Banking Nature (France, 52 min). Directed by Denis Delestrac and Sandrine Feydel. This significant documentary explains the spectacular financialization of environmental conservation. If nature had a price, wouldn’t corporations and governments be less likely to destroy it? Wouldn’t putting a price on nature overturn what economist Pavan Sukhdev calls “the economic invisibility of nature”? Reality, of course, turns out to be rather more complex. What guarantees do we have that our natural inheritance will be protected? Should our ecological heritage be for sale? Is the best way to protect nature to put a price on it? Wouldn’t putting a price on nature overturn what economist Pavan Sukhdev calls “the economic invisibility of nature?”
Coastal Dune Lakes: Jewels of Florida's Emerald Coast (USA, 56 min). Directed by Elam Stoltzfus. The coastal dune lakes are a unique and rare habitat explored by the film in Florida and New South Wales, Australia. In Florida, the dune lakes are home to many diverse species—some of them endangered, such as the loggerhead sea turtle, the snowy plover, and the Choctawhatchee beach mouse. The film explores what local organizations are doing to ensure this part of Florida’s natural beauty and its endangered wildlife will not be lost.
Colors of Life (Japan, 14 min). Directed by Goro Ushijima. The Shimuras, mother Fukumi and daughter Yoko, devote their daily lives in a lifelong pursuit to understanding and preserving Japanese textiles that are a national treasure.
Dying Candle (Kathmandu, Nepal 126 min). A sister fights all odds to take care of her younger brother, until things fall apart and she is left with no option but sell her dignity to save him.
Earth Speaks (USA 11.5 min). Rebeccal Centano. Earth Speaks is a short documentary about the Earth as Mother and the impacts of oil and gas drilling on tribal lands in the United States, particularly the Blackfeet Reservation in North Central Montana. Outside entities promise economic wealth and prosperity to territories whose unemployment rate hovers at 70%. Exploitation of people, land, and resources is not new to the Native American. How does seeing the Earth with a "spiritual eye" affect the oil and gas industry of Native Lands? Is there a connection between those views and others that are more pragmatic, and what alternative is there for a world dependent on fossil fuels?
Facing the Surge (USA, 26 min). Diogo Castro Freire, filmmaker. Facing the Surge is an exciting new documentary short film that documents the tangible costs of sea level rise for the people of Norfolk, VA. Norfolk is home to the largest naval base in the country and to thousands of hard-working Americans struggling to adapt to the rising tides and an uncertain future. But Facing the Surge is not a film about loss and inaction. It tells the stories of citizens from across the United States as they step forward to raise awareness and push their government to pursue real solutions.
Food for Thought, Food for Life (USA, 22 min ) We want our food fast, convenient and cheap, but at what cost? As farms have become supersized, our environment suffers and so does the quality of our food. Food for Thought, Food for Life, a new documentary from director Susan Rockefeller (HBO’s Christopher Award-winning documentary Making The Crooked Straight, Planet Green’s A Sea Change) explains the downsides of current agribusiness practices, and also introduces us to farmers, chefs, researchers, educators, and advocates who are providing solutions. The film is both poetic and practical; its powerful examination of the connections between our planet and our wellbeing is accompanied by specific strategies that protect both. With an eye towards a sustainable and abundant future, it offers inspiration for communities that are ready to make a difference.
Hope for All (Austria, 101 min). Directed by Nina Messinger. This “important film,” as described by Paul McCartney, addresses how, due to quintupling of meat consumption since 1960 in the West–where cardiovascular disease and cancer are epidemic, 65 billion land animals are slaughtered every year and 30% of all grain is fed to those animals while globally 1.8 billion people suffer starvation. The director spent 3 years traveling throughout Europe, India, and the United States to research dietary lifestyles. Meeting with expert physicians, nutritionists, veterinarians, behavioral scientists, activists, agronomists and farmers led to one solution, a simple one that restore our own health and the health of our planet: Food Matters, You Matter!
