|No Vacancy: Press Release|
KQED PRESENTS A DANCING STAR FOUNDATION PRODUCTION IN ASSOCIATION WITH POPULATION COMMUNICATION
If current world population trends were to continue, human numbers could more than double, hitting 13 billion sometime in the 22nd century. A population explosion of such magnitude would be ecologically disastrous.
"No Vacancy" is that rare chronicle of sobering optimism in a world more accustomed to thinking about population as a dilemma with little hope of positive reversal. Family planning professional Bob Gillespie journeys the world in search of answers, providing an extraordinary window on those remarkable changes occurring in country after country; new currents that have resulted in smaller family sizes, and the empowerment of women and children.
From Iran, Mexico, Ghana and Nigeria, to countries across Western Europe, as well as the U.S., India, China and Indonesia, "No Vacancy" paints an emotional, at times provocative, portrait of a global transformation, a fertility transition that may well prove to be one of the most important ingredients in humanity’s survival, and the survival of the earth.
"No Vacancy" was made with principal funding from the Fred H. Bixby Foundation. A book version by the same time, edited by Michael Tobias, Jane Gray Morrison, Bob Gillespie and Elizabeth Hughes, is forthcoming from Hope Publishing in the spring of 2006.
"No Vacancy" won the Environmental Sustainability Award at the EarthVision 2005 International Film & Video Festival in Santa Cruz, California. It has been submitted to the Sundance Film Festival and accepted into the Anchorage International Film Festival. Its Canadian premiere took place at the Bay Street Film Festival in Ontario.
Writer, Director and Executive Producer: Dr. Michael Tobias
Producer: Jane Gray Morrison
Producer and Host: Robert Gillespie
Co-Producer: Elizabeth Hughes
In its broadest light, "No Vacancy" intimates the challenging impacts of the human population explosion on the earth's ecosystems. That message underscores the minutia of family planning that is then chronicled in over ten countries.
The focus of that rich odyssey hinges largely upon those demonstrative innovations in countries where women's reproductive health and family planning programs have struck the right combination of elements. Those countries include Ghana, Holland, France and Italy, Iran and Indonesia, and to a lesser but no less earnest effect in India. Nigeria and -surprisingly- the U.S. are seen to have much work yet to be done, and in that respect the film does not shy away from revealing those less than sanguine situations, highlighting certain instructive difficulties that have continued to fuel high birth rates and hamper access to women's reproductive health.
In examining what does work in family planning, the film concentrates on women's reproductive and family planning needs. How do health, education, employment and credit facilities satisfy these needs? How do such programs affirmatively respond to women while, at the same time, promoting male responsibility?
The combined profile is a lyrical, balanced, richly nuanced documentary, replete with a chorus of articulate and fascinating spokespersons who bring to the film a variety of viewpoints and a wealth of relevant experience. Sequences in the field, in homes, hospitals, health clinics, and elsewhere, will visually connect the viewer to the real focal points of family planning right where it is happening: where politicians, demographers, scientists and health experts are examining the often ambiguous array of hard data; where health workers are meeting their clients; where men and women are looking inward, or discussing their most personal concerns, and family choices are being weighed and determined; and where policy makers are debating and donors deliberating.
The film aims to reach and engage a broad viewing audience, while clearly tapping into those who are especially concerned about the subject, namely, experts and administrators within government agencies, multinational and corporate donors, foundations and NGO's. The environmental implications of the film suggest an equally interested demographic viewer base that is concerned with the complex subtleties underlying sustainability worldwide. Population stabilization has long been considered a fundamental element -- if not the primary trigger- of any sustainable programs for humanity. All of the consumer habits, good and bad, are multiplied inexorably by the sheer number of consumers in poor and rich countries alike, and this conundrum has laid waste many well-meaning attempts to halt ecological despoliation, when the impact on the earth of livelihoods or consumer tastes are all tallied.
Hence, the majority of viewers who would have any interest whatsoever in environmental concerns are very likely to carry over that interest to "No Vacancy."
KQED Public Broadcasting operates KQED Public Television 9, one of the nation's most-watched public television stations during prime-time, and KQED's digital television channels, which include KQED HD, KQED Encore, KQED World, KQED Life and KQED Kids; KQED Public Radio, the most-listened-to public radio station in the nation with an award-winning news and public affairs program service (88.5 FM in San Francisco and 89.3 FM in Sacramento); KQED.org, one of the most visited station sites in Public Broadcasting; and KQED Education Network, which brings the impact of KQED to thousands of teachers, students, parents and media professionals through workshops, seminars and resources.