Cinema Verde 2015 Environmental Film Festival

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Featured Presentations

Alegria, A Humanitarian Expedition
28
Minutes
Minute
Directed By
Christoph von Toggenburg
Switzerland

In 2010, Christoph von Toggenburg cycled 1,988 miles across the Himalaya pulling a 66-lb trailer packed with survival gear and filming himself the whole way. His goal? Help leprosy patients and mentally destitute women in India and in the process create public support for providing aid to these abandoned groups. With little air to breathe and temperatures between minus 15 to plus 45 degrees C, von Toggenburg crossed mountain passes higher than 3 miles high. Crossing Nepal during the Maoist unrest and braving conflict-stricken Kashmir, he encountered boundless hospitality, found new friends, and saw some of the world’s most spectacular landscapes of this planet.

America Recycled
100
Minutes
Minute
Directed By
Noah and Tim Hussin
USA

The directors are two brothers who embark on a bicycle journey from the Pacific to the Atlantic across southern America. On the way, Noah and Tim lived with and filmed modern homesteading communities that creatively challenge conventional wisdom regarding food production, consumption, land development, and community. “Stretching across 5000 miles and 2 years, it made us question … everything. Ambitious communities across the country took us in, offering their shelter and imparting their wisdom. We learned we weren’t alone. A new America was being built right under the old one’s nose, and we were riding straight down its spine.”

Animal Equality
10
Minutes
Minute
Directed By
Kindness Trust
USA

Philip Wollen makes an impactful case against animals on your menus in front of an audience at the St. James Ethics Centre and the Wheeler Centre. Wollen then passes the debate onto a six-person panel, with three members supporting his case and three making an argument to continue to keep animals on the menu.

Backyard
26
Minutes
Minute
Directed By
Deia Schlosberg
USA

Following stories about the effects of fracking in Pennsylvania, Colorado, North Dakota, and Montana, an eerie similarity emerges despite the vast differences in geography, personal histories, and different stages of hydro-fracking development that involves increasingly difficult methods of fossil fuel extraction at increasing costs to the people and the environment. Interspersed throughout these human stories are animated illustrations of the bigger “puzzle picture” of which each story is only one small piece.

DAM999
108
Minutes
Minute
Directed By
Sohan Roy
India

This fictionalized historical thriller interwoven with Hindi cultural meaning is a tribute to the approximately 250,000 people who lost their lives in the world’s worst, man-made dam disaster in 1975 in China. The story of the collapse of the Banqiao dam was not revealed to the world for over 15 years. With a toll worse than that of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, this film tells that story with The message: The same thing could happen elsewhere in the near future. Dam999, a fact worth waiting for.

Dry-Clean Only
85
Minutes
Minute
Directed By
Claudia Adams
USA

All Claudia Kanne did was have her wool blankets dry-cleaned and life as she knew it disappeared forever. She unknowingly ingested the toxic dry-cleaning solvent, tetrachloroethylene, aka perchloroethylene, until her body reached its 'saturation point' and could no longer fight back. A burden to her husband, she crawled away like an elephant going to a graveyard, to spend her last days in a motel with nothing but the clothes on her back, to find out what was killing her. After fighting for six years, Claudia's efforts helped establish the first banning of the chemical in the U.S., and the beginning of Greener Cleaners.

Exploring Glen Springs
60
Minutes
Minute
Directed By
Margaret Tolbert
USA

Local water activists explore Gainesville’s fresh waterways and how they have been integrated into the city – even crawling beneath behemoth stores to follow the waters.

From Billions to None: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction
57
Minutes
Minute
Directed By
David Mrazek
USA

This film reveals the compelling story of the unlikely extinction of the passenger pigeon and explores the pigeon’s striking relevance to conservation issues today, such as the alarming depletion of shark species worldwide. For centuries, the sleek long-distance flier was the most abundant bird in North America and perhaps the world. On September 1, 1914, Martha, the last passenger pigeon in captivity, died in the Cincinnati Zoo, marking the end of the species, and the upcoming centenary of the extinction event.

