the US. It still remains a spectator as the Egyptian crisis that looks to be heading towards civil war; hence, the Syrian episode is a good distraction. 
Could this be preparation for an attack on Iran? After attacking and occupying Syria, Hezbollah in Lebanon would be isolated and weaken, as Syria is the main supply route. Then Israel would further weaken Hezbollah by attacking it, making the way clear to launch strikes on Iran.  There is a view that Zionists do control and shape US foreign policy, and certainly there are abundant evidences of that.  
Maybe the US really worried about implosion in Syria leading to regional instability. This too remains uncertain, as the media has been busy trying to promote and convert a political war into a sectarian war and accelerate the conflict; accordingly, the media coverage given so far has been along the lines of Shia based Iran-Syria-Hezbollah axis, against the Sunni rebels supported by the Arab and the Gulf states. In reality, the rebels are not unified by Sunni orthodoxy, composed of secular, devout, Shia and Sunni fighters, and the socialist Syrian regime are not strict adherents of the Shia theology. Iran has traditionally allied to Syria due to the geo-politics of the region.
In the mean time, the UN inspection team is trying to establish the facts; concurrently the US and its allies have already adopted a war like stance, the drumbeats are beating louder. Why not give the UN inspectors time, and why not get the Arab League to play a more constructive role in establishing the source of the chemical weapons attack. It seems none of the major parties are interested in the truth, in times of conflict everyone seeks to exploit the situation for their benefit, and the innocent civilians are always the first line of casualty, the awful videos and images testify to that.

By  Yamin Zakaria (yamin@radicalviews.org)

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Bring on the clowns- how comedians are telling the real news.

We know we are in trouble as a society when it is left up to our funny people to cut through the crap and use the airwaves to speak the truth.

Comedian Russel Brand gave an eloquent insight into Syria on Question time. Watch video above.

I recall during the massive protests against Globalisation in the 1999, Channel 4 news didn't have a reporter in Seattle when protests shut down the WTO meeting. In its five year history the WTO has overturned every single environmental law that has come before it. Despite a growing grassroots movement  against the WTO , the mainstream media had chosen to ignore it and missed one of the key moments of the decade.
It was left to comedian Rob Newman to present the view from Seattle to the public on the 7 O'Clock News.


Meanwhile comedian Jon Stewart uses his satire to cut the crap on his news show. In the UK, Mark Thomas is touring the UK spreading the real news with his wit and humour. Bring on the clowns!

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Formula One forces YouTube to delete protest video

Greenpeace pulled of an ingenious banner stunt at the Belgian Grand Prix and filmed it. It protested Shell's involved in destroying the Arctic. However 10 minutes after I watched their video, Formula One forced YouTube to delete it.


Off the track Shell is leading a very different kind of race — an insane rush to drill for oil in the melting Arctic.

Greenpeace stated today
They’re hoping to ride on the glory of the drivers and pretend they’re a company worthy of a spot on the podium. They’re not. An oil spill in the Arctic would be a disaster, threatening a region of breathtaking beauty and the polar bears that live there.

The race is on. It’s time to separate the sponsor from the sport and make sure the truth about Shell's dirty Arctic plan gets out there. Tell Shell to stop drilling in the Arctic.
Other videos of their other banner protest can be viewed here
The video can be viewed on Vimeo


Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

What Binda Singh the scammer did next...

In 2011 I exposed a scammer based in Swansea who was ripping off film-makers.
Binda Singh (known also Belvedere Pashun or Jeroboam Snatch or TL Shannon) charged film makers good money for bad service at his shoddy film festivals all over the globe. Following my investigations and the resulting BBC, Guardian and other media coverage, his Hollywood patrons Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Sheen quickly withdrew their support.
Binda Singh with his hands full
His reputation is now shot as anyone doing an online search for Binda Singh will reveal his dodgy reputation. So to get around that inconvenience , Mr Singh has reinvented himself and has re-entered the scene. This time preying on wannabe actors rather than filmmakers.

