Showing @ various venues in Edinburgh and Glasgow, Fri 27 Sep – Sat 12 Oct

Returning to Scotland for another annual outing of politically and environmentally charged documentary and drama, the Take One Action Film Festival is gearing up to spotlight issues that many of us sweep into the shadowy recesses of our inner conscience, and spark debate about the continuation, management and solutions of these problems. Founded in 2008 by Artistic Director Simon Bateson and billing itself as showing “people and movies that are changing the world”, the programme offers a diverse selection of films and events that offer insight into issues ranging from humanitarian struggles in developing nations to the over population of the world’s most wealthy cities.

This year’s cinematic preaching includes two offerings highlighting the continuing difficulties surrounding HIV and AIDS. Both documentaries, Fire in the Blood looks at the monopolisation of the pharmaceutical industry and their reluctance to make life-saving medicine widely available, while Blood Brother focuses on the experiences Rocky Braat, an American who while travelling in India visits an HIV orphanage. There are also ecologically minded productions like More Than Honey that examines the importance of bees in food production and the alarming fact that these seemingly inconsequential creatures appear to be dying out. Particularly contentious at the moment, considering the furore that continues down at Balcombe, is Gus Van Sant’s Promised Land, starring Matt Damon as a natural gas salesman trying to convince small town landowners they should allow fracking operations on their property.

In addition to films there are live events. Not only are many screenings ended by follow up talks and discussions, but there’s also the stand-alone talk entitled Shared Responsibility, chaired by Philosophy Professor Gunnar Björnsson and Neu! Reekie!, an evening of live music and poetry with Hollie McNish and Kei Miller amongst others. Running within the festival itself is the Sisters thread; a weekend of themed movies and events that highlight and celebrate the development of the once alien concept of female empowerment. This is preempted by the Sisters Semina which invites a number of notable women to impart their thoughts and feelings on the matter.

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