Thursday, October 25, 2018

SUPERHEROES AND VILLAINS DESCEND ON LONDON


Britain’s leading cosplayers arrive in the capital ahead of MCM Comic Con this weekend

  • Iron Man, Spider Woman, Aquaman, Bane and Harley Quinn spotted out and about in London this morning
·         Characters were spotted at commuter hotspots ahead of MCM London Comic Con’s launch this Friday
  • Special guest line-up includes Paul Bettany, Doctor Who stars: Colin Baker, David Bradley, Bernard Cribbins, Paul McGann and the cast from Shadowhunters
  • International comic artist line-up includes: Frank Miller, Chris Claremont, John Romita Jr and Amanda Conner

A group of superheroes and villains were spotted in various London commuter hotspots this morning, dazzling Londoners on their way to work.
Commuters were stunned to see the five cosplayers – Iron Man, Spider Woman, Bane, Suicide Squad’s Harley Quinn and Aquaman – as they made their way to work.
Dressed in full hair, makeup and costume, the troupe featuring Britain’s leading cosplayers were in London to celebrate the launch of MCM London Comic Con - the UK’s largest pop culture festival which returns to the capital from 26-28 October at ExCeL London.

MCM Comic Con draws in thousands of cosplayers, movie buffs, comic fans, families, gamers, collectors and anime enthusiasts, with the chance to meet movie cast members, authors and directors.

Fans typically come dressed as their favourite characters from movies, comics and games, which is known as cosplay – or ‘costume and play’.

Fans can enjoy free panels and exclusive screenings at the event with cast members, authors and directors; meet top UK influencers in CreatorScape, play the latest games in the GamingZone and compete in or watch the UK Championships of Cosplay.

The special guest line-up includes:
  • Paul Bettany – who plays JARVIS and Vision in the hugely popular Marvel Cinematic Universe films
  • The cast from US supernatural TV series Shadowhunters
  • Doctor Who stars: Colin Baker, David Bradley, Bernard Cribbins, Paul McGann

Other guests include the stars of popular Geek & Sundry web series Critical Role, Matthew Mercer, Marisha Ray, Liam O’Brien, Sam Riegel, Taliesin Jaffe and Brian Foster, who will be going behind the scenes of their epic Dungeons & Dragons role-playing campaigns.

Fans can experience some horror with MCM’s spooky guests Tony Todd (Candyman), Kane Hodder (horror icon Jason Voorhees), Katherine Isabelle (Ginger Snaps) and Ray Santiago (Ash vs. Evil Dead).

They will also get the chance to meet talented voice actors Vic Mignogna (Full Metal Alchemist), Veronica Taylor (PokémonYu-Gi-Oh!) and Zach Callison (Steven Universe).

Writers and artists behind the world’s biggest superheroes, including Batman, The X-Men, Spider-Man, Harley Quinn, The Hulk and Daredevil will also be shining the spotlight over the weekend.

Josh Denham, MCM London Event Manager, said “This morning’s cosplayers certainly turned heads, and that’s just a taster of what’s in store for this weekend. We are thrilled to open the doors of MCM Comic Con London and play host to the best of pop culture for our fans. We are bringing amazing talent, incredible panels and exclusive content for our fans to enjoy across the weekend.”

Panel information:
  • Slaughterhouse Rulez – director and cast members discuss the new movie
  • The Last Kingdom – lead cast members join series writer for a Q&A
  • Outlander – exclusive UK premiere screening of first episode of season 4
  • Firestorm – screening and cast panel Q&A of the new puppet TV series from Gerry Anderson, creator of Thunderbirds
  • Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse – screening and cast panel Q&A
  • Mortal Engines – Exclusive footage shown throughout the weekend 
  • Mandy – screening of Panos Cosmatos’ new gore filled horror, starring Nicolas Cage

WEEKEND TICKETS ARE SOLD OUT. For more information and to purchase day tickets, please visit www.mcmcomiccon.com and MCM Comic Con's social media pages.

