“Most of all, the documentary provides a sense of context—geopolitical, historical, social, you name it, it’s got it.”

Vue Weekly

“Doc builds a convincing case against tar sands… may make you join a protest march in Edmonton or Ottawa”

The Globe and Mail

A film by Tom Radford | Canada | English | 52′ / 42′


In an isolated region of the North, Canada’s future is being carved out of the forest at a breakneck pace.  Tar Sands: The Selling of Alberta questions how much is Canada willing to sacrifice for a stake in the 21st Century’s greatest energy bonanza.

Washington lobbyists, Newfie pipefitters, Chinese investors and Norwegian industrialists descend on tar-soaked “Fort McMoney”, a modern-day Eldorado, where rents are sky high and cocaine is rife. Up for grabs is a stake in a $100 billion energy bonanza and Canada’s economic sovereignty.

This Florida-sized “environmental sacrifice zone” has become Canada’s contribution to US energy security in the post-9/11 world.  Yet, for many, the tar sands are a global warming disaster. As Fort McMurray bursts at the seams, children from Thunder Bay to Cape Breton are made tar-sands orphans by their migrant-worker parents.  Canada’s petrodollar breaks the back of the manufacturing economy in the East.  Cancer rates skyrocket downstream of Fort McMurray, while Rocky Mountain glaciers melt and disappear.

Tar Sands: The Selling of Alberta captures the intersecting storylines of a remarkable cast of characters eager to cash in on the oil boom in Fort McMurray, Alberta.

And what about the men and women who report from the field. Are foreign correspondents allowed to tell all that they see? Or is their first loyalty to their employers? Do they merely serve as mouth-pieces for an invisible editorial line?

The World is Watching examines these complex issues by focusing on several international journalists in Nicaragua as they cover the negotiations surrounding the Arias Peace Plan in November 1987. With unprecedented access to the inner workings of ABC News, what follows is a unique portrait of a news crew in the field, as it interacts with the editorial process in the newsroom in New York City.

The film features ABC TV’s Peter Jennings and John Quiones, as well asNewsweekphotographer Bill Gentile, The Boston Globe’s Randolph Ryan, Paris-based Liberationjournalist Edith Coron and British ITN TV Newscorrespondent Jon Snow.

Produced by White Pine Pictures & Clearwater Media in association with The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, with the Participation of the Canadian Television Fund, CAVCO, Rogers Documentary Fund, and the Rogers Telefund