In This Heaven/Rings of Fire – by Candida Paltiel and Victoria Foote (Al Jazeera – July 29, 2015)

Mining Stories Productions produces meaningful stories in a visual format about cultural, social and environmental issues that move individuals and audiences. Relying on solid research, we mine stories that speak to the human and planetary condition with passion and thoughtfulness, and with a view to engaging audiences through multi-media platforms. Our creative team is made up of award winning producers, directors, writers and technical talent who are committed to excellence and care deeply about the subjects and issues that inspire our stories.

Mining Stories Productions has produced a one hour documentary commissioned by Witness, , Al Jazeera English titled In This Heaven, with a broadcast version titled Rings of Fire. The broadcast will be launched on July 29, 2015 at 8pm/20:00 GMT.

In This Heaven/Rings of Fire, documents the tireless efforts of Mae Katt, a First Nations nurse practitioner who runs a mobile drug addiction treatment program in the remote underserved Matawa First Nations communities of Northern Ontario.

In some Matawa communities up to 80% of the population is addicted to opiates. For over a year, the filmmaker, Candida Paltiel, follows Mae and her team to Marten Falls and Neskantaga, two formerly invisible communities, now negotiating future mining developments in the massive mineral find known was the Ring of Fire, situated on their pristine territorial homelands. The film reveals the dual struggle of Matawa communities to reclaim their health and determine the shape of their future on their land.

The Team

Candida Paltiel

Candida Paltiel is a producer, filmmaker and writer with a profound commitment to telling stories about issues that matter, through a lens that inspires change. She is the producer, director and writer of In This Heaven/Rings of Fire. From 2005-2010 as Artistic Director/CEO of Planet in Focus, she programmed the most important environmental films from around the world, in addition to expanding its national and international programs. Candida has produced, directed, field-produced, written and story-edited a variety of award-winning documentaries and series programming broadcast on Canada¹s major networks.

She taught in the Film Program at the School of Image Arts at Ryerson University and has filmed and worked in Bosnia, Spain, Honduras and Israel. Among the productions she has been involved with are: Nurses Care (1992) Acts of War (1994), Up At Dawn (2001), Reflections on A Lake (2000), and To Tell A Story – Generation 2000 (2000).

She was the VP of Program for the Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs and in 2011 she was the Conference Chair of the Couchiching Summer Conference, From The Ground Up: Civic Engagement in Our Times. She received her BA in Political Science from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and her MFA in Film from Columbia University, NYC. Her focus is on telling meaningful inspiring stories that engage viewers hearts and minds.

Victoria Foote

Victoria Foote, was formerly the Director of Communications for Ontario Nature, a non-profit conservation organization at the forefront of numerous environmental campaigns to save important habitats and wildlife in Ontario. She is the associate producer of In This Heaven/Rings of Fire. Victoria was Editor in Chief of ON Nature magazine, widely regarded as the definitive source of information for current issues of provincial environmental concern. Under her tenure as Editor in Chief, ON Nature won numerous national magazine awards for excellence in coverage of environmental issues. Victoria received her MA in Environmental Studies from York University, and her BA from the University of Toronto in Philosophy and English. Her work has focused on the intersection between environmental issues and the needs of human communities.