Animal Story, Partnered Program
Friday, November 10, 2023
7:00 - 8:30pm EST
Registration closes 3 hours before each event.
Transformational tales about animal individuals and the people changed by them
Two stories — one true, one fictional — share the tales of animal individuals on unlikely journeys to freedom (as told thru the medium of film) and of the people who are changed by them, in this glimpse into the power of the storytelling arts in creative advocacy for animal lives.
Animal Story, Farm Sanctuary photo JoAnne McArthur
Animal Story, When Pigs Escape
The program features presentations by Jusep Moreno for the story of “When Pigs Escape” and Victoria Moran for the story of “Miss Liberty,” and closes with a roundtable discussion about the importance of animal stories with ANIMAL STORY co-partners - host Lisa Levinson, co-director Zipora Schultz, and project coordinator Ellie Sarty for Compassion Arts.
When Pigs Escape
Matilda and piglets in When Pigs Escape
From Jusep Moreno, the true story of Matilda is offered in When Pigs Escape, a 2022 award-winning independent documentary about the real-life journey of a pig who escaped from a farm to give birth to her piglets in a nearby woodland. When Pigs Escape recounts the story of Matilda, the efforts by people to save the pig family, and follows the new life of Matilda and her babies after being rescued. It is a biographical piece that invites us to look at pigs like we have never seen them before.
About Jusep Moreno
Jusep Moreno is a Catalan filmmaker based in the UK, with an interest in exploring the power of film to create change and educate about social issues. When Pigs Escape is his first documentary. A 2022 Culture and Animals Foundation grant honoree for this documentary, Jusep’s story of When Pigs Escape invites us to reconsider how we relate to these individuals and their families, and to other animal individuals who are farmed for food.
The mission of this documentary is to advocate for pigs, the most exploited mammal on Earth, and to offer humans an opportunity to get to know these animals so that we can change the way we interact with them as individuals and as a society. Currently, pigs are subjected to extensive harm, and their most basic rights are systematically violated. At the same time, most humans only interact with these animals when they eat them, and we mostly see them alive either exploited in farms or in trucks on the way to the slaughterhouse.
The documentary and has been shown in more than two-dozen festivals and received awards from IndieFEST, Impact Docs, and S.O.F.A. Tails, and was also an official selection at the International Vegan Film Festival, Cardiff International Film Festival, International Social Change Film Festival, and Stockholm City Film Festival.
From writers Victoria Moran and William Melton, the story of Miss Liberty offers the fictional journey of Miss Liberty, a dairy cow who escapes from a slaughterhouse, and the impact of her life on the people deciding her fate. A presentation about the screenplay and about other animal individuals like Miss Liberty, is shared by Victoria Moran.
About Victoria Moran
Vegan for nearly forty years, Victoria Moran is the co-writer with her husband, Rev. William Melton, of Miss Liberty, a family feature film about a cow who escapes from a slaughterhouse, currently in development. She is also the lead producer of the 2019 award-winning film A Prayer for Compassion, a documentary exploring food choices and spirituality.
The founder and director of Main Street Academy, Victoria is a professional speaker, the host of the Main Street Vegan podcast and Main Street Vegan Talk Show streaming on Unchained TV, as well as a co-founder of the Compassion Consortium, an ahimsa-based Interfaith spiritual center.
Featured twice on Oprah and listed by VegNews magazine among the Top 10 Living Vegetarian Authors, Victoria Moran has written acclaimed books on veganism, health and compassionate living including Creating a Charmed Life and Main Street Vegan. Her 14th book Age Like a Yogi will be published in 2024.
About Animal Story
A Partnered Program Series
Sleeping Piglet photo by Jusep Moreno
ANIMAL STORY is a Compassion Arts Partnered Program in the storytelling arts for sharing transformational stories about animal individuals and the people who are changed by them.
For the past five years, Compassion Arts has been exploring different approaches to the storytelling arts for animal advocacy through programs such as true storytelling workshops by TMI Project in 2018 & 2020, interactive storytelling theater with True Story Playback Theater in 2019, multi-arts narrative projects with Michael Harren in 2018 & 2019 and Write Like An Animal Persona Poem workshop with Gretchen Primack in 2021. We are grateful for these amazing past programs that have been instrumental in shaping the ANIMAL STORY journey.
Moving forward, ANIMAL STORY will begin offering workshops, story slam events, and bi-annual programs in the storytelling arts about the lives of other species, in collaboration with Lisa Levinson of In Defense of Animals and Zipora Schultz of Public Eye Artists for Animals.
Lisa Levinson is the Campaigns Director for In Defense of Animals an international animal protection nonprofit organization which offers a Sustainable Activism campaign to provide emotional and spiritual resources for animal activists. She is the founder of Vegan Spirituality and the co-founder of the Interfaith Vegan Coalition and co-founder of Public Eye: Artists for Animals. Lisa started the National Goose Protection Coalition to prevent goose roundups and the Toad Detour to help toads migrate safely. She has curated exhibits for The Animal Museum and has partnered on programs with Compassion Arts including a Healing & Narrative Arts Retreat for Animal Story’s beginnings.
Zipora Schulz is an artist and art educator based in Philadelphia who believes in the power of the arts and stories for transformation. She is a co-founder of Public Eye: Artists for Animals and a co-creator of plays, performance projects, creative events for humane education and arts programs for all ages, to inspire a deeper understanding of and compassion for all animals. Zipora is also a co-facilitator of Vegan Spirituality Group of Philadelphia and is currently collaborating with Compassion Arts and Lisa Levinson for the ANIMAL STORY project
Ellie Sarty is an ordained animal chaplain, animal advocate, music artist, and program coordinator, inspired and educated by all things creative. She is the grateful founder of Compassion Arts’ all volunteer initiative for compassion for animals, and is a dedicated student of creativity for visioning peaceful pathways towards healing, growth, connection, and change.