MIPCOM Picks: How to Start a Revolution

This film features exclusive interviews with 83-year-old scholar Gene Sharp, author of From Dictatorship to Democracy, as well as many of the modern-day revolutionaries he's inspired.
September 26, 2011


Partners: The Big Indy in association with Lion Television, directed by Ruaridh Arrow, distributed by TVF International

Length: 52-minute and 80-minute versions

Wrapped: September 2011

Rights available: All rights for all territories, excluding TV in Australia

In 1993, political scientist Gene Sharp published an essay, From Dictatorship to Democracy, which he called “a conceptual framework for liberation” and originally published for the Burmese democratic movement. That handbook has since been translated into 31 languages and is available for purchase or as a free download from the Albert Einstein Institute. But beyond being a thought-provoking treatise on the challenges and ultimate virtues of conducting non-violent revolution to effect social change, it’s also been hailed by many as a tool that has helped mobilize action against dictatorships in Serbia, Ukraine and Iran, as well as in Egypt and most recently, Syria.

With its list of 198 non-violent weapons, ranging from the use of colors and symbols to “humorous skits and pranks” and “symbolic sounds,” Sharp’s tome has resonated worldwide, providing inspiration and ammunition for the oppressed. This film features exclusive interviews with the 83-year-old scholar, as well as many of the modern-day revolutionary leaders he’s inspired.

About The Author
Justin Anderson joined Realscreen as senior staff writer in 2021, reporting and writing stories for the newsletter and magazine. During his 20-year career he’s filled a variety of roles as a writer and editor at a number of media organizations, covering news and current affairs as well as business, tech, the film and music industries and plenty in between. He’s also spent time behind the scenes in television production, having written everything from voiceover scripts for documentaries to marketing copy. He has a degree in Journalism from Toronto Metropolitan University (formerly Ryerson University).