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How can an open society balance demands for security with democracy? State of Fear dramatizes the human and societal costs a democracy faces when it embarks on a war against terror, potentially without end, all too easily exploited by unscrupulous leaders seeking personal political gain. The film follows events in Peru, yet it serves as a cautionary tale for a nation like the United States. Filmmakers Pamela Yates, Peter Kinoy, and Paco de Onís masterfully blend personal testimony, history and archival footage to tell the story of escalating violence in the Andean nation and how the fear of terror undermined their democracy, making Peru a virtual dictatorship where official corruption replaced the rule of law. Terrorist attacks by Shining Path insurgents provoked a military occupation of the countryside. Military justice replaced civil authority, widespread abuses by the Peruvian Army went unpunished, and the terrorism continued to spread. Nearly 70,000 civilians eventually died at the hands of Shining Path and the Peruvian military.
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Pamela Yates is the recipient of a 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship. She is the Director of the Sundance Award winning When the Mountains Tremble , the Producer of the Emmy Award winning Loss of Innocence , and the Executive Producer of the Academy Award winning Witness to War . She has most recently completed The Reckoning: The Battle for the International Criminal Court, a feature length documentary film and educational initiative. Filming took place on 4 continents and in 6 languages. At Sundance 09, Yates and the Skylight Pictures Audience Engagement Team launched IJCentral.org (International Justice Central) a global social network that will drive an alternative educational distribution and advocacy model for the feature-length documentary The Reckoning. IJCentral.org will implement a multi-platform citizen engagement strategy using online mapping technology at its core to visualize the global social network. It will aggregate blogs, videos, SMS text messaging, media modules created from The Reckoning footage, Facebook and MySpace groups, email listserve groups, news feeds, and photo feeds, taking advantage of all the social bookmarking applications available online. Making use of mobile phones, the world s most widely distributed communications platform, Twitter text messaging will be incorporated into the map, allowing activists, victims, educators, students and other members of the network to upload SMS text messages to the map, where a global conversation about justice will appear as geo-located pop-ups on the map. Previously Yates directed State of Fear (2005), a feature length documentary that tells the epic story of Peru s 20-year war on terror based on the findings of the Peruvian Truth and Reconciliation Commission. State of Fear has been translated into 48 languages and broadcast in 157 countries. Before that she directed Presumed Guilty, a two hour primetime PBS special about the ethical and moral dilemmas faced by the San Francisco public defenders in their quest for justice. She produced, directed and co-wrote Cause for Murder, which was commissioned by the PBS international series Wide Angle (2002). The film explores the cost of political bravery in the lives and deaths of two young Mexican lawyers, Digna Ochoa and Marigeli Tamés. In 2000 she produced and directed Brotherhood of Hate a study of violent white supremacy, broadcast on the Showtime Networks. Brotherhood of Hate and Cause for Murder were both co-productions with The New York Times. Pamela also produced and directed (with Peter Kinoy) a trilogy of films about poor peoples movements in America called Living Broke in Boom Times. The films were: Takeover, (Official selection Sundance 1991) Poverty Outlaw, (Official selection Sundance 1997) and the Independent Television Service (ITVS) presentation Outriders on PBS (1999). She directed what is thought to be the first music video made in China, No More Disguises, with troubadour Ciu Jian, which was filmed in Tiananmen Square at the dawn of the democracy movement. It was named by Rolling Stone as one of the 10 best music videos of 1989, and had its U.S. premiere at the New York Film Festival s opening night at Lincoln Center. Pamela is a co-founder of Skylight Pictures, Inc. a New York City based multi-media company committed to producing artistic, challenging and socially relevant independent documentary films on issues of human rights and the quest for justice. Through the use of film and digital technologies, the Skylight Pictures team seeks to engage, educate and increase understanding of human rights amongst the public at large and policy makers, contributing to informed decisions on issues of social change and the public good.
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