Georgia Sea Grant and EcoFocus Film Festival bring research and film to Jekyll Island

Event will feature two film screenings and a reception with presentations by coastal Georgia researchers

Athens, Ga. – Fans of the University of Georgia EcoFocus Film Festival in Athens are invited to leave the cold behind and relax on a beach with other Georgians, while watching some of this year’s top environmental documentaries at next month’s Jekyll Island Green Screen.

Showing March 1, the second annual event will highlight two thought-provoking films that illustrate the beauty and fragility of coastal regions. The double-feature will be held at the Jekyll Island Convention Center and is free and open to the public.

This year, “Wings of Life” and “Into the Gyre” will be shown, beginning at 3 p.m. Between the two films will be a reception that includes presentations by UGA researchers working on Jekyll Island and throughout the Georgia coast.

“Successful implementation of the Jekyll Island Conservation Plan relies on an engaged and informed public,” said Ben Carswell, director of conservation for the Jekyll Island Authority. “The Green Screen event provides a unique opportunity for the public to learn about globally important conservation issues and interact with the local research and conservation community in a casual, friendly and fun setting.”

“Wings of Life,” narrated by Meryl Streep, opens the Green Screen program with elements of intrigue, drama and mesmerizing beauty. Through astounding cinematography, the film depicts the intimate relationship between pollinators and plants that is essential to life on Earth.

“Into the Gyre” tracks the five-week expedition by a team of scientists investigating plastic pollution in the North Atlantic Ocean and studying its effects on marine ecosystems. The film has been screened at numerous international film festivals and was awarded the Best Picture prize from the 2012 Scinema Festival of Science Film in Australia.

Following the viewing of “Into the Gyre,” a panel of experts will discuss the film and answer questions.

This event is made possible through the generous support and engagement of Georgia Sea Grant, EcoFocus Film Festival, Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve – Coastal Training Program, the Jekyll Island Authority, One Hundred Miles, the Southeast Atlantic Marine Debris Initiative, Surfrider Foundation – Atlanta Chapter and Keep Brunswick – Golden Isles Beautiful.

As a courtesy, Jekyll Island hotels are offering discounts for Green Screen attendees through the duration of the weekend.

The EcoFocus Film Festival, held annually in Athens, informs and inspires audiences about environmental issues through film. The 2014 EcoFocus Film Festival will take place March 19-29 on the UGA campus and at Ciné in downtown Athens.

Georgia Sea Grant is a UGA Public Service and Outreach unit that provides research, education and outreach to address coastal Georgia’s most pressing issues by assisting local governments, promoting sustainable development, supporting coastal industries, protecting public health and training the next generation of scientists.

March 1 Schedule of Events

3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.: “Wings of Life” film screening
4:30 p.m. – 5:45 p.m.: Cocktail reception and coastal research showcase
6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.: “Into the Gyre” film screening and discussion
Location: Jekyll Island Convention Center, 75 N. Beachview Drive, Jekyll Island, Ga. 31527

To learn more about the second annual Jekyll Island Green Screen, see www.jekyllisland.com/ai1ec_event/ecofocus-film-festival-presents-the-jekyll-island-green-screen/?instance_id=126 or email Ben Carswell at bcarswell@jekyllisland.com.