Avi Lewis is a documentary filmmaker and educator, with more than 30 years of experience in journalism and storytelling from the front lines of social movements.
In 2015, Lewis was a co-author of The Leap Manifesto; fifteen political demands to get Canada off fossil fuels in a way that simultaneously confronts racial and gender discrimination and economic inequality.
More recently, he has been deeply involved in the emergent frame of the Green New Deal – working with The Sunrise Movement in the US, and producing the animated short films Message from the Future with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Message from the Future II: The Years of Repair, written with Black Lives Matter co-founder Opal Tometi.
Prior to joining UBC as a professor of geography, he was a lecturer at Rutgers University School of Communication and Information, where he designed a course that unpacks the impact of feature length documentaries. His students developed a vocabulary to identify and critique the filmmaker’s “toolbox” of techniques and examine how they are deployed in service of the film’s message and theory of social change.
At UBC, his teaching focuses on social and political change, communication and documentary filmmaking. This is a historical moment that calls on communities to come together and "put justice at the center of the vast transition we must make as a matter of survival."