In His Own Home
30
Minutes
Minute
Directed By
Malini Johar Schueller
United States

Heavily armed officers of the University of Florida police department in Gainesville, FL, responding to a 911 call from a neighbor who heard screams, break into the campus apartment of Ghanaian graduate student, Kofi Adu-Brempong. Clad in SWAT gear and ready to attack, they see the disabled doctoral student, sitting with a metal table leg in his hand and within a minute of entry, shoot the unarmed man in the face. Adu-Brempong, who because of childhood polio, needed a cane to walk, and had been suffering from mental illness, now has severe facial injuries, and is charged with resisting arrest. He is guarded outside his hospital door, his legs shackled together when going to the bathroom. The officer who shoots Kofi, and who had previously been caught cruising through town throwing eggs at residents of a Black neighborhood, is not suspended or fired. Student protests lead the administration to drop charges but calls for revoking SWAT-like teams on campus go unheard. Kofi’s shooting is not an isolated incident but part of an ongoing pattern of police brutality against Blacks and a stark reminder of the dangers of increasingly militarized campuses nationwide. In His Own Home came out of outrage by a small group of concerned community members committed to seeing social justice happen on a local level. This documentary is an educational and organizing tool, especially calling for our communities to be safe from violence by racist and over-armed police.

Into the Gyre
44
Minutes
Minute
Directed By
Scott Elliot
USA

Thirty-four volunteer researchers, scientists, and sailors participated in a 5-week long adventure to the remote Sargasso Sea, east of Bermuda. Sailing on a 135-foot tall ship, the SSV Corwith Cramer, operated by the Sea Education Association. The film closely follows four of the scientists as they collect, count, and archive the plastic they collect out of the sea. Along the way, the film examines the history of plastics, the adverse effects it is causing in the ocean, and possible solutions to this problem.

Just Eat It
74
Minutes
Minute
Directed By
Grant Baldwin
Canada

Filmmakers and food lovers, Jen and Grant, dive into the issue of waste from farms, through retail, all the way to the back of their own fridge. After catching a glimpse of the billions of dollars of good food that is tossed each year in North America, they pledge to quit grocery shopping cold turkey and survive only on foods that would otherwise be thrown away. In a nation where one in 10 people is food insecure, the images they capture of squandered groceries are both shocking and strangely compelling.

On the Brink: Sea of Cortez
6
Minutes
Minute
Directed By
Michelle Nash
USA

The Sea of Cortez is one of the most lush, bio-diverse seas on this planet. Or at least it was. Located between mainland Mexico and the California Baja Peninsula, the Sea of Cortez has been called the “Aquarium of the World” being home to over 950 varieties of fish and 30 species of marine mammals. But this maritime treasure and the creatures that call it home are in danger.

One River, Many Relations
62
Minutes
Minute
Directed By
Michael Tayas
Canada

The Alberta Oil Sands are one of the world’s most controversial industrial developments. They are the target of high profile protests and debate around the globe. One essential voice is excluded from any discourse on the issue; the voice of downstream indigenous communities. One River, Many Relations is a hard-hitting film that profiles the experiences and insights of the Mikisew Cree First Nation and the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Dene. Two years in the making, it documents both the benefits and damages associated with living in proximity of the oil sands.

PINKY - El Satyakatha
123
Minutes
Minute
Directed By
Sudhin Thakus
India

Story of an award winning woman athlete who was charged with rape and accused of being a male. A brief glimpse into the political machinations that are hurting Indian sports in the present day.

The Lost Bird Project
63
Minutes
Minute
Directed By
Deborah Dickson
USA

Gone and nearly forgotten in extinction, the Labrador Duck, the Great Auk, the Heath Hen, the Carolina Parakeet, and the Passenger Pigeon leave holes not just in the North American landscape but in our collective memories. Moved by their stories, sculptor Todd McGrain set out to create memorials to the lost birds—to bring their vanished forms back into the world. The Lost Bird Project follows the road-trip that McGrain and his brother-in-law, Andy Stern, take as they search for the locations where the birds were last seen in the wild and negotiate for permission to install McGrain’s large bronze sculptures there.

Weir the Sockeye
34
Minutes
Minute
Directed By
Gleb Mikhalev
USA

A weir is an obstruction to redirect or capture fish. This film shows the day-to-day work involved in managing a weir in southeast Alaska.

A State of Emergency
12
Minutes
Minute
Directed By
Sydney Guthrie
USA

A short documentary discussing the drought in California, particularly how water shortages are affecting Southern California farmers, local relationships with policy-makers, and the environment. Through interviews and verite scenes with a local Ventura County farmer, with The California Secretary of Natural Resources, and with an environmental activist from The Surfrider Foundation, this film delves into a deeper understanding of how the drought is affecting Californians on a personal level, and how they plan to address the drought as it comes closer to a point of no return.

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