2018 Official Selections Announcement

The Earth Day Film Festival

2018 Official Selections

Documentary Features, Narrative Features, Narrative Shorts,

Documentary Shorts, Free Form and Virtual Reality.

 

From deeply revealing to timely and inspiring, these magnificent films from around the world celebrate the Earth through cinema.

 

The Earth Day Film Festival is nourishing the movement toward a more-harmonious relationship to our environment from the ground up. We are a diverse group of filmmakers, artists, scientists, and activists who care deeply about the Earth. We seek to change the content we celebrate and how it’s celebrated. Meaning, we not only offer Earth-honoring films but do so in an Earth-honoring way. Events meant to celebrate the Earth shouldn’t pollute it further or consume the resources we wish to protect. We are constantly assessing whether our practices align with our messages; our mission is integrity. In this way, we hope to ‘be the change we wish to see in the world’, by shifting the ways we create and consume.

The 2018 Selection includes many riveting documentaries and enthralling creative narratives. Themes are diverse; from wilderness conservation to stories of our collective journey as humans on Earth. Featured VR experiences reveal the mysteries of Great White Sharks to sensations of being an astronaut. The Earth Day Film Festival 2018 is honored to have several world premiers and films from 18 from countries. The festival takes place in Chico, California from April 21 – 23, 2018. At the historic El Rey Theater.

Along with the traditional accolades such as best cinematography, best sound, best narrative short, best vr, best animation; selected films may qualify for one of the unique awards presented by The Earth Day Film Festival:

The Earth’s Choice Award: This film is made with the Earth in mind- from conception to final film. Consideration is given to energy usage, waste, and environmental impact. The final message is typically feminine in tone, not a direct way of speaking but one that is nurturing and loving just as our Mother Earth. The recipient of this award is given temporary custody of the “Earth’s Choice” custom trophy with their name engraved on the trophy.

The Activist Award: Honors filmmakers who are using their art to affect change in the world. The winning film illuminates unjust or repressive systems and calls for action. The filmmaker’s tactics, including their partnerships, methods and post-production journey are taken into consideration for this award.

The New Paradigm Award: The recipient of this award answers the question: ‘What’s next?’. After activism draws attention to areas in need of change, a new paradigm is needed to exemplify a more harmonious and healthier relationship with Earth. The selected film has a tone of nurturance and hope.


2018 Official Selections

Documentary Feature

BURKINABÈ RISING: The Art of Resistance in Burkina Faso, directed by Iara Lee (BFA) 71 min. A small landlocked country in West Africa, Burkina Faso is home to a vibrant community of artists, musicians, engaged citizens who carry on the revolutionary spirit of Thomas Sankara, who was killed in a coup d’état orchestrated by his best friend. The ensuing 27 years of autocratic rule were ended by a massive popular insurrection. Today, the spirit of resistance and political change is mightier than ever and it permeates every aspect of the Burkinabè life. It is an inspirational story meant for the whole world. Link to trailer: Here.

Charged, directed by Phillip Baribeau (USA) 86 min. Rare is the film that is able to resonate with an audience so universally. The utterly inspiring story of Eduardo Garcia is one of those films that takes a tragedy and turns it to beauty that serves as inspiration to us all. Charged reminds us to greet uncertainty, change and turmoil of life with resilience. A successful chef and adventurer, Eduardo Garcia’s life was forever changed after an encounter with 2,400 volts of electricity while hiking in the backcountry of Montana.  A love story unlike any other, Charged is about both physical recovery and life fully realized. Link to trailer: Here.

Falcong, directed by Lara Celenza (ITA) 38 min. Falconer and wild animal trainer Giovanni Granati lives in the unspoiled countryside of Abruzzo, Italy alongside his hawks, eagles and wolves. Celenza offers this story of the importance of relationships with the natural world and its vast population of non-human beings. An inspiring story that will entice audience to the enchanting Italian countryside.

Greed, A Fatal Desire, directed by Jörg Seibold (DEU) 91 min.  If every human on Earth consumed at the same rates as Americans do, we would need 7 more planets to satisfy that appetite. With capitalism and the American model of success as the model for the world, it seems human greed might be the downfall of the species. Seilbold travels the world and presents insight from top thinkers in buddhism and western psychology. Looking through the lives of some of the world’s richest, this film explores the root of insatiable desire on this shared planet. Link to trailer: Here.

