NEWS HUB

‘Anthropocene’ Tops Canadian Screen Award Doc Winners

By Pat Mullen
Point of View Magazine

Jennifer Baichwal, Nick de Pencier, and Ed Burtynsky are triple crown winners! The team scored its third win from the Canadian Academy when Anthropocene: The Human Epoch took the Ted Rogers Award for Best Documentary Feature at last night’s Canadian Screen Awards. The filmmakers previously won the Genie for 2006’s Manufactured Landscapes and the CSAfor 2013’s Watermark, making them unstoppable for their landmark environmental trilogy. Anthropocene also won the doc prize for Best Cinematography for de Pencier at yesterday’s awards. The win caps off a remarkable run for Anthropocene on the Canadian circuit, which included a spot on Canada’s Top Ten and the Rogers Award for Best Canadian Feature from the Toronto Film Critics Association. (Read more about Anthropocene in this profile from TIFF.)

Read the full article here.

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'Anthropocene' Introduces the Darkest Man-Made Wonders of the World

By Luke Hicks
Nonfics

Astonishment. Pure, lurid, ravishing, genuine astonishment. That is Anthropocene: The Human Epoch. At times, you have to quadruple take, and what you’re looking at still doesn’t fully click. It’s so impossible to comprehend yet such a significant achievement in scientific study and documentary storytelling. Its story is massive in scope. On the short end, it covers 10 millennia, the span of human history. On the long end, it spans 4.5 billion years, the duration of the Earth.

“Anthropocene” refers to the recently coined epoch that many distinguished geologists and scientists believe we have entered as a result of the human manipulation of the Earth and its resources. Technically, as far as the official Geological Time Scale is concerned, the Anthropocene Epoch has not been legitimized. But, as you can imagine, it takes a little while to prove that the geological conditions and processes of the Earth have been altered enough to warrant official worldwide identification and confirmation of our current time interval.

Read the full review here.

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Berlin Fest’s ‘Anthropocene’ Looks at Human Impact on the Environment

By Nick Clement
Variety

The documentary “Anthropocene: The Human Epoch,” which screens as a Berlinale Special, exists as one part of a multimedia project, conceived by a trio of passionate and dedicated filmmakers: Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier and Edward Burtynsky. The Canadian production enlisted Oscar-winner Alicia Vikander for voice-over duties and serves as one component of a vast spread of multimedia disciplines, with all efforts exploring the intense impact that humans have made on the Earth, in any number of geological ways.

Read the full article here.

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A man-made landscape is writ large on the screen in Anthropocene: The Human Epoch

By David D'Arcy
The Art Newspaper

After its US premier at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah, the visually stunning documentary heads to Berlin

The deep brown curves of a strip mine in New Mexico seem like contours of a woven carpet. So do the rows of a palm oil plantation in Borneo alongside a lush green rainforest. A vast garbage dump in Kenya has its own luminous topography, with plastic gleaming like jewelled inlay. Like glowing flows of molten lava, these and the many manmade environments observed in the film Anthropocene: The Human Epoch, which premiered at Sundance, are no less troubling for their eerie allure. Nature isn’t what it used to be.

Read the full article here.

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Berlin According to Documentarian Edward Burtynsky

By Etan Vlessing
The Hollywood Reporter

A world-renowned still photographer, Burtynsky returns to the fest as co-director of 'Anthropocene: The Human Epoch,' a documentary about humankind's harmful impact on the environment.

Favorite Berlin moment?

I spent a day with an incredible tour guide. This was in advance of a shoot I was doing for the National Holocaust Monument in Ottawa. We toured the Libeskind-designed Jewish Museum, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, the Track 17 Memorial and a number of other moving sites.

Read the full interview here.

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Alicia Vikander-Narrated Climate Change Doc ‘Anthropocene’ Nabbed by Kino Lorber

By Etan Vlessing
Hollywood Reporter

The Canadian film, by directors Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier and Edward Burtynsky, is set for a September theatrical release.

