'Action Stations' call at the green film festival
Since the UK Green Film Festival that ended on 8 June was sponsored by Friends of the Earth, perhaps it was no coincidence that the two main awards went to films to which audiiences could react by taking concrete action.
The Palme Verde (the green equivalent of the Cannes festival's Palme d'Or) went to Trashed, an alarm signal about waste that "ends on a message of hope and ultimately shows how the risks to our survival can easily be averted through sustainable approaches to the 'waste industry'."
It is fronted by actor Jeremy Irons. Collecting her award at the Hackney Picturehouse after a screening of the film, director Candida Brady said Irons was genuinely committed to the cause - "he wears a jumper until it falls to pieces."
Asked by Andy Atkins, executive director of Friends of the Earth, for her final message, she replied, "We've all got to stop wanting an easy life. The one thing I want everyone to do is recycle."
The award for the film that "most caught the heart of audiences" went to More Than Honey, which was reviewed by Oneworld last week. Its call for action to save bees fitted well with friends of the Earth's Bee Cause campaign.
The final award, for the best short, was awarded to Reynaldo, about a man trying to live sustainably in the Peruvian rainforest. Although its subject is too far from the UK to spark immediate audience reaction such as supporting the FoE campaign or abandoning plastic bags, it was inspirational in its portrayal of a life-changing role model.
On the debit side of the ledger, the film that proved hardest to sell - in terms of getting bums on seats - was Peak, which investigates how less snow in the Alps has to be overcome by deployment of technology "to produce the perfect landscape independent from nature."
A festival organiser suggested to me off the record that the poor audience response might have been caused by ski enthusiasts' unwillingness to be told that something they enjoyed was bad for them and the environment. Or perhaps the cause was simply the fine weather that coincided with the screening.
That would be ironic, given that it's global warming that is probably cuasing the lack of snow.blog comments powered by Disqus