Cinema Verde's films bring powerful, enlightening, and inspiring stories about people working toward a culture that will sustain the environment that in turn sustains us. This year there will be 45 films from 12 countries and some highly renowned visiting filmmakers will be attending to discuss their work with the audience and lead some workshops. This year the Festival will be held at Heartwood Soundstage on South Main Street from Thursday, 2/13, through Sunday, 2/16. A complete schedule and links to purchase tickets on line is available at www.cinemaverde.org.
One of the most exciting aspects of Cinema Verde is the chance to meet and talk with visiting filmmakers. With their films, they capture important parts of the puzzle of our connection to the environment and how we can inadvertently have adverse effects on the world, which eventually can boomerang back on us and cause us to lose the quality of life that we may be taking for granted. Don't miss this opportunity to hear the facts from these witnesses to earth changes who illustrate so clearly what we should know and how we can be part of the solution:
● Eco-Terrorist, Fight for the Planet Director Peter Jay Brown. A director and cinematographer, Brown has 30 years of experience in real life stories, cultural adventures, LIVE events, and animals. For example, he produced and directed 20 films with the Kenya Wildlife Services for International television to champion wildlife conservation in Africa. Brown says, "My films and television shows on the environment were all about how we started a revolution on a shoestring of tactics and often deceit. Eco-Terrorist: The Battle for Our Planet shows how the struggle has been eclipsed by eco-corporations and money that have overshadowed the efforts of the true activists. Saving the planet involves each and every one of us."
● A Concerned Citizen tells the story of Riki Ott, a whistleblower who predicted the Exxon Valdez oil spill hours before it happened. A toxicologist, author, and activist, Riki organized the Gulf coast communities to recover from the BP Deepwater Horizon disaster. "My story starts with a childhood epiphany. It was 1968. I was 13, growing up in Wisconsin. Robins were literally falling out of trees, dying, from the neurotoxin DDT. I read marine biologist Rachel Carson's Silent Spring. My father, a practical conservationist . . . sued the state of Wisconsin. . . . Wisconsin banned DDT in 1972 and the rest of the nation followed suit in 1973. Out of this experience, I gained two heroes – my father in real life and Rachel Carson in the abstract – and a life goal. . . . I decided that I, too, would become a marine biologist and share science by writing books for the general public to better understand our natural world."
● Alycin Hayes (Co-Director, Score Composer), Jimmy Evans (Cinematographer and Editor), and Brent Jones (co-Score Composer) created Wild Florida's Vanishing Call, a moving, powerful inside look at what has happened to the wild, rarely seen, real Florida. A compelling, emotional soundtrack carries the viewer through the past destruction of wild Florida habitats, to beautiful scene's of Florida's rarely seen native wild animals, including the most endangered cat in North America, the Florida Panther, and ends with a positive message encouraging the viewer to work to protect Florida's wildlife and habitat before it is too late. Hayes is a director, author, poet, songwriter, and actress, and this film expresses her concern and love for Florida's wildlife and natural habitat. Evans is a University of Florida graduate who specializes in non-fiction character-driven films about climate change and social issues. Jones is Manager of Quiet Earth Studios on a heritage farm just outside London, Ontario, Canada, and is co-founder of the Back To The Garden Music Festival.
● Atsuko Quirk, Director of Microplastic Madness, is a 21st generation Samurai family member from northern Japan, a documentary filmmaker, environmental advocate, and Media Director at CafeteriaCulture.org (CafCu), a non-profit environmental organization in New York City. Atsuko teaches videography, production, storytelling, and leadership to underserved youth through zero waste and plastic-free school programs under CafCu's ARTS+MEDIA for Climate Action. Under her directorship, CafCu was one of only five North American organizations to receive an inaugural UL Innovative Education Award (2015) for advancing environmental STEM education, sustainable communities, and youth empowerment.
● Maryam Astaneh, Director of Birdwatchers, is a graduate of OCAD University, the largest art, design, and media university in Canada. She continues the legacy of her parent's marketing agency, Tiva Film, and works on small and big commercial videos. As a new independent filmmaker, Astaneh focuses on bringing awareness to discovering the beauty and power of the natural world and how everything is connected.
All of these filmmakers will be speaking after their films and will be leading workshops. Don't miss this special opportunity to be inspired and join the celebration of the most important Valentine of all -- love for Mother Earth!