Wamg Interview – Ric Esther Bienstock: Director of Tales From The Organ Trade – Sliff 2013

Ric Esther Bienstock is an Award-winning Canadian filmmaker who has been producing and directing documentary films since 1990. She’s known for addressing social issues in her documentaries like Sex Slaves, an investigation into the trafficking of women from former Soviet Bloc Countries into the global sex trade and Ebola: Inside An Outbreak which took viewers to ground zero of the Ebola outbreak in Zaire. She’s tackled lighter subjects in films such as such as Penn And Teller’S Magic And Mystery Tour.

Bienstock has garnered dozens of awards for her films including a U.S. Emmy for Outstanding Investigative Journalism, an Edward R. Murrow Award, an Alfred I. Dupont-Columbia Award for Excellence in Broadcast Journalism, 2 Geminis, a Genie, a British Broadcast Award, a Royal Television Society Award, an Overseas Press Club of America Award, a Gracie Award, 2 Cine Golden Eagles, 2 Gold Hugos, a Distinguished Documentary Achievement Award from the Ida,
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Stockholm unveils 2013 line-up

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Stockholm unveils 2013 line-up
Steve McQueen’s 12 Years A Slave to open festival; director Peter Greenaway to receive Visionary Award.Scroll down for full line-up

Steve McQueen’s historic drama 12 Years a Slave is to open the Stockholm International Film Festival (Nov 6-17) and is nominated in the Stockholm Xxiv Competition.

Starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, the drama about free black man kidnapped from his family and sold into slavery in the 1850s debuted at Telluride and has received positive reactions throughout its festival tour of Toronto, New York and London among others.

It will be released in Sweden on Dec 20 by Ab Svensk Filmindustri.

Screenwriter John Ridley, who will be present during the festival, is nominated for the Aluminum Horse in the category Best Script.

McQueen’s Hunger won Best Directorial Debut at Stockholm in 2008.


The 24th Siff includes more than 180 films from more than 50 countries.

As previously announced, the spotlight of this year’s festival is freedom but Chinese artist
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Fantastic Fest Review: Tales from the Organ Trade

A recurring urban legend is that of a business traveler who awakens in his hotel room after a nightcap in the local bar, finding himself in a bathtub full of ice and a bandaged incision. Upon examination at the hospital, he is informed by doctors that his kidney has been removed.

This cautionary tale would seem quite a fitting start for a horror film, and this year's Fantastic Fest featured a title that is reminiscent of this alleged morbid crime -- Tales from the Organ Trade. However, this film is actually a provocative documentary by writer/director Ric Esther Bienstock and narrated by David Cronenberg that will prompt many people to sign their organ donor card. More importantly, it should cause viewers to wonder what they would do if they or a loved one was in need of a transplant.

Across the world, thousands of people often wait for years
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Zurich unveils Border Lines titles

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Zurich unveils Border Lines titles
The Zurich Film Festival (Zff), in cooperation with Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (Msf), to screen six films including the new feature from Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi and the world premiere of Leaving Greece.

Six films have been selection for Zff’s Border Lines sidebar dealing with conflict situations and people in need, compiled in coopration with charity parter and international medical and humanitarian aid organization Médecins Sans Frontières.

Receiving its world premiere in this section will be Anna Brass’ German documentary Leaving Greece, which uses Greece as a basis to explore Europe’s refugee policy.

The following films will be shown at the Zff (all are documentaries except Closed Curtain):

Fire In The Blood (India) Dylan Mohan Gray

Panel discussion with the filmmaker and experts from Msf

“The only reason we are dying is because we are poor”, says an AIDS activist in South Africa as the large pharmaceutical companies take legal action against
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Julian Assange on Raindance jury

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WikiLeaks founder to judge films at the 21st Raindance Film Festival; 2013 line-up unveiled.Scroll down for full line-up of films

Julian Assange has joined the jury of the 21st Raindance Film Festival (Sept 25 - Oct 6), a London-based event that celebrates independent film in the UK and around the world.

