Andrew Nisker
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Andrew Nisker

Toronto, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2014

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Spoken Word Spoken Word



The best kept secret in music


"Filmmaker's eye-opening presentation has kids reading labels"

Andrew Nisker wants students to change the way they clean and smell. The award-winning filmmaker stood in front of the entire St. Joseph-Scollard Hall student body and staff and revealed toxicity levels in their favourite cosmetic and household cleaning products. The writer and producer of Chemerical, a documentary that follows an average family’s switch to “green” products once they learn the danger of contents in popular brands, was on hand for the school’s Enviro-Insights Film Festival last week.

Students brought their favourite lipsticks and body sprays to Nisker’s presentation and watched in disbelief as he revealed their favourite products’ poor ratings in a database by the Environmental Working Group, Skin Deep. Products are given an ingredient hazard score, from 1-10, which reflects known and suspected hazards of ingredients.

“The quality of the air in your home is far worse than the quality of the air outside, and that all comes down to the chemicals in everything we use to clean ourselves and our home,” he said. “We are a generation that needs to smell like strawberries and vanilla because we are afraid of smelling like human beings.”

Nisker urged the audience to start buying natural products or learn to make their own. He encouraged students to report their switch to natural products on his “toxic products removed” counter at “What are some of the things we can start doing today,” one student asked. “You have to stop buying bottled water. You live in a city surrounded by beautiful lakes. Your tap water is gold, drink it!” he said. -

"Film Review: Chemerical"

Chemerical was one of the most interesting documentaries I have seen in a long time. What made this film so powerful, was the poignancy of the pain that this family suffered from being confronted with the reality and addiction to having so many toxic cleaners in their home.

Chemerical is a Canadian documentary that offers a window through which one can voyeuristically witness people’s unconscious, unwitting choices and the many corporatist chemicals that they spray and smear about their homes and bodies.

The “raw-ness” one saw and felt for this relatively ordinary family that the filmmaker had found through a posting on Craig’s List is touching.

Like for many of us, the first step was getting them out of denial, then anger and defensiveness and even bargaining

evidenced by their storing some of the old cleaners in the garage and, like an addict, sneaking out there when no one was looking to grab a couple, falling back on old habits. After a number of family meetings, a hurt and crying mother, angry teenagers and a withdrawing father and husband, progress was made. If one wonders if they were under house arrest with tasers at the ready, all they were asked to do was replace their toxic household cleaners and such with non-toxic.This is a wondeful story that we all can learn from and apply in our own lives, making changes that benefit us personally and our environment, which we all rely on for our survival. - Synergy Magazine

"Educational Media Reviews Online: Orange Witness"

... This video is recommended to those interested in the effects of Agent Orange exposure and the potential long-term effects of herbicides in our environment. The folks at Take Action Films, those responsible for Orange Witness, should be acknowledged as leaders in exploring the extent of use of Agent Orange and its component herbicides world-wide. Their research has uncovered previously unknown use of the mixture in New Zealand, Canada and the U.S. ... - Educational Media Reviews Online

"Former INXS Frontman J.D. Fortune's Comeback Doc Gets World Premiere"

Andrew Nisker's "Chasing Fortune" follows the Canadian musician looking to find fame again after a headlong plunge into bankruptcy and homelessness.

TORONTO -- Former INXS lead singerJ.D. Fortune had his glorious highs and crushing lows as the frontman for the Aussie rockers.

But the Canadian musician's lower lows are the subject of Andrew Nisker's rock docChasing Fortune, set for its world premiere in Toronto on Nov. 11, with Fortune in attendance. You'll recall Fortune beat out 14 other contestants to win reality TV guru's Mark Burnett's Rock Star: INXSfor CBS in 2005.

"I knew he'd won the show," Nisker said of Fortune's instant rock stardom as the replacement frontman for Michael Hutchence, who committed suicide in 1997.
"My partner was watching the show, and I got sucked in," he added.
So what happened next?

Nisker's riches-to-rags film finds the former rock star hitting rock bottom after a headlong plunge into bankruptcy and homelessness. Fortune left INXS twice before his turbulent global touring with the legendary Aussie rock band ended in 2011.
"The film isn't about why he (Fortune) blew his opportunity. It's about how he could come back," Nisker told The Hollywood Reporter.

