Choose the best film of the conference !!!
We invite you to vote, we want to select the best film of the festival in the categories:
A) Documentary films
B) Feature films
Choose the best video and briefly justify your choice. We will reward the most interesting opinions. Your opinions will also be very helpful in selecting the repertoire of subsequent editions of our economy movies meetings.
We invite you to vote and have fun!
vote for your favorite film
tell your friend about meeting
Wait for results patiently
The Tax Free Tour
53’, lecture Ewa Lechman
10 AM – 11.10 AM
ROOM 007 WZIE
Where do multinationals pay taxes and how much? Gaining insight from international tax experts, Backlight director Marije Meerman takes a look at tax havens, the people who live there and the routes along which tax is avoided globally.
Those routes go by resounding names like ‘Cayman Special’, ‘Double Irish’, and ‘Dutch Sandwich’. A financial world operates in the shadows surrounded by a high level of secrecy. A place where sizable capital streams travel the world at the speed of light and avoid paying tax.
The Tax Free Tour is an economic thriller mapping the systemic risk for governments and citizens alike. Is this the price we have to pay for globalized capitalism?
At the same time, the free online game “Taxodus” by Femke Herregraven is launched. In the game, the player can select the profile of a multinational and look for the global route to pay as little tax as possible.
The Midas Formula
48’, lecture Błażej Kochański
11.20 AM – 12.10 AM
ROOM 007 WZIE
This is the extraordinary story of a beautiful mathematical formula that changed the world, the financial markets, and indeed capitalism itself. It could do the unthinkable – it took the risk out of playing the money-markets. To its inventors it brought the Nobel Prize for economics. To those who used it, it brought great wealth. But this glittering tale would end in tragedy.
The Black Scholes formula was invented 25 years ago, by three young mathematicians. They had been trying to solve a problem that had plagued economists for centuries – how to counter the randomness of market forces and the irrationality of human behaviour that made the markets dangerously turbulent. Whilst pondering this dilemma, they made a remarkable discovery.
The search for a way to price option contracts began in earnest when the thesis of an unknown student named Louis Bachelier was unearthed in the 1950s. Working at the beginning of this century, Bachelier had set out to do something no-one had ever done before – using a series of equations he created the first complete mathematical model of the markets. He had realised that stock prices moved at random and that it was impossible to make exact predictions about them, but Bachelier said he had also found a solution – through the pricing of a financial contract called an option.
The risk in the stock market is that if you buy a stock today the price can drop in the future and you could lose money but if you pay for an option contract this gives you the right to wait and buy the stock if it reaches some agreed price in the future, but there’s no obligation. If the stock fails to reach that price you can opt out and you would lose only the cost of the option. In theory options are a perfect way to get rid of risk, but there was a problem. How much would someone pay for such absolute peace of mind?
Bachelier believed that if someone could discover a formula that would allow option contracts to be widely used, they would be able to tame the markets completely, but he died before he could find it. By the end of the 60s, academics were no nearer to pricing options than they’d ever been. But all this was about to change when Myron Scholes and his colleague Fischer Black set out to tackle the problem of options…
At its simplest level, the Black Scholes formula could be used to hedge against losing any bet, by working out how to place another bet in the opposite direction. That way, you couldn’t lose. The formula had the almost magical ability to allow you to make a fortune with the minimum of risk. But there was one problem. In the time it took to make the calculation, the fast moving markets had moved on and the calculation would effectively be out-of-date.
However, unbeknown to them, the problem had already been solved by a financial genius called Bob Merton. Using an idea taken from rocket science, the value of an option could now be constantly recalculated and the risk eliminated continually.
Traders Myron Scholes and Bob Merton joined forces with the greatest dealers on Wall Street, and started a legendary company – Long Term Capital Management (LTCM). Relying on mathematics, the company traded and borrowed on a scale never seen before. But the mathematical model was based on normal market behaviour and unforeseen events were about to send the markets wild. The calculations in LTCM’s models became hopelessly out of kilter, and when the company collapsed last year, it nearly brought down the entire global economy.
