Campus News

Film festival will explore broad spectrum of environmental issues

A world premiere and a U.S. premiere will be among the 22 feature and 24 short films to be screened at the third annual EcoFocus Film Festival from Sept. 24-Oct. 3.

An initiative of the Odum School of Ecology in cooperation with Ciné, EcoFocus shows a diversity of environmental films that promote discussion and inspire audiences to awareness and action on behalf of the environment. Panel discussions, workshops and discussions with the filmmakers complement the screenings and allow audience members to engage more directly with the issues raised by the films. For the first time this year, each feature film will be screened with one or more short films.

EcoFocus was initiated in 2008 to bring awareness of environmental issues and ecological science to an audience beyond the classroom, as part of the Odum School’s service and outreach mission.

“The medium of film can convey information in a way that a lecture or paper-no matter how well crafted-can’t,” said John Gittleman, dean of the Odum School. “EcoFocus is an important way to convey scientific knowledge to the public at large.”

A number of this year’s films (Black Wave: The Legacy of the Exxon Valdez, Burning in the Sun, Carbon Nation, Dirty Business: “Clean Coal” and the Battle for Our Energy Future, Houston We Have a Problem and The Last Days of Shishmaref) focus on issues surrounding energy production and climate change. Several concern local food and schools (. . . And This Is My Garden, Lunch Line and What’s On Your Plate?) while others tackle the issue of waste (Bag It, Dive! and Waste Land) and biodiversity and species loss (Call of Life and Queen of the Sun).

A locally made film, Slow Coffee, will be shown Oct. 3. It highlights the efforts of Athens coffee roaster Ben Myers and his colleagues in rainforest conservation at the Maquipucuna Reserve in Ecuador.