Scientists, writers and artists join Hubert Reeves and Frédéric Lenoir to sound a warning: biodiversity is under threat. While some humans are responsible for this crisis, others, in growing numbers, are tackling it head on and forging solutions.
In this film dedicated to future generations, they remind us that life in all its forms is a fascinating and touching mystery ... and that it is up to us to preserve it!
MEET THE ACTORS OF CHANGES
Deep-sea explorer Edith A. Widder, a MacArthur Fellowship recipient, combines expertise in oceanographic research with technological innovation in her efforts to reverse the global trend of marine ecosystem degradation.
She holds a BSc in biology from Tufts University and an MSc in Biochemistry and a PhD in Neurobiology from University of California, Santa Barbara. Certified as a Scientific Research Pilot for Atmospheric Diving Systems in 1984, she is qualified to use the deep-diving suit Wasp as well as the single-person untethered submersibles Deep Rover and Deep Worker. She has made over 250 dives in Johnson Sea Link submersibles, and her research involving submersibles has been featured in produc- tions for BBC, PBS, Discovery Channel and National Geographic.
A specialist in bioluminescence, she is at the forefront in helping design and invent new submersible instrumen- tation and equipment that enable unobtrusive deep-sea observation. Her innovations have served to film rare sharks, jellyfish and crustaceans, discover a new species of large squid and, in 2012, record the first-ever footage of a giant squid (Architeuthis) in its natural habitat. In 2005, she established the non-profit Ocean Research & Conservation Association, dedicated to the protection and restoration of aquatic ecosystems and the species they sustain through the development of innovative technologies and science-based conservation action.
Élise Desaulniers, Executive Director of the Montreal SPCA, is an independent researcher and the author of Je mange avec ma tête (2011), Cash Cow (2013) and Le défi végane 21 jours (2016).
In 2015, she won the grand prize for independent journalism in Quebec (Opinion category) for a text on feminism and anti-speciesism.
Her books have been translated into English, Italian, Spanish and Catalan and adapted for France.
Emmanuelle Pouydebat has been observing animals for nearly twenty years, questioning received ideas about human uniqueness. She earned her PhD at Collège de France under the direction of the well-known paleontologist Yves Coppens, working as his teaching and research assistant with a particular focus on manipulation skills and the use of tools. After lecturing for a time at the university, she joined France’s National Center for Scientific Research (CNRS) as an accredited research director in the Adaptive Mechanisms and Evolution lab, which she now heads.
In her book L’intelligence animale, cervelle d’oiseaux et mémoire d’éléphants (Animal Intelligence: Bird Brains and Elephant Memory), she puts humans in their place, showing that they represent a mere drop in the ocean of evolution and that intelligence is an adaptive function shared by all animals.
Jérôme Dupras is the bass player for Les Cowboys Fringants and chair of the band’s environmental protection foundation.
Concurrent with his musical career, he teaches in the Department of Natural Sciences at Université du Québec en Outaouais and conducts research at the Institut des sciences de la forêt tempérée, where he heads the Ecological Economics Lab. He holds a PhD in geography from Université de Montréal and a postdoctoral degree in biology from McGill University.
He co-founded the Green Belt Movement in 2012 and is actively involved with many research centres and environmental organizations.
Executive Director, David Suzuki Foundation, Quebec and Atlantic Canada, and Chair, Climate Reality Canada
Karel Mayrand heads the operations of the David Suzuki Foundation in Quebec and Atlantic Canada and serves as chair of Climate Reality Canada, the Canadian component of the global organization founded by Al Gore. He also sits on the board of the Cowboys Fringants Foundation. His credits as author or co-author include Demain, Le Québec (2018), Ne renonçons à rien (2017, with the Faut qu’on se parle collective), Une voix pour la Terre (2012) and Governing Global Desertification (2006), as well as the environmental manifesto Manifeste pour un Élan Global (2015), signed by 42,000 people.
Before joining the David Suzuki Foundation in 2008, he served for more than a decade as advisor on globalization and environmental issues to international agencies and former Quebec Premier Pierre Marc Johnson. In 2002, he co-founded
MUnisféra, an international strategic advisory firm, where he established the greenhouse gas offset program Planetair. Named an Action Canada Fellow in 2005, he was a finalist for the 2008 Arista award for socially responsible entrepreneurship in Quebec
A graduate of McGill University’s transsystemic law program, Karine Péloffy was called to the Quebec Bar in 2007 and holds an MSc in Environmental Change and Management from the University of Oxford. As executive director of the Quebec Environmental Law Centre since 2014, she has been active in cases aimed at protecting endangered species, notably the belugas at Cacouna and the Western chorus frog at La Prairie. Her expertise in climate change law comes into play in innovative legislative approaches and national and international legal remedies.
As a member of the Multi-Interest Advisory Committee on the environmental assessment review process appointed by the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, she heads the working group on climate change. She has published articles on climate change litigation and is part of a multidisciplinary effort involving three Canadian universities to provide
Pinput on the inclusion of a “climate test” in federal environmental assessments.
In 2015, she was named Lawyer of the Year (Alternative Career category) by the Young Bar of Montreal. Early in her career, she practiced commercial litigation at a Montreal firm. She later worked with an NGO as a lawyer for Congo Basin forest communities and volunteered with envi- ronmental and social justice initiatives in Central America, Africa, Europe, Australia and Southeast Asia.
