They are passionate about planet, well-being of all beings and not afraid to reveal the truth – they are the game changers in the world of documentary movies.
What Kip Andersen, Keegan Kuhn and Ali Tabrizi have in common? They all create documentaries that leave no one indifferent. Do not watch their movies if you want to keep eating animal products and polluting the Earth. They are not afraid to challenge the leading health organizations neither the pharmaceutical organizations or to even risk their lives by revealing modern slavery within the fishing industry.
Their films have been co-produced by Leonardo DiCaprio and Joaquin Phoenix.
Those people are the Game changers whose must-watch films are the reason we are honoring them in the Awakening Times.
Kip Andersen is an American film producer and writer. He is best known for producing the movies: What the Health (2017), Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret (2014), Sea of Life (2017) and Seaspiracy (2021). Andersen is from San Francisco, California, and studied at California Polytechnic State University.
Besides being a filmmaker, he is also an entrepreneur and a certified Jivamukti and Kundalini yoga teacher. He is the founder of AUM Films and Media, a non-profit firm focused on creating movies that promote compassion and harmony for all life. (https://peoplepill.com/people/kip-andersen).
He had us at first watching of Cowspiracy that starts with Kip Andersen’s narrative on how he changed his habits once he had watched a documentary “An Inconvenient Truth”: he began to recycle, turn off lights constantly, shower infrequently, and ride a bike instead of driving. Andersen believed he was doing everything he could to help the planet by following the guidelines of national and international environmental organizations, but his life took a different direction when he found out animal agriculture is the leading cause of environmental destruction. He decides to investigate what is behind the water shortages, climate change, starvation, and poverty in the developing world and during his query he finds out that most of these problems could end or decrease if more people switched to a vegan diet.
Cowspiracy is the story about people who were concerned about the environment and issues that affect global warming but by the end of the shooting their documentary, they discovered the truth that changed their lifestyle and eating habits – they switched to vegan. Even though, it is usually described as it is about environmentalism and sustainability, their film makes you think about so many other important things: how becoming conscious of our habits and their consequences can make an impact; how our willingness to question what is usually taken for granted can make a difference in the world; how decision to stop eating meat, brings not just an improvement for our climate and environment but also ends violence towards living beings.
Kip Anderson and Keegan Kuhn were the sole financial backers for Cowspiracy. Their production team was incredibly small, and they shared how they worked 10 to 15 hour days for over a year to make this film.
Keegan Kuhn is a videographer, award-winning documentary filmmaker, and professional musician living in the east bay of San Francisco. He has worked with nonprofit organizations and been involved in social justice movements for virtually his entire life. As a filmmaker, he helps organizations reach an ever-greater community of supporters with the highest possible quality films and videos. He is motivated by a deep desire to shed light on untold stories of the most downtrodden in our society and to raise awareness through greater visibility of social justice issues.
People know him best for “He is best Secret" (2014), “What the Health” and “Turlock: The documentary (2013.)” Kuhn is the owner of First Spark Media, a video production company that caters to non-profit organizations and businesses.
Ali Tabrizi is the British Iranian director who produced film Vegan (2018), a documentary that covered the benefits of plant based diet. Ali worked together with Kip Anderson on Cowspiracy. His greatest success is definitely the most watched documentary - Seaspiracy. Film starts out as a nature documentary trying to understand whale stranding but soon turns into a journey uncovering the effects of the commercial fishing industry and modern slavery within the fish industry.
The film features the human negative impact of commercial fishing, microplastics, fish farm slavery and overfishing. Seaspiracy rejects the concept of sustainable fishing and criticizes several marine conservation organizations. It also criticizes efforts by organizations to reduce household plastic and accuses these initiatives of being a cover-up for the environmental impact of fishing and corruption in the fishing industry. The film advocates for marine reserves and the elimination of fish consumption.
Ali left us in awe with his readiness to put himself in the most challenging and dangerous situations to dig out the truth. We learned from Seaspiracy that:
- The overwhelming danger to our marine life isn’t plastic but the fishing nets. And they are coming from commercial fishing.
- Commercial Fishing has a detrimental effect on Marine Life. Over 300,000 whales and dolphins are killed per year as a result of by-catch. Globally, only 1,000 sea turtle deaths per year are caused by plastic, while in the United States alone, 250,000 sea turtles are captured, injured, or killed every year by fishing vessels.
- Dolphins are killed for marine entertainment (Aquariums and Sea Worlds) and in Taiji, Japan, dolphins are unnecessarily killed because “The fisherman view the dolphins as competition,” as Tamara Arenovich of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society say: “They feel that they eat too many fish and if they get rid of the dolphins, there will be more fish available for them to catch. Essentially, the slaughter of these dolphins is a reaction to the overfishing that is happening in Taiji.”
- Fishing industry involves forced labor. In the film, Tabrizi interviewed former slaves (making sure first to protect their identities) about their experiences. They shared their stories of abuse, and even murder of their colleagues in case of disobedience.
If you feel inspired by those documentaries and you want to contribute, feel free to visit the websites of the authors, support their campaigns and decrease the level of intake of animal products or go vegan. Spread a word and discuss those movies with your friends and colleagues. As Dr. Colin Campbell (Producer and Writer of FORKS OVER KNIVES) says “The truth is a stubborn thing. It doesn’t go away”.
It is on all of us to figure out, what we’ll we do with this truth.
Author: Sanja Stankovic, TAT editorial team
Photos: https://www.imdb.com/name/nm6057112/; https://twitter.com/iamalitabrizi