Additional details about MCM Comic Con events, guests and sponsors will be announced in the coming week.


BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL 2018

Reviewed by Alan Pavelin


Each year at the LFF I select a number of smaller films from the Festival, generally avoiding the big features destined for an early theatrical release.  

Steven Knight’s 2013 film Locke was set entirely inside a car, with just a single character onscreen. The Guilty, directed by Gustav Moller, is a terrific “Scandi noir” thriller based on a similar premise.  Set in a police emergency call office with just one major character onscreen, all the action is at the other end of telephone lines, with computer technology to help identify callers and their location.  Jakob Cedergren (superb) is Asger, a cop investigating an abruptly-terminated call from a distressed woman.  This taut 85-minute film is not what it might at first seem, and has a claustrophobic atmosphere which would make it ideal for the small screen.  Cedergren,  with changing facial expressions in close-up for most of the film, is totally convincing.  Utterly gripping, very very clever, and when you’ve seen it you’ll want to watch it all over again.

Ordinary Time, directed by Susana Nobre and based on her own experiences, is a portrait of how a Lisbon couple’s life is changed by the birth of their first child.  As far as I could tell it is a documentary in all but name, with non-actors (including the baby) playing themselves, as their names in the film are identical to those in the credits.  We meet the couple’s parents (very different on either side), and various friends and other characters.  We get an idea of the effect on their work, to the detriment it seems of the woman.  Altogether, a moving portrait which most parents will recognise.

I really liked Etangs Noirs (the name of a Brussels metro station), an unusual mystery about a young man Jimi (Cedric Luvuezo) to whom a package has been mistakenly delivered, addressed to a woman in a neighbouring apartment block who never seems to be in.  He comes to devote his entire time to trying to track her down without success, until a deceptively simple ending terminates his quest.  Filmed on location, largely in the Brussels metro, the style is reminiscent of the films of the Dardennes brothers, the co-directors being Dumoulin and de Keyser.

A delightful and funny documentary from Iran, The Broker, directed by Azadi Moghadam in the style of the great Abbas Kiarostami, is set in a marriage broking office run by several women.  The clients are largely hidden from our view, but we hear about their past and present situations and current requirements.  There is much reference to “temporary marriage” (presumably cohabitation) with lots of shuffling through paperwork by the brokers as they search out suitable mates.  In one scene dozens of clients are gathered in a large room, men on one side and women on the other, as they are invited individually to advertise themselves as desirable mates.  A revealing insight into present-day Iran, which, as we have learned from other films, is far from the oppressive society of popular belief in the West.

The Chambermaid, directed by Lila Aviles, stars Gabriela Cartol as an ambitious worker in a Mexico City hotel.  An appealing character, who attends literacy classes to help her advancement, her experiences include looking after the baby of a self-obsessed woman guest, an unfortunate event involving menstrual blood, and some over-friendly advances by an older chambermaid.  There is no real plot, and, though the film is very well directed and acted, I found my attention wandering towards the end.

Winter Flies, by Czech director Olmo Omerzu, is a road movie about two teenage boys who steal a car to drive across the country.  Told largely in flashback by the older boy Mara to a woman police officer, the non-professional young actors are genuinely impressive.  Standout scenes are Mara’s near-terror when he thinks his grandfather has died, and the final clever escape from the police station.

Did I mention smaller films?  That is hardly a description of the 808-minute Argentine production La Flor (The Flower), directed by Mariano Llinas, of which I saw the first part (of three).  The film starts with Llinás explaining that it consists of six separate stories, each effectively a feature-length film, of which four have a beginning but no end, one an end but no beginning, and one is a complete story.  The same four actresses play different roles in each story, each story being in the style of a particular genre, the genre of the first two (comprising part one of the entire film) being the American B-movie and the musical.  The B-movie, actually more of a horror movie, concerns a scientific establishment in which an ancient mummy has been dug up, and just as a key fact is about to be disclosed, the story ends.  The musical, about the failed relationship between a musician and a much younger singer, has a bizarre subplot involving scorpion serum for rejuvenation purposes.  With huge close-ups for much of the time, I found these two stories (one-third of the film) strangely absorbing.