Singh is now hiding behind his new identities- Belvedere Pashun and Jeroboam Snatch and in 2016 is also going under the name TL Shannon. As Pashun, Binda Singh has created himself as a Tibetan Buddhist who likes to study butterflies and meditate on the slopes of the Himalayas- all while writing such insightful works as Shag! the musical.His other persona is 'Jeroboam Snatch' - Singh has changed his gender as a female who is a 'very fine writer. Young fresh and sexy'. The photo he uses to pose under this identity is the American actress Selina Gomez (see below)

His current stage show has all his hall marks of being a shoddy piece of work.
WAG! The Musical had its West End Premiere on July 18th. Not unsurprisingly for Singhs standards, his shows are being thrashed by critics. The Stage gives a roundup of just how bad his shows are. The Independent summed it up with
'Wag! The Musical: The biggest turkey to hit the West End in years?'


If anyone seeks proof that Singh and Pushan are one and the same person they can refer to the fact that WAG! the musical began life as Funkette!- written in 2004 by one Binda Singh.

Perhaps hoping for a reincarnated life to escape his dodgy past, Singh posted this on Twitter about his current stage show WAG! the musical.



None of this will stop Singh however as he all about self promotion. Despite BBC exposing his dodgy financial dealings, he has a knack of ingratiating himself into the world of celebrities. He can somehow convince them of his stature as a writer/producer/director/Tibetan/butterfly collector/filmmaker/University lecturer etc etc..

Belvedere Pashun or is it Binda Singh?
He has recently convinced former Atomic Kittens singer Kerry Katona to play Marilyn Monroe in his 'Norma Jeane The Musical'. The fact that she was declared bankrupt recently may give a clue to her desperation for wanting involvement in anything new.

Singh's business partner, Ms Struel-White told the Evening Post
"There were only a handful of performers that the writer Belvedere Pashun would even contemplate for the role of Marilyn Monroe and right at the top was Kerry Katona."
Not content with destroying one icon, his other project is about the life of Mahatma Gandhi - 'Mahatma The Musical' is now casting. If neither of them floats your boat, you can always look forward to his 'Les Dawson The Musical.


So to anyone interested in Binda Singh / Belvedere Pashun- I say follow the money and see where it leads.


Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Sol Cinema chosen as Exhibitor of the Month

The Sol Cinema has been chosen to be Exhibitor of the month by the
Independent Cinema Office (ICO). They are a national support organisation for independent exhibitors of all kinds including cinemas, film festivals and film societies.  
 
The Sol Cinema is a mobile micro-movie house powered entirely by the Sun.
Accommodating 8 adults comfortably, screening short films with inspiring environmental themes for a truly unique cinematic experience. 
Sol Cinema has performed at events all over the UK, from Glastonbury festival to small community events and private parties. Created out of a desire to provide a great venue to show the many short videos being produced by video makers.  The well dressed usherette offers popcorn as audiences are invited to walk up the red carpet. They take their plush seat to enjoy the movie with surround sound, LED projection, velvet curtains and dimmed lighting.  The perfect petit pop-up!
 Check out Sol Cinema on the ICO website

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Snooping into our lives

UK authorities made over 570,000 requests to view people's private texts, emails and phone records last year, leading to privacy campaigners calling for greater oversight in relation to requests.

The Interception of Communications Commissioner's report for 2012 revealed that mistakes made while using intercepted information led to six members of the public being wrongly detained or accused of a crime.

 Find out how your privacy is disappearing in this report

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

Why is a leisure centre promoting gun culture for Kids?

I took my 4 year old to the Swansea Leisure Centre (LC) yesterday and was confronted by adverts of children holding guns like a gangster to promote the LC's new 'leisure' activity of laser battles.

I find it hard enough trying to educate my 4 year old about the problem with guns and find these posters unhelpful.

A spokesperson for LC Swansea replied to me saying;
'The last thing we want to do is cause offence to anyone, the LC is all about having fun with your family, so thanks for bringing this to our attention.
'

I find this is not enough and expect a better understanding of marketing and its effect on kids. A few years ago two posters for an Angelina Jolie film were criticised by advertising watchdogs for making guns attractive.The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled the 'Wanted' movie posters were not suitable to be seen by children. It added that the use of a glamorous actress, gun images and aspirational text "could glamorise violence".