The Canadian documentary Anthropocene: The Human Epoch, narrated by Oscar winner Alicia Vikander, has had its U.S. rights nabbed by Kino Lorber.

The climate change film that explores the human impact on our planet debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival before a recent screening at Sundance and ahead of a European premiere in Berlin. Kino Lorber plans a September theatrical release to coincide with the UN Climate Change Summit 2019.

Read the full article here.

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Seville International licences ‘Anthropocene: The Human Epoch’ to Kino Lorber (exclusive)

By Jeremy Kay
Screen Daily

Seville International announced from Sundance on Tuesday (29) it has licensed US rights on Anthropocene: The Human Epoch to Kino Lorber and struck key additional international sales.

The documentary from Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier and Edward Burtynsky is the first acquisition by Kino Lorber in association with Kanopy, the free streaming platform available to college students and professors, and public library members across the US.

Read the full release here.

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“Anthropocene: The Human Epoch” Beautifully portrays the horrors of man’s new era

By Pamela Powell
Reel Honest Reviews

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

“Anthropocene: The Human Epoch” is the third film by Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky to address the environment, preceded by “Manufactured Landscapes” (2006) and “Watermark” (2013). The film, narrated in layman’s terms by Alicia Vikander, gives us a stunning visual education of our current world’s state as we leave behind the Halocene Era, one which nature provides changes, to the Anthropocene Era, where man is responsible for all of them.

Read the full review here.

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“I was Amazed That We Got Permission to Film in Russia”: Directors Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier and Edward Burtynsky | Anthropocene – The Human Epoch

Filmmaker Magazine

Whenever directors watch their own films, they always do so with the knowledge that there are moments that occurred during their production — whether that’s in the financing and development or shooting or post — that required incredible ingenuity, skill, planning or just plain luck, but whose difficulty is invisible to most spectators. These are the moments directors are often the most proud of, and that pride comes with the knowledge that no one on the outside could ever properly appreciate what went into them.

So, we ask: “What hidden part of your film are you most privately proud of and why?”

The scenes in the film from Norilsk and Berezniki in Russia have particular resonance for us, for a number of reasons.

I was amazed that we got permission to film in Russia. All our research indicated that it’s never been harder to get a North American camera crew into the country since the Cold War. And we were pushing it even more by trying to get into underground mines in the Ural mountains and into the “closed city” of Norilsk. To film in the subterranean, psychedelic potash mines, the tunnels of which span over 3,000 kilometers, we needed an invitation from the mining company. Norilsk, 200 miles north of the Arctic Circle, is a one company town of around 175,000 people. It has the largest colored metal mine (chances are your cellphone has palladium in it from Norilsk) and heavy metals smelting complex in the world, and is one of its most polluted cities. There is no road or rail access. Because of its strategic importance and gulag forced-labor history, even Russian citizens need special permission to go there. It took a long time to process the visas and I felt the odds were insurmountably against us, and that we were just going through the motions to say we had tried. Then one day they arrived. Incredible. — Nicholas de Pencier

Read the full article here.

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Sundance Film Review: ANTHROPOCENE: The Human Epoch

By Alexander Ortega
Slug Magazine

ANTHROPOCENE: THE HUMAN EPOCH SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL

Directors: Jennifer Baichwal, Nicholas de Pencier, Edward Burtynsky

Imagine yurt-like structures made of elephant tusks. Then shift your vision to bright-green pools of lithium in a middle-of-nowhere desert, with pipes flowing the alien-looking liquid from one area to an adjacent one. Grimy machinery forges red-hot iron shapes then cools the metal objects in pools with nary a human hand. These images, together, may seem like they’re from a space western or a novel set in a dystopian future, but they’re contemporary, real-life images from Earth, depicted in Sundance documentary Anthropocene: The Human Epoch.

Read the full review here.

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Toronto Film Critics name Anthropocene the year's best Canadian film

By Norm Wilner | NOW Toronto

But co-directors Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier surprised the room by giving away the $100,000 cash prize

The Toronto Film Critics Association awarded Anthropocene: The Human Epoch the Rogers best Canadian film award – and a cash prize of $100,000 – last night. It’s a despairing documentary about humanity’s devastation of the natural world, but Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier – who co-directed the film with photographer Edward Burtynsky – made a very optimistic move.

