Seeing is Believing (2002)

"This is a brisk documentary that really should be played in media and journalism classes."
- Andrew Ryan's short list, The Globe and Mail

"This is one documentary that should not be missed, even if you must hold your disbelieving eyes open through the chaotic darkness."
- Vinay Menon, Toronto Star

"Fascinating new documentary... the film plays like an indictment of the mass media... Despite the often difficult-to-watch footage it contains, Seeing is Believing is essential viewing, particularly for those who still harbour naive notions that the mainstream news media will provide us with all the coverage of world affairs that we need."
- Basem Boshra, Montreal Gazette

"Le tandem Wintonick-Cizek montre comment la démocratisation des sources d'information a un impact sur la participation des citoyens, les transformant en acteurs plutôt qu'en spectateurs passifs des médias. "
- Nathalie Collard, La Presse

Over the last two years, Canadian filmmakers Katerina Cizek and Peter Wintonick have traversed the world discovering the front lines of a new digital revolution.

The resulting documentary, Seeing is Believing: Human Rights, Handicams and The News, looks at the socio-political uses of camcorders and new technologies. Inter-weaving material from contemporary video archives with original footage, the film addresses essential questions about the risks and responsibilities of front-line filmmaking, the authority of the mainstream media, what constitutes access to media, and 'who owns the truth'.

Narrative

Handicams aren't just for weddings and family vacations.

Seeing is Believing is an unprecedented exploration into the political and social uses of handicams and new communications technologies.

What happens when amateur front-line advocates pick up camcorders to document what they see? What are the risks and responsibilities? And what are the wider impacts on television and audiences? On international law and society? On documentary practice?

Co-directed by Katerina Cizek and Peter Wintonick, Seeing is Believing illuminates the work and words of key international journalists and media activists. It also shines a verite spotlight on Joey Lozano, a courageous video-activist who documents rights abuses against indigenous people in dangerous corners of the Southern Philippines. But does Joey's camera prevent violence – or jeopardize lives?

Drawn from original shooting around the world, and sampling hundreds of hours of exclusive archives, Seeing is Believing provides a dramatic window into the power of do-it-yourself film-making.

Clip

Awards

* 2002 - Hamptons International Film Festival - Abraham Award for Films of Conflict and Resolution" The filmmakers walk away with the largest cash prize in the Documentary world: US $25,000.
* 2003 - Gemini Award nominee for the Donald Brittain Award for Best Social/Political Documentary Program.

Broadcasts & Theatrical Releases

* Sundance Channel
* TVO
* Finnish Television
* VPRO Holland

Credits

Produced and directed by Katerina Cizek & Peter Wintonick
Co-producer, camera: Francis Miquet
Editor: Katerina Cizek
Lead subject, cinematographer: Joey R.B. Lozano
Original music: Eric LeMoyne
Researcher, archivist, assistant editor: Analee Weinberger
Produced by Necessary Illusions Productions in association with CBC-Newsworld/SRC/RDI

With the assistance of:
Canadian Television Fund created by the Government of Canada and the Canadian cable industry, CTF: Licence Fee Program, Telefilm Canada: Equity Investment Program, QUÉBEC, Crédit d'impôt cinéma et télévision - Gestion SODEC, Rogers Documentary Fund, SODEC : Société de développement des entreprises culturelles - Québec, Soros Documentary Fund of the Open Society Institute, THE CANADIAN INDEPENDENT FILM & VIDEO FUND (Government of Canada, Canadian Film or Video Production Tax Credit program)

Distribution

58 minutes
digibeta
English/French/Spanish

Canadian Non-theatrical Sales
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For U.S. inquiries
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All Other Territories, Markets, and Media
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