László Nemes, whose first feature Son of Saul (2015) was an Oscar-winner, has now directed Sunset, set in Budapest in 1913 as the sun was about to set on the Austro-Hungarian empire.  Juli Jakob, onscreen for virtually the entire film, much in close-up, is Irisz, who returns to the millinery store run by her parents who died when she was 2.  The current owner is strangely reluctant to employ her, and the dark atmosphere becomes ever more threatening until the trenches of WWI make their appearance in the final scene.  It’s a mysterious, sometimes baffling, film with a restless camera following Irisz around ceaselessly.  The film seemed to last much less than its 142 minutes, thanks largely to the stunning performance of Jakab.  It is due for release in the coming months.
I always find the “Treasures from the Archives” part of the Festival enticing.  This year’s selection included Some Like It Hot, but having seen Wilder’s comic masterpiece many times I looked elsewhere.  In particular there was Frank Borzage’s 1927 romantic drama 7th Heaven, which won a Best Actress Oscar for Janet Gaynor (along with two other films in which she starred) in the very first year of the award.  Borzage was the master of what might be called spiritual romanticism, often on the theme “love is stronger than death”.  7th Heaven tells of the love between two lower-class Parisians (Gaynor and Charles Farrell) at the time of the First World War. Engaging throughout, there is a striking shot up through 7 floors of a building which, to my mind, anticipated similar shots by Orson Welles in Citizen Kane.

Then I saw Alexander Korda’s 1933 production The Private Life of Henry VIII, starring Charles Laughton.  The first British film to be a big hit in America, it is mostly played as broad comedy, and anyone wanting an education in Tudor history or the English Reformation should look elsewhere.   But if you want a jolly romp through the Merry Monarch’s six wives, look no further.  Robert Donat co-stars.

Finally a film I hadn’t heard of, but which has been called the most important Soviet film.  Directed by Fridrikh Ermler in 1929, Fragment of an Empire is a similar idea to the 2003 German film Good Bye, Lenin!, and tells of a man who returns from the First World War with amnesia, not understanding that the Bolshevik Revolution has taken place.  He arrives back in what he thinks is still St. Petersburg, puzzled by all the changes, which he eventually comes to see as wonderful.  This obviously pro-Soviet film is clearly influenced by Eisenstein, with some surreal sequences and rapid montage.  I didn’t find it immediately engaging, but a second viewing might change that.

Friday, February 16, 2018

MARVEL TOPS DC WITH MOST ANTICIPATED SUPERHERO FILM BLACK PANTHER

Marvel made over $2.4bn in box office takings in 2017, $1.3bn more than DC
  • Marvel plans to release eight films this year, compared to only one for DC
  • Marvel’s Black Panther is the most pre-ordered superhero film in history
  • Marvel has a median Rotten Tomatoes rating of 73 percent compared to only 48 percent for DC

Ahead of the release of Marvel’s widely anticipated Black Panther, set to be the most successful superhero film to hit the box office, finder.com has settled the Marvel vs. DC debate once and for all. According to research collected by the price comparison site, Marvel dominates in both ratings and box office takings for comic book films.

Last year Marvel made over $2.4 billion from its movies, maintaining a median score of 73 percent on Rotten Tomatoes. In comparison DC took home $1.1 billion in box office takings last year with a 48 percent median rating on Rotten Tomatoes. This was despite the fact that Marvel produced only four films in 2017 compared to nine for DC.

More superhero films have hit the big screen in the past two years than ever before, with a total of 18 films released by Marvel, DC and others. Marvel has dominated the number of superhero movies released over the past seven years and is expected to hit an unprecedented eight superhero films this year, compared to just one from DC.