Poisoning Paradise, directed by Keely Shaye Brosnan (USA) 75 min. Acclaimed environmental documentary filmmaker Keely Shaye Brosnan, sheds light on a GMO debate by journeying to the seemingly idyllic world of Native Hawaiians. The Hawaiian climate allows giant corporations to test their genetically engineered seed corn and pesticides, spraying them upwind of homes, schools, hospitals, and pristine shoreline. Discover what is at stake for Hawaii from local activists, scientific experts and healthcare professionals as they expose the effects of environmental injustice on a local population. The urgency of this message is great: it is all of our responsibilities to know the impacts created by the food we eat. Join the international debate about pesticides, as well as the people’s movement to hold corporations and governments accountable for poisoning planet Earth. Link to trailer: Here.

Redefining Prosperity: Gold Rushes of Nevada City, directed by John de Graaf (USA) 57 min. The Gold Rushes of California have taken many forms. A new ‘Gold Rush’ seeks to heal wounds created by centuries of resource exploitation and destruction to land and indigenous communities. The health of the individual and community is intricately tied to the health of the land. See how Nevada City has redefined wealth; a film to inspire communities toward sustainability. Link to trailer: Here.

Simplife, directed by Ben Matsunaga (JPN) 79 min.  A journey along the west coast of the United States into the tiny house movement.  More than a technical look at the structures themselves, it is philosophical exploration of what we deem valuable and how a rich life can be attained through simplified means. Link to trailer: Here.

ZAN, directed by Richard Grehan (JPN) 73 min. Henoko and Oura bay is the home of the worlds last Dugong and the proposed site of a new U.S. military base. If built, the base will surely be the end for this gentle sea being. This film challenges us to examine our priorities as a society. The choice here is blatantly emblematic of the greater decision: do we want military expansion or wildlife protection? At what point do we say enough? Masterfully directed and a must see at The Earth Day Film Festival. Link to trailer: Here.


Narrative Feature

ONI, directed by Mercedes Aldo, Laura Trejo, Christen Minnick (MEX) 60 min. Oni is a psycho-magic documentary film, focused on the deep relationship among Sacred Plants, indigenous healing rituals and Universal Consciousness. Through the magic of dreams and visions, we embark on a journey into the jungle of the collective psyche. Deep in the Peruvian Amazon, a young Shipibo healer is initiated by the spirit of a mysterious plant alchemy known as Ayahuasca. Rather than using logic to explain an experiential phenomenon, Oni offers an emotional experience of universal consciousness through a colorful and poetic audio-visual journey. Link to trailer: Here.

 


Documentary Short

Adaptation Bangladesh, directed by Justin DeShields (USA) 12 min. The “new normal” of global climate change is often a harrowing reality to contemplate. Cultural anthropologist Alizé Carrére demonstrates that it does not need to be a reality devoid of hope. In Bangladesh — the most densely populated country in the world and one that will bear a disproportionate share of the impact of global climate change — Carrére shows the resilience, flexibility and innovation that will be requisite for the survival of our species. Stunning for both the scenery and the innovation by some of the worlds most vulnerable people. Link to trailer: Here.

ALMA -Art, Legacy and the Environment, directed by Victor Hugo Espejo (ESP) 14 min. In its whole, this film is an expression of creative reciprocity with our planet. Alma tracks the journey of a group of sensitive musicians as they journey to a 12th century monastery in a remote region of Galicia, Spain to be part of a music and nature residency. They listen deeply and from that knowing, they create. We see how nature serves as the muse and the instrument. A film that is a clear expression of using art as a way of showcasing the importance of reestablishing communication and flow with our natural surroundings. A must see at The Earth Day Film Festival.

Amazonia Dammed, directed by Ada Bodjolle (GBR) 14 min. Amazonia Dammed tells the story of the Munduruku people’s urgent struggle to protect the heart of the Amazon against one of the largest mega-dam projects on Earth. Through the director’s relationship with the community of Sawré Muybu, the film invites the audience to discover how these brave warriors in a war of hope join their voices to protect our planet’s remaining rainforests. Cinematically captivating, Amazonia Dammed is a must see at The Earth Day Film Festival. Link to trailer: Here.