I would argue that these posters at the LC are doing exactly the same thing. Their website has the same picture (below)

An LC spokesperson told a concerned customer   
'It wasn't our intention to cause offence and we're in the process of reviewing the marketing images we're using to promote Laser Tag.


'In the same week that I was confronted by these posters, I read that a young boy has shot dead his entire family. A report on the killing follows;

Marcelo had no history of violence, police say, but was obsessed with weapons and had a large collection of toy guns and a protective breastplate made of cardboard in his bedroom, police said.
Toy guns are becoming more lifelike each year and it is time to take notice of how society is normalising weapons amongst our children.

When I contacted Swansea council for their views, I was told that the LC is not owned by the council. I find it confusing as to why the council logo is prominately displayed on the LC website and the following text adds to my confusion
Bay Leisure Ltd is an independent not for profit company set up to manage the LC on behalf of the City and County of Swansea
So what is the councils involvement? At least they agreed with my opinion about the posters. I received an email from David Philips, Leader of Swansea council (who used to own the Leisure centre). He said;
I agree with you that these posters were not appropriate, as they were so clearly available to alternative readings.

On the LC Facebook page they are promoting their gun games with a toy turtle which led one local Ash Jenkins to write
Why, in this day and age, are you advertising and condoning the use of green reptiles harnessing semi automatic weapons? This is not the image The LC2 should be promoting to our children. What next, Laser IED's? Lizards with petrol bombs? This has gone too far.
Just a few days after I contacted LC to complain, all photos of the child with the gun have been deleted from their website. That is at least a result. Let's hope that they think first next time. Now it is time to ask why are they encouraging kids to run around with guns shooting each other? It is a leisure centre- not a killing centre!

Today, August 10th the Evening Post published that the LC will not use the gangster photos again. A spokeswoman for the LC said:
"The last thing we would want to do is cause offence to any of our customers.
"In light of some of the responses to an image we have used to promote our summer Laser Tag activity, we have decided to remove it from all our marketing materials."
This is a good result and the most sensible option. A month after I contacted the Advertising Standards Authority for their opinion on the adverts, they wrote to me stating;
The ASA contacted the advertiser and was informed that the posters were shown within the premises of LC Swansea, including the poster shown on the footpath, which fell within the sphere of their premises. Unfortunately, the Codes we administer do not apply to ads displayed within unpaid for advertising space, including an advertiser’s premises'
So basically there is no legal constraints on adverts like this. Without my actions in complaining,  the LC would be free to promote their Laser gun battles using adverts of children with guns. I am glad I took direct action and hopefully the LC will think more carefully next time on how they use children to promote their activities.

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Friday, August 02, 2013

Undercurrents email host GreenNet under attack

The ethical internet company which hosts Undercurrents email and website has been under attack from an unknown enemy. Apologies for not replying to your emails but GreenNet are working hard to get our system back online.


They wrote 'it appears to have been targeting a GN member site - investigations still on-going at the moment'


Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Vacancy: Filmmaker for Indigenous Peoples’ Rights

Salary: Competitive NGO salary, depending on experience and location.

Contract: 1 year full time (with possible extension) with 3 month trial period.

Based in: LifeMosaic’s office is located in Falkland, Fife, Scotland; the right candidate can be based in Scotland or internationally.

Closing date for applications: 16th August 2013

Short Job Description
An exciting opportunity for an experienced film-maker to join a small dynamic team making films to support movements for indigenous and local communities’ rights. You will be working on a project developing a set of films for communities on land grabs and land rights. Ideally you will have experience of working with indigenous peoples and / or local communities in Africa and / or Latin America. You must be experienced in all aspects of filmmaking from research to production and post-production, and be passionate about the use of films for positive social and environmental change. The job will involve extensive travel in Latin America and / or Africa. You must be fluent in English and French and/or Spanish.

