Films & Video

Waking the Green Tiger

From Jaswinder Kaur Kler, Sabah, Malaysia, and Gary Marcuse, Vancouver


We need your help to translate Waking the Green Tiger into twelve languages for community screenings in Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Malaysia, the Philippines, Mozambique, Brazil and Turkey.



At the request of the Southeast Asia Renewable Energy People's Assembly (SEAREPA)  and the LEAP organization  (Land Empowerment Animals People) we are seeking assistance from translators and funders to subtitle and distribute  Waking the Green Tiger, A Green Movement Rises in China into nine additional languages for community screenings in Southeast Asia.  

Waking the Green Tiger has appeared at more than 30 international film festivals and received the Grantham Award of Merit for Environmental Journalism.

Dozens of NGOs attending the first meeting of SEAREPA in Sabah, Malaysia  viewed this documentary and immediately asked for translations and copies to enable them to travel to remote villages affected by plans for large dams The film is also being used by  EarthRights at the Mekong School in Chiang Mai to train community activists, lawyers and journalists.

The timing is good. China has recently announced plans to resume building dams that will affect neighboring countries and there are dozens of dams in the planning stages throughout the region. 

Our partners at LEAP ( have a long track record of carrying out projects in the region and we are confident that we can work with them to administer and complete this project at a very modest cost.  Here is the proposal we received from LEAP and which we hope you will support.  The results could be far reaching.


What You Can Do / Take Action

·         Read the appeal from LEAP.  Support the project

·         See the video appeal from SEAREPA at

·         Request a review copy of Waking the Green Tiger. 

·         Pass this request on to friends and supporters




Jaswinder Kaur

LEAP - Land Empowerment Animals People  
Malaysian mobile| 6.012.8270200

Tel/Fax| 6.088.270705


Gary Marcuse

Director, Waking the Green Tiger

Face to Face Media

Tel +1 604 251 0770



A message from Jaswinder Kaur

Southeast Asia Renewable Energy People’s Assembly (SEAREPA)







Speaking from their hearts, voices raw with emotion, farmers are the stars of Waking the Green Tiger, a feature documentary set within a breathtaking landscape in south western China. As they go about traditional ways of life, their worst fears threaten to become reality. The winds soon bring news that their homes and ancestral land will be flooded for a mega dam project at the Tiger Leaping Gorge in the Upper Yangtze River. With support from activists and journalists, a green movement is born to stop the dam proposed in 2004, an act that saves 100,000 people from seeing their homes submerged. Sweat, tears and determination to save a precious piece of the planet turns into a success story, and the process that leads to victory and the evolution of democracy in China is the focus of this 78-minute film.


Waking the Green Tiger is the recipient of the Best Canadian Feature Film Award, and is a finalist of the Green Film Award. Director Gary Marcuse was named Special Merit Winner of the Grantham Award for Environmental Journalism.


Paying It Forward


In September 2012, Land Empowerment Animals People (LEAP) and Save Sarawak’s Rivers Network (SAVE Rivers) co-presented the Southeast Asian premiere of Waking the Green Tiger at the 2nd Borneo Eco Film Festival held in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Local viewers, many of them indigenous people who are the target of infrastructure related development projects such as dams for power and water supply to meet ever increasing demands in urban centers, felt the fear and pain of farmers in the story. A month later, the film was screened at an indigenous community leaders gathering, and received positive feedback. “This film is very effective in creating awareness on issues surrounding the development of dams” and “It should be distributed in villages that are facing issues related to the proposed development of dams” were some responses from those who attended the Partners of Community Organisations (PACOS Trust) gathering.


The film which also includes heart wrenching footage of displaced people reduced to picking rubbish to survive was also shared at the inaugural Southeast Asia Renewable Energy People’s Assembly (SEAREPA) in late 2012. The audience largely made up of civil society representing grassroots movements, fell silent, engrossed in what they recognized as a struggle similar to their own. A tale from deep in China had become an inspiration for the people of Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, Myanmar, Bangladesh and India. At the end of the screening, requests came in for the film to be aired in the respective Southeast and South Asian nations.



Our Proposal


A large number of people who live South and Southeast Asia’s rural areas do not communicate in English. For the film’s message to be effective, and for Waking the Green Tiger to inspire those who are facing daily battles against mega projects, it must be subtitled into the respective local national languages. Voice overs would be more effective, but such a task is time consuming and can be costly, and for this reason, we are limiting this proposal to subtitling the film.


Based on requests we received at SEAREPA, we propose to have Waking the Green Tiger subtitled into:  Bahasa Indonesia, Tagalog ,Thai , Lao , Vietnamese, Khmer, Burmese, Bengali, Hindi.  After requests from Mozambique, Brazil and Turkey, we’ll include Turkish and Portuguese subtlties as well.  Add in the existing English and Chinese versions and the total languages on the disc will be eleven.



LEAP will work with our partners in the SEAREPA network to distribute copies of the subtitled film in SE Asia.  Multiple copies will be sent to the local SEAREPA focal point person for each country.  We’ll hire a coordinator in Malaysia to support regional screenings and compile reports of screenings.


It is our hope to see Waking the Green Tiger made accessible to a wider network in this part of the world, and could ideally include governments, journalists associations and schools. Most nations in South and Southeast Asia are still listed as “developing” and the push to exploit natural resources remains high on the agenda despite real concerns over rights of indigenous people, loss of land, environmental destruction and climate change.


We have fixed a timeline of six months (April-September 2013) to carry out this project. Translations are underway and technical production by Face to Face Media  is proceeding in Vancouver.


What You Can Do


Help us get this story out to communities that are on a daily basis staving off types of development that do not benefit them, or the environment. From groups in Bangladesh up against a mega coal plant that threatens to destroy the Sundarbans to civil society in the Philippines asking for their government to put planned renewable energy projects into action, everyone needs the positive energy that Waking the Green Tiger brings with it.


The Partners


Land Empowerment Animals People (LEAP)

Southeast Asia Renewable Energy People’s Assembly  SEARPA

Film Producers: Face to Face Media


Six voices from the SEAREPA  talking about  viewing Waking the Green Tiger

See their six minute video:





Something similar to this is going to happen to my country, especially people with no education or knowledge about development.

There are many lessons to take back to many other parts of the world.

I appreciate the study of multi-level stakeholders coming together.

 It’s not anti-government, it’s about dialogue and negotiation and good solutions.  It’s not on one end of the spectrum or another.. it’s a coming together of many voices.

 It focuses on the people’s movement and it talks about democracy.

Watching the film was like a fast forward of what we might achieve.

I’m working with indigenous communities that have been impacted by big development projects for about  three years now and this is a very powerful narrative to take with us.


The way the filmmaker has connected the past to the future is really exciting.  That’s different than any kind of film