Archive for March, 2009

london25mar09The problem with taking photos is that you can’t take ‘em when you speak – that’s what happened at the London event to launch the Disarm DVD on 25 March 2009. It was fun evening though and thanks for Thomas for his photo!  About 60 guests attended the event at Portcullis House in the British parliament, which featured a panel comprised of Dogwoof’s Andy Whittaker member of parliament Frank Cook, former BBC journalist and parliamentarian Martin Bell, and Disarm director Mary Wareham. Co-director Brian Liu was unable to attend the London launch. (more…)

dsc_0033There was a march up Connecticut Avenue in Washington DC today by the campaign to free Tibet. You couldn’t miss their brightly coloured flags and clothing. The protesters headed up to the Chinese embassy where they held a rally in front of assorted police. No one came out from the embassy to greet them. March 10th marks the 50th anniversary of the Tibetan Uprising of 1959, when more than tens of thousands of Tibetans were killed by Chinese troops and the Dalai Lama fled over the mountains to India. It also marks one year since violent protests swept across Tibet.

Today the Dalai Lama issued a strong statement charging China with creating “hell on earth” in Tibet, describing the “untold suffering and destruction” that Tibet has borne oveer the past 50 years. This received media coverage, but competition is fierce. Afterall this week also marks the 50th birthday of the Barbie doll. A couple of days ago a Tibetan Barbie doll was even launched by Chinese entrepreneurs.

dsc_0007While I was in New York to launch the Disarm DVD, I stopped by a diplomatic meeting at the United Nations on the proposed Arms Trade Treaty. Governments had convened for the first meeting of a delightfully named “open-ended working group,” the latest phase in what has become a lengthy effort to create an international treaty to regulate government transfers of conventional weapons and small arms. (more…)

dsc_4582brimaryweblrWe released the DVD of our documentary feature film on landmines, Disarm, at at the beautiful Scandinavia House venue near the United Nations in New York Monday, 2 March. A massive snowfall the night before and throughout the day had us worried that the event would be a bust, but 150 people showed up to watch the film and listen to a panel discussion featuring diplomats, activists and the filmmakers. A full report on the event is available on Disarm’s website. The film can be purchased from Amazon, rented from Netflix, and purchased via digital download from IndiePix.

Next Step Productions is grateful to everyone involved in the production of the DVD (especially Disarm director Brian Liu, Guillaume Bernadeau, Amy O’Byrne, Nick Pimentel, Katy Wood, and our translators).  We are grateful to IndiePix for their taking Disarm on and for their phenomenal organising around the New York launch event – many thanks to  Bob Alexander, Danielle DiGiacomo, Ryan Harrington, Liz Ogilvie, and Matt Posorske. Finally, a big thanks to the speakers and participants at the New York event as well as the International Campaign to Ban Landmines (ICBL) for its support.