Joining a small team, your work will involve a wide variety of tasks, not all related to film production. You need to be flexible and open to challenges.

Organisation
LifeMosaic (www.lifemosaic.net) produces and co-ordinates the distribution of educational resources for indigenous peoples. Resources are primarily based on community testimonies; they present complex issues in an accessible and engaging way; and support indigenous peoples right to free, prior and informed consent.

LifeMosaic facilitates partner-led dissemination across wide networks to reach thousands of communities. We train practitioners and partners to use our resources in their movement-building work, and increase their capacity to facilitate communities to raise their critical awareness, and organise to protect their lands, cultures and forests.

Application process
Please e-mail your completed application and a recent CV to job@lifemosaic.net with the subject line ‘Your Name - Filmmaker’. Application deadline is 16th August 2013.

Full Job Description & Background


Work to include:
Planning, filming and editing resources focusing on indigenous peoples and local communities land rights; working collaboratively with organisations and networks active in this field.
Taking an active role in research and logistics for land rights films.
Planning and carrying out local and international filming trips.
Working collaboratively with the team on all aspects of post-production (also including multi-language dubbing, subtitling and authoring).
Planning and preparing international dissemination opportunities.
Evaluating impacts of dissemination and feeding lessons learnt back to indigenous peoples and NGO networks.


Essential experience and skills
Commitment to LifeMosaic’s work and values.
Commitment to positive environmental and social change and / or to indigenous peoples rights.
Experience of working directly with indigenous and / or local communities.
Long standing work experience in Latin America and / or Africa.
Ability to work in a variety of settings, from grass-roots to international.
A deep understanding and appreciation that communities should be primary agents of change in transforming their own realities.
Minimum 5-year experience.
Proven proficiency in all areas of filmmaking (including use of Final Cut Pro).
Proven research, writing, networking and communication skills in English, and French and/or Spanish.
Able to travel extensively at times (out of hours work may be required).
Able to work with a long-distance team, and also resourceful and able to work independently.
Highly organised and efficient, and able to work to tight production schedules.
Good analytical and problem solving skills.
Education: relevant Masters level qualification or equivalent experience.


Desirable skills and experience
Excellent knowledge of indigenous peoples rights and land rights.
A deep understanding and appreciation of popular education.
Experience producing popular education films and/or other tools.
Extensive civil society / land rights networks in Latin America or Africa
Good facilitation skills.
Experience accessing archive footage and music.
Experience in raising funds for filmmaking.
Graphic design skills.
Dubbing, subtitling and voiceover recording.
DVD authoring skills.
Computer and social networking skills.



Background to LifeMosaic’s Land Rights project
Between 2000 and 2010, an estimated 200 million hectares of large-scale land deals were concluded by corporations and governments across Africa, Asia and Latin America. These deals were driven by increasing global demand, mainly for food, biofuels, and minerals. Many of them occurred on the territories of indigenous peoples. If demand continues to rise on present trends, global resource extraction will triple by 2050.

This land rush is leading to: the squeezing of rural livelihoods and the loss of food security as communities are displaced from or lose access to resources and ecosystem services; increasing conflict, violence and human rights violations; disproportionate negative impacts on the poorest populations, and especially on women; large-scale conversion of natural ecosystems, with the destruction of forests resulting in high emissions of greenhouse gases.

Many indigenous peoples and local communities across the tropics have no tenure rights, or their existing rights are not respected. Movements for change are also held back because communities lack access to critical information to help think through complex issues around land, which contributes to limiting community participation in decision-making. Local movement-builders also often lack basic tools and information to support their work.

In 2013-15 LifeMosaic will produce and widely distribute a set of land rights films for indigenous peoples and rural communities in the tropics. These films will help to strengthen movements for the recognition of land rights by: informing community debates, organisation and planning; lowering barriers to community participation in decision-making around tenurial rights; and building the capacity of local leaders and facilitators to strengthen grass-roots movements – by providing them with tools for critical education; and ‘good-news’ stories about the benefits of secure rights in land.









