We are excited to announce that this year we will have a room dedicated to showing powerful and impactful films both days of Portland VegFest.
10:30amCowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret is a groundbreaking feature-length environmental documentary following intrepid filmmaker Kip Andersen as he uncovers the most destructive industry facing the planet today – and investigates why the world’s leading environmental organizations are too afraid to talk about it.
Animal agriculture is the leading cause of deforestation, water consumption and pollution, is responsible for more greenhouse gases than the transportation industry, and is a primary driver of rainforest destruction, species extinction, habitat loss, topsoil erosion, ocean “dead zones,” and virtually every other environmental ill. Yet it goes on, almost entirely unchallenged.
As Andersen approaches leaders in the environmental movement, he increasingly uncovers what appears to be an intentional refusal to discuss the issue of animal agriculture, while industry whistle blowers and watchdogs warn him of the risks to his freedom and even his life if he dares to persist.
The Ghosts in Our Machine
1:00pmWith the exception of our companion animals and a few wild and stray species within our urban environments, we experience animals daily only as the food, clothing, animal-tested goods and entertainment we make of them. This moral dilemma is often hidden from our view.
This multi-award winning documentary gently removes our blinders by illuminating the lives of individual animals living within and rescued from the machine of our modern world. Through the heart and photographic lens of acclaimed photographer Jo-Anne McArthur, we become intimately familiar with a cast of non-human animals. The film follows Jo-Anne over the course of a year as she photographs animal stories in North America and in Europe. Each story is a window into global animal industries: Food, Fashion, Entertainment and Research. 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?
National Volunteer Coordinator at Mercy For Animals, Mikael Roldsgaard Nielsen, will be introducing the film and host a post screening Q&A.
Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead
3:45pmWhile talking to more than 500 Americans about food, health and longevity, it's at a truck stop in Arizona where Joe meets a truck driver who suffers from the same rare condition. Phil Staples is morbidly obese weighing in at 429 lbs; a cheeseburger away from a heart-attack. As Joe is recovering his health, Phil begins his own epic journey to get well.
What emerges is nothing short of amazing – an inspiring tale of healing and human connection. Part road trip, part self-help manifesto, FAT, SICK & NEARLY DEAD defies the traditional documentary format to present an unconventional and uplifting story of two men from different worlds who each realize that the only person who can save them is themselves.
Mia T. Rex will be introducing the film and host a post screening Q&A.
10:30amThe film stars Jason James Richter (Jesse) as a delinquent boy who becomes attached to a captive orca, the film's eponymous "Willy." When Jesse learns that Willy is to be killed by the aquarium owners, Jesse risks everything to free the whale. Free Willy features a star performance by a killer whale named Keiko, and spawned two sequels. Filmmaker Theresa Demarest will be introducing the film and host a post screening Q&A.
Keiko: The Untold Story of the Star of Free Willy
1:00pmGiving an astonishing performance, Keiko swam straight into the hearts of millions upon the debut of Free Willy in 1993. So it was quite a jolt when his fans discovered that, unlike his fictional counterpart, Keiko was not free. This is the amazing story of what actually happened with Keiko. The film takes the viewer on Keiko’s journey, explores his strong will to survive, and enjoys his enormous embrace of his own freedom.
Filmmaker, Theresa Demarest will be introducing the film and host a post screening Q&A.
3:15pmNational surveys show that the majority of Americans are opposed to the inhumane treatment of farm animals. In fact, Americans are in opposition to the very treatment animals face every day on factory farms. This disconnect that people have between the food they buy and the industries they support is exactly what agribusiness counts on to maintain its bottom line.
Fowl Play illuminates the plight of factory-farmed laying hens through interviews with people who are fighting diligently to save them. A story of hope emerges as footage recorded inside battery cage and other facilities is balanced with personal accounts of the individuals working to protect the often-forgotten victims of the egg industry.
Former undercover investigator, T.J. Tumasse, will be introducing the film and host a post screening Q&A with Projects Manager for United Poultry Concerns, Hope Bohanec.
5:15pmSee information and trailer at top of page.