Academy Award winning director John Zaritsky picks up the stories of Thalidomide victims for the third time in his career with this film and finally unveils a sinister and long hidden complicity by the drug manufacturer who created and distributed the drug.
NO LIMITS unearths the story that the German Thalidomide drug manufacturer, Grünenthal, knew about debilitating effects of it’s drug on babies but continued to sell the pills to unsuspecting pregnant women around the world.
Since thalidomide was released 50 years ago, the Wirtz family has accumulated a personal fortune in the billions and their company Grünenthal now employs 4200 people in 26 countries with annual revenues approaching $1.3 billion. But they have not taken full financial responsibility for the disastrous affect of thalidomide and only just recently (2012) have made a half-hearted apology when faced with the release of these long sealed court documents as a result of a class action suit in Australia.
This story may be 60 years old, but it is far from over and John’s film NO LIMITS will serve as a cautionary tale of what happens to individuals when our society and our governments let their guard down pressured by international drug companies to quickly move and approve. Those pressures still exist today.
A DIFFERENT DRUMMER: CELEBRATING ECCENTRICS
Academy award winning director, John Zaritsky, a bit of an oddball himself, answers that question and many others as he introduces us to a cast of weird and wonderful characters who celebrate being out of sync with society’s norms, and enjoy many freedoms that most of us can only envy. He finds out why they seem to be physically and psychologically better off than the rest of us and in doing so, challenges the viewer’s perspective of ‘normal behavior’. John takes us on a journey into another way of living and joins, among others, Daniel who lives productively and happily without using money from his home base, a cave in Utah, and Laura who has a duck that can tell people’s fortunes in Vancouver.
GAMBLING ON EXTINCTION 1X 60, 1X 90
Official Treaty Co-production with a&o buero filmproduktion, Germany
In “Gambling on Extinction”, director Jakob Kneser, takes the viewer on a horrific journey, starting from the killing fields in Kenya and South Africa to the trading hubs of Vietnam and China. Joined by undercover investigators, rangers, ex-poachers, conservationists and buyers, Jakob exposes the lethal mechanisms of the global trade in endangered species, the terrorist connection, the customers, and the champions working to end this environmental disaster.
As numbers go down the prices go up, making it a perverse futures market in extinction. Poaching is an international crime. It will take a concerted international response to stop it. As Allan Thornton, President of the Environmental Investigation Agency, says: “The world has two choices. We can have elephants. Or we can have ivory trade. We can’t have both.”
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ANIMISM: PEOPLE WHO LOVE OBJECTS
In our modern fast moving society, people are turning to a variety of substitutes for human love and companionship.
Animism is the belief that inanimate objects are sentient beings with a soul and that humans can communicate with them. And if you can communicate with an object then you can have a relationship.
Our documentary explores a newly named sexual orientation, Objectum-Sexuality (OS), just beginning to surface in society’s consciousness, through five amazing characters who openly declare their desire for objects (emotional and sexual), not as fetishes, but as loving life partners. Their loves are as diverse as carnival rides, cars and sound-boards, and sometimes, huge public objects like the Eiffel Tower. For them it’s quite normal and real and all they want is tolerance as they bravely attempt to ‘live and love out loud’ like the rest of us. Above all the film challenges our definitions of love.
Animism premiered on Global Television (Shaw Media) in Canada on September 28/13 and has aired on ABC Television in Australia, Discovery Europe (UK, Ireland and Netherlands), Logo Network in the USA, Nippon TV Network, Japan, Yes TV in Israel, among others.