Having won the TFCA’s top award twice before, for their previous Burtynsky collaborations Manufactured Landscapes and Watermark (which claimed the TFCA’s second $100,000 purse in 2014), Baichwal and de Pencier announced they would not be accepting the prize money this time, instead dividing it into thirds and donating it to the young directors of the other nominated films, Sofia Bohdanowicz (Maison Du Bonheur) and Sadaf Foroughi (Ava), and to TIFF’s Share Her Journey project, for which Baichwal is an ambassador.

Read the full article here.

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ANTHROPOCENE grabs $100,000 Rogers Best Canadian Film Award

By Bruce Demara
Toronto Star

ANTHROPOCENE: The Human Epoch, a film that chronicles humankind’s devastating impact on the environment, has been awarded the $100,000 Rogers Best Canadian Film Award by the Toronto Film Critics Association.

The award, the biggest annual prize in Canadian cinema, was given to filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier at the association’s annual gala Tuesday night by actor, writer and director Don McKellar. Photographer Edward Burtynsky shares the prize with them.

Read the full article here.

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TIFF's Top 10 Canadian Films names 'Anthropocene', Haida-language feature

CTV News

TORONTO -- A documentary about humanity's impact on the Earth and a feature shot in the Haida language are among TIFF's top 10 Canadian features of the year.

The organization that runs the Toronto International Film Festival released its Top Ten lists of features and shorts of 2018.

View the full list for Canada's Top Ten here.

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The Sundance Film Festival’s anticipated premieres include the Canadian documentary Anthropocene and a making-of doc about Alien

By Peter Howell
Toronto Star

The 2019 Sundance Film Festival will take moviegoers from the Earth to the moon and to the deepest part of space where no one can hear you scream.

Robert Redford’s annual independent film showcase in Park City, Utah, running Jan. 24 to Feb. 3, could be called a “Triple A” event for three of its most anticipated offerings: the Canadian-made environmental exposé Anthropocene, a 50th-anniversary revisiting of the Apollo 11 lunar achievement and a making-of documentary on the horror classic Alien.

Read the full article here.

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The Art Gallery of Ontario puts human destruction on display and calls for change

By Fatima Syed
National Observer

When you first walk into the Anthropocene exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario, you stop to watch a man with mismatched boots trudging slowly over a 50-year-old landfill just outside Nairobi, Kenya that was declared full in 2001 and shut down.

You watch the man walk through what looks like a road forming a canyon. It looks like there are mountains on either side of his path, but its actually just one great, continuous mound of discarded plastic of all shapes and colours — the cheapest material to recycle across the world. He keeps walking until he meets a few more people scavenging and sorting through the garbage landscape for small things of value.

The landfill was shut down but is still active, says the description of the video: 2,000 tonnes of waste continue to be dumped there every day. And for the 1 million people who reside on and around it, the site is a primary source of income.

Continue reading the article here.

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The Artist Capturing How Industry is Transforming the Natural World

By Alexander Hawkins
AnOther Magazine

“Beauty” is not a word Edward Burtynsky wants associated with his large-format photographs of breathtaking industrial landscapes. Nevertheless, the Canadian photographer has been accused of aestheticising disaster. For almost 40 years, Burtynsky’s unsettling work has taken a bird’s-eye-view on how industry is spectacularly transforming nature, and our world. His interest, he insists, is not in capturing some terrible beauty, but rather, documenting reality in a visually compelling way. 

From a distance, the rough-hewn tiers of marble quarries, the ravaged patchwork of deforested land and the vivid strata of open-pit copper mines appear strangely alluring. The tension between the dramatic pull of Burtynsky’s photographs and the controversy of what they capture is the very contradiction that makes his work so gripping. These sites, where mass human consumption exacts its most devastating impact on the planet, have rarely, if ever, been shown in such a sublime light. It is sometimes hard to look at, but Burtynsky makes it even harder to look away.

