I’ll be hosting a discussion at Sundance about animal cruelty investigations

by Will

Operation Aspen, Condition One, SundanceI’m happy to announce that a new, virtual reality investigation of factory farming will have its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival this month, and I’ll be hosting a discussion about how advocacy¬†groups are using this new technology.

The film, “Operation Aspen,” was created by Condition One, the leader in virtual reality filming. Condition One also created “Melting Ice,” which was honored with being an official selection of Sundance this year.

Operation Aspen builds on the work of Condition One exposing animal cruelty through undercover investigations combined with cutting-edge virtual reality. They previously partnered with Animal Equality on a powerful VR investigation of factory farms. I was able to check out that investigation at an animal rights conference and was blown away.

On Friday, January 20th, the film will premiere at Sundance, and on Saturday I’ll be hosting a panel discussion on this new technology and ag-gag laws that criminalize whistleblowing and investigations of animal cruelty. I’ll be joined by Justin Marceau, professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, and others to talk about strategy, security, and tactics.

The panel is at 5:30pm on Saturday, January 21st at 580 Main Street in Park City, Utah. If you happen to be at Sundance, I hope to see you there!

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Larry Trepel January 20, 2017 at 3:33 pm

I just learned that you will be hosting a discussion of Operation Aspen at Sundance. I am happy the film will be shown, but wanted to make you aware that Sundance is being sponsored by Canada Goose, who recently opened stores in Toronto and NewYork City. I have been involved in the movement in NY to stop Canada Goose, where we have been staging continuous protests at the store. DxE has been deeply involved in the protests in Toronto. We have appealed to Sundance to never allow Canada Goose to sponsor their festival again. We have received no response, and continue to post on their Facebook page. While this is not the main topic of your discussion, I urge you to bring up this situation since it involves a deep conflict of interest between Sundance and animal rights.


Lauren January 20, 2017 at 3:49 pm

Hi Will,
I am so delighted to hear of this step to further bring to light the cruelty of factory farming.
If at all possible, whether in the forum of the panel or otherwise in your dealings with Sundance, it would be wonderful if you could highlight to them the cruelty involved with making Canada Goose jackets. Unfortunately, Canada Goose continues to be a main active Sundance sponsor, despite other organizations such as the Berlin Film Festival disassociating themselves from them due to the animal cruelty.
I know you probably do not want to dilute from your main message regarding the factory farming, but as you are an animal advocate and will no doubt have access to senior people at Sundance it could be a wonderful opportunity to even have an informal conversation about this topic. Myself and other activists have tried numerous times to reach out to the committee at Sundance and none of us have ever received so much as an acknowledgement of our correspondence.
Thank you for all you do for animals.


Shay Navon January 20, 2017 at 4:55 pm

I hope you consider mentioning the fact that Canada Goose, a leader in animal abuse – a company that is responsible for the torture and death of over 1 million canines per year – is sponsoring this festival. The Berlin film festival has recently dropped Canada Goose as a sponsor after learning about the horrific cruelty involved with the brand. Here’s hoping Sundance wises up and does the same for next year. Thank You ! ! !


Larry Trepel January 21, 2017 at 3:28 pm


Perhaps you’ve seen that Forbes magazine has written about the backlash against Canada Goose.


Larry Trepel January 29, 2017 at 1:12 pm

I’ve not seen any reply to previous comments above. Would appreciate knowing if you addressed this issue during the Sundance Film Festival discussion. The campaign against Canada Goose continues.


Stephanie Munoz-Navarro February 3, 2017 at 2:15 am

Hi, Will. I live in Chicago. I recently showed your video in one of my ESL classrooms as a listening exercise. (We often discuss environmental, humanitarian, and related topics as part of our lessons.) Your video started me thinking more deeply about what contribution I can make in this world. It goes without saying that these are difficult times. I am deeply disturbed by the new presidential administration; however, I have been wondering for a long time how I can get more involved in some of the issues that I deem most important. Animal rights are fundamental. My family and I have adopted seven animals–3 little dogs and 4 cats. We would have more if we could afford the vet bills! But I want to do more. I want to join a movement. Where can I start? This is my question to you. How can I get involved? Thank you for any guidance you can provide. And thank you for daring to speak out. We have to fight back against the trends in Big Ag, big business, those who put the almighty dollar before living beings. Thank you.
Stephanie Munoz-Navarro


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