AVI LEWIS, DIRECTOR/PRODUCER
credit: Saad Majoka
Avi Lewis is one of Canada's most controversial and eloquent media personalities, and has recently emerged as an acclaimed documentary documentary filmmaker as well: The Take is his feature-length documentary directing debut. Shot in digital format over seven months in Argentina, Lewis worked with a fifteen-member crew originating from Canada, Argentina and Britain. Often using two cameras or more, the crew shot in situations including 50,000-strong political rallies, a surprise visit to the IMF contingent at their hotel in Buenos Aires, violent police repressions on the capital's streets, and behind the lines of a worker-occupied factory in Patagonia. Lewis made The Take with journalist and author Naomi Klein (No Logo), who is also the film's writer. The New York Times called The Take “a stirring, idealistic documentary": it was nominated for 4 Gemini Awards, and won the International Jury prize at the American Film Institute festival in Los Angeles.
In 2002, Lewis directed, shot and edited Gustavo Benedetto: Presente!, a short film on one of the victims of the Argentine police repression of December 19th & 20th, 2001. The film played in festivals in Canada, the UK and Argentina and was broadcast nationally by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.
Prior to directing, Avi Lewis worked as the host and producer of counterSpin on CBC Newsworld, where he presided over more than 500 nationally televised debates in three years.
As host of City TV's landmark music journalism show, The New Music, in the mid 1990s, he interviewed hundreds of celebrities from David Bowie and Leonard Cohen to The Rolling Stones and the Spice Girls. Mr. Lewis was also MuchMusic's Political Specialist in those years, pioneering political “uncoverage” in two federal elections and the 1995 referendum on Quebec separation. His 1993 election night special won a Gemini Award for best Special Event Coverage.
His new television series, The Big Picture with Avi Lewis, combines hard-hitting documentaries and town hall debates. It debuted on CBC Newsworld in Fall 2006.
Naomi Klein, Writer/ Producer
Naomi Klein is the award-winning author of the international bestseller, No Logo: Taking Aim at the Brand Bullies, which has been translated into 28 languages and has over a million copies in print. She writes an internationally syndicated column for The Nation magazine and The Guardian newspaper. Her articles have appeared in Harper's Magazine, The Globe and Mail, and The New York Times. A collection of her work, Fences and Windows: Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Globalization Debate, was published in 2002. In 2004 she wrote and co-produced The Take, an award-winning documentary about Argentina’s occupied factory movement. She is a former Miliband Fellow at the London School of Economics. Her forthcoming book Blank is Beautiful: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism will be published worldwide in 2007.