LIFEMOSAIC - JOB APPLICATION FORM
Please answer all questions in English

Name:
Address:
Telephone:
E-mail:

Work Experience:
Please describe your experience of working with indigenous peoples and/or local communities in Africa and/or Latin America. If applicable please describe your specific experience on land rights and your networks in these regions. (Max 200 words)

Film portfolio
Please share a show-reel with maximum 4 relevant titles of your work and include at least 1 each where your role was camerawork and editor. Please include the film titles, url link (or alternatively send a DVD show-reel to our office address), your role in the films, a short description of each, the aim of the films and intended audiences, and the outcomes of the films. (Max 300 words).

Technical filmmaking competency
Please give a short description of your film-making competency, including equipment and software use, in the following: research, interview skills, filming, editing, directing. (max 150 words)

Organisational skills
Please describe your experience with budget management, production and logistics, and seeking and reporting on funds. (max 100 words)  

Other Experience in Social and Environmental Change
Please describe your experience in positive environmental and social change, and popular education. (max 100)

What is your present / most recent employment / project? (max 50 words)

What are your reasons for applying to this job? (max 100 words)

Relevant education and training:

Languages and proficiency:

Past salary history:

Please provide us with contact details for 2 referees:

When would you be available to start working in this post?

If selected, are you available for interview on 27th August 2013?

Please e-mail your completed application and a recent CV with the subject line ‘Your Name - Filmmaker’ to job@lifemosaic.net





Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks Trailer 2013 (HD) - Julian Assa...



Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions.http://www.undercurrents.org

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Hunting Mr. Nice


Howard Marks was a cannabis smuggler and this is a docu-drama about his life.

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions.http://www.undercurrents.org

Director of Age of Stupid to make movie about Police Spies

Franny Armstrong, the Director of Mclibel and Age of Stupid is setting her camera sights on Police Spies now.

She said recently
'You can see how angry I am about all this... And therefore may not be surprised to hear that Lizzie and I are hoping to put these stories onto film... tho film not of the documentary persuasion... Watch this space....'

She wrote to her followers;
You've probably heard the horrifying stories in the Guardian this week about the police spies who infiltrated every kind of protest group over the last 50 years. Our great friend Helen Steel - she the star of our McLibel documentary - has very bravely come forward to say publicly what her friends have known for many years: that the boyfriend, John "Barker", who she lived with and passionately loved for two years back in the early 90s, was in fact police spy John Dines, who was cynically using her to get information on the campaigns she and her fellow protestors were involved with. John had been trained to reflect her dreams back at her, making her feel that she'd found her ideal man, so she would fall ever more deeply in love and reveal more and more information he could pass back to his superiors: they even discussed and planned their future, with him pretending to share her dream of living together on a smallholding, raising their children... So when John suddenly disappeared, Helen was understandably beside herself with worry, not knowing whether he was alive or dead - and she then spent the next 18 years searching for him as far afield as New Zealand, when in fact he was working a desk job back at the Met, with his long hair cut off, just a few miles from the home they had shared. (See Helen's interview on Channel 4's Dispatches here.)

If you've seen our McLibel film (if not, watch here), you'll know that Helen and her co-defendant Dave Morris were also spied on by seven McDonald's spies, making her undoubtedly one of the most spied-upon people in history. It is also now publicly known that police spy Bob Lambert - who fathered and then abandoned a child with his activist girlfriend and who, according to Caroline Lucas MP speaking under parliamentary privilege, was one of three ALF activists responsible for a firebombing campaign of department stores - was also one of the people who wrote the McLibel leaflet over which Helen and Dave were sued! So now McDonald's know who actually wrote the leaflet - it was always known that it wasn't Helen and Dave - I trust they will be seeking damages and a retrial of McLibel with Bob Lambert MBE (oh yeah, he was awarded an MBE for "services to police work") as defendant. Count me in to make a documentary about that trial... Somehow I doubt it, though, as the police and McDonald's were, surprise surprise, working closely together - after McLibel, the police admitted handing Helen and Dave's personal information to McDonald's during the trial, awarded them a cash settlement and agreed  "to remind their officers of their responsibility not to disclose information on the Police National Computer to a third party".

