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By Zeynep Devrim Gursel

Coffee Futures weaves individual fortunes with the story of Turkey's decades-long attempts to become a member of the European Union. Promises and predictions made by politicians, both foreign and domestic, are juxtaposed with the rhetorics and practices of coffee fortune telling.

The widespread custom of coffee fortune telling in Turkey is an everyday communication tool. Coffee fortunes are a way of dealing with hopes, fears and worries, as well as a method of indirectly voicing matters usually left unspoken. Like any language, this narrative form has its protocols, rules and tropes; yet each fortune bears distinct marks of the teller's personal style and the individual fortune seeker's condition.

Thus, the filmmaker sets out to seek her fortune and flip her cup for a couple dozen people, both friends and strangers. These amateur fortune tellers all read her individual fortune as they might any other day, except that she also asks for their opinions on the future of Turkey and Europe.

July 31, 2009 marked the 50th year anniversary of Turkey's application to apply to the elusive European Union (maiden name: European Economic Community). On this seemingly endless path, Turkey's future is continually invoked and described, yet not quite within reach. Touching upon the psychology of collective waiting and anticipating a national future, Coffee Futures attempts to render the emotional texture of a society whose fate has been nationally and internationally debated - often in relation to its "Europeanness" - for a long, long time.

  • "Perhaps one way to cope with the never-ending European torture is to start enjoying it. Zeynep Gursel's film is a big step in that direction. I never thought the EU process could be so funny! " - Haluk Sahin Director, Department of Television News and Programming, Istanbul Bilgi University, Columnist, Radikal newspaper

  • "With wonderful subtlety and grace Zeynep Gursel employs the traditional narrative of coffee-grounds reading to talk about the future of Turkey vis-a-vis the European Union. What is even more central to Coffee Futures is the bricolage of types, a broad canvas of Turkish citizens all united by the same custom, telling the future through their particular emotional and social approach. This is a timely, provocative and artful project. " - Karen Barkey Professor of Sociology, Columbia University

  • "Coffee Futures is a delightful, engaging and brilliant short film about Turkey's ambivalent relationship with the European Union. Along the way, filmmaker and anthropologist Zeynep Gursel introduces us to everyday Turkish culture and society. Gursel deftly weaves together parallel narratives about personal fortunes in love and marriage and the future of Turkish-EU relations. This film is sure to both amuse and enlighten students about the problematic 'courtship' between Turkey and the EU. " - Melani Cammett Associate Professor of Political Science, Brown University

  • EurActiv Award for Debating Europe Nationally, Special Jury Award for Originality, Brussels, 2009
  • Audience Award - Short Film, IF Istanbul Independent Film Festival, 2010

    Item no.: GC03790742
    Format: DVD (Color)
    Duration: 22 minutes
    Copyright: 2009
    Price: USD 167.00

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    By John Ankele, Anne Macksoud

    This incisive and multifaceted documentary explores the inextricable economic and environmental connections between farmers in Latin America, coffee drinkers in the U.S., and the fate of migratory songbirds throughout the Americas. The film powerfully demonstrates how coffee drinkers in this and other developed countries hold in their hands the fate of farm families, farming communities, and entire ecosystems in coffee-growing regions worldwide.

    Birdsong and Coffee is divided into two sections. The first examines the background and global intricacy of the "coffee crisis, " an ongoing situation that Seth Petchers of Oxfam International describes as a "humanitarian catastrophe." Coffee is the second most-traded commodity on earth, after oil. Interweaving a wide array of expert commentary, the film shows that 25 million coffee growers worldwide are paid a mere pittance in the corporate marketplace while bearing the full brunt of global price fluctuations.

    When prices crash, farmers go hungry and their children are forced to drop out of school. Families are separated, communities disintegrate, and the land is cleared for other crops or other means of livelihood. Such clearing of the land - like the more "efficient" process of sun-grown coffee production - disrupts the ecosystem in ways that have deadly consequences for migratory songbirds, in particular, and for global ecological balance, in general.

