Environmental Film Festival Australia 2015

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Aug 162015


Back for its 6th year, and this time expanding from Melbourne to also include to Canberra and Hobart, the Environmental Film Festival uses the power of film, music and debate to unite filmmakers, environmentalists, politicians, scientists, experts, and the broader public in their desire to actively engage in issues that affect all of our futures.

The interesting and thought-provoking programme features a selection of features, shorts, panels, and even a trip to the planetarium.

Some highlights include:

A planetarium is a pretty unique place to watch a film and that’s what you’ll be doing if you attend the session of Australian artist Lynette Wallworth’s Coral: Rekindling Venus. Visit the mysterious realm of fluorescent coral reefs, and meet bioluminescent sea creatures and rare marine life. Learn about how our fate is intertwined with the fate of the coral community. This film looks to be both beautiful and a little bit terrifying…how badly are we stuffing up?

Filmed over a several years Heart of Sky, Heart of Earth follows six young Maya in Guatemala and Chiapas through their daily and ceremonial life, revealing their determination to resist the destruction of their culture and environment. As corporations go to the ends of the earth to extract resources at any cost, the Mayan cosmovision, in which all life is sacred and interconnected, presents a deeply compelling alternative to the prevailing worldview. The photography in the trailer for this film looks absolutely gorgeous and it’s not a setting or a culture that we see very often on film.

This film won the audience award (24 Beats Per Second) at the 2015 SXSW film Festival. Set in an extremely poor community in Paraguay, the film is about an ingenious music teacher who salvages scraps from the rubbish dumps to help bring music to the children. Filmed over 5 years the film follows the children as they grow in confidence and begin to perform, first on a locally and then internationally. This document sounds like a straight to the gut, heart-swelling sorta of film. What’s a film festival without a least one of those?


What: Environmental Film Festival Australia 2015
When: Sept 3-10 (Melb), Sept 11-13 (Canb), Sept 18-21 (Tas), 2015
Where: Melbourne, Canberra, Hobart
Website / Full Program / Tickets: www.effa.org.au

Wrenched [EFFM]

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Sep 032014


I had heard of Edward Abbey’s infamous novel, ‘The Monkey Wrench Gang’ (1975), but I was unfamiliar with the man himself. Watching Wrenched, and listening to Abbey speak, I felt that there was no better way to summarise the core of his activism than in his own statement: “A bulldozer tearing up the hill-side is committing a kind of terrorism against life”. Underneath it all lies the terrifying vision of machines tearing and devouring the natural world and all living things that inhabit it. ML Lincoln’s documentary, Wrenched, concerns itself with Abbey and his legacy, of the groups and ideals that grew out of his fertile beliefs, and it will make you angry, hopefully in a good way.

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Gringo Trails [EFFM]

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Sep 022014


Opening with a quote from Chief Seattle of the Suquamish tribe, “Take only memories, leave nothing but footprints”, Gringo Trails concerns itself with the problem of uncontrolled tourism, and the positive breakthroughs made by eco-tourism. A globe-trotting documentary, it bustles across a variety of tourist locales, demonstrating the need for more education and awareness from backpackers and holidaymakers. Chief Seattle’s words are allowed to hang over the film, standing as an ideal and a warning, as we are introduced to the pitfalls of a rampant tourism industry powered by cashed-up foreigners whose only concern is for themselves and the bragging rights to some glorious narrative of authenticity and adventure.

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Environmental Film Festival Melbourne

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Sep 012014

north of the sun

The Environmental Film Festival Melbourne (EFFM) is now entering into its fifth year, running from the 4th till the 12th of September. It offers a selection of feature and short documentaries, along with a plethora of guests and panels discussing an assortment of topics. Their mission statement, as taken from their website, states that:

“The Environmental Film Festival Melbourne entertains with groundbreaking films, traversing the relationship between humans and their environments, challenging the way people think about the natural world and inspiring them to discuss, explore and act on important environmental issues”.

First and foremost for both the festival and the selection of films is the power of a community drawing together to shape the world that we want. The best festivals foster a community around the ideas they present, and with a fine selection of panelists accompanying most of the screenings this is shaping up to be a very worthwhile proposition for Melbourne audiences.

What: Environmental Film Festival Melbourne 2014

When: Thursday Sept 4 – Friday September 12, 2014

Where: Kino Cinemas, Collins Place, 45 Collins St, Melbourne

Website / Full Program / Tickets: www.effm.org.au