San Diego, CA — This morning in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California, Joseph Buddenberg was sentenced to two years in federal prison for Conspiracy to Violate the Animal Enterprise Terrorism Act. The sentencing follows his signing a non-cooperating plea agreement in which he plead guilty to conspiring to free thousands of animals from fur farms throughout the U.S. and to cause damage to businesses associated with the fur industry.…
[NEW YORK, NY] The Sparrow Project is humbled to be supporting the award winning documentary THE GHOSTS IN OUR MACHINE as it launches its Oscar qualifying run of screenings in major US markets [screenings & tickets here]. This visually arresting portrait follows photojournalist Jo-Anne McArthur as she documents the lives held captive in the bowels of an ever-mechanized industry of animal use and her attempts to deliver her chilling images to the press.
“I feel like I’m a war photographer. I am photographing history and photographing changes in history right now, in terms of animal rights and where it’s going.”
In what at times feels like a quixotic endeavor, the film highlights just how hard it is to place hard-hitting documentation like McArthur’s in the pages of top-tier media outlets. It’s not just industry influence that shapes the editorial calendar, moreover it is a system of unwritten laws regarding the comfort of readers that dictate whether the ugly truth gets printed …no matter how relevant the content may be.
THE GHOSTS IN OUR MACHINE illuminates the lives of individual animals living within and rescued from the machine of our modern world. Through the heart and lens of acclaimed animal photographer Jo-Anne McArthur we become intimately familiar with a cast of animal subjects. Each story and photograph is a window into global animal industries: Food, Fashion, Entertainment and Research. All part of an epic photo project called We Animals, McArthur has documented the lives of animals around the world with heart-breaking empathic vividness. THE GHOSTS IN OUR MACHINE charts McArthur’s efforts to bring wider attention to a topic that most of humankind strives hard to avoid. Are non-human animals property to be owned and used, or are they sentient beings deserving of rights?
Screenings open on Friday, November 8th at The Village East Cinema in New York. Three nights of special events are planned including commentary and panel discussions involving the films producers, protagonists and some of New York’s most celebrated journalists and tastemakers. Similarly the film will open on Friday November 15th at the Laemmle Theatre in Los Angeles. A complete list of the special events and screenings can be found HERE.
Because we believe so strongly in this movie and Jo-Anne McArthur’s tireless work The Sparrow Project will be hosting a semi-exclusive after party immediately following Friday’s Red Carpet Premiere, you can RSVP HERE.
Showtimes and information on how to purchase tickets can be found HERE
When Open Road Film’s Denis Hennelly and Casey Suchan set out to make Bold Native they wanted to work in the spirit of revolutionary films like Easy Rider. They succeeded. Bold Native is a feature film on the subject of animal liberation but at its heart, much like Easy Rider, it’s a road film about the fight for freedom in a corrupt America.
Bold Native follows Charlie Cranehill, played by Joaquin Pastor, an animal liberator working outside the law and Jessica Hagan who plays Jane, a woman working for change for animals within the confines of the legal system. The film’s hero, Charlie, is an ordinary activist who accepts a challenge by his girlfriend to ‘walk the talk.’ When things go awry and he is wanted by the U.S. government as a domestic terrorist, he must go into hiding. He emerges later in the plot to coordinate a large-scale action to free animals nationwide while both his estranged CEO father and the FBI hunt him.
Interspersed into the film are clips of institutionalized animal cruelty, which provide the much-needed context to underscore Charlie’s willingness to take such great risks. The filmmakers manage to do this in a way that supports the plot and pace of the film while avoiding seeming preachy.
Hennelly and Suchan show similar bravery by including a chilling scene of Charlie’s old friends taking a tactical heinous path of their enemies, which tests the viewer’s trust in Charlie.
The dialogue throughout the film is true to the movement and at times refreshingly comical. The gripping exchange between Charlie and his father toward the end of the film will easily make Pastor a star.
Pastor captures Charlie and presents him in a way that everyone can understand. Pastor is also a musician who contributes to the film’s soundtrack along with household names like Sufjan Stevens.
The filmmakers capture the all too real conflict between factions of today’s animal rights movement. But even for a viewer who knows nothing of the struggle or it’s inner arguments, Bold Native is a great primer on the ideology of a diverse movement that at its’ core is really about life, love and freedom.
Like all good revolutionary films, Bold Native is both inspirational and challenging. The film forces the audience to confront uncomfortable notions of brutality, betrayal and greed while inspiring us to fight for justice and freedom at all costs.
Nobody went to see Easy Rider just once. Bold Native will be the same. As soon as the credits rolled, I wanted to see it again.