70’, lecture Krzysztof Zięba
12.20 AM – 2 PM
ROOM 007 WZIE
How do you determine the true value of a product or service? Is it solely based on the profit motive, or should its impact on the global good also play a major role in the equation? The feature-length documentary Real Value profiles business leaders who have seen their profits rise after taking measures to enhance their standards of sustainability.
The filmmakers focus on efforts currently taking place in North Carolina, but the lessons each subject imparts can be applied anywhere in the United States or around the world.
At Piedmont Biofuels, workers collect used fats, oils and greases and transform them into fuel. Demand for their product is at an all-time high, and they are blessedly free of the shackles and curses associated with the big oil industry.
In another segment, the president of a custom T-shirt wholesale business outlines the steps he took after the North American Free Trade Agreement essentially gutted his enterprise. He decided to place ethical responsibility above concerns for the bottom line, and integrated wind, solar and biofuel technologies into his business model. By embracing these sustainability measures, his business has grown both in profit and in its standing within the community.
The spirit of activism and environmental responsibility drives every facet of operations at Sow True Seed in Asheville. The owner of this small business fights for the rights of all people to know where their food comes from. She teaches interested parties in her community how to plant seeds, empowers others to grow their own healthy food, and donates leftover inventory to local schools and support groups.
These values also extend into workplace practices that promote a shared sense of respect, teamwork and purpose among each employee.
Interspersed between these personal profiles, viewers gain big-picture insights from panel of experts, including Dan Ariely, a Professor of Psychology & Behavioral Economics at Duke University and the founder of the Center for Advanced Hindsight.
The fascinating subjects of Real Value are relatable and inspiring entrepreneurs. Their means of driving profits through social responsibility are well within reach for the owners of all businesses large and small.
Will work for free
127’ lecture Ewa Lechman
9.30 AM – 12 AM
ROOM 007 WZIE
What’s the biggest threat to humanity you can think of? Pollution, disease, natural disasters, terrorism, crime, drugs…? But do we ever think about our basic life support needs? We usually don’t have to because luckily for us we have a system. It’s a system where you can gain employment and work for money which of course provides access to food, water and shelter. And it’s a good thing we have this system because without money you’re as good as dead.
But if you don’t have a job you don’t need to worry because again we have a system. If you’re out of work for whatever reason simply apply for government aid. All the people with jobs pay taxes and since the government understands that a certain level of unemployment as to some degree is to be expected, it simply relocates some of that tax money and hands over to those without jobs through a magical process called redistribution. It makes you wonder, if this is the solution for unemployment than where is the threshold? What level of unemployment is sustainable and what would happen if all these jobs suddenly disappear?
This isn’t the first time unemployment has been a threat to this system. Twenty years ago unemployment accounted for 10% of the UK’s population. It marked one of the worst recessions in their history with significant waves of rioting. However, in 1993 unemployment took a turn. Somehow the jobs came back and things got better. This growth and employment was just what they needed, however only lasted until 2001. Then the rate stagnated and increased again.
By 2009 they were back to 8%. But it is reassuring to see that recent trends of unemployment have slowed since then, or at least it would be reassuring if it weren’t for the fact that the increase of the part-time employment runs almost parallel to the decrease of the full-time employment. Technically more people are unemployed and the rate falsely implies a slight slowdown of job loss. In reality the amount of available work is shrinking and the economy is only getting worse.
98’, lecture Andrzej Karalus
12 AM – 2 PM
ROOM 007 WZIE
Perhaps the definitive cinematic investigation of the modern American food industry, the Oscar-nominated documentary Food, Inc. exposes a system rife with corruptive, secretive and abusive practices, and whose products contribute to the rising epidemic of obesity and all the deadly diseases that result.
