EcoFocus Film Festival to launch Oct. 2

EcoFocus Film Festival to launch Oct. 2

Athens, Ga. – The EcoFocus Film Festival, an initiative of the University of Georgia Eugene P. Odum School of Ecology, returns to Athens for its second year on Oct. 2. EcoFocus, a series of film screening events throughout October at Ciné in downtown Athens and on the UGA campus, will feature a new, month-long format but the same caliber of world-class environmental films.

EcoFocus will present eleven environmentally related films, with two to three new feature-length films to be introduced each weekend in October. Each feature-length film will be screened multiple times during its opening weekend and the subsequent week.

The festival also will showcase the top twenty films from the EcoFocus Environmental Short Film Competition. Audiences will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite short film. Over fifty films from around the world were submitted for the competition.

Several special events are planned for the festival. On Saturday, Oct. 17, EcoFocus will present the Geodome/Our New Silence party, during which festival-goers can participate in an interactive and transformative experience with the Geodome Project (www.geodome.info).Also at the party will be Our New Silence (www.ournewsilence.com), a collective performance of various local and UGA musicians that are remixing/reinterpreting traditional music recordings from Java, Indonesia based on the Javasounds recording project. Another highlight will be the closing party, which will be held on Sunday, Oct. 25 at the Hotel Indigo.

Opening the festival on Oct. 2 is Earth Days, which debuted at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. It examines the history of the environmental movement since the 1950s. Other 2009 Sundance films to be shown at EcoFocus include End of the Line, which explores the impact of overfishing on oceans, and No Impact Man, which tells the story of a take-out addicted Brooklyn family who makes the choice to curb their consumerism and have less environmental impact.

The mission of EcoFocus Film Festival is to offer a diverse set of films on a large screen in order to inspire audiences into awareness and action on behalf of the environment. Films selected for the festival were selected for their potential to appeal to a broad audience-from the environmentally savvy to those less aware of environmental issues.

“We believe film has the power to inspire people-whetherby showing them the beauty of the natural environment or by delivering a great story that motivates someone to think differently about a particular subject,” said Sara Beresford, festival director.

The festival’s award-winning lineup includes The Cove, winner of the Audience Award at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.The Cove is the story of Ric O’Barry, who trained dolphins for the Flipper television series.He is determined to show the world the extent of yearly dolphin slaughter in Japan.

“This film is surprisingly inspirational,” explained Beresford. “People believe this film is just about dolphins being slaughtered, but that’s only a very small part of the film’s message. The rest is an amazing story of adventure, inspiration, and the power of one person to create change. This is an important and fascinating film.”

An addition to the line-up this year is So Right So Smart. Itdetails the success some businesses and their leaders have had as they begin taking positive steps toward a sustainable future. “The film highlights Georgia business leader Ray Anderson, and it is an inspiration to those looking to find encouraging news in the midst of our current environmental crisis,” said Beresford.

EcoFocus Film Festival draws on the expertise and enthusiasm of an advisory board and festival committee members from the university, Athens, and around the country. “By combining the strengths of our local academic and creative community, and the Athens community’s support of film and the arts, EcoFocus is poised to place new emphasis on environmental awareness in this region through film, and to generate change,” added Beresford.

A full schedule of film events and ticketing information are available on the EcoFocus Film Festival website at www.ecofocusfilmfest.org.