A Simpler Way, directed by Michael O. Snyder (USA) 26 min. The foundational pieces of how we operate are often overshadowed by the shiny, technological advances of our society. A Simpler Way illuminates how some of the most technologically innovative systems can also be the simplest. Four university students journey to a remote village in Uganda to discover a radically simple solution to an urgent global problem. Using only the power of the sun, SODIS (Solar Water Disinfection) is cheap, effective, and has the potential to save a million lives. Through this film, we see that our neighbors are nearer than we think and the key to solving some of the most pressing global issues lies within us all. Link to trailer: Here

Fix and Release, directed by Scott Dobson (CAN) 16 min. Fix and Release explores a small turtle trauma center in Peterborough, Ontario as it fights to better the odds for survival for freshwater turtles. This visually stunning film shows turtles in a way that few have seen before. Turtles are vital for healthy wetlands; as Dr. Carstairs says, “We are saving the world one turtle at a time”. Link to trailer: Here.

Information Station, directed Katie Brigham (USA) 9 min. Explore the cozy, authentic culture and spontaneous, fleeting community of the remote Carson Pass Information Station. Located in the Sierra Nevada along the famous 2,650 mile long Pacific Crest Trail, the station is collectively owned and operated by a team of close-knit volunteers. A significant piece that illustrates how little we truly need when we come together as a community. Link to trailer: Here.

M.S.N.M., directed by Mauricio Quintanilla (PER) 5 min. Journey high above the Peruvian Andes through the dramatic clouds and peaks. Paired with an original score, M.S.N.M. is a simple yet enchanting glimpse at a magical land.

One Hundred Thousand Beating Hearts, directed by Peter Byck (USA) 16 min. Tells the story of fourth generation cattleman Will Harris’ evolution from industrial, commodity cowboy to sustainable, humane food producer. A growing group of consumers are questioning the ethical and environmental impacts of eating beef. Harris’s work in southwest Georgia shows his agricultural practices that produce healthy beef (and poultry), regenerate the soils and allow all the animals to express their natural instincts. This film is a reminder that we are intricately connected to the land and resources we consume; the health of the planet is tied to the health of us all.  

Standing Rock Take Me From The River, directed by Denny Rauen (USA) 30min. This revealing film challenges all of us to reassess our role in the exploration of the planet and indigenous people. Learn how even in 2016, the U.S. government broke treaties with indigenous people. The Standing Rock Sioux have had enough. A personal and intimate look at the internationally renowned conflict at Standing Rock. Link to trailer: Here.

The Indo Project, directed by Greg Balkin (USA) 6 min.The Indonesian island of Timor is rich in biodiversity and beautiful natural landscapes. Local communities are developing as destinations for world-class rock climbing and water sports, to replace the devastating industries of logging and mining. This is the story of a people who stopped an environmental tragedy with peaceful protest, stood firm through adversity, and of their efforts to create a sustainable future for their families and the island’s environment.

Timbo, directed by Peiman Zekavat (UK) 9 min. The destruction of the Amazon forest-the world’s most biologically diverse place- seems to have become normalized. Timbo highlights the threat posed by energy companies keen to dam the world largest river. If built, the dams would flood an area the size of London, Paris and Amsterdam combined. The flood would cause a large amount of toxic plants to dissolve in the water, leading to severe poisoning or even death among the indigenous tribes. These plants are locally known as Timbó. Created in an immersive way, the audience is drawn into into the stunning sensations of tribal life in the Amazon. Link to trailer: Here.

Water Warriors, directed by Michael Premo (CAN) 22 min. A timely and energetic film that follows the indigenous voices of New Brunswick as they seek to protect their life source: fresh water. The community is called into action as SWN-a multinational corporation-enters indigenous territory to frack the land, pumping millions of gallons of stolen fresh water mixed with chemicals into a fragile ecosystem. A success story on the side of the water protectors that serves as a beacon of possibility for all who are called to action. Link to trailer: Here.

Where are the Stars? Directed by Muhammad Asif Islam (USA) 4 min. A short film on how light pollution affects the view of the night sky. Watch how the splendor of the heavens above progressively reveals itself the further we get from the lights we’ve lit. A reminder to look up and know that not all that shimmers is gold.


Narrative Shorts

Eaglehawk, directed by Shannon Murphy (AUS) 22 min. Based on the short story “Where We Must Be” by Laura Van Der Berg, Eaglehawk dives into the enchanted life of a girl who aspires to connect with her purpose: to imitate the elusive and mythical creature of the woods called “Yowie“. She blossