THE selection of films at Melbourne’s first Environmental Film Festival promises to blow you out of the water, exploring both hot-button and obscure topics, from crude oil and its impact on Nigeria, to society’s obsessions with bottled water and the plastic bag, to the mysterious disappearance of bees around the world.
Now, organisers of Melbourne’s first Environmental Film Festival are putting the final touches on an event they hope will reenergise the environmental movement.
Environmental Film Festival Melbourne, held from September 16 to 18 at the Kino Cinemas on Collins St, will showcase eight feature-length documentaries both entertaining and challenging in their issues and message.
The selection is comprehensive, from hot-button topics like crude oil and its impact in Nigeria, the philosophy and dinner plates of Californian dumpster divers, and society’s obsession with bottled water and the plastic bag; to the more obscure, like ocean acidification and the mysterious disappearance of bees around the world.
Festival director Nicholas Aberle said the event was inspired after attending an environmental film festival in Connecticut, and saw the opportunity it created to gather filmmakers, experts, political leaders and the community to increase awareness on key environmental issues.
“We saw brilliant films and what was even greater than the films themselves was the discussions people would have afterwards. Debating the issues, weighing up pros and cons, figuring out the best way to get involved,” Mr Aberle said.
“There is a very dynamic relationship between political will and public awareness. If enough people realise that we have the solutions, then pressure from the public can influence our politicians.”
He said screenings would be complemented by panel discussions led by industry experts to provide a local perspective on global issues and answer questions from the audience.
Mr Aberle said he hoped the festival would in the future be able to provide a platform for young Australian filmmakers to showcase work featuring local environmental issues.
Meld Magazine has one pair of tickets to giveaway to the screening of Suzan Beraza’s award-winning documentary Bag It on Sunday September 19. For your chance to win, email your name, age, address and phone number to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject heading “EFFM”. Closing date for entries is 5pm Thursday September 16.