WHAT can a nation do when threatened by rising sea levels? Is sushi driving the extinction of certain fish species? As Gayertree Subramaniam highlights, films on these issues & more will be screened at this week’s Environmental Film Festival in Melbourne.
Carbon tax, climate change, energy efficiency – these are all terms commonly heard in conversations about the environment. Most of us are, or at least think we are, environmentally conscious to an extent. But do we really understand how the things we do can have consequences on a larger, even global scale?
This year’s Environmental Film Festival Melbourne (EFFM) aims to help audiences understand some of these issues. It will be about awareness, passions and the need for informed and sustained action on the planet’s green problems. These topics will be tackled through a vibrant mixture of international and local cinematic brilliance, screening at Kino Cinemas from September 4-9.
From films about food and water, to solar-powered cars, to buildings designed to mimic the benefits of nature, EFFM director Nicholas Aberle hopes there will be something for everyone that will inspire and engage.
“We often see films showing us how bad things are,” he says.
“But the 2012 films are as much about solutions.”
The festival will also play the important role of being a forum for the community to come together and understand the complexities of the environmental conundrum. There will be room for informed debate at EFFM as well, through panel discussions to follow after the films.
If you’re stuck for what to watch, here are some ideas:
The Island President (Maldives)
Saturday, September 8, 8:30pm
The Island President is the story of former President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives, a leader confronting a problem greater than any other politician has ever faced – the literal survival of his country and everyone in it. Rising sea levels threaten the continued existence of the nation’s people. With each tide that rolls in, the island’s future is on the brink of being obliterated. The film documents Nasheed’s struggle and culminates in the Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009 where he takes bold, unprecedented moves to obtain a guarantee for the security of his people and his country.
Wednesday, September 5, 6:00pm
Mother breaks a 40-year taboo by bringing to light an issue that silently fuels our most pressing environmental, humanitarian and social crises – population growth. In 2011, the world population reached 7 billion, a startling seven-fold increase since we exceeded our first billion threshold 200 years ago. Grounded in the theories of social scientist Riane Eisler, the film strives not to blame but to educate, to highlight a different path for humanity. There will be a discussion panel after the Australian premier of this screening.
Thursday, September 6pm
LoveMEATender questions the place of meat in our lives and the crazy surge that has made it a product “like any other.” In 2050, there will be approximately 9 billion individuals on Earth and we’ll require 36 billion herds of livestock to supply us with enough meat. Is it reasonable to expect every person will be able to continue eating meat every day?
Sushi The Global Catch (USA)
Saturday, September 8, 6pm
What began as simple but elegant food sold by Tokyo street vendors has now become a worldwide phenomenon in the past 30 years. The film explores the tradition, growth and future of this popular cuisine. This hunger for sushi has led to the depletion of apex predators in the ocean – including Bluefin tuna – to such a degree it has the potential to upset the ecological balance of the world’s oceans.
Sunday, September 9, 4pm
At this critical time, when so much coal and coal seam gas expansion is planned in Australia, this film aims to win the hearts and minds of the people, exposing the destructiveness of this industry to our climate, communities and environment. It is a cautionary tale exposing the effects of mining in the Hunter Valley and the Illawarra, warning what might be in store for other regions if planned expansions of the coal and CSG industries go ahead.
For more information on the EFFM, click here.
Meld has a pair of tickets to give away to the screening of The Island President on Saturday, September 8 at 8.30pm. Simply be the first to comment on this post to win! Please remember to provide your real name and email address so we can get in touch with you. The competition is only open to those living, studying or working in Victoria.