Drum roll please….

We have some lovely news for you today!

Living on the Edge has been accepted into Canada’s largest environmental film festival, Planet in Focus, within the category Best Canadian documentary.

We are over the moon! But wait, there’s more!

We finally have our official trailer. Actually we have two (both languages). Check them out!

 

Et pour nous ami(e)s francophones, voici la version avec les sous-titres en français

 

Joan and I will be traveling to Toronto from 07-09 November 2014 to participate in our first film festival ever – wow!! And yet, we both know deep in our hearts that without the poetry and magic of our brilliant film editor, Martin Charron, our film would have turned out very differently indeed. We also owe many thanks to our sound editor, Robin Servant, for his final sound edit.

And the good news doesn’t stop there: we are blessed to have two amazing women – Lucie Poirier and Kim Cornelissen – both powerhouses in their own unique ways, who have been absolutely instrumental in taking over the conception and logistics of launching the pre-screening of Living on the Edge right here in Rimouski.

These women came just in time because Joan and me are…..well…. we’re running out of energy (renewable of course, not the fossil kind)! Un gros merci à Lucie et Kim. Votre soutien est tellement apprécié!

Details about the pre-screening will be released next week.

But for now, please mark your calendars for Thursday, November 6th, at 19h in the Salle Georges Beaulieu, Cégep de Rimouski.

And in case you thought that we had forgotten about you: to all our friends living and working along the Gaspé Coast and on the Magdalen Islands, we are determined to take Living on the Edge back to the coastal communities profiled in the film. In order to do so, we are making one final appeal for donations to support this last phase of post-production: printing, distribution and promotion. If you haven’t already done so, please click on the Donate tab above to make a contribution, no matter how small, to help get the word out about climate change in eastern Québec.

Hope to see you all at the pre-screening in Rimouski on the 6th of November.

Susan

SOUND ALERT!

Just wanted to touch base with our devoted LOTE (Living On The Edge) believers.

The film is slowly but surely — and oh so poetically! — coming together. We’ve had a focus group screening and the response was an overwhelming, “WOW!”

Living on the Edge / Les berges à la dérive has been a true labour of love. We’re talking a tough labour of almost three years, Ouch!  But as I have mentioned in the past, climate change is an incredible motivator and a worthy cause. Heck, even the NHL is waking up to the threat of climate change.

So why am I sounding the alert? Well, because the sound edit is almost done! Yeah!  We’ve almost crossed the finish line…

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IMG_4873 Photo by Marie-Neige Besner

We are tying up audio loose ends like stray background noise and fine-tuning our music with sound guru, Robin Servant.

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Photo by Marie-Neige Besner

While many folks like to sleep on weekends, Joan, Robin and I have had a few early-Saturday-morning and weekend-evening sessions.

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photo by Marie-Neige Besner

Robin is also doing the sound edit for our soon-to-be released trailer. I’ll be back next month with more details on your role. We want you to Share Share Share and help us in our last fundraising effort to ensure a strong showing on the festival and broadcast circuit. I’ll be posting more information a bit later. If you can’t wait, remember, we have a DONATE button on our blog. Until then, enjoy those extra-warm temperatures, even if it’s climate change at work.

Susan Woodfine, Producer/Director

 

Living On The Edge – What a year!

LIVING ON THE EDGE – What a year!

We’re almost at the two-year mark. Who would have thought! Our story began in May of 2012, in a pitch for what was described as a web-based documentary. That original idea actually seemed straightforward, but too many good things happened along the way – including a major U-turn for Joan and me as we made the decision to go full tilt to produce a multimedia project (blog, Facebook, film) despite not having a lot of experience or proper funding.  Neither of those obstacles stopped us and we’re proud of that! Let’s hear it for climate change – it’s one powerful motivator!

LIVING ON THE EDGE – The subject!

Joan doing what she loves best.

Joan doing what she loves best.

