GRID13. With over 10 million views on YouTube, Canadian Shane Koyczan is an unusual poet. Treating the subject of bullying, which Koyczan himself was subjected to when growing up, his spoken word poem To This Day created a wave of compassion and empathy with a worldwide audience. Shane Koyczan performed at the opening ceremony of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and was a huge success at TED this year. Now his work is included in the latest Amnesty International Campaign to raise awareness around the importance of Freedom of Expression.
GRID13. Debra Searle amazed the world as the woman who rowed the Atlantic alone. Her husband, an experienced oarsman, left the boat just two weeks into the crossing after developing an uncontrollable fear of the ocean. Debra was not discouraged. After 111 days she rowed into Barbados’ port in her 23-foot plywood boat. Since then she has sailed around Antarctica, finished the longest canoe race in the world, set a new world record for crossing the English Channel and been awarded by the Queen of England for her achievements.
GRID13. Although Danish filmmaker Susanne Bier has led a fortunate life, catastrophes are always around the corner in her films. She won an Oscar for In a Better World (Hämnden), where loneliness, frailty and sorrow lie in wait. Then she moved on to make Love is All You Need, an unashamedly romantic comedy – about cancer. Despite the painful situations she explores in her 16 films, Susanne Bier says she is scrupulous about ending her movies on a hopeful note. To her, filmmaking is not only about art. It's a mass medium that needs to be able to communicate.