Inform, Engage, Inspire: Environmental Film Festival 2015 Highlights

ENVIRONMENTAL Film Festival Australia returns with groundbreaking films set to engage audiences with issues that explore our relationship with the environment. Siti Mokhsin offers her top choices from the festival.


No longer limited to the city of Melbourne, Environmental Film Festival Australia (EFFA), as it’s now known, has gone national this year and will be reaching out to more cities including Canberra and Hobart.

Melbourne will remain the festival’s home city as does EFFA’s vision to “inform, engage and inspire” audiences through its environmentally challenging films.

From documentaries that explore our relationship with the Earth to short films and animations depicting radiated wastelands, the festival aims to present an informative space for audiences to learn about the environment of the world.

The festival will also be bringing together filmmakers, environmentalists, politicians, scientists, experts and the public for debate and discussion over issues prevalent in communities concerned about sustaining the environment in lively panels for select films.

We’ve identified some of the best films from the festival that environmental enthusiasts may want to pay extra attention to.

Bikes vs Cars
Saturday, September 5 | 6.30pm

What would happen if the amount of cars today were to double in the next few years? Filmmaker Fredik Gertten explores that question and more as his film, Bikes vs Cars, takes on the global issues of being pro-car or pro-bike.

Recently screened at this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival, the film features people fighting and striving to make their cities more road-friendly.

From activists campaigning for bike lanes in Sao Paolo to citizens who choose to ride their bike over driving on the bustling streets of Los Angeles, Bikes vs Cars will make you re-evaluate your choice of transport on the road, no matter what side you’re on.

Sunday, September 6 (8.30pm)

It is evident that we are in the midst of a global crisis. Planetary gives us a visual exploration of our blue marble, incorporated with interviews from NASA astronauts, scientists, philosophers and environmentalists.

The documentary delves into how individuals and societies are all interconnected, shedding light on how our existence and worldviews play a part in climate change and how issues can be overcome.

Thule Tuvalu
Monday, September 7 (8.45pm)

By 2050, Tuvalu, an island nation in the South Pacific, is believed to be uninhabitable due to rising sea levels caused by the melting of ice in Thule on its other end.

Filmmaker Mathias Von Gunten takes a deep look into the the planet’s fourth smallest nation and its fight for survival as they face the threatening impact of climate change.

This eye-opening film showcases the dreadful effects of global warming, reminding the world that it ought to step up in its efforts to take stronger action to save our planet.

Black Ice
Tuesday, September 8 (8.45)

Black Ice follows the journey of Greenpeace activists, the ‘Arctic 30’, who were arrested and detained in Russia while protesting against the oil drilling in the Arctic Ocean. Their imprisonment led to an international Greenpeace movement to set them free.

Chronicling the mission, arrest and ensuing media circus around their imprisonment the documentary is a blow-by-blow account of the incident and tells another familiar story of greedy corporations and corrupt governments ruthlessly exploiting the global resources and persecuting those trying to save our planet.

The Environmental Film Festival 2015 will take place in Melbourne for a week, from September 3 to September 10. Check their official site to see the full list of screenings and ticket sales.

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