UGA Institute of Ecology and Cine partner to bring EarthDance environmental film festival to Athens

UGA Institute of Ecology and Ciné partner to bring EarthDance environmental film festival to Athens

Athens, Ga. – An artist who uses only natural materials, a boy and his robot best friend and the trap-jaw ant’s amazing predatory jaw will be among the topics of several environmental films to be shown Thursday, April 26 during the first annual partnership of the University of Georgia Institute of Ecology and Ciné, a modern movie center located at 234 W. Hancock Ave.

This showing of Oakland Museum of California’s EarthDance environmental film festival will begin with a 6 p.m. reception, followed by a program of award-winning short films at 7:15 p.m. EarthDance director Zakary Zide, will introduce the films and lead a discussion after the screening. An encore screening will take place Sunday, at 1 p.m. Admission is $8 and tickets are available at Ciné.

“As a comprehensive environmental forum, the fourth annual EarthDance Environmental Film Festival bridges the gap between art, science, and nature and creates a container for people to share ideas and inspiration,” said Melinda Kramer of the Women’s Global Environmental Alliance.

EarthDance is a preview of a new environmental film festival coming to Athens in 2008. Next year’s festival will include a juried competition for new environmental films, along with screenings of environmental classics.

“All the scientific advances in the world won’t matter if we don’t put them into practice,” said Institute of Ecology Director John Gittleman. “With ecological problems, we need to find better ways to communicate science – it’s necessary for changing our lives. Film captivates what we do, and this synthesis of film and science is a perfect opportunity for change.”

Among the short films to be shown are:

Journeys – This short film about Zakary Zide who designs and builds sculptures in exotic places using only natural materials.

Tree Robo – This lavishly animated, award-winning film is a hopeful post-apocalyptic environmental allegory about the resilience of nature. The film tells the story of a boy’s separation from his best friend, a solar-powered robot, at the dawn of the oil age.

Ballistic Jaw Propulsion of Trap-Jaw Ants – No longer is the peacock shrimp the fastest predatory strike. For the first time on film, the jaws of the trap-jaw ant are captured at an incredible 145 cricket-decapitating miles per hour.

“Ciné’s approach to the festival is to show how films of various genres address questions on how people influence their environment and vice versa,” said Brigitta Hangartner, Ciné’s founder and executive director. “It will be especially exciting to screen films made by a new generation of documentary filmmakers, who work with stunning images and little to no explanations to make viewers understand these queries in a different way.”

Ciné is a movie center where contemporary design meets historic preservation in a creative space for film, gathering and conversation. The cinema will screen a select variety of the latest independent and foreign films, documentaries, festival discoveries, retrospectives and classics. For more information, see http://www.athenscine.com or call 706/353-7377.

With roots that date back to the 1950’s, the Institute of Ecology at the University of Georgia offers undergraduate and graduate degrees, as well as certification programs. Founder Eugene P. Odum is recognized internationally as a pioneer of ecosystem ecology. The institute is ranked eighth by U.S. News and World Report for its graduate program. For more information, visit http://www.ecology.uga.edu.