The reality of agriculture in America is no longer the romantic farmer with the white picket fence and the sputtering tractor. Food production has become entirely corporatized, and it operates with limited regulations and absolute impunity. The demands of mass production have led to disastrously diminished quality standards, and have placed the health of all consumers in peril.
For the most part, the farmers themselves remain hesitant to speak out in fear of the overly litigious corporations that employ them. But in one of the film’s most revealing segments, a chicken farmer does comes forward, and sheds light on some of the most egregious demands placed upon her by the industry. Her coops are overcrowded with forcibly fattened chickens who exist in extremely unsanitary conditions. Many of them are sick, and have developed immunity to their steady diet of antibiotics. The industry utilizes a cheap labor force, much of which consists of illegal immigrants, to load and transport the chickens.
From grain to poultry to vegetables, less than a handful of companies control the production of the foods we eat. Their too-big-to-fail monopoly comes at a disastrous price. The film delves into big agriculture’s operational practices, reliance on dangerous pesticides and other chemicals, cost-cutting measures, unprecedented legal and political lobbying power, and insidious marketing tactics. Industry insiders and assorted food advocates testify to the changing nature of food consumption. We’re also presented with the intimate stories of several ordinary citizens who have suffered under the industry’s reign, including a grieving mother whose son died after eating a hamburger infected with E. coli.
The filmmakers don’t let consumers off the hook, however. After all, the industry is only responding to the public’s insatiable cravings for more food at cheaper costs. Many aren’t aware of the consequences exposed in the film. That’s just one reason why Food, Inc. is required viewing.
Money for free
49’, lecture Andrzej Karalus
10 AM – 11.10 AM
ROOM 007 WZIE
Money for Free makes the case for a new economic system intended to minimize financial inequalities by introducing viewers to the concept of a guaranteed basic income. By highlighting social experiments currently taking place, the filmmakers introduce viewers to some of the people working towards a large-scale redistribution of wealth.
Michael Bohmeyer, a young entrepreneur from Berlin, first experienced the benefits of limited financial stress upon quitting his self-made company. Earning €1,000 per month in his semi-retirement, Bohmeyer noted a significant drop in anxiety as well as improved health thanks to having a reliable basic income. Bohmeyer was inspired to create a crowdfunding project as a social experiment. Each time the fund reaches €12,000, one raffle winner receives an annual basic income of €1,000 per month. The raffle is unconditional in that no one is restricted from competing for it.
In its fifth cycle one lucky winner was an eight year-old boy, whose parents were quite happy to have not only rent money, but also funds to take a family trip and purchase books for their children each month. Bohmeyer explains that in order to succeed people need to feel safe and secure, not unlike children who crave closeness to their parents and unconditional love. By providing a basic income, he feels citizens are given this sense of security, which enables them to enjoy greater peace of mind, improved well-being, and heightened productivity.
Being of a similar mindset, economist and basic income advocate Guy Standing conducted an experiment in India where 6,000 participants were given a guaranteed, unconditional cash income for 18 months. Standing traveled to Groningen, a province in the Netherlands, to encourage the undertaking of income experiments there as well. Standing voices his concern that income tax and social security are failing, and that there are too many people living on the edge of debt. As with Bohmeyer, Standing believes a new way of thinking about money and the value of people is overdue.
These are just two of the subjects profiled here, as Money for Free takes viewers through parts of Europe, India and the United States to investigate different models for providing guaranteed basic income. The audience will be left with several perspectives to consider with regards to how the scales of wealth can be rebalanced in a way that is beneficial to all.
118’, lecture Michael Derrer
11.20 AM – 2 PM
ROOM 007 WZIE
Showing solutions, telling a feel-good story… this may be the best way to solve the ecological, economical and social crises that our countries are going through. After a special briefing for the journal Nature announced the possible extinction of a part of mankind before the end of the 21st century, Cyril Dion and Mélanie Laurent, together with a team of four people, carried out an investigation in ten different countries to figure out what may lead to this disaster and above all how to avoid it.