Due to be released on 12 February, 2018 in the UK, Black Panther is already breaking box office records. Black Panther has outsold Captain America: Civil War to become Marvel’s most pre-ordered film in the first 24-hours and has already overtaken DC’s Batman v Superman in advanced ticket sales to become the most anticipated superhero film in history.

For more information about finder’s study and to view further superhero stats, please visit https://www.finder.com/uk/superhero-statistics#mainhttps://www.finder.com/uk/superhero-statistics#main.

Friday, November 24, 2017

A Ghost Story

Reviewed by Alan Pavelin

David Lowery's A Ghost Story is one of the most unusual films I have ever seen.  It tells of an unnamed couple (Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara, each fairly ubiquitous these days) living in a Texas bungalow.  

Early in the film Affleck dies in a car crash, after which he reappears as a ghost, covered completely in a white sheet, with large eyeholes.  He spends the rest of the film, unseen by Mara, simply observing her grief and the ensuing events.  He even comes across another ghost in a neighbouring house, and they communicate by telepathy (with subtitles).  

In one much-commented-on extended scene, Mara consumes a huge chocolate cake as Affleck looks on (one wonders if she had a previous rehearsal, or perhaps another take!)  After Mara moves out, replaced by a Spanish-speaking family (without subtitles, implying that the ghost doesn't understand them), the ghost has a flash forward and flashback, showing what will happen, and did happen many years ago, to the location of the house (which we see being demolished).

Unlike his tremendous performance in Manchester by the Sea, Affleck doesn't have much acting to do here; in fact I read that he had a replacement for much of the time.  Mara is wonderfully luminous, I could watch her face all day.  I love long takes in films, and this has them in spades, creating a sense of real sadness and melancholy.  

Two or three reviews I read referred to the influence of Terrence Malick, though I couldn't see that because Malick's films, certainly the recent ones, have little pre-planning, unlike this film. But when, in a late scene, the ghost is actually seen by two children, it suddenly clicked as to the film I was reminded of, namely Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire, about two angels unseen by all except children.

We don't have to believe in ghosts in order to be fully involved in this beautiful film (unusually for me, I didn't check my watch at all during the screening).  It's one of those films you either love or hate.  I'm very much in the former category.

LONDON FILM FESTIVAL 2017

Reviewed by Alan Pavelin

Each year I pick out several films from the Festival which sound interesting and seem unlikely to get a major theatrical release.  This year I selected six (two in the same programme, as they were quite short).  Two particularly appealing films which I didn't catch, but which should get early theatrical releases, are Andrei Zvyagintsev's Loveless (I enthused over his previous 4 features) and Lucrecia Martel's Zama (based on a recently-translated and acclaimed Argentinian novel).  

First, however, a brief mention of the four films I saw at the 2016 Festival.  Two (A Journey through French Cinema, and Zoology) were released nearly a year later.  A third, The Secret Scripture, had a brief theatrical release in the spring, to unenthusiastic reviews.  The one I really enthused over, The Son of Joseph, had an extremely brief release and has not been issued on DVD, though it can be watched via one of the streaming services.

But now to my 2017 selection.

A BLEMISHED CODE (Anne-Marie Copestake, UK).  

A study of the work of hologram artist Margaret Benyon.  Well-intentioned and fairly passionate about its somewhat specialist subject, with some emphasis on feminism.

EQUILIBRIUM (Vincenzo Marra, Italy).  

In this impressive film a priest (Mimmo Borrelli, on screen throughout) is battling the drug gangs in Naples, while a fellow-priest prefers to keep his head down because, in his view, to do otherwise does more harm than good.  The unfussy shooting style, cutting only where necessary and with numerous tracking shots along corridors in hospitals or schools, gives the occasional outbursts of violence particular impact.  Some of the actors are non-professionals, which occasionally shows, but this very satisfying film deserves an early theatrical release.

FILMWORKER. (Tony Zierra, USA).  