    To illustrate, we meet the coffee growers of Agua Buena in the rainforest of southern Costa Rica, who welcome us into their homes and fields and describe in their own words the labor-intensive process of shade-grown coffee production. Their lives vividly exemplify the unjust effects of global market mechanisms that keep coffee growers' prices down even as the retail prices for coffee increase in the U.S.

    The second section of the film examines a variety of simple but effective solutions to the coffee crisis based on what Robert Rice of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center calls the "natural organic connection that exists between farmers, coffee drinkers, and birds." Featured are students, faculty, and staff at the University of California at Santa Cruz, who introduce and explain the rationale behind and the importance of Fair Trade coffee. They and others demonstrate that by changing our buying habits, coffee consumers can not only guarantee farmers a fair price and a sustainable livelihood, but also protect migratory songbirds and the global environment - all while enjoying the highest-quality coffee, sometimes even sent directly to our homes by the farmers themselves.

    The film also clearly explains the differences between market designations for coffee such as Free Trade, Fair Trade, Fair Trade Organic, Fair Trade Direct, and Bird-Friendly and Shade Grown, and it concludes by suggesting ways for viewers to become involved in the Fair Trade movement in their own communities.

  • "Using coffee as the central theme, this documentary illustrates the intersection between social, economic, political, and environmental issues. It is an excellent tool for courses that want to provide an interdisciplinary perspective to students. It also illustrates very effectively the importance of the connection between producers and consumers in developing alternatives to corporate globalization." - Ivette Perfecto, Prof. of Natural Resources, University of Michigan

  • "One of the few films that manages to eloquently integrate the issues of environmentally friendly production, the benefits and contradictions of sustainable coffee certification, and the promise of emerging alternative models (for example, the Community Agroecology Network). One of the film's main strengths is that it fully captures the voices of coffee producers, something seldom done in films that also address market and environmental issues from a global perspective." - V. Ernesto Mendez, Asst. Prof., Environmental Program, University of Vermont

  • "This film is the single best educational device I have seen - and I have seen many - for increasing people's understanding about how we can restructure the global economy in a democratic and ecological direction." - Dr. Kevin Danaher, Co-Founder, Global Exchange

  • CINE Golden Eagle Award

    Item no.: TJ07680144
    Format: DVD (Color)
    Duration: 56 minutes
    Copyright: 2007
    Price: USD 270.00

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    Multinational coffee companies now rule our shopping malls and supermarkets and dominate an industry worth over $80 billion - but what price are African farmers paying for the price of our coffee?

    Tadesse Meskela is a man on a mission to save Ethiopia's 74,000 struggling coffee farmers from bankruptcy. Tadesse is manager of the Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union.

    The supply of coffee on the world market used to be regulated by the International Coffee Agreement until its collapse in 1989. Since then the price of coffee has fallen to a 30 year low.

    Globally two billion cups of coffee are drunk every day. But Ethiopian coffee farmers get a tiny fraction of the price paid for a cup of coffee by the western consumer.

    Four multinational companies dominate the world coffee market - Kraft, Nestle, Proctor & Gamble and Sara Lee. The international price of coffee is established in New York and London.

    As his farmers strive to harvest some of the highest quality coffee beans on the international market, Tadesse travels the world in an attempt to find buyers willing to pay a fair price.

    Chains of middlemen lie between coffee farmers and the roasters who prepare the coffee for sale to the consumer. The aim of Tadesse's co-op is to break these chains, and increase the end price to the farmer.

    Business for the giant coffee shop chain Starbucks is booming. But life in Sidama, Ethiopia, from which the US multinational gets its coffee, is grim. A famine is in progress, and the low price of coffee is making people poorer.

    Meanwhile Tadesse is in London looking for customers for his fair traded coffee. But competition for space on the supermarket shelves is intense. He makes the case for consumers buying fair traded goods.

    On a global scale, Africa is the only continent in the world to have got poorer in the last 20 years. It has become more dependent on emergency aid from countries like the US than ever before.

    Developing world countries argue the rules of global trade are biased against them, and that if they were allowed to compete fairly they would need far less aid.

