A look ahead to the 2011 Environmental Film Festival, March 15 - 27
The Environmental Film Festival seeks to further the public's understanding of environmental issues - and solutions - through the power of film and thought-provoking discussions with environmental experts and filmmakers. In line with this aim, this year's festival will explore a controversial and hotly debated theme: our relationship between energy and the environment.
Several of the films shown at the festival will discuss this topic, as part of the Energy Film Series. Many of them are free, so don't waste this opportunity! Here are a few of my highlights from across the festival:
Black Wave - the Legacy of the Exxon Valdez
For the past 20 years Riki Ott, a marine biologist, and the fishermen of the town of Cordova, Alaska have taken on the world's most powerful oil company - ExxonMobil. In this film, they review the outcomes of the longest legal battle in U.S. history along with the social and economic consequences of the Exxon Valdez disaster.
A Future Without Oil
In 2007 Ecuador's president, Rafael Correa, announced that he would not exploit the country's incredibly biodiverse Amazon forests for oil. Now, Correa needs to convince everyone else. A Future Without Oil shadows Correa's team as they attempt to show the international community that it would gain by protecting the rainforest. How will Correa succeed on this ambitious mission? Can he save the vital and unique Amazon rainforest from the might of Big Oil?
A ground-breaking, innovative film, Green won the Golden Panda at the Wildscreen Festival - the world's largest and most prestigious wildlife and environmental film festival. Green tells the story of a female orang-utan, perilously clinging onto existence against the twin threats of deforestation and resource exploitation in Indonesia. Made by Patrick Rouxel, ''an ordinary citizen trying to help protect the rainforest and all the life it holds'', this film is an extraordinary - and, I should warn you, upsetting - visual journey through Green's last days. You can also download Green for free, or contribute a donation, at the Green Film website: http://www.greenthefilm.com/
These are just three of the 150 fantastic films that are showing at the Environmental Film Festival. For show times and more information, go to: http://www.dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org
If you can't get to D.C. for the festival, have a look for these films showing in cinemas elsewhere, or on DVD. All 150 films offer an incredible insight into our natural world and the threats it faces. You never know, one of these films could be the spark that makes you decide to make a change.