Going Green Film Festival Day Pass, Films King Corn, Addicted to Plastic & More
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The last date listed for Going Green Film Festival was Sunday April 4, 2010 / All Day.
Reviews & Ratings
Featured review from Andrea SzeredyRed Velvet
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The films were wonderful & should be shown to everyone every chance the film industry has to expose what's really going on in the world & how it effects all of us.
There was a down-side to the all day festival - there was way too much time in-between the films with no where to go (due to the Easter week end). Several eateries were closed, or closing early, & since you paid for parking, you couldn't drive anywhere to get a bite to eat. The festival did not have any vendors set up in the lobby either.
Parking was "full price" if you arrived in the morning for the all day festival - the discounted price listed in the advisories section of the GoldStar print-out were for after hours (evening time) only. The parking attendant didn't care if you were attending the festival & had a print-out with the price for parking.
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This was a great event! The films were awesome- only two that I could've done without. The variety in terms of content, style, type, premise, etc was great! A lot of PBS pieces were screened- most of which were my favorites from the day....continued
Quotes & Highlights
Visit the festival web site for more information.
Friday, April 2nd
10:30am Addicted to Plastic
From early plastic like bakelite, now a collectible, to plastic water bottles, the use of plastic is pervasive. “The cheapest, strongest, most ubiquitous material ever invented, that might be quietly poisoning us,” states Connacher in this point-of-view documentary that takes him to 12 countries, five continents and to the middle of the Pacific Ocean where plastic debris accumulates. Through interviews and expert views, he offers possible solutions to recycling, toxicity and biodegradation. At the forefront of Addicted to Plastic is how we might rethink future consumption and production of plastic. A wake-up call becomes a call for change for the rest of us.
12:45pm Between the Tides
Sundarban, India – In December of 2006, researchers from Jadavpur University in Calcutta reported that the first inhabited island has been submerged as a result of rising sea levels and global warming. 10,000 people once inhabited the island of Lohachara in the Bay of Bengal. They have recently become landless refugees. Reports indicate that residents have fled to the larger island of Sagar, which is also eroding into the Ganges estuary. Researchers at Jadavpur said that at least 70,000 people in the Sundarban atoll will become eco-refugees within several years. In today’s economically connected world, it is imperative to understand how the swiftly changing world is shaping the way in which we live and interact. By presenting the case study of the Sundarbans in a format easily accessible to all ages and backgrounds, we are bringing to light a contemporary story in need of attention. The documentary film uses education to promote practical awareness of a potentially devastating affect of climate change. While the film is made accessible to a broader audience with an entertainment value, it will also be used to indirectly persuade policy makers to make sound decisions on climate change issues. The project also aspires to give the audience the opportunity to confront the idea of how decisions made in one corner of the globe directly affect people living in another.
3:00pm Black Wave: The Legacy of Exxon Valdez*
Twenty years after the Exxon Valdez oil spill, marine biologist Riki Ott and the fishers in the town of Cordova, Alaska remind us that the biggest environmental catastrophe in North American history is still with us. Over time, its consequences have become all the more apparent and painful. The spill has profoundly altered the lives of tens of thousands of people, reducing them to poverty and despair. On March 24th 1989, shortly after midnight, the supertanker Exxon Valdez runs aground in Prince William Sound, a pristine area immensely rich in marine life. A significant part of the crude oil carried by the tanker spills into the sea. The black wave. Most of that oil will never be recovered. Almost instantly, dramatic images of the accident crisscross the planet. Agonizing birds flap their wings, covered in oil. Dazed sea lions take refuge on a marine buoy. Seals gasp on a rocky beach. An enormous, gooey black wave rolls forward and swallows 2,000 kilometers of wild beaches that have not been disturbed since the dawn of time. The media find a culprit. It is Captain Joe Hazelwood, whose blood alcohol content shows he is seriously intoxicated. But Hazelwood is a scapegoat who obscures the fact that the accident was preventable. Exxon and its sister oil companies in Alaska have a long history of breaking safety promises. By March 1989, Riki Ott and many fishers in Prince William Sound believe there is a major supertanker accident waiting to happen. When it happens, Exxon launches a spectacular cleanup operation paired with an unprecedented public relations campaign. Exxon comes off as a responsible corporate citizen doing its best to repair the damage caused by one irresponsible individual – Captain Hazelwood. Only when journalists go home do the consequences gradually surface. An important part of the oil has been blasted, with pressurized hot water, under the surface sands. Birds, fish, mammals will eat contaminated food for years to come. Certain species, like herring, will never recover, creating a permanent economic crisis for the fishermen of the Sound. And as bankruptcies begin, a wave of social problems like alcohol, divorce and even suicide engulfs small towns all over the Sound. A class-action suit involving 32,000 people seems to end in a huge victory. A jury orders Exxon to pay five billion dollars. But battalions of lawyers commanded by Exxon engage in a drawn-out judicial war that slows the legal system down to a crawl. When the case finally ends up before the U.S. Supreme Court, it brings the award down to one tenth of the original amount. The decision, a victory for ExxonMobil, constitutes a bitter defeat for the people of Cordova. Toward the end of their judicial saga, Riki Ott and the fishers of Cordova ask if corporate values have trumped human rights and community values in the United States today. And they look for ways to rebuild their lives.
