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Abertay hosts Dundee’s first film festival for social change

17 March 2015

Abertay University’s art gallery – the Hannah Maclure Centre – will be hosting the Take One Action Film Festival this weekend (March 21-23).

With its unique blend of campaigning workshops, inspiring films and Q&As, the festival celebrates the people and films that are changing the world.

It is the UK’s leading global citizens’ film festival - led by film lovers, artists and globally-concerned citizens, who believe that small actions lead to big ones, and that we all make a difference.

The festival has been on the go since 2008, but this is the first time it has come to Dundee.

Global activism, urban gardening and children’s rights are just some of the many inspiring stories of social change that the festival will be drawing attention to.

The Revolutionary Optimist

Curator of the Hannah Maclure Centre Clare Brennan said:

"We are really excited to be working with Take One Action and local partners like On Site Projects and the One World Centre to bring together a film programme which is really engaging and thought-provoking.

“The movies, speakers and workshops lined up for the weekend will hopefully really inspire folk to get involved in making a difference in their local communities or across the globe if they fancy!

“In Dundee we are seeing culture and creativity used in such positive ways towards social change, so it's great that Take One Action and the local community are embracing that and building on the momentum."

Growing Cities

The event opens on Friday (March 20) with the Sheffield DocFest audience award winner Still the Enemy Within - a powerful exploration of the 1984-5 mining strike from the frontline of the struggle.

Other highlights include Growing Cities - an inspiring snapshot of urban farming in the US; and The Revolutionary Optimists - the winner of the Take One Action 2014 Audience Award, which focuses on a ground-breaking Kolkata-based child empowerment project.

In the run-up to the May elections, the anarchic and very funny Estonian film, Ash and Money - which closes the Festival on Sunday 22 March - provides a satirical unpicking of the democratic process that will appeal to fans of Brass Eye and The Thick of It.

The Festival’s Executive Producer, Tamara Van Strijthem said:

"Throughout the country a new appetite for civic engagement, political debate and engagement has grown. Take One Action is focused on harnessing this - on putting the inspiration, empowerment and confidence to make change happen in the hands of our audiences."

Everyday Rebellion

Jonathan Baxter, artist and curator of the local partnerships in Dundee, said:

“It's a pleasure to be working with Take One Action to create a documentary film festival in Dundee. There's a huge demand for alternative ways of learning together and reflecting on these issues. Connecting local and global politics is something Dundee has always prided itself on. This is a wonderful opportunity to deepen that engagement and take action in the city.”

In addition to the film screenings, the weekend will be a springboard for the brand new Take One Action Locals initiative, which offers everyone the opportunity to set up a community-run, social-change film festival or season, anywhere in Scotland.

The events taking place in the Hannah Maclure Centre are as follows:

Friday 20th March

Film screening at 7pm: Still The Enemy Within

Thirty years after the miners’ strike, this powerful documentary (“as gripping as a thriller” The Guardian) offers inspiring, first-hand accounts of ordinary people at the centre of extraordinary events – re-shaping our social, industrial and natural landscape.

Saturday 21st March

Free workshop at 10.30am: How To Change The World – one click at a time

New to the idea or practice of “campaigning”? Or need refreshing and inspiring to get back in the saddle? This empowering free workshop will give you the confidence and encouragement to make a real difference.

Film screening at 1.30pm: Growing Cities

Urban farming projects are playing a key role in helping communities grow healthier, more resilient and more united. Through interviews with budding and experienced small-scale farmers in cities across the US, this uplifting film captures a growing movement that is countering the ecological damage wrought by industrial farming - transforming parks, backyards, vacant lots and even rooftops.

Film screening at 4pm: Everyday Rebellion

From London, Ukraine and Syria, to the US, Iran and Spain, hailing the revolutionary spirit of clowns, music, ping pong and the human body, Everyday Rebellion is a moving and playful celebration of the triumph of creativity over repression, and a vibrant reminder that power must always give way to humanity.

Sunday 22nd March

Free workshop at 10.30am: Take One Action Locals

Want to show amazing films that inspire people where you live to create a better world? Find out about Take One Action Locals and connect with other cultural organisers and creative changemakers from Dundee and beyond. Travel subsidies available.

Film screening at 1.30pm: The Revolutionary Optimist

Amlan Ganguly doesn't rescue Calcutta’s slum children, he empowers them to become change agents, battling poverty and transforming their own neighbourhoods with dramatic results. The inspirational winner of Take One Action’s 2014 Audience Award.

Free workshop at 4pm: Let’s make trade fair

Corporate tax dodging by companies like Amazon and Starbucks costs UK public services billions each year, while poor countries lose a whopping $160 billion – money that could be spent at home and abroad on tackling poverty. Want to make a difference, for your community and others? This free workshop will show you how.

Film screening at 6.30pm: Ash and Money

In 2010, Estonia was rocked by a series of party funding scandals that threatened the stability of this young republic. To expose the hypocrisy and manipulation at the heart of politics, a theatre group took on their boldest, most ambitious project to date: the creation of a new political party. Was this a hoax or were they for real?

Other events will take place at the DCA and at Hot Chocolate in The Steeple Church on Nethergate. The full festival programme can be downloaded here.

Advance booking/registration is strongly advised to avoid disappointment. Please visit to buy tickets: £4/£2.50 concessions per screening. A weekend pass (all events) is just £15/£10. Under 18s go free to all events with ID - online booking still essential. Tickets will also be available on the door, subject to availability.

For more information email


For media enquiries please contact Kirsty Cameron T: 01382 308935 M: 07972172158 E:


1. Take One Action is funded by Creative Scotland and the Bertha Foundation. It organises events year-round across the country. Details of all festival/upcoming events can be found here.

2. Creative action, independent debate. Take One Action is an independent and politically neutral Scottish registered charity. Its aim is to celebrate and signpost films and related opportunities that enable Scottish audiences to debate and become active around issues of shared international concern.

• upwards of 7500 people attend Take One Action events each year.

• The festivals are aimed at introducing new audiences to inspiration, ideas and skills to become more active global citizens.

3. Take One Action Film Festivals patrons are Paul Laverty and Ken Loach, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu is its honorary Action Hero.

4. Other partners and supporters

Funders: Creative Scotland, The Bertha Foundation, Regional Screen Scotland

Additional supporters: Christian Aid, Oxfam

Local partners: OSP (On Site Projects), Hannah Maclure Centre, Hot Chocolate Trust, One World Centre

Venue Partners: Hannah Maclure Centre (University of Abertay), Hot Chocolate Trust, DCA

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