Philosopher, sociologist and religious historian Frédéric Lenoir holds a PhD from France’s School of Advanced Studies in Social Sciences (EHESS), where he is a research associate.
He is the co-founder, with Martine Roussel-Adam, of Fondation SEVE, Savoir Être et Vivre Ensemble, whose core mission is to train people to lead philosophy and meditation workshops in schools. In May 2017, he founded Ensemble pour les Animaux, an association committed to bettering human-animal relations and working with other associations to defend animal welfare.
The author of more than forty publications (essays, novels, fables, encyclopaedias) translated into some twenty languages, he also writes plays, screenplays and comic-style books.
World-renowned for his cold-water cinematography, Mario Cyr has worked on more than 150 productions for National Geographic, Discovery Channel, BBC, The Walt Disney Company, NHK, France 2, TF1 and others. Between 2001 and 2007, he participated in polar expeditions aboard the Sedna as master diver and underwater videographer. His images have earned him an Emmy Award nomination for Ice Bear 3D, the Palme d’Or at the Festival mondial d’Antibes for Toothed Titans (National Geographic), and a César for his work on Oceans (Disney). His pioneering feats include filming walruses underwater (1991) and capturing polar bears beneath the surface without protective gear (2011).
Since 2001, he has exhibited his photographs and given more than 500 talks on his specialty in Canada, Europe and Asia. This year, he is sharing his knowl- edge in an immersive event called “Mario Cyr – Les yeux de la mer (The Eyes of the Sea),” slated for twenty presentations across Quebec. Like a “Spielberg of the deep,” he uses images to recount his adventures and discoveries and the beauty of the animal worlds he has explored. Nature appears in all its splendour as a legacy to be preserved.
Michel Labrecque has been Curator and Head of scientific research and development at the Montreal Botanical Garden since 1997. He is also an adjunct professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Université de Montréal.
As a specialist in ecophysiology, his research touches on environmental issues and explores the adaptive mechanisms of plants subjected to various types of stress. For several years he has been working on phytoremediation, studying the use of plants to absorb toxic trace elements and degrade organic contaminants. This work focuses on the restoration of brownfields and former mining and oil industry sites.
He has supervised or co-supervised the theses of some forty graduate students and post-doctoral fellows. As author or co-author, he has published nearly a hundred peer-reviewed articles and given
L as many lectures in Canada and abroad. He served as chair for the 2000 International Symposium on the Tree and for the 2007 International Workshop on
Environmental Applications of Willows and Poplars.
In 2007, he co-founded the Société québécoise de phytotechnologie. In 2017, he chaired the 14th International Conference on Phytotechnologies, held in Montreal and attended by close to 400 specialists from 50 countries.
Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, plant ecologist, writer and SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse, New York. She has taught courses in botany, ecology, ethnobotany, indigenous environmental issues as well as a seminar on the application of traditional ecological knowledge to conservation. A co-founder and past president of the Traditional Ecological Knowledge section of the Ecological Society of America, she serves as a Senior Fellow for the Center for Nature and Humans. Of European and Anishinaabe ancestry, she is an enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation.
As a writer and scientist, her interest in restoration extends to both ecological communities and our rela- tionships to land. She has authored numerous scientific papers on the ecology of mosses and restoration ecology, and on the contributions of traditional ecological wisdom to our understanding of the natu- ral world. Her literary writings on biology include essays, published in Whole Terrain, Adirondack Life, Orion and several anthologies, as well as books. Gathering Moss, which combines traditional indigenous knowledge with scientific perspectives, was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for Nature Writing in 2005. Her latest book, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants (2013), won the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award. She has been writer-in-residence at Andrews Experimental Forest, Blue Mountain Center, Sitka Center and Mesa Refuge
Farmer, permaculturist, teacher, biologist, designer, author and speaker Stefan Sobkowiak has given more than 500 talks and workshops to all manner of groups and audiences in France, Switzerland, Sweden, New Zealand and the U.S. He taught at McGill University for eight years, and for twenty years worked as a biologist and designer running a landscape architec- ture firm specializing in wildlife habitat design.
An inveterate inventor and designer since childhood, he is now trying to restrict himself to permaculture farming, his latest passion. For the past two decades, his focus at Miracle Farms has been on transforming a conventional apple orchard into an abundance of biodiversity that virtually takes care of itself. After the necessary transition period and five years of organic growing, he realized that organic was not the answer. This led to The Permaculture Orchard, which is documented in the film of the same name
DON'T MISS OUR SHOW
APRIL 29 AT 4:30pm
VANCOUVER,ON,The Park Theatre(3440 Cambie St.)
WINNIPEG,MB,Cineplex Odeon McGillivray and VIP Cinemas(2190 McGillivray Boulevard)
CALGARY,AB,Cineplex Odeon Eau Claire Market Cinemas(#90, 200 Barclay Parade S.W.)
HALIFAX,NS,Cineplex Cinemas Parklane(5657 Spring Garden Road)
OAKVILLE,ON,Cineplex Odeon Winston Churchill Cinemas(2081 Winston Park Dr.)
TORONTO,ON,Cineplex Cinemas Yonge-Dundas and VIP(10 Dundas Street East)
OTTAWA,ON,Cineplex Odeon South Keys Cinemas(2214 Bank Street)
PETERBOROUGH,ON,Galaxy Cinemas Peterborough(320 Water St.)
SUDBURY,ON,SilverCity Sudbury Cinemas(355 Barrydowne Road)