Velcrow Ripper is a lot like his movies — curious, hopeful, full of electrifying ideas. He has made dozens of award winning films, including Occupy Love (www.occupylove.org) which asks: how can the global crisis become a global love story?; Scared Sacred, (www.scaredsacred.org) his journey to the ground zero’s of the world searching for transformation in crisis; and, Fierce Light: When Spirit Meets action (www.fiercelight.org) about compassionate activism. He’s the winner of over 30 awards, including two Canadian Academy Awards for best documentary (Scared Sacred), (Bones of the Forest). His 1995 feature documentary, Bones of the Forest, won twelve major awards, including a Genie Award, and Best of the Festival at the Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival. Many of his films examine the intersection of spirituality and politics.
An expert in crowd funding, he has funded his films through highly successful Kickstarter and Indiegogo campaigns, an approach that is part of a new, emerging economy based on mutual aid.
Ripper documented the events in New York City during 9.11, in Tahrir Square, Egypt during the revolution, and Occupy Wall Street from the first day. He takes the pulse of the planet, seeking stories of transformation and hope amidst the turmoil. He has interviewed many of the great spiritual leaders of our time, including Zen master Thich Nhat Hanh and Arch Bishop Desmond Tutu.
He has also been a contributor to ascent and Shambhala Sun magazines, which explore similar issues. His writing has also appeared in the anthologies, We are Everywhere and Dam Nation.
He is a co-founder of the Gulf Islands Film and Television School, and has taught film at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, and at the Ontario College of Art and Design.
He gives lectures and conducts workshops on the themes of spirituality and activism, to share his vision of transformation in a time of economic and ecological crisis. Something new is afoot, and that’s what Ripper has become a figurehead for: in the face of an unprecedented global meltdown, humanity has a tremendous opportunity to take an evolutionary leap, rooted in empathy and interdependence.
“If anyone can find the silver lining in a mushroom cloud, it’s this astounding, thoughtful filmmaker.” ~The National Post
“Defiantly hopeful.” ~ Al Franken
“We live in a time of record breaking crisis. But it’s also a time of record breaking vision. The spark of a global spring is now blazing.” ~ Velcrow Ripper