The appointment is a controversial one. The Australian editor-in-chief and founder of WikiLeaks took refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London in June 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning about sexual assault allegations.

It is understood that he fears Sweden would extradite him to the Us, where he believes he is wanted in relation to WikiLeaks’ disclosure of a significant amount of classified Us military and diplomatic documents.

Commenting on Assange’s appointment, Raindance founder Elliot Grove said: “Every year Raindance invites interesting people to join our jury. In the past we have had musicians like Mick Jones, Marky Ramone and [link
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Hot Docs 2013 Review: Tales From The Organ Trade Is Wonderfully Nuanced

Far too often "issue" films play out as mere polemics, dogmatically reemphasizing a given point of view to a receptive audience. I often find these type of films dreary and intellectually barren, a lazy form of near propaganda that does little to engage with the subject matter at hand.There are those films, however, that manage with the constraints of a theatrical running time to genuinely shed some fractive light on a subject, illuminating not just the obvious, but the various shades of colour that a given subject represents. Ric Esther Bienstock has crafted such a rare gem of a film.Narrated by David Cronenberg in delightfully laconic drawl, this documentary tells of the the many sides of the Organ Trafficking debate. We travel to the slums...

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Hot Docs 2013 Interview: Tales From The Organ Trade Director Ric Esther Bienstock

Ric Esther Bienstock's documentary about human organ trafficking is both beautifully made and refreshingly sophisticated. I spoke with the Emmy Award winning director as her film is set to make its local debut at Toronto's Hot Docs festival.What I adored about your film was the whole notion that it opened up questions for debate without ever coming across as polemical.  How important that was to you when you tackled a subject matter like this? Well, it was imperative.  I mean, you nailed it - I started out thinking it was going to be a very black and white issue and issue, the story of exploitation, a story that we kind of read in the media and that we've seen before in other films. As...

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Movie Review - Tales from the Organ Trade (2013)

Tales from the Organ Trade, 2013.

Directed by Ric Esther Bienstock.

Starring David Cronenberg (narrator), Dr. Yusuf Sonmez, Jonathan Ratal, and Raul Fain.


The issue of illegal human organ transplants has a global impact upon the impoverished, the

legal and medical professions, and those in desperate need of a life-saving operation.

From the slums of the Philippines to a Toronto urban dwelling, the trafficking of human organs is a worldwide issue. The poor see the selling of their extra kidney as way to obtain financial freedom for their families while those in dire need of the organ spend years of frustration waiting on donor lists. A great effort has been made by documentarian Ric Esther Bienstock (Sex Slaves) to explore all the players involved including the doctors who are willing to perform operations in devastated countries such as Kosovo. Saving a life does not come cheaply as over $100,000 can be
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Hot Docs 2013: ‘Tales From the Organ Trade’ performs a surgical critique of global inequality

Tales From the Organ Trade

Directed & Written by Ric Esther Bienstock

Canada, 2013

The prospect of going under the surgeon’s knife terrifies most human beings. And rightly so. Despite the extraordinary theoretical and technological advancements of the past two centuries, no major medical procedure has a 100% success rate. Ultimately though, very few of us would balk at taking this step, if all other options were closed to us. Not even if the disease we were suffering from was poverty.

Ric Esther Bienstock’s incisive documentary lays out all of the grim facts on the table and dares viewers to leave the theatre with their preconceived notions intact. Steering well clear of sensationalist tales of men and women waylaid by bio-buccaneers who snatch people’s chloroformed kidneys while they sleep, the director tells the stories of those who “willingly” exchange their bodily integrity for another year’s worth of food and shelter for their families.
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David Cronenberg To Narrate Organ Trade Documentary

Cosmopolis director David Cronenberg has signed on to voice Tales From The Organ Trade. The documentary is produced by Toronto’s Associated Producers in association with HBO, Global TV and Canal D. Tales From The Organ Trade is scheduled to be broadcast on HBO next year. Directed by Ric Esther Bienstock, the investigative documentary tracks the global market in the illegal sales of human body parts. David Cronenberg is repped by Wme and Sentient Entertainment.
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