    But the World Trade Organisation, dominated by the rich countries, gives them little hope of things changing.

    Item no.: TN00110135
    Format: DVD (With Publication)
    Duration: 45 minutes
    Copyright: 2007
    Price: GBP 145.00

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    Looks at the benefits of fair trade goods and product certification for people and the environment.

    Under the auspices of the WTO, globalization of world trade seems like a juggernaut that will not be stopped. But is there a way to make trade FAIR? How can retailers and consumers use their purchasing power and market choice to make the world better for people and the environment? What is the promise of product certification and labeling?

    BUYER BE FAIR looks at two major trade goods -- timber and coffee -- to find out how certification works and whether it helps the world's poor, and their lands. Can the lessons from certification of timber, by the Forest Stewardship Council, and coffee, by Fair Trade, be applied to other products?

    BUYER BE FAIR takes viewers to Mexico, the Netherlands, the UK, Sweden, the USA and Canada, where compelling stories and characters raise and answer these questions in a powerful documentary that explores new ways to make globalization work for all of us.

  • "It's moving, it's gorgeous, it's engaging, and the viewer feels empowered, not preached to." Frances Moore Lappe, author of "Diet for a Small Planet" and "Hope's Edge"

  • "Buyer Be Fair will have a huge impact. It's moving, it's gorgeous, it's engaging, and the viewer feels empowered, not preached to." Frances Moore Lappe, author of "Diet for a Small Planet" and "Hope's Edge"

  • "The film makes one simple point: as consumers we have the power. When we buy products with eco-labels like the Forest Stewardship Council and Fair Trade we really make a difference, for both people and nature." Barbara Bramble, National Wildlife Federation

  • "Buyer Be Fair offers an engaging look into one of the hottest topics in today's marketplace. Its straightforward approach illuminates the considerable and increasing power that is in our hands as consumers to have a direct impact on the lives (and environments) of countless people. This film helps people understand WHY to care and WHAT to do." Daniele Giovannucci, World Bank, Senior Consultant and author of "The State of Sustainable Coffee" and "Coffee Markets: New Paradigms in Global Supply and Demand"

  • "BUYER BE FAIR is an excellent introduction to how fair trade can be a win-win innovation in the marketplace. Students will enjoy the clear exposition, and teachers will find that the documentary opens many doors to classroom discussion. The documentary has two parts-one on coffee and one on lumber-that can be seen and discussed in two separate class sessions." Michael Kevane, Associate Professor of Economics, Santa Clara University

  • "Buyer Be Fair shows us that our economic decisions need not be made in a moral vacuum; that our purchases in the marketplace are a statement of the type of world we wish to live in. It carefully explains the concept of fair trade and demonstrates the power American consumers could have in transforming the global economy. A must see for every American consumer." Paul Winters, Dept. of Economics, American University

  • "As a professor of business and society courses, I am excited about Buyer Be Fair. Fair trade and product certification are two extremely important practices that can link corporations, consumers, and producers together in socially responsible ways to address challenging global issues of poverty, environmental degradation and social justice. Textbook discussions of certification and fair trade are relatively uncommon, and fail to effectively communicate their essence and potential. Buyer Be Fair provides viewers with an understanding of these practices and their importance. This film helps fair trade and product certification move from abstract concepts to real, practical mechanisms for making the world a better place." Gordon Rands, Associate Professor of Management, Western Illinois University

  • "A fair, balanced look at certifying timber and other products. It left me wanting to purchase only certified coffee in the future!... [Buyer Be Fair] portrays so well the relationship between economic and environmental sustainability." Sally D. Collins, Associate Chief, USDA/Forest Service

  • Honorable Mention, Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival
  • Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital
  • Council on Foundations Film & Video Festival
  • Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Festival
  • Northwest Sustainability Conference

    Item no.: FJ02790046
    Format: DVD (Color)
    Duration: 57 minutes
    Copyright: 2006
    StdBkNo: 1594583471
    Price: USD 250.00

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    From espresso to cappuccino - there is more to making a great cup of coffee than simply knowing how to operate a machine. The wide range of techniques used by skilled baristas in making coffee takes time, patience and practice to master. This program deals with those techniques for the beginner. It covers espresso machines and their components, coffee types and extraction. Students will learn about frothing and the correct items of crockery and glassware to use for different coffee types.

