Thursday 10 October 2013

Defensora Press Release

For Immediate Release
October 10, 2013

Screening Dates Are Announced

TORONTO, ON — 6kidsProductions and Girl Edge Films, in partnership with Rights Action, announces the lineup of premiere screenings of Defensora in Ontario, the Maritimes and British Columbia, October 26 - November 1/2013.

Defensora documents the historic and on-going land and community defense struggles of Mayan Q’eqchi communities in eastern Guatemala, and their struggle for justice and remedy in Canadian courts against the nickel mining company Hudbay Minerals.

Winner of the International John Basham Award, at the 2013 Columbia Gorge International Film Festival, Defensora follows the story of sisters Maria and Angelica Choc, who lead a Mayan Q’eqchi resistance in Guatemala to reclaim ancestral lands and seek justice in Canada for the murder of Angelica’s husband, the shooting-paralyzing of German Choc Chub and the gang rapes of 11 Mayan women.

Set along the shores of Lake Izabal, where tensions run high against a backdrop and history of violence, intimidation and forced evictions, the stakes are high for the Mayan Q'eqchi people who risk their lives to protect their lands, speak the truth and seek justice in Canadian courts, and for Hudbay Minerals that continues to deny their allegations.

“Defensora is a timely documentary that provides candid insights into the brave struggles of Angélica, German and other Maya Q'eqchi' women and men in El Estor, Guatemala who, faced with the grave harm that Canadian mining operations have brought about, are on the frontline of the battle for justice in Canadian courts.” (Jen Moore, MiningWatch Canada)

October 26 in Toronto, Defensora premieres at OISE Auditorium at 7 pm. Sponsored by: Rights Action and Science for Peace. A panel presentation hosted by Rights Action will follow. Guests include Angelica Choc, Producer/Director Rachel Schmidt, Executive Producer Lee K. Toepfer, Klippensteins Barristers and Solicitors, and actress and activist Tantoo Cardinal.

In the Maritimes, screenings are sponsored by the Maritimes-Guatemala Breaking the Silence Network and will feature special guest Angelica Choc.

Dates and locations include:
 • October 27 in Halifax, Dalhousie Law School at 7 pm
October 28 in Antigonish, Antigonish Women’s Resource Centre at 7 pm
October 30 in Tatamagouche, Tatamagouche Centre at 7 pm
November 1 in Fredericton, Cinema Politica, Conserver House at 7 pm

In British Columbia screening dates and locations include:
October 27 in Vancouver, at Fletcher Challenge Canada Theatre, Rm. 1900 SFU Harbour Centre at 7 pm. Sponsored by: Mining Justice Alliance, Media Democracy - CounterCulture, and SFU Institute for the Humanities. Features a Q&A session with Producer/Director Rachel Schmidt and Grahame Russell, Rights Action.
October 28 in Prince George, at the Canfor Theatre, Rm 6-213 University of Northern British Columbia at 7 pm. Sponsored by: UNBC Geography Program, Prince George Development and Peace, UNBC Guatemala Research Group, and UNBC Department of First Nations Studies. Features a Q&A session with Producer/Director Rachel Schmidt, Grahame Russell, Rights Action and Dr. Catherine Nolin, Associate Professor of Geography UNBC.
October 30 in Victoria, at University of Victoria, David Strong Building, Rm C103 at 7 pm. Sponsored by: UVic Social Justice Studies (SJS) and Mining Justice Action Committee (MJAC). Features a Q&A session with Producer/Director Rachel Schmidt and Grahame Russell, Rights Action.
November 1 in Castlegar, at Brilliant Cultural Centre at 7 pm. Sponsored by: Kootenay Region of the United Nations Branch (KRUNA), Sustainable Mining Alliance of the Kootenays (SMAK), Nelson Amnesty International, Nelson Development and Peace, Nelson Chapter of the Council of Canadians and CMAW Carpenters Local 2300. Features a Q&A session with Producer/Director Rachel Schmidt, Grahame Russell, Rights Action and local activists.

For Defensora media interviews and info on the screening in Castlegar contact: Producer/Director - Rachel Schmidt, 250.608.0753,,,
Toronto, contact: Rights Action, Grahame Russell,,,
Maritimes, contact: Breaking the Silence Network, Jackie McVicar,
Vancouver, contact: Mining Justice Alliance, Kate Murray,
Victoria, contact: Mining Justice Action Committee, Heather Tufts,
Prince George, contact: University of Northern British Columbia, Catherine Nolin,,