In Search of Balance (USA, 73 min). Directed by Adam Pfleghaar. Humans are literally connected to the rest of the natural world through our DNA. But today’s highly processed foods, pesticides based monoculture farming, increasing urbanization, obsession with technology, and destruction of the natural environment distance us further and further from the world we co-evolved with. The explosive growth of technology is driving profound changes in every aspect of human civilization. The benefits of our new found electronic interconnectivity are incalculable. But could the tsunami of chronic and autoimmune diseases that modern societies are experiencing be related to our increasing disconnection from nature?
Kaziranga (USA, 15 min). Directed by Mariah Wilson. Nestled in India’s northeastern Assam district, Kaziranga National Park contains the world’s highest density of the endangered Asian one horned rhino. Long plagued by civil unrest, this park is also ground zero for poaching and illegal trade of rhino horn. The film focuses on efforts of journalist Uttam Saikia, who begins to serve as a mediator between the park and local poachers.
Moosehead’s Wicked Good Plan (USA 32 min). Directed by Sarah Katz. How will the arrival of the nation’s largest private landowner impact a small community in northern Maine and the largest forest east of the Mississippi? Moosehead’s Wicked Good Plan is a beautifully shot documentary that explores what is at stake for residents who share a love of the land but are deeply divided on the issue. National Geographic's Chief Sustainability Officer Hans Wegner endorsement for Moosehead's Wicked Good Plan, "I think this is a very nicely done piece of film on a subject that is very local, yet is in reality simply a microcosm of what is happening all over the world where decisions are made by corporate entities not based on what is good for the larger region, but purely for economic returns to the corporate coffers. Lost in that are the concerns of the locals and a consideration of the larger impact such decisions have."
My Hottest Year on Earth (Denmark, 58 min). Directed by Christian Dalsgaard. A Danish weather man quits his job to travel around the globe and meet some of the people whose lives have been turned upside down due to extreme weather events. His journey begins in the Philippines right after Haiyan, the worst typhoon to ever hit the islands. The journey depicts record drought and flooding and occurs during the hottest year in history–2014.
Normal Is Over (South Africa, 2 hr). Written, directed, produced, and edited by Renée Scheltema. Almost entirely self funded, this film is the director’s gift to the world. The award-winning filmmaker and producer also spent 4 years as a one-woman-crew exploring why and how we have inadvertently put our planet in peril. The film examines how our economic and production systems connect to climate change, species extinction, depletion of critical natural resources, and industrial control of food production. Solutions that could be implemented immediately are illustrated, from practical everyday fixes to rethinking the overarching myths of our time. While this film is intended to challenge viewers on many levels, it most of all offers hope.
Paradise Island (British Columbia [Vancouver], 25 min). Written, directed, produced, and edited by Kat Jayme. Every year, 1 million tourists arrive in Boracay to get away from reality… but what is the reality for those who live there and cannot escape it? The filmmaker traveled to Boracay, the crown jewel of the Philippines and her family’s favorite vacation spot–but this time she is not on holiday. With the help of the local children of the island, who make sandcastles for money, she discovers what life is really like on Paradise Island.
Polyfaces (USA, 90 m). Directed by Joel Salatin. A joyful film about connecting to the land and the community. Produced over 4 years it follows the Salatins, a 4th generation farming family who do ‘everything different to everyone else’ as they produce food in a way that works with nature, not against it. Using the symbiotic relationships of animals and their natural functions, they produce high quality, nutrient-dense products.
The Call from the Sea (USA, 16 min). Directed by Taylor McNulty. This short documentary is about seeing the ocean through the Bajau's eyes. The Bajau are a sea nomadic group who live on top of the water in Indonesia. It is a poetic, personal story about trying to see what is currently happening to our oceans.