Read the full article here.

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Edward Burtynsky surveys the devastating scale of man’s footprint on the planet

By Tom Seymour
Wallpaper*

he Anthropocene photographs are huge, imposing and impossibly detailed, designed to stimulate in us a sense of awe – both of the beauty of the natural world, and the destruction our species has wrought upon it. They are images, the photographer says, ‘of a predator species run amok’. But few realise how personal these photographs are to Edward Burtynsky, nor how much they link to his early life.

Read the full article here.

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The devastating environmental impact of human progress like you've never seen it before

By Nicola Davidson
WIRED UK

In 1976, when he was a first-year student of photography at Ryerson Polytechnic Institute, in Toronto, Edward Burtynsky was given an assignment that would come to shape his working life. Instructed to go out and photograph “evidence of man”, he initially thought of ruins. What better evidence of man’s passing than something built a long time ago? But this was Canada, not Athens, and ancient ruins were hard to find. Burtynsky recalled that in his hometown, St. Catharines, there were remnants of the old shipping canals that had connected Lake Erie and Lake Ontario in the 1800s. He began shooting images of the sections he could find: abutments and walls that had once been part of an ambitious man-made system and now served, he thought, as an imprint – evidence of how human beings have irrevocably reshaped the land.

By and large, Burtynsky is still at work on that first-year assignment, only now he uses better cameras and criss-crosses the globe. His images are vast and uncanny landscapes of quarries, mines, solar plants, trash piles, deforestation and sprawl – pictures of depletion and desecration that are testament to the collective impact of humankind. Yet Burtynsky’s photos are not depressing. They are reverential and painterly, capturing gargantuan industrial processes in fine detail. He achieves such a quality by shooting in high resolution and by being an enthusiastic adopter of new technologies, such as drones and 3D imaging. He has started to think of himself not so much as a photographer but a “lens-based visual artist”. “Now when I’m in the field I’m working with still cameras, film cameras, and shooting VR and for AR,” he says. “There could be five different forms. I just apply what I believe is the best lens-based experience for the subject that I’m looking at.”

Today, Burtynsky is Canada’s best-known photographer, and his work has been acquired by 60 museums, including the MoMA and Tate Modern. Over the past decade or so, he has been immersed in The Anthropocene Project, a multimedia collaboration with the filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier, comprises photographs, a feature film, a book and simultaneous exhibitions at the Art Gallery of Ontario and National Gallery of Canada.

Read the full article here.

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The Anthropocene Project

By Bel Jacobs
HowNow Magazine

In face of current environmental events, debate around whether or not mankind now exists in the Anthropocene  - an epoch in which human are the single most defining force on the planet and introduced in 2000 by chemist and Nobel Prize winner Paul Jozef Crutzen- seems to akin to re-arranging shells on the beach before a tidal wave. From carbon dioxide emissions to rising sea levels, human impact is undeniable and, almost always, devastating. 

There is no uncertainty about the moniker for the pointedly named Anthropocene Project. Documentary makers Nicholas de Pencier and Jennifer Baichwal and photographer Edward Burtynsky have travelled the world, filming the effects that mankind has had on the planet to create a multi-media project that includes a lavish Steidl art book, a gut-wrenching documentary film, an educational programme and Burtynsky’s devastating high resolution murals.

Canadian-born Burtynsky has form in capturing the monumental on film. For over 35 years, he has documented sweeping views of nature drastically altered by human industry. His work occupies the conflicting realms of visual beauty and environmental destruction. “It’s important to me that my pictures are attractive,” Burtynsky told the British Journal of Photography. “But beneath the surface there’s always a bigger, deeper environmental issue.”

Terraforming of the earth through mining, urbanisation, industrialisation and agriculture; the proliferation of dams and the pollution of waterways; the acidification of oceans due to climate change; the pervasive presence of the so-called techno fossils, persistent human materials such as concrete, aluminium and, of course, plastic; unprecedented rates of deforestation and species extinction: the scars humans have left on earth will last long after we have gone.

Read the full article here.

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