5:30pm King Corn
Winner — Best Documentary
King Corn follows two friends who move to Iowa on a mission to see where America’s food comes from — by growing it. In the tiny town of Greene, Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis plant a single acre of the nation’s most powerful crop. Over the course of the growing season, Ian and Curt lead us on an irreverent romp through the backrooms and byways of a broken food system — always on the trail of where their grain might go. When they return to Greene to harvest their own acre of corn, Ian and Curt realize their experiment has gotten out of hand: their 10,000-pound crop is destined to make America sick. Now they must take matters into their own hands, and look for a way to live and eat outside a system they feel trapped in.
7:30pm Big River (with The Greening of Southie)
Following up on their Peabody winning documentary, the King Corn boys are back. For Big River, best friends Ian Cheney and Curt Ellis have returned to Iowa with a new mission: to investigate the environmental impact their acre of corn has sent to the people and places downstream. In a journey that spans from the heartland to the Gulf of Mexico, Ian and Curt trade their combine for a canoe––and set out to see the big world their little acre of corn has touched. On their trip, flashbacks to the pesticides they sprayed, the fertilizers they injected, and the soil they plowed now lead to new questions, explored by new experts in new places. Half of Iowa’s topsoil, they learn, has been washed out to sea. Fertilizer runoff has spawned a hypoxic “dead zone” in the Gulf. And back at their acre, the herbicides they used are blamed for a cancer cluster that reaches all too close to home.
The Greening of Southie*
What happens when you’re asked to build the city of tomorrow… today? Set on the rugged streets of South Boston, The Greening of Southie is the story of a revolutionary Green Building, and the men and women who bring it to life. From wheatboard cabinetry to recycled steel, bamboo flooring to dual-flush toilets, The Macallen Building is something different––a leader in the emerging field of environmentally friendly design. But Boston’s steel-toed construction workers aren’t sure they like it. And when things on the building start to go wrong, the young development team has to keep the project from unraveling. Funny and poignant, The Greening of Southie is a story of bold ideas, unlikely environmentalists, and the future of the way we live.
*Saturday, April 3rd
Greenlit chronicles the efforts of the indie film The River Why starring Zach Gilford as the filmmakers attempt to “go green”. Film producer Miranda Bailey decides to follow the process and learn more about why that is necessary, how much it costs and what going “green” means as an environmental consultant, is brought on to the film. Both entertaining and humorous, the film is filled with compelling and important facts about filmmaking and sustainability and shows that Kermit was right- it ain’t easy being’ green.
12:15pm A Thousand Suns (with *Ecoplaza Paradise Oasis, Ladies of the Land and Adventures with Birdman: Ecuador)*
A Thousand Suns’ tells the story of the Gamo Highlands of the African Rift Valley and the unique worldview held by the people of the region. This isolated area has remained remarkably intact both biologically and culturally. It is one of the most densely populated rural regions of Africa yet its people have been farming sustainably for 10,000 years. Shot in Ethiopia, New York and Kenya, the film explores two interrelated threats to the Gamo Highlands: 1) the evangelistic aspirations of the protestant church that are destroying the Gamo’s indigenous spirituality and governance systems; and 2) the efforts of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), a Western aid organization which is spending hundreds of millions of dollars bringing chemical pesticides, fertilizers and so-called improved seeds to the continent. Through these external forces we gain insight into the modern world’s untenable sense of separation from and superiority over nature. And we see how the interconnected worldview of the Gamo people is fundamental in achieving long-term sustainability, both in the region and beyond.