When it comes to telling a human story of climate change, I could not have a more beautiful subject than Joan Sullivan to carry the message of concern, frustration and hope in this documentary.  Yes, it is the story about climate change in eastern Quebec and how people are being affected by and adapting to it. But it’s also Joan’s story – the story of how climate change has become her raison d’être. In my 15 years as a journalist, I have met few people who truly walk the walk.

No matter what the season, Joan is always ready to tackle a wind farm!

No matter what the season, Joan is always ready to tackle a wind farm!

In addition to the public side of ‘Joan the photographer,’ we also see a very real and raw side of her life: her struggle to establish herself as a climate change photographer and run an organic farm at the same time. As a first-time filmmaker, the cherry on the sundae for me is having Martin Charron as the project’s editor. I continue to be in awe of his poetic approach. He has forced me to stop and think about being creative in a way I never thought possible. I am truly blessed to have him on board.

LVING ON THE EDGE  – Heading into 2014

Martin will be editing the footage through January/February of next year. But the party doesn’t stop there. I then need to complete two other phases of postproduction. I will sit down with the talented James Darling who will lay down the original score for Living on the Edge. I hope he is not too frustrated with this newbie filmmaker’s many missed deadlines! That being said, James knows what it’s like to be busy. This guy is a new dad – baby number four, beautiful Viviane, arrived earlier this month.  He now has his very own family quartet! After James does his magic, Robin Servant will carry out the final phase of production – sound. Then translation and subtitles will be added, thanks to an in-kind contribution by UQAR professor Steve Plante and the Coastal Communities Challenges – Communities-University Research Alliance (CCC-CURA).

I’ll be back with more details on our screenings in Rimouski and elsewhere in eastern Quebec, as well as on the festival circuit.

Thanks so much to all those who have helped us along the way – crowd funders, sponsors and mentors.  We could not have done this without each and every one of you.

Very best, Susan

 

Speaking from the heart….

Here’s a recent article I wrote for the Heritage Lower Saint Lawrence (HLSL) newsletter, which also appears in electronic form on their beautiful new blog:

http://heritagelsl.ca/2013/10/24/living-on-the-edge/#more-844

Check it out and pass it on!  This article provides some juicy nuggets regarding the humble origins of the Living on the Edge documentary film project, some of which we had not previously shared with you.

Bonne lecture!

And don’t forget that we are still fundraising to cover the costs of our post-production phase.  Any donations are welcome — large or small!  Our most recent donation is from Pascal Bérubé, Minister for Tourism and Member of the National Assembly of Quebec for the riding of Matane.  Thanks Minister Bérubé for your generous contribution and for recognising that climate change poses risks to the tourism industry here in eastern Quebec, something that is often left out of the climate change debate.

geese, snow geese, migration, Rimouski

We are in full-swing post production with Martin Charron and all I can say is we are creating magic.

Before signing off, I just wanted to share with you one of Joan’s recent photos of the snow geese migration, taken about two weeks ago in Rimouski.  As you will soon learn in the film, Joan is constantly drawn to the Saint Lawrence…

Susan

Professor Steve Plante

If you thought Joan was passionate about climate change, then you need to meet Steve Plante. This dynamic Université du Québec à Rimouski (UQAR) professor, with degrees in both anthropology and geography, has been thinking “outside the box” about climate change for quite some time. Over the last 20 years, Plante has become an international expert in helping coastal communities build adaptive capacity and resilience in the face of extreme weather events.

Steve Plante, portrait

In addition to his professorship at UQAR’s Department of Society, Land and Development, Dr. Plante is co-director of the Coastal Communities Challenges-University Research Alliance (CCC-CURA), an interdisciplinary and participatory research project funded by the federal government’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC). It brings together 22 researchers and 11 partners from three provinces: Quebec, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.