The Flamingo Factory (Africa, 7 min). Directed by Turk Pipkin. In partnership with Birdlife International's global campaign to protect the last remaining breeding area for East Africa's flamingos and to support community livelihoods at Lake Natron, Tanzania director Turk Pipkin and The Nobelity Project take a ten year look at the East Africa's greater and lesser flamingos, a migration of millions, that Sir David Attenborough called "The greatest ornithological spectacle on earth." This version of the film concludes with ways to take action in American schools and communities.
The Messenger (USA, 90 min). Directed by Su Rynard. For thousands of years, songbirds were regarded as messengers from the gods. Today, these creatures – woven inextricably into the fabric of our environment – are vanishing at an alarming rate. Under threat from climate change, pesticides and more, populations of hundreds of species have dipped dramatically. As scientists, activists, and bird enthusiasts investigate, amazing secrets of the bird world come to light for the first time in this acclaimed and visually thrilling documentary. Find out what’s killing our songbirds and what can be done about it. As in ancient times, songbirds may once again be carrying a message to humans – one that we ignore at our own peril.
The Z-Nail Gang (New Zealand, 86 min). Directed by Anton Steel. When a corporate mining giant moves into a small coastal town looking for gold and talking about trickle down wealth some folk just aren't convinced.
This Changes Everything (USA, 89 min). Directed by Avi Lewis and inspired by Naomi Klein’s international nonfiction bestseller. Filmed over 211 days in 9 countries and 5 five continents over 4 years, the film tells of an epic attempt to reimagine the vast challenge of climate change through seven powerful portraits of communities on the front lines, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond. Interwoven with these stories of struggle is Klein’s narration, connecting the carbon in the air with the economic system that put it there. The film builds to Klein’s most controversial and exciting idea: that the existential crisis of climate change can lead us to transform our failed economic system into something radically better.
Time to Choose (USA, 97 min). Directed by Charles Ferguson. Climate change is the biggest challenge humanity has ever faced – and it is also our greatest opportunity. We have the solutions we need, but we are in a race against the clock to implement them in time. TIME TO CHOOSE leaves audiences understanding not only what is wrong, but what needs to be done to fix it. It looks squarely at our unique common moment on earth, with an eye to helping change the course of human history.
Waterback Paul (Germany, 7 min). Directed by Miriam Steen. The world is a paradise but more and more natural and manmade disasters happen. A German professor and his students invent a tiny but ingenious bag to clean polluted water after environmental catastrophes without chemicals and electricity to save people's life.
Women are the Answer (India, 90 min). Directed by Fiona Cochrane. Population growth has been left out of the climate debate because it is seen as controversial, yet it is one of the most important factors. As the global population passes the 7 billion mark, one state in southern India has found the solution. The unique history of Kerala and ‘the Kerala Model’ is examined here, using it as an example of achieving population control without coercion.
HIGH SCHOOL SUBMISSIONS FROM The Huliau Environmental Filmmaking Club, HAWAII, ages 12-18: Let the ‘Ophi Rest –5 min. A Journey to a Foam Free Future –9min. How the Foam Free Future Began –7min. Detective Pigeon: A Timeless Mystery –13min. Distress Call –12min. Ready to Stand Up –4min. The Adventures of Fast Food –8min. Wai - A Public Resource –3min.
Cinema Verde St. Augustine is an international environmental film festival taking place on October 21-23, 2016, at The Corazon Cinema and Cafe in St. Augustine, FL. Our tentative schedule includes the following:
- The Messenger
- Normal is Over
- Time to Choose
- In Search of Balance
- Dying Candle
- Banking Nature
- Paradise Island
- The Z-Nail Gang
- The Flamingo Factory
- Colors of Life
- My Hottest Year on Earth
- Women are the Answer
- Coastal Dune Lakes: Jewels of Florida's Emerald Coast
- This Changes Everything
- Hope for All
- Food for Thought, Food for Life
- Waterback Paul
- Earth Speaks
- Shorts by the Maui Huliau Environmental Filmmaking Club