During their journey, they met the pioneers who are re-inventing agriculture, energy, economy, democracy and education. Joining those concrete and positive actions which are already working, they began to figure out what could be tomorrow’s world…
lecture: Dr Andrzej Sadowski and Andrzej Laskowski
This episodic satire of the Machine Age is considered Charles Chaplin’s last “silent” film, although Chaplin uses sound, vocal, and musical effects throughout. Chaplin stars as an assembly-line worker driven insane by the monotony of his job. After a long spell in an asylum, he searches for work, only to be mistakenly arrested as a Red agitator. Released after foiling a prison break, Chaplin makes the acquaintance of orphaned gamine (Paulette Goddard) and becomes her friend and protector. He takes on several new jobs for her benefit, but every job ends with a quick dismissal and yet another jail term. During one of his incarcerations, she is hired to dance at a nightclub and arranges for him to be hired there as a singing waiter. He proves an enormous success, but they are both forced to flee their jobs when the orphanage officials show up to claim the girl. Dispirited, she moans, “What’s the use of trying?” But the ever-resourceful Chaplin tells her to never say die, and our last image is of Chaplin and The Gamine strolling down a California highway towards new adventures. The plotline of Modern Times is as loosely constructed as any of Chaplin’s pre-1915 short subjects, permitting ample space for several of the comedian’s most memorable routines: the “automated feeding machine,” a nocturnal roller-skating episode, and Chaplin’s double-talk song rendition in the nightclub sequence. In addition to producing, directing, writing, and starring in Modern Times, Chaplin also composed its theme song, Smile, which would later be adopted as Jerry Lewis’ signature tune.
lecture Prof. Andrzej Leder
Based on the book by Michael Lewis (writer of Moneyball, Liar’s Poker and Flash Boys, among others), the true story of a handful of investors who bet against the US mortgage market in 2006-7. Through their own research they discovered that the US mortgage backed securities market was a bubble about to burst, and they invested accordingly. What they didn’t initially know was how structurally flawed the MBS system was, the level of corruption in the market…and the impact on the average person when the bubble burs
lecture O. Maciej Zięba
“Greed is Good.” This is the credo of the aptly named Gordon Gekko (Michael Douglas), the antihero of Oliver Stone’s Wall Street. Gekko, a high-rolling corporate raider, is idolized by young-and-hungry broker Bud Fox (Charlie Sheen). Inveigling himself into Gekko’s inner circle, Fox quickly learns to rape, murder and bury his sense of ethics. Only when Gekko’s wheeling and dealing causes a near-tragedy on a personal level does Fox “reform”-though his means of destroying Gekko are every bit as underhanded as his previous activities on the trading floor. Director Stone, who cowrote Wall Street with Stanley Weiser, has claimed that the film was prompted by the callous treatment afforded his stockbroker father after 50 years in the business; this may be why the film’s most compelling scenes are those between Bud Fox and his airline mechanic father (played by Charlie Sheen’s real-life dad Martin). Ironically, Wall Street was released just before the October, 1987 stock market crash.
The competition is organized by Gdansk University of Technology Faculty of Management and Economics and Hohschule Luzern. The purpose of the competition is to collect opinions on films included in the “Film Meetings with Economics 2017” program. Voting is done by clicking on the selected movie, adding an opinion, nickname, and email address. The e-mail addresses of participants will only be used to enable the Commission contact with the winners. The Commission will award authors with the most interesting responses. The selection of the most interesting answers is completely subjective. The participant by taking part in VOTING accepts the fact that there is no possibility of appealing against the decision of the Commission. The Commission Board includes following persons: Dr Andrzej Karalus (chairman), dr hab. Ewa Lechman, dr inż Wioleta Kucharska and Michael Derrer. The VOTING starts from Oct, 24 to Nov 12, 2017. The results will be announced no later than 20.11.2017 on the website: https://all-about-economy.zie.pg.gda.pl.