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carleton 31/01/2010 - 06:36PM

Coca Cola Case a Hit at Carleton!

Devang and MD table for CP CarletonWhen Carleton Cinema Politica first heard about Concordia's overwhelmingly successful premiere of the Coca Cola Case we immediately had two thoughts. First, there was euphoria and excitement. The amount of media buzz and the fact that almost 1,000 people showed up was astonishing. This feeling was quickly followed by "wow, we've got big shoes to fill!" Although we weren't able to get any Ottawa media to touch the story - partly due to the national coverage that had already taken place - we received an extraordinary amount of interest in the film in the week leading up to the premiere. Cautiously optimistic, we expected to have about 150 people in an auditorium that seats about 240. By the time we were ready to start the auditorium was absolutely packed, not only shattering our expectations but setting a new record for Carleton Cinema Politica. We had people standing and sitting in the aisles and some decided upon arrival to forego navigating the congestion. We were also very proud to have Maude Barlow, National Chairperson of the Council of Canadians, and Peter Julian, MP for Burnaby - New Westminster, in attendance. 

The evening was emceed by Carleen Pickard (Council of Canadians) and we were very enthused to have an amazing lineup of panelists for the discussion period that included Nelson Ross Laguna (OPSEU), Gauri Sreenivasan (CCIC) and German Gutierrez (Director). Ray Rogers, who is prominently featured in the film and the Director of the Campaign to Stop Killer Coke, was also supposed to be there but could not get out of New York due to weather. He was quite disappointed he couldn't make it but inspired by the amazing responses to the film throughout the NFB-CP premiere tour. I spent the last half of the film trying to get Ray set up on Skype so he could tell everyone how they could get involved in the campaign to boot Coke off campus. We had some difficulties and consequently couldn't get the link set up but Peter Julian was more than happy to join the panel discussion in his place (thanks Peter!).

The film was prefaced with a brief intro from German who drove from Montreal for the evening and we also read out the speech that Ray was planning to deliver. Azrieli Theatre is one of the best venues to show films on the Carleton campus and we were thrilled to have a packed house. The film was followed with a huge round of applause and we then quickly moved to the Q & A portion. All four panelists (Nelson, Gauri, Peter and German) were given a few minutes to speak before the audience was asked to join in. The panel discussion lasted for about an hour which means the event was about 2.5 hours long in total. Although some people had to leave after the film, the vast majority stayed for the discussion and many great questions were asked. Two of the main themes dicsussed were the Canada - Colombia FTA and how students can get involved (and hopefully get Coke off campus). I'm not going to go into much detail because we did film the intro and discussion period and will have it posted once it's uploaded (in addition to info on the campaign at Carleton). Stay tuned!

We'd like to thank everyone involved for such a wonderful evening and extend an extra special thank you to Coca Cola's lawyers. Without their help we would never have been able to generate so much public interest. Kudos!  

 P.S. Here's a link to the student newspaper coverage.