This was written by Moms Clean Air Force Washington, DC field organizer, Julie Hantman:
I may not be your top choice to blog about an environmental film festival. For years I was neither environmentalist, nor film buff.
Once I did write a $35 check to a big environmental group. I heard they were giving away a nifty canvas backpack. Back then I liked books, not movies. I guess that’s why I needed the backpack – to carry the books.
Anyway, decades passed: no more environmentalism, scant movie-going. I happily grew into my career as a public health advocate/activist.
Now life has changed. I am a late-to-life mother, and a late-to-life environmentalist.
I wear jeans at rallies, and suits to DC Council. Along with our incredible 450,000-strong national community of moms and dads, I do whatever I can as a mom who’s deeply concerned about the nexus of environment and health.
Because now I “get it” that success in tackling today’s environmental crises will greatly affect my young daughter’s health and well-being, her ability to help improve society beyond today’s set-point, and her ability to hope.
But that’s heavy stuff and sometimes you just need to sit and hear…see…a good story. There’s nothing like a movie to make you laugh and cry.
And there’s nothing like an environmental film festival to offer the fullest range of experiences: awe at nature’s beauty, anger at the challenges involved in protecting the planet, real learning – and hope.
So, if you live in the Washington, D.C. vicinity — please join me at The Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital on March 17-29. This is one of the top festivals of its kind in the nation. There will be 160 films screening at over 55 venues throughout the Washington metropolitan area. Most are free but require advance registration. Some are filling up fast. Check it out, at www.dceff.org.
The festival offers fresh perspectives on a wide variety of environmental issues facing our planet, with films from 31 countries and 96 Washington, D.C., U.S. and World premieres. This year the theme is Climate Connections.
And this year, Moms Clean Air Force is honored to be a media partner of the festival!
Most screenings include discussion with filmmakers, environmental experts and cultural leaders. Speakers will include environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau, climate scientist Joe Romm, actress Kristin Davis and Tommy Wells, the new Director of the District Department of the Environment. (And I’m no Kristin Davis, but guess who’s speaking after Project Wild Thing, on March 21st? Yours truly.)
There’s more: like Academy Award-winner Louie Psihoyos’ latest film, Racing Extinction, an urgent call to action to stop the global mass extinction of animal species… Silent River, about efforts to clean up Mexico’s polluted Santiago River… a retrospective by French director Luc Jacquet (March of the Penguins) and including his Work-in-Progress, Ice & Sky, about French glaciologist Claude Lorius’ 60-year study of climate change in the glaciers of Antarctic… and Filmmaker James Redford will show clips from his forthcoming film, Happening, telling positive stories about renewable energy solutions across the country. These are just a small sampling.
Plus bring the kids to the festival’s kid-friendly films. There’s even two flicks targeting parents: The Land, and Project Wild Thing.
See you at the movies!