Leon Vitali was already a successful actor when he landed a plum role in Stanley Kubrick's 1975 film Barry Lyndon.  That changed his life, and he devoted the next 25 years to working behind the scenes, in numerous ways, on all Kubrick's remaining films ("Filmworker" is the occupation Vitali chose to give himself on his passport).  The young boy Danny in The Shining, for example, was chosen by him.  By all accounts Vitali spent every waking hour working for his hero, who in return greatly valued Vitali's assistance.  There are several brief clips from Kubrick's films, and contributions from actors and others who worked with him, but most of Filmworker consists of Vitali, now almost 70 (though looking much older), happily reminiscing.  This documentary is about Vitali, not Kubrick.

THE MAERSK OPERA (Superflex, Denmark).  

Superflex is an avant-garde Danish collective who currently have an installation at London's Tate Modern.  This film is an opera about the construction of a controversial opera house in Copenhagen early in this century.  Sections of the film show the performers, though it seemed to me they were miming to a pre-arranged recording.  Most of the film, however, consists of various kinds of visual metaphor of the building's construction and its opening.  Very imaginative visually, though I didn't care for most of the music.

A SORT OF FAMILY (Diego Lerman, Argentina).  

The "sort of" family are a professional woman and her husband intent on an illegal adoption.  Barbara Lennie, on-screen throughout (much of the time in her car), gives an emotionally high-powered performance as she tries to negotiate the various obstacles in her path, at one point finding herself in prison, though it would probably help the viewer if some explanation of Argentinian adoption laws was available..  The unexpected ending ties the film up nicely.

THE WELFARE OF TOMAS O HALLISSY (Duncan Campbell, Ireland).  

1960s Ireland had a huge rise in mental illness, according to an academic study.  By showing what appears to be archive film of a remote Kerry village from that period, the filmmaker is attempting to explain that rise.  Whether or not he is right is for the viewer to decide.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Digital launch of Estrella Damm's short film The Little Things

Release Date: Friday, 2nd June.


Starring critically acclaimed French actor Jean Reno (Leon: The Professional) and BAFTA nominated actress Laia Costa (Victoria), The Little Things is a short film by Mediterranean lager brand Estrella Damm, following in the footsteps of their debut short film released last year,Vale, directed by Alejandro Amenabar (The Others), starring Dakota Johnson (Fifty Shades of Grey; A Bigger Splash).

Set against the Balearic backdrop of Majorca, The Little Things, directed by Albert Rodríguez, presents its two leading protagonists, a cynical ageing actor, Jean-Pierre Bertrand, and his thirty-something assistant, Laia, with completely opposing philosophies on life as they ride an emotional rollercoaster from the moment they first meet. Outgoing Laia tried to illumintae the way for Jean-Pierre during a surprising turn of events as she invites him to seize the moment; showing him undiscovered areas of the island, introduces him to her friends, encourages him to taste the local culinary dishes and sip the local beer.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Robot & Scarecrow

 Directed by Kibwe Tavares and starring Jack O’Connell and Holliday Grainger Robot & Scarecrow will be released on 31 May on the new social network Vero, as the first project to emerge from its partnership with DMC Film.

Set amidst the euphoric madness of a summer music festival, the short is a modern fairytale with a forbidden love story at its heart. Captured by pioneering south London director Kibwe Tavares (Jonah, Robots of Brixton) at Secret Garden Party, the film examines the festival experience through the eyes of Scarecrow, played by Jack O’Connell (Unbroken, ’71, Starred Up) and Robot, played by Holliday Grainger (Cinderella, The Riot Club).

The film was produced by Daniel Emmerson of DMC Film - the London-based production company run by Michael Fassbender and his producing partner Conor McCaughan. It was co-commissioned by Vero and The Space and co-produced with Factory Fifteen (Tavares’ studio) and Nexus. Producer Daniel Emmerson of DMC Film said: “Kibwe’s got a totally unique approach, and had an ambitious vision from the outset that involved animating pretty much every frame of the film. We got loads from the location and after that, it was a three year process with a small team of super skilled animators and visual effects artists, who translated the live action performances.”