    Please contact us for primary and secondary schools pricing.

    Item no.: HN08690585
    Format: DVD
    Duration: 30 minutes
    Copyright: 2006
    Price: AUD 235.00

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    Many coffee-producing countries like Ethiopia are facing economic disaster even as the demand for coffee increases worldwide.

    Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world-a major cash crop for many poor, developing countries trying to trade their way out of poverty. Coffee promises to increase developing countries' share of income from agricultural products on world markets-in line with Millennium Development Goal No 8's commitment to a global partnership for development. But for the last 10 years the international coffee industry has been in crisis-and many coffee-producing countries are facing disaster. The world's 25 million coffee farmers receive less than one per cent of the price of a cup of coffee sold in a coffee bar. Life visits Ethiopia, the cradle of coffee cultivation, and speaks to players in the international coffee trade to find out how individual coffee growers can survive the boom and bust of the global coffee market.

    Item no.: DY02560075
    Format: DVD (Color)
    Duration: 26 minutes
    Copyright: 2004
    StdBkNo: 1594581762
    Price: USD 195.00

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    Directed by Jergen Laurvig and Bent Erik Kroyer

    Next to oil, coffee is the most important commodity in the world. Millions of cups are consumed daily around the world. Yet few people know anything about the cost of the product in human and environmental terms.

    This documentary was filmed during the coffee harvest on a farm near the border between Nicaragua and Honduras. Here the conditions are almost feudal. The work starts at 12:30 at night and continues until six the next evening. On a good day, the best of the pickers can earn up to three dollars, but most of the women and children earn half that much. Children as young as eight are out in the fields to add to their family's income. In addition to the back breaking labor, the workers are exposed to pesticides that are harmful both to themselves and the environment.

    Even though coffee prices go higher and higher, it does not change the conditions of the farm workers in their marginal existence.

    Item no.: CW07000584
    Format: DVD
    Duration: 27 minutes
    Copyright: 1999
    Price: USD 347.00

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    The specialty coffee business is growing by leaps and bounds in North America. There seems to be a coffeehouse on almost every corner. This has meant increased profits for coffee importers and marketers, but it has not translated into a higher standard of living for the people who grow the coffee beans. But there is an alternative: Fair Trade Coffee, an international movement to improve conditions for coffee growers.

    Item no.: WC04060155
    Format: DVD
    Duration: Approx. 13 minutes
    Copyright: 1999
    Price: USD 160.00

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    Directed by Alexander Valenti

    Coffee ranks second only to oil as the most important raw material on the world market. It has shaped the economies, history and social structure of a large part of Latin America. Composed of archival photographs, old newsreels and penetrating interviews, this documentary takes a broad view of the influence of coffee through the ages.

    First introduced in the eighteenth century, coffee is now the most popular drink in the world after water. South America supplies 66% of the world production, although most of the profits go to traders and speculators outside the region. The film explains the difference between the Brazilian and Costa Rican system of production, and why the Brazilian system has led to such poverty. Mechanization of farms has thrown many rural laborers out of work, an explosive situation in a country where one percent of the population owns 46% of the land.

    Nobel Peace Prize winner Oscar Arias and economist Celso Furtado analyze the market forces that affect coffee prices. An important film for economics and Latin American studies.

    Item no.: PW07060585
    Format: DVD
    Duration: 52 minutes
    Copyright: 1999
    Price: USD 407.00

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    Directed by Sue Clayton & Jonathan Curling

    Two thirds of the world's coffee comes from Latin America, which has dominated global production since the 19th century. With 15 billion dollars in annual sales, coffee is the world's most valuable commodity after oil, providing 10 nations with over 50% of their foreign exchange.

    COFFEE IS THE GOLD OF THE FUTURE tells the history of coffee in Colombia, and a history of Colombia as seen through the story of coffee.