Helen and seven other women who unwittingly had relationships with the spies -  one of whom said "it's like being raped by the state" - have launched a legal action against the police. Their statement is here and they are appealing for donations here. It is hard to think of any campaign more worthy of helping, so please give your credit card an outing on their behalf - and then go to this page where the women list all sorts of other ways you can help. 

Here's a thought: if the suffragettes had been targeted by these kind of police tactics, would their campaign have ultimately succeeded or would women today still not have the vote?  And so what kind of world would we be living in now, if the state had not deliberately damaged these movements for social change over the last half century? Would the economy have collapsed? Would the climate be on the brink of catastrophe?

Please help the women fight back.


Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

I'm off to Glastonbury!

I will be working at Glastonbury festival this week being the projectionist in our Sol Cinema. We will be showing movie parodies from Movie Maniacs and many other superb spoof takes on Hollywood.

We will be posting regular updates on our Facebook page so tune in here


Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Undercover (Police spies) By Paul Lewis & Rob Evans


This is a must read- you think state spies snooping into innocent peoples lives only happened in Soviet states..think again. This is happening today in the UK.

The gripping stories of a group of police spies - written by the award-winning investigative journalists who helped to expose (alongside Indymedia) the Mark Kennedy scandal - and the uncovering of forty years of state espionage.
This was an undercover operation so secret that some of our most senior police officers had no idea it existed. The job of the clandestine unit was to monitor British 'subversives' - environmental activists, anti-racist groups, animal rights campaigners.
Police stole the identities of dead people to create fake passports, driving licences and bank accounts. They then went deep undercover for years, inventing whole new lives so that they could live incognito among the people they were spying on.
They used sex, intimate relationships and drugs to build their credibility. They betrayed friends, deceived lovers, even fathered children. And their operations continue today.

Undercover reveals the truth about secret police operations - the emotional turmoil, the psychological challenges and the human cost of a lifetime of deception - and asks whether such tactics can ever be justified.
 More here

The disclosures, revealed in the book about undercover policing published this week, and in a joint investigation by the Guardian and Channel 4's Dispatches being broadcast on Monday, will reignite the controversy over covert policing of activist groups.

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Monday, June 17, 2013

Public urged to buy out the mainstram media

Are you fed up with Murdoch owning all our media?

Then follow this example?
A crowdfunding campaign in the US is attempting to raise $660m to buy The Tribune Company, which owns publications including the LA Times, in order to prevent it from being taken over by media conglomerates


The Tribune Company, which is the country’s second largest newspaper publisher – with ten titles including the LA Times, the Chicago Tribune and the Baltimore Times – is up for sale for $660m (£421m). It looks set to get into the hands of either Rupert Murdoch, owner of News Corp, which houses The Sun, Sky and Fox News, or the Koch brothers – famously funders of climate denial campaigns and of the right wing political group, the Tea Party.
Read more here

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Cardiff University launches UK's first Centre for Community Journalism


Cardiff University, home of the UK’s oldest J-School, launched a new Centre for Community Journalism. The move comes at a time of increased interest in hyperlocal media in the UK, with 2012 seeing the launch of “Destination Local” a £1m program aimed at stimulating next-generation hyperlocal services in the UK as well as a £1.4m research project exploring creative citizenship.

Learn more here

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Monday, June 10, 2013

Amongst Giants- saving the trees

Among Giants from Rainhouse Cinema on Vimeo.


Risking injury and incarceration, an environmental activist disrupts the clear-cutting of an ancient redwood grove by sitting on a tiny platform a hundred feet up in the tree canopy. Already three years into the tree-sit when filming begins, AMONG GIANTS blends vérité cinematography with intimate personal reflection to remarkable effect.
This film was shot and edited in 2011, and a year later, the tree-sit ended as a victory for the tree-sitters (indybay.org/newsitems/2012/06/26/18716373.php) As of 2013, negotiations are still underway for the sale of the land, and the exact acreage is still being determined.