Ecoplaza Paradise Oasis
Copenhagen 2038- A white knuckle ride charting the paradigm shift that enabled us to save ourselves from climate change. A win/win pact leads to the creation of lifestyle centres worldwide, from Soweto to New Orleans. Ecoplazas, combining like an immune system for the Earth. Ecopolazas are models of a world saved from climate change. They apply joined-up-thinking addressing climate change and many social ills simultaneously whilst having the time of your life. In 2038, you were either in on the plan to save the planet, or you were living in the past. The first climate change film with a happy ending. In times of flood we build arks to win against the weather!
Ladies of the Land*
As small, family farms continue to disappear from the American landscape, a new kind of farmer is sprouting up across the land: women. Ladies of the Land profiles four women in Pennsylvania and Minnesota who never thought they’d be in charge of a farm, but today have dedicated their lives to the land; all part of a national trend of more women going into farming. Winner of a Student Academy Award and Gracie Allen Award, the film explores the ways in which these women are doing things differently; running smaller operations, growing with sustainable methods, and selling their produce locally. Take a journey to America’s new heartland. Directed by Megan Thompson, music by Andy Thompson.
Adventures with Birdman: Ecuador*
In the series’ first program, Birdman sets out in search of a rare, endangered species of ant bird—the Jocotoco Antpitta, a shy bird not discovered by scientists until 1997. Stopping frequently to catch his breath, Birdman lugs his heavy camera equipment as high as 13,000 ft, finally reaching one of the very few places where this bird is found: a reserve in the moss-covered forests of southern Ecuador’s Andes. It rains for five days straight. Birdman doesn’t see a single bird. So he enlists the help of a local farmer who has made contact with other Antpittas. With the assistance of Angel Paz, Birdman finds and films the Dark-backed Wood Quail…the Moustached Antpitta …the Yellow-Breasted Antpitta …and finally a Giant Antpitta! These are some of the rarest birds in South America, and Birdman is clearly very moved by the experience. But the Jocotoco Antpitta remains elusive. Six months later, Birdman returns. This time, he meets his quest, and viewers are treated to close-up views of two of no more than- 50 Jocotoco Antipittas in the world. By the end of this adventure, Birdman has filmed five rare bird species along with Andean condors, hawks, 25 kinds of hummingbirds, and a spectacular array of other tropical birds.
3:00pm Fort Roosevelt Requiem*
In the middle of California, surrounded by dairies and farms, sprung one of the most unique educational experiences in the world. Created by a principal who ‘hated school’ when he was a kid, Fort Roosevelt was built to inspire kids to want to learn. Built and operated by community volunteers, Fort Roosevelt was literally a fort: a western style stockade surrounded by 1000 telephone poles. It featured an authentic log cabin, pond, 7 different environmental areas and wild animal rehabilitation center. Fort Roosevelt became a role model for outdoor educational facilities around the world. It garnered praise from as high as the President of the United States and even attracted Hollywood’s attention. The fort drew in approximately 30,000 visitors a year. To children, the fort was a magical place that inspired awe at every corner. To the school district, Fort Roosevelt was an albatross that had to be removed. After 40 years of unparalleled success, the Fort was destroyed during the Christmas break in 2005. Despite a valiant effort by the community, the school district could not be deterred from its mission. ‘Fort Roosevelt Requiem’ chronicles and recreates the magic of Fort Roosevelt as well as exposes the truth behind its tragic demise.
4:45pm Global Focus VI: The New Environmentalists (with *The Gulf Islands: Mississippi’s Wilderness Shore and Innovation Exploration)*
Hosted by Robert Redford, Global Focus VI – The New Environmentalists, is an Emmy-award winning series, featuring intimate portraits of seven passionate and dedicated activists from all five continents. All have been honored with the prestigious Goldman Prize, known as the Nobel Prize of the environment. These fearless grassroots leaders take on their governments & outside corporate interests as they work to improve both the environment & the living conditions in their own communities.
