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It’s an amazing line-up of movies this year. With so many to choose from, it was hard decide which to see and which to wait until their theatrical or Netflix release. I did count myself lucky to be among one of two packed audiences at the Bloor Hot Docs theatre to see the Canadian premiere of the Greenpeace bio pic How to Change the World.

Having worked on several stories about Greenpeace and its co-founder Robert Hunter, it was particularly rewarding to see (and hear) how British director, Jerry Rothwell, used the narrative from Hunter’s eight books to bring the Greenpeace story to the big screen.

Casting Hunter as the reluctant leader of an eclectic band of early Greenpeace co-founders, the film follows these unlikely heroes through three key campaigns: The initial voyage to stop nuclear testing on the island of Amchitka, the campaign to save the whales from Russian whalers off the coast of California, and the controversial campaign to stop the annual seal hunt in Newfoundland. The documentary uses these three chapters as acts to show the inspiration and pluck, struggle and success, and eventual breakup of the founding team.

CineFocus Canada’s own film Greenpeace, A Canadian Discovery was produced in 1996 for the Discovery Channel to celebrate the organization’s 25th anniversary. Be sure to check out Green Heroes’ short video profile and the half hour TV episode for more inside stories of Greenpeace from Hunter’s daughter, Emily and his wife Bobbi.

More than 40 years later, it is still incredibly moving to hear the passion of the original founders and see their exploits come to life in footage of their fantastic and inspired voyages. It’s an experience not to be missed.

Watch How to Change the World when it airs on CTV in December 2015 or look for it at an upcoming film festival.

Winners of the inaugural GreenHeroes contest were announced at a
special awards ceremony at Toronto’s Green Living Show Sunday. These
seven category winners were introduced to the audience at the Direct Energy Centre:

Save our Seas and Shores’ Mary Gorman (In Our Backyard Hero)
Pedestrian Sundays’ Yvonne Bambrik (Simple Changes Matter Hero)
Eco-Laundry Room partner, Paul Bichler (Simple Changes Matter)
Carrot Greenroom’s Zora Ignajatovic (Groundbreaking Hero)
Planet Traveller’s Tom Rand (Energy Saving Hero)
Green Realtor, Chris Chopik (Energy Saving Hero)
Eco-Comedian, Josh Rachlis (Unique Hero)

Some of our category winners at our booth

The category winners were also finalists in a special juried competition
for the top prize – an appearance in their own TV episode of
GreenHeroes on TVO. The lucky winner of this Grand Prize was Mary Gorman!

Mary was inspired to take action to stop oil and gas development in
the Gulf of St. Lawrence after the Canada-Nova Scotia Petroleum
Board issued two leases for oil and gas development on both sides
of spectacularly beautiful Cape Breton Island where she lives. This
unstoppable hero’s story will be profiled in an episode of GreenHeroes
on TVO next season.

To find out more about the contest winners and to nominate yourself or someone you know in this year’s contest go to: http://www.GreenHeroes.tv/gallery

Who is a GreenHero? For John Bessai and Joan Prowse, creators
of the TV series and web channel GreenHeroes it is someone with a
good story to tell, someone who acted on an idea rather than waiting
for someone else to do it, and who applied “out of the box” thinking
to help solve an environmental problem. Despite adversity and critics
they are succeeding in their goal and are now sharing their experience
and insight with others. GreenHeroes is a selection of great stories about people turning apathy to action.

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