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Censorship on the net in China


The Chinese Government likes to control history.  24 years after the Chinese government's bloody crackdown on pro-democracy protesters in Tiananmen Square, "today" is part of a long list of search terms that have been censored on Sina Weibo, the country's most popular microblog.

Other banned words include "tomorrow," "that year," "special day," and many number combinations that could refer to 4 June 1989, such as 6-4, 64, 63+1, 65-1, and 35 (shorthand for May 35th).

At least people are using satire such as the photo above to cut through the secrecy.The Twitter image mocking Chinese censorship of Tiananmen Square, adapted from AP's 1989 photograph (the search term 'Big Yellow Duck' is also banned now). Photograph: Twitter/weibo.com/weibolg

For an different view of the original Tank man, see the stunning photo here.

Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Al Jazeera try to claim my video as their own!

Al Jazeera are claiming this morning that they own one of my videos
YouTube wrote to me today stating

'Your video "Hidden video camera inside Israeli prison", may have content that is owned or licensed by Al Jazeera, but it’s still available on YouTube! In some cases, ads may appear next to it.'

I have counter claimed so it will be interesting to see how this pans out.


I replied;
Through my company Undercurrents prod, I directed, I hired the camera operators, and edited this video. I own the copyright for all the images. I have the original tapes, I can provide witness statements from the camera people if needed.

A week later I get an email stating 'Al Jazeera has reviewed your dispute and released its copyright claim on your video'. Always feels good to win a dispute.



Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A movie that will inspire and uplift you - Searching for Sugar Man - Official UK Trailer



Imagine Jim Morrison or Elvis were found alive and well but without any recollection they had been a superstar?

How would they handle it?
Watch this documentary and find out how a working class man found out he was a rock and roll hero without ever knowing


Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions.http://www.undercurrents.org

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

The future of news journalism and the rise of citizen journalism

Herefordshire Media Network takes a look at the future of news journalism
and the rise of citizen journalism.
Tuesday 11th June 2013, 7pm - Saxty’s Wine Bar, Hereford.
£5 Entry on door (includes light bites)

Google’s Eric Schmidt has forecast that over the next 8 years, 5 billion new internet users will come online, the vast majority accessing the internet via mobile devises.

There are now worrying signs of the decline of the news industry.  The radical connectivity of the internet has greatly diminished the scale of our local and national newspapers’ reach, and the value of their advertising.

Meanwhile the UK’s nascent hyper-local and community media sector has witnessed a step change in activity and recognition from policy makers and funders alike.

We are now seeing citizen journalism entering the mainstream and successful business models emerging for local news and entertainment platforms.

Herefordshire Media Network is delighted to welcome two distinguished speakers to lead a discussion on the implications of online journalism for local media and communities. 

Professor Richard Sambrook, former Director of Global News at BBC, is Director of Cardiff University’s Centre for Community Journalism.  Richard will outline the reasons why one of Britain’s leading journalism schools has decided to focus on community journalism, and give an overview of its future plans.

Dr Andy Williams is a lecturer at Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Culture.  He will provide insights into emergent forms of news and address key challenges for community news in the UK.

For rural counties such as Herefordshire successful roll out of superfast broadband will be critical to both media producers and consumers.   Matt Smith, Herefordshire Council’s Broadband Operations Manager will provide an update on Herefordshire and Gloucestershire’s ‘Big Build’ – ‘Fastershire’.

Many HMN members will remember Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce’s support when establishing HMN several years ago.  Colita Dainton, Area Relationship Manager for Herefordshire, will give a short update on the Chamber’s services and benefits of membership.

To round out the evening, members of Herefordshire TV’s Steering Group will give an update of progress and launch HTV’s website.

Refreshments will be available, together with information on all the above topics.   


The Herefordshire Media Network

T: 01432 344039


Undercurrents is an award winning alternative news service producing videos of people taking inspiring actions. http://www.undercurrents.org