Speaking about the film, director Kibwe Tavares said: “I feel the story is a weird, but straightforward, love story! The classic tale of two characters unable to be together as one is free and the other completely controlled. It’s also more than that, and is a nod to our youth culture, specifically at festivals. I wanted to create something that celebrated our love of festivals and it was amazing to do the shoot at Secret Garden Party. The characters are spectacularly portrayed by Jack and Holliday, and I hope people will really connect with it.” Robot & Scarecrow is the first film to receive backing from a production fund Vero has established with DMC Film to support emerging directors.

"Supporting the next generation of artists and filmmakers and providing them with new possibilities for people to connect with their work online is a big part of what we’re trying to achieve with Vero. We’re excited to be part of this project and to share this stunning film first on Vero” said Vero co-founder and CEO Ayman Hariri. DMC’s Michael Fassbender commented: “We’re really excited to be in business with Vero, and want to use the short film fund to build on our model of nurturing and developing relationships with emerging filmmakers.”

As a platform designed to make sharing all the things you love easier than ever before, Vero provides filmmakers with the tools to engage their audience in a new and valuable ways. All of the music, people, research and concepts referenced in the film can be explored in greater depth in the app itself – so the platform acts as not only a place to watch the film, but to explore a ‘rabbit hole’ of related content. Speaking about the partnership with Vero, Kibwe Tavares said: “Vero’s hands off approach enabled us stay to true to our creative, providing the freedom we needed to make this film. I’m so excited to share first on Vero - throughout my career I’ve tested everything online, rather than sharing in a more ‘traditional’ way. By sharing online you can directly access an incredible audience who find your work, share it, recommend it; providing evidence that people are intrigued by (and enjoying) your films.” Kibwe Tavares and Daniel Emmerson through DMC are also currently developing Kibwe’s debut feature The Kitchen which was written by and will star Daniel Kaluuya (Get Out, Sicario). Tavares has worked with Kaluuya previously on Jonah and his voice features in Robot & Scarecrow.

Robot & Scarecrow will be released on Wednesday May 31 and will be followed later in the year by the next two projects on the DMC-Vero slate: Love Pool, which will be directed by Asim Chaudhry (People Who Just Do Nothing) and John Moves In from Sundance-winner Ben Aston.


Watch / embed trailer here:
http://bit.ly/2oM0on5

Download Vero and follow Kibwe Tavares or DMC Film to watch the full film: 


Friday, March 10, 2017

MEET “BADRINATH KI DULHANIA”!



Let the colours of love fill your screens with India’s first love franchise ‘Badrinath Ki Dulhania’, releasing on 10th March 2017 through Fox Star Studios.

Produced by Karan Johar and Fox Star StudiosBadrinath Ki Dulhania is billed as a romantic comedy drama. The sequel to the vastly popular Humpty Sharma Ki Dulhania, Badrinath Ki Dulhania is a hardcore “desi romance” which takes fans on a roller coaster ride of emotions from fun, love and laughter to heartbreak, angst and tears.

Starring India’s next-gen superstars Varun Dhawan as Badrinath Bansal and Alia Bhatt as Vaidehi Trivedi, audiences will watch them lock horns and melt hearts in a film that is more than just your average ‘boy meets girl’ love story. It’s the coming together of raw and refined with a touch of ‘desi-pan’ and a ‘hatke’ definition of ‘pyaar’, which is sure to win hearts the world over. 

Badrinath Ki Dulhania is written and directed by Shashank Khaitan (Humpty Sharma ki Dulhania, Ishaqzaade), whose directorial ventures have garnered praises from both critics and audiences alike.

The music for the film has been composed by an eclectic mix of directors including Amaal Mallik, Tanishk Bagchi and Akhil Sachdeva.  Taking Varun Dhawan and Alia Bhatt’s crackling chemistry to new heights is a special twenty-first century re-boot of the super-hit 90s track Tamma Tamma Loge.