The Gulf Islands: Mississippi’s Wilderness Shore
The Gulf Islands: Mississippi’s Wilderness Shore documents the nature of America’s largest national seashore, as well as the dangers it faces. The film is a poetico-scientific portrayal of what is both a natural and human phenomenon. Its makers candidly insist that beauty, like utility, is a human necessity. Through stunning cinematography and interviews with experts and local residents, this film showcases the barrier islands off the coast of Mississippi—Cat Island, Ship Island, Horn Island and Petit Bois Island—and explains how this linked seashore and the waters around it were protected and preserved for the good of nature and humans. Woven throughout the film are themes of ecological significance, recreation and inspiration.
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6:45pm Bangladesh: Water World (with Muniya)
Imagine you lived in a world of water. You’re home is two-feet under. You wade through it, you cook on it, you sleep above it. Water. It’s everywhere. This is the reality for hundreds of thousands of people around the world, coastal populations who are on the front lines of climate change. Our film travels to Bangladesh, one of the most vulnerable countries on the planet, where the effects of global warming are already profoundly impacting the lives of its people. We put a human face on the crisis by visiting families and communities inundated by water, battered by cyclones, flooded from their homes. But this is not just a bleak tale. We wanted to share and inspire our audience with a glimpse of the resiliency and forward thinking of the Bangladeshi people. We explored the innovative steps they are taking to protect their houses, their livelihoods and their families. From floating schools to rice that can “hold its breath” underwater, to visions of building new land by harnessing the very rivers that are swallowing the country, the people of Bangladesh are seeking creative solutions to the dramatic impacts climate change is having on their lives now, and are already preparing for much worse to come.
“If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” —Charles Darwin Inspired by a true story, “Muniya” is the daughter of a poor farmer in India who suddenly becomes ill. Her father and her travel from their small village to visit a doctor in the city of Mumbai. He discovers that his only child requires an expensive kidney surgery that he cannot possibly afford to save her life. Presenting a human face to the overwhelming issue of poverty, this film addresses how far a parent will go to save their child from suffering.
*8:45pm The Bicycle Thief
- The Bicycle Thief is a special screening and is not included with the Saturday day pass.
10:45pm Monkey Puzzle
Monkey Puzzle follows five intrepid friends on an adventure into Australia’s iconic Blue Mountains, on the search for one of the world’s most prehistoric trees, the Wollemi Pine. Leading the troupe are best friends, Carl and Dylan, who are full of youth and vigour. However after abseiling down into the rainforest canyons, a series of mishaps delay their adventure. They lose their map, they lose their food and they lose their way. Tensions between Carl and Dylan fracture the group. As they become engulfed by the harsh terrain, they come face-to-face with their most personal secrets and fears on a journey which will test the limits of friendship, intimacy and the truth of their pasts. Once stuck in the canyons, they find there is no way back.
*Sunday, April 4th
9:45am Being Martin*
Martin Symons is a man who was born with the rare condition Klippel-Feil Syndrome. Martin’s symptoms include a fusion of the cervical spine, cleft palate, hearing loss, hole in the head, heart condition, under bite, short neck with webbing, scoliosis, kyphosis and club feet. In 2003 he suffered respiratory failure. Martin was also born with another rare condition: a Lust for Life. He may now not be able to walk more than 50 metres and needs a ventilator to stay alive, but this remarkable man set himself an adventurous challenge: to ride Coast to Coast following the Hadrian’s wall cycle route, 100 miles in 7 days in an off-road electric wheelchair called the Boma. The film follows Martin for a year building a picture of the victories Martin accomplishes on a daily basis; getting to the hospital in London from his home in Norwich, going for his Tai Chi classes, swimming, sailing, flying, and hooking up to his ventilator for 8 hours a day so that his body doesn’t poison him with un-exhaled carbon dioxide. For the seven days of the Challenge Martin conquers mile after mile, attached to the ventilator at night. He is accompanied by friends on bicycles who help him, laugh with him and struggle with him. This inspiring and uplifting film is about a man who does not accept sympathy but thrives on living life to the full. He is a man with enough determination, courage and humour to know that with a good team around him he can achieve anything that he sets his mind to.
