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Update: DVD Launch New York 05-March-2009

Here’s a report on the landmine event that we held on the evening of Monday, 2 March 2009 at Scandinavia House near the United Nations in New York.

Approx. 150 people turned up for the event convened by IndiePix and ICBL to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the international treaty banning antipersonnel landmines and launch the Disarm DVD, our feature-length documentary film on landmines.

After a brief welcome reception, the president of IndiePix films, Bob Alexander, welcomed everyone and introduced the panel of speakers. Disarm’s executive producer Mary Wareham explained how the event was one of sixty actions taking place around the world to commemorate the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, which became binding international law a decade ago on 1 March 2009.

Colombia’s permanent representative to the United Nations in New York, Ambassador Claudia Blum, spoke about her government’s efforts to tackle the landmine problem in Colombia (which is featured in Disarm), as well as host the treaty’s Second Review Conference in Cartagena at the end of the 2009. Norway’s Ambassador Mona Juul talked about her government’s leadership role in the movements to ban landmines and more recently cluster munitions. Steve Goose of Human Rights Watch described the progress made in the elimination of landmines as well as formidable challenges that remain.

After the film screening, Liz Ogilvie of IndiePix moderated a question and answer session with the Mary Wareham and Brian Liu to discuss Disarm. Both this Q & A and the panel that preceded the film were videoed for use in the marketing of Disarm. The film can be purchased from Amazon, rented via Netflix, and shortly it will be available from the IndiePix website for digital download from anywhere in the world. The Disarm DVD is loaded with extras: 40-minutes of deleted scenes, subtitles in 5 languages, and directors’ commentary.

While a snowstorm in New York prevented one of our star guests, Nobel Peace laureate Jody Williams, from speaking at this event, an audience of 150 participants attended. Diplomatic representatives from 20 countries (including several ambassadors) RSVPed to participate: Argentina, Austria, Belarus, Brazil, Canada, Estonia, Germany, Indonesia, Iraq, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Lebanon, Lithuania, Malawi, Malaysia, Mexico, The Netherlands, Tajikistan, and the UK. Mine clearance and disarmament official from the United Nations were present, as were campaigners from Argentina, Colombia, the U.S. and elsewhere. Film industry representatives attended, as did DJ Spooky (Paul Miller) and other artists. Adam Yauch from the Beastie Boys and Rolling Stone cartoonist David Rees sent apologies that they could not attend.

About a dozen journalists were present, mainly from the film industry and online media providers. Some links to the press coverage follows. Many thanks to IndiePix and ICBL, our speakers, and our audience for braving the cold weather!

ToolboxDC has designed a limited run of Disarm T-Shirts available for purchase. Please buy the Disarm DVD and spread the word! Contact Mary if you want to subtitle Disarm into your own language or hold a screening of the film.

* Purchase Disarm from Amazon
* Rent Disarm from Netflix
* Purchase or download Disarm from IndiePix
* Join Disarm’s Facebook group
* Read Disarm’s "DVD Town" review
* Read Disarm’s "Just An Online Minute" review
* Read Disarm’s "About.com" review
* Read statement by Colombia
* Read statement by Norway