Synopsis:

Badrinath Ki Dulhania is a story of Badrinath Bansal from Jhansi and Vaidehi Trivedi from Kota and what happens when the two of them meet.
Even though they both belong to small towns, their mind-set about gender roles in society and about life in general are diametrically opposite.
This leads to a clash of ideologies, despite both of them recognizing the goodness in each other.

Will they be able to overcome circumstances to accept their love for each other? Will they be able to surpass the expectations and pressures of their small-town families to be together?
Answers to these and many more such questions make for an interesting journey of love, laughter, emotions and madness called Badrinath Ki Dulhania.


Join Badri in his search for his perfect dulhania in Badrinath ki Dulhania, out in cinemas in 10th March 2017.

Badrinath ki Dulhania is the first festive (HOLI) movie of the year and is produced by Karan Johar’s Dharma Productions and Fox Star Studios. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

GODAN SUMMIT MEETING, NEW YORK




OPEN DATA on AGRICULTURE & NUTRITION – the key to end hunger on earth

GODAN Summit 2016, 15th and 16th September, New York - http://summit.godan.info/http://summit.godan.info/

FACT

Worldwide, 800 million people suffer from hunger and malnutrition – that’s one in every nine people – with the majority being women and children.


WHAT?
Open Data is the sum of available global knowledge and includes the tools to end hunger on earth. A commitment to Open Data means the proactive sharing of information about agriculture and nutrition, making it available to all in dealing with the urgent challenge of ensuring world food security.


WHO?
We represent GODAN, or Global Open Data for Agriculture and Nutrition, formed to support and encourage open data with the aim of making the world’s accumulated knowledge and information about agriculture and nutrition available to all. GODAN is a rapidly growing initiative, with over 330+ partners, including national governments and non-governmental, international and private sector organisations.


WHEN, WHERE?

The groundbreaking GODAN SUMMIT 2016, taking place on 15th & 16th September in New York on the margin of the UN General Assembly, is the largest-ever event of its kind. For the first time in history, world leaders and prominent international figures will join researchers, farmers, students and public, private and non-profit organisations, to showcase the impact of open data for Agriculture and Nutrition around the world. The Summit will include high-level speecheshackathon by young innovators, exhibits showcasing the importance of open-data and the unveiling of the results from an online open-data revolution. The petition will be handed over at the UN General Assembly meeting in NY in September and results unveiled at the summit.

WHY?

The aim of the New York summit will be to urge world leaders to open their national datasets on agriculture and nutrition to help bring hunger around the world to an end.

“Open data is key to innovation in agriculture and nutrition – and hence, in promoting food security – by improving farming methods, enhancing food production and better informing nutritional methods and advice.”

GODAN's goal is to make all data in agriculture and nutrition freely available for better policy and decision-making by 2050, when the global population is expected to hit 9 billion. GODAN’s ultimate ambition is to achieve the United Nations’ goal 2 – ‘zero hunger’ by 2030 - ensuring food security

Agriculture Case Study - Thinking outside the box – improved farming methods in Uganda

GODAN partner, n has been using open data for the past 10 years, working successfully with poor farming communities in Uganda. BROSDI’s projects work with the poorest of the poor – people who are only able to afford one basic meal a day. BROSDI collects indigenous knowledge and rather than providing farmers with money, or instructions to follow, they empower them to form communities that can drive their own development. It does this through its network of over 300 farmers, holding regular meetings, where farmers discuss their agricultural problems and possible solutions along with local experts. All of these concerns and information are recorded and passed via BROSDI to a government agency, NARO, the National Agriculture Research Organization.  

Twelve years on, these farmers are no longer poor, they have money, they are eating three meals a day, they are helping others in their community – always looking for win-win scenarios that are sustainable, rather than relying on handouts or kindness. 

The GODAN Summit takes place on 15 to 16 September 2016 at the Hilton Midtown Hotel, New York. 
To register go to: http://summit.godan.info/