11:30pm Dive! (with CUD, Continuum: Against All Odds)
Grocery stores around the country are filling their dumpsters with food. Not rotten, spoiled food, but billions of pounds of good, edible food. Why? Because the expiration date is nearing? Because it costs less to toss it rather than donate it? Whatever the answer, the contradiction is profound: good food is being thrown away and people are going hungry. Follow filmmaker Jeremy Seifert and his circle of friends as they “dumpster dive” in the back alleys and gated garbage receptacles of L.A.’s supermarkets. In the process they uncover thousands of dollars of food and an ugly truth about waste in America.
“My beef is just like industrial commodity beef except it’s healthier, safer, better for the environment, and it tastes better. Other then that it’s exactly the same,” says Georgia cattleman Will Harris, featured in CUD. Harris raises grass-fed beef cattle on a small farm that has been in his family since the 1840s. Ten years ago he turned his back on the excesses of the modern beef production system and converted his farm into the first certified organic cattle farm in Georgia.
Continuum: Against All Odds
The University of Michigan’s Solar Car Team knows all about winning. Four-time American Solar Challenge Champions, the team has placed third in the World Solar Challenge three times. In 2007, with groundbreaking design and a seasoned race crew, team members traveled to the Outback of Australia confident they would come home with the champion’s trophy. Then, the unthinkable happened.
2:15pm Hybrid Man (with Cost of Living, The Sacrifice and The Scraper Bike King)
Not everyone likes the idea of “Going Green” and Hybrid Man learns this quickly, when he refuels his hybrid vehicle in middle America. Hybrid Man’s eco-friendly behaviors really piss off, a group of backward-thinking-gas-station-attendants, and get him into some serious SH!#, as he challenges their stone-age way of thinking. Hybrid Man is a satirical view of fossil fuel consumption, where one man’s actions, do indeed, have a profound impact on the environment. Channel your inner Hybrid Man, and see who comes along for the ride!
Cost of Living
Cost of Living is about a time not too far from our own. The ice caps have melted and global warming is a done deal on the over populated Island of Pittsburgh. After saving for more than 20 years, Buck is finally able to move into his own place-ish, as he and two strangers, Bill & Penny, experience their first day as roommates in their very tiny government assigned middle class housing unit. Water is rationed to 1 minute a day, sharing food can get extremely mathematical, and sleeping makes strange bedfellows. The future is funny…it just ain’t pretty.
*Short animation movie about deforestation because of illegal logging, unsustainable logging, industry and plantation. Forests have sacrificed a lot for us over the years and it is time for us to sacrificed for the forests by sacrifices our greed.
The Scraper Bike King
A touching documentary about the original creator of the Oakland-based Scraper Bike Movement: Tyrone Stevenson Jr. This film investigates how the 19 year-old entrepreneur first began the bicycle movement as a way to get kids off the mean streets of East Oakland. His recent fame generated by his Scraper Bike Theme Song on “YouTube” has catapulted him into stardom and his organization has been growing ever since. This documentary is an official selection for the 2009 International Bicycle Film Festival and will be screened in 29 countries around the world.
4:00pm My Toxic Baby (with What’s “Organic” About Organic?)*
BPA. Lead. Melamine. Documentary filmmaker Min Sook Lee brings us this intimate and alarming look at the numerous toxins found in a baby’s products and environment. As a new mom, Lee shares her anxieties as she struggles to protect her young daughter, Song Ji, from our chemical world. Urgent, emotional and highly personal, Lee’s documentary is essential viewing for new and expecting parents.
What’s “Organic” About Organic?*
Organic farming has evolved from a grassroots movement into a multi-billion dollar international industry. Through the stories of farmers who steward land from Harlem to the foothills of the Rockies, from upstate New York to Florida, What’s “Organic” About Organic? reveals what’s at stake in creating and maintaining meaningful standards for organic production to protect citizen interests, the environment, and the livelihoods of family farmers.