Heartwood chronicles a tenacious community on Cortes Island as they stand in opposition to industrial logging and attempt to build a community and ecosystem-based forestry economy.
Citizens on the remote island of Cortes are uniting under a common vision of healthy forests and thriving communities. As one faction of the island launches a blockade against timber giant Island Timberlands, the Klahoose First Nation and the Cortes Forestry Co-Op are leading the push for a Community Forest on much of the island’s Crown lands, which they intend to manage in a sustainable, ecosystem-based model.
Meanwhile, local tourism operators are campaigning to save their industry from the impacts of industrial cut-blocks on the landscape. And renowned mycologist Paul Stamets is investigating how beneficial fungi could be used to renew the soil after a clear-cut. Cortesians are saying NO to industrial logging and YES to sustainable community forestry and ecotourism.
Set against a backdrop of global social unrest, economic turmoil, accelerating climate change, and indigenous awakening, Cortes is a microcosm of a world in crisis. With our ancient forests depleted and the demands of the developing world becoming more and more vociferous, communities are taking a stand against foreign investors with no connection to the land. These citizens will lead us into the woods of Cortes to show us why their forests are worth saving—and how far they’re willing to go to save them.
Production, direction, camera, editing and writing by Daniel J. Pierce (www.ramshackle.ca).
Site designed and built by Brittany Baxter and Josephine Anderson (www.moosestashfilms.com).
Photos by TJ Watt (www.utopiaphoto.ca) and Island Light Photography (www.islandlight.ca).
HEARTWOOD LANDMARKS / CLICK TO VIEW INFO
Forest Community is a one of a kind community that battled for a decade and staked everything on a gamble to purchase a huge tract of forestland from Weyerhaeuser and pay for it retroactively by selling residences on a small portion of the land. Homes are now being built and forester Ron Wolda manages the forest in an eco-forestry model.
Meet the Locals →
Daniel J. Pierce is a Vancouver-based documentary filmmaker. He has a history of making films that explore the dynamics of people coming together to create change within their communities, often in defense of the natural world. Dan has a strong interest in expanding this theme to include the complex relations between indigenous and settler communities, as they unite and work together to guard and heal our planet. After centuries of colonization, and amidst a new form of corporate colonization that is going on to this day, these shared efforts represent the start of a long healing process between our cultures.
Dan’s first film, THE HOLLOW TREE, which was licensed to CBC Documentary and Knowledge, piqued his interest in these themes—particularly the rich history of forestry in BC. While his first film was about the citizens of Vancouver trying
to save a dead tree, it is only logical that his next film would be about people taking a stand for living trees. HEARTWOOD is Dan’s first feature. He has been traveling up to Cortes Island since January 2012, shooting and researching for this film. He will continue to go up to Cortes over the next year to capture this community’s struggle with Island Timberlands and quest for a Community Forest.
Cari Green is a film and television producer with over twenty-five years experience in production and a background in distribution, sales and marketing. She has produced over twenty award-winning feature documentaries, including THE CORPORATION and SCARED SACRED. Her latest production, WHEN I WALK—which explores filmmaker Jason DaSilva’s personal, grueling and transformative journey with multiple sclerosis—was invited to Sundance 2013, where it was picked up for theatrical release.
Cari has produced many award-winning films with First Nations filmmakers, including THE WASHING OF TEARS. She developed the Global Women’s Memorial website and authored a report on the status of women in the independent film industry. An advocate for Canadian film, Cari has served on many boards and was recognized with an award from Women in Film. She’s been teaching at Vancouver Film School since 2006, and is currently completing her MFA in film production at the University of British Columbia.
Josephine Anderson and Brittany Baxter are the creative team behind Moosestash Films, an innovative media production company based out of Vancouver, BC. With backgrounds in documentary film, multimedia design and social engagement, their goal is to create imaginative and immersive stories on and offline. Their most recent interactive documentary project, THE STICKING PLACE, is an Official 2013 Webby Award Honouree, and received a 2012 Pixel Award. In addition to crafting stories, Moosestash Films offers mobile film production, graphic design, motion animation, digital interactive services, public speaking engagements, event management, and creative collaborations.
Moosestash is thrilled to be working with Dan to spearhead the design of the online components of HEARTWOOD, and is proud to have collaborated with talented web-developer, Jeremie Rodger, on the creation of this site! For more information about Moosestash & collaborators, check out www.moosestashfilms.com!
Alexis was first introduced to Cortes Island’s forests while working as an environment reporter at the Vancouver Observer, where she collaborated with Daniel to co-produce a series of articles and videos about the community’s resistance to clearcut logging. Her own personal experience with wilderness and the forestry industry stretches back years – she spent four seasons working as a treeplanter in northern BC, in addition to a brief stint as a mountain pine beetle surveyor in Alberta. After moving to Vancouver to complete her Master’s degree in journalism, she became a freelance reporter/producer and worked on projects spanning a variety of media platforms including print, online, radio, documentary film and television. Now, Alexis is the Communications Assistant with the Vancouver-based environmental group, the Wilderness Committee, where she is focused on spreading the word about a wide range of environmental issues – from forest conservation and endangered species
to fossil fuel dependence and climate change.