That return from unfathomable ruin starts with Fortune joining members of the Canadian indie band Crush Luther to front his own band, Fortune.
"It's the win-or-lose: Either he'd be up or down. He was nowhere when we started the film," Nisker recalled of the reality TV star's bid to get back on rock's radar screen.

Besides a tour of rehearsal halls and recording studios, we see Fortune opening up about his past while on the road in Toronto, Salt Springs, Nova Scotia, where he grew up, Fort Myers, Fla., Las Vegas and Los Angeles over a 12-month period.
He talks about being raised by a single mother and a grandfather he idolized after his estranged father said he was just stepping out for five minutes before never returning. Fortune also reveals enduring sexual abuse as a child at the hands of a "touchy-feely babysitter."

But there's no headlining arenas and festivals as Fortune looks to step back on a red carpet that was rolled up behind him when he left INXS for good in 2011.
There's a debut performance for Fortune at the legendary Stone Pony in Asbury Park, N.J., followed by an ill-fated trip to Florida for a performance at a zombie walk festival that had to be abandoned after the sound engineer never showed up.

But Fortune's comeback bid starts to unravel when he fails to retrieve a guitar in Los Angeles that he insists he lent to a friend, and which he needed to pawn to pay for rehearsal space. As he reaches an emotional low point, Fortune finally opens up about his INXS days.

"The rumors that I was kicked out of INXS because I had a drug problem are so far from true," Fortune tells the camera at one point, insisting he's never been in rehab.
And he laments never becoming part of INXS and leading the legendary band as its frontman.

"Really what that band needed was a leader, but I was too new. The more I tried to lead that band, the more they thought I was a prick. So I couldn't win," he recalled.
The rest of Chasing Fortune shows a repeat cycle of failure for the down-on-his-luck rock musician.

Fortune breathed privileged air when he boarded INXS. But that band was a 30-year business built around a family act, the Farriss Brothers, who had their own way to operate. And Fortune bristled at just being the hair and teeth, the lead singer frozen out creatively.

Chasing Fortune reveals the Canadian musician enduring the same fate with his comeback band. The former Crush Luther members -- Luther Mallory, PJ Herrick and Matt Leitch -- are revealed as highly skilled unit in which Fortune never fit in, creatively or personality-wise.

"It came down to the same dynamic: He (Fortune) chose to front a band that was tight. So history repeats itself, on a smaller scale," Nisker observed.

Chasing Fortune is produced by Karen Bliss and Nisker's Take Action Films.

The film will debut Tuesday night on Superchannel, the Canadian pay TV service. Nisker is at work on his next documentary, The King of Candy, about the second most common form of litter, chewing gum. - Hollywood Reporter


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


Andrew Nisker makes films that inspire people to take action and revolutionize the way they treat the environment and themselves.

His mentor, the late Mr. Bob Hunter (Co-founder, Greenpeace), declared The Revolution Starts at Home. Taking Mr. Hunter's words to heart, Andrew set out to create a body of work to help make environmentalism more accessible.

His first film, Garbage! The Revolution Starts At Home (Sundance Channel, CBC, TVO), cast an average family and asked them to keep their trash for three months. Self-funded, the film touched a nerve with international audiences, playing at the Hot Docs Film Festival in Toronto and was subsequently translated into six languages and viewed by over 4 million people.

Andrews second film, Chemerical, cast another average family, but this time they were asked to take an inventory of their everyday household cleaning agents and personal care products... and replace them with all-natural products. After discovering the unhealthy toxins that lay hidden away in the closets and cupboards of their average suburban home, audiences demanded solutions. So Andrew wrote a simple 'green clean' guide and designed a phone app to empower the consumer to measure the toxicity in their home by simply swiping a product's bar code with their smart phone.

His latest film, Sticky Situation, takes on the world's second most common form of litter: chewing gum.  Andrew believes that the story will act as a gateway to young minds to enhance their awareness of this seemingly invisible pollution that has an enormous social, environmental and economic impact. He is currently working on an accompanying 'gum pollution' app that will give any smart phone user the opportunity to quantify gum pollution by simply taking a picture of the gum-strewn sidewalks in their hometown. He hopes the combination of the film and the crowd-sourced gum pollution map will pressure governments, industry, and consumers to tackle the worldwide polluting habits that perpetuate an annual clean-up cost of over one billion dollars.

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