Director/Producer: Jen Muranetz, Cinematographer/Producer: Sepehr Samimi

In the dense coastal temperate rainforests in Pacheedaht territory on southwestern Vancouver Island, one of the largest acts of civil disobedience in Canadian history is unfolding. This is a poetic and in-depth immersion into the forest activists blockading logging roads on Vancouver Island in a fervid attempt to stop old growth logging in Fairy Creek.

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Under the invitation of Pacheedaht elder Bill Jones, the grassroots organization known as Rainforest Flying Squad has been halting old growth logging in the Fairy Creek watershed. What started as a dozen people pitching their tents in the middle of a logging road on August 9, 2020 has now grown to a mass movement of thousands of people standing up to protect the last unlogged valley of ancient forest on southern Vancouver Island. 

So far, more than 500 forest defenders have been arrested for locking themselves into trees and innovative contraptions known as 'hard blocks' to slow down and prevent the logging industry from accessing the Fairy Creek watershed.

STANDING WITH THE ANCIENTS is a poetic and in-depth immersion into the forest activists and their fervid attempt to stop old growth logging. This hybrid mid-length (~45-min) character-driven documentary brings viewers behind the scenes and to the frontlines of the movement to experience the ever-changing interpersonal dynamics, sophisticated camp structures, blockade burnout, momentary successes, and the centering of indigenous leadership and sovereignty in these untouched ancient forests. 

By documenting this rare and in-progress cultural moment, our film will humanize the frontline forest protectors and bridge perspectives within British Columbia's complex forestry industry and climate activism.

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