Guided by the belief that the development of a communal knowledge base is the foundation to increasing resilience among coastal communities, CCC-CURA promotes integrated participatory governance approaches that are based upon active cooperation between citizens, local partners and researchers. To date, the alliance has designed a kit to guide communities in assessing their resilience and to better anticipate the effects of natural disasters. It’s about people, and CCC-CURA’s approach is very much bottom up, letting the people decide.

Steve Plante, UQAR

We visited Dr. Plante at his office and had a little help from Luc Tremblay, video journalist extraordinaire (and now weekend anchor at Radio Canada) who, by the way, has helped us on several recent shoots.  Thanks Luc!

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Steve Plante, Susan Woodfine

Postproduction is underway. We’re in the home stretch now! Stay tuned…

Magdalen Islands Encounter

Guglielmo Tita – Magdalen Islands

Post-production is well underway and we should be done by December, with a first screening planned for early February 2014.

It’s been great going back over all the tape that we have collected since the summer of 2012. I just relistened to a fascinating interview we had with Italian researcher Dr. Guglielmo Tita, scientific director of the Centre de recherche sur les milieux insulaires et maritimes (CERMIM), an international research centre for island and maritime studies that is located on the Magdalen Islands. CERMIM’s number one priority is protecting precious resources in this fragile archipelago of 12 islands in the heart of the Gulf of Saint Lawrence.

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Dr. Tita has traveled extensively over his life time, but for the last 10 years, he has become a happy Madelinot. Joan first meets Guglielmo in his windswept home on Île du Havre aux Maisons, where they discuss their shared Italian heritage and love of garlic.

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Then the conversation shifts to climate change, another of their shared passions. Joan learns from Guglielmo that over the past 20 years, a combination of warmer winters, rising sea levels, decreased ice thickness and coverage, and the slow geological sinking of the islands have significantly increased erosion of the archipelago’s famous red sandstone cliffs and threatened numerous homes and infrastructure including roads.

Guglielmo explains his concerns about the future of this archipelago to Joan. There is no fearmongering discourse but he does express concern as he witnesses the loss of land on a yearly basis, including the disappearance of a biking trail near a cliff as a result of erosion. He also shares his view on the archipelago’s land management vision and whether or not it’s tough enough.

Later in the interview, Joan and Guglielmo realize that they both have spent time in Africa. The conversation then drifts towards the global challenge of climate refugees, as island nations such as the Mauritius Islands in the Indian Ocean begin to experience an exodus of citizens towards mainland countries. Joan asks Guglielmo if there are any similarities between the Magdalen Islands and the Mauritius Islands? While many scientists believe the Mauritius Islands may be one of the first island nations to disappear because of rising sea levels, Guglielmo is not worried that this would happen any time soon in the Magadalen Islands. However, they discussed the possibility of increased migration and displacement towards Quebec and the rest of Canada as more and more people from more vulnerable countries will be forced to seek refuge in other countries as a result of climate change in the coming decades. We hope to bring you some of that conversation in our film.
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Take care and share this blog, let’s get people talking/caring about climate change in eastern Quebec and everywhere….

Let the Count Down Begin!

It’s officially labour day  – a gentle reminder that summer is over and fall is just around the corner.

For those in the Rimouski area, many of you have seen Joan at the local market selling garlic – another passion for this climate change photographer – it’s all related, as she explains in our film.

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Summer has been plagued with hard work, spectacular sunsets, technical challenges, back woes….but wow are we proud of what we’re cooking up!

Martin Charron Editor/Camera

Martin Charron Editor/Camera

Joan Sullivan - director of photography ...and still always passionate!

Joan Sullivan – director of photography …and still always passionate!

Susan Woodfine writer/director

Susan Woodfine writer/director

No labour shortage here – September/October will be intense as we prepare our footage to bring Living on the Edge to the big screen.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be uploading photos and feature profiles of participants.

We wrapped up our crowd-source funding campaign but continue to look for partners/sponsors so help us keep the buzz alive and feel free to share our links!