    Moving between small coffee growing communities, the world of big planters organized in the Colombia National Coffee Growers Federation, and the international arena of agribusiness and the control system of the International Coffee Agreement, COFFEE IS THE GOLD OF THE FUTURE explores the problems of land ownership, market control by middlemen, agrarian reform programs, and massive price fluctuations.

    Touching on aspects of Colombian political history such as the violent civil war "La Violencia" as well as the development of its most important economic product, COFFEE IS THE GOLD OF THE FUTURE asks whether there is any future for small-scale peasant production in this era of agribusiness, modernized production methods, and international controls.

  • "A versatile piece that manages to assimilate highly relevant information concerning the origin and development of the coffee market... Useful for college classes in international economics, international relations, and political science." - Choice

  • "Choice Pick... [Curling's and Clayton's] curiously effective amalgam of actuality and simulation reveals some unsuspected truths about the way the wonder bean has also kept commerce and politics in a state of maximum alertness ever since the first revivifying cupful of the brew was swallowed." - The Times (London)

  • "College courses in international economics and business would find these materials of interest, especially those dealing with problems of emerging economies." - Library Journal

  • "Recommended for all libraries." - Choice

  • Finalist, 1988 American Film & Video Festival

    Item no.: NS03400111
    Format: DVD (Color)
    Duration: 52 minutes
    Copyright: 1986
    Price: USD 285.00

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    By Curt Fissel and Ellen Friedland

    Narrated by Ed O'Neill

    In a nation once plagued by Idi Amin's reign of terror and intolerance, Christian, Jewish, and Muslim Ugandan coffee farmers have come together to challenge historical prejudice and economic hurdles by forming the "Delicious Peace Coffee Cooperative."

    The cooperative has become a model for others, demonstrating how the interweaving of harmonious relationships with Fair Trade practices can substantially improve the lives of people who are economically challenged. In Delicious Peace, the Ugandan farmers opened their lives to the filmmakers for an intimate look at the struggles they face, the hopes they harbor, and the successes they have found.

    Many lives in the world revolve around the coffee bean, the second-most traded commodity in the world. But coffee farmers face many challenges, from low prices on worldwide markets, to exploitative intermediaries and government policies that make exports difficult.

    In 2003, a Jewish coffee farmer in a region of Uganda that has long produced some of the highest quality coffee in the world approached his Christian and Muslim neighbors and asked that they put aside their religious differences, as well as their pessimism about growing coffee, to create a new cooperative. Calling their brand "Mirembe Kawomera" ("Delicious Peace"), they partnered with an American Fair Trade buyer to bring this organic and kosher coffee to the U.S. market.

    Today, as a result of good wages through Fair Trade, the farmers' standard of living is improving, harmony is flourishing, and their message of peace and fair wages is spreading to their neighbors, as well as their coffee customers in the US.

  • "Delicious Peace is a colorful and upbeat film that affords me an easy entry into discussion of some of the most difficult issues in social science: race, religion, inequality, and development. And it leaves students with a sense of agency and possibility¡Vthat regular people can make the world better, even in difficult circumstances. It's a gift to offer students a story of hope told with eyes wide open." - David S. Meyer, Prof. of Sociology and Political Science, University of California, Irvine

  • "Delicious Peace is, well... delicious! This documentary was a huge hit at Drew University where faculty, staff and students are engaged in development projects around the world. Delicious Peace is both informative and inspiring; the screening at Drew packed the house, and we spent a long time afterward discussing the film over Mirembe coffee." - Jonathan Golden, Assistant Prof. of Religious Studies, Drew University

  • "The film superbly rendered the story." - Walter Ruby, Muslim-Jewish Relations Program Officer, The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding

  • Best Short Doc, New Jersey Film Festival
  • Redemptive Storyteller Award, Redemptive Film Festival
  • Best Documentary, Bronzeville Film Festival
  • Best Spiritual/Faith Documentary, Fort Myers Film Festival

    Item no.: EA01920130
    Format: DVD (Closed Captioned)
    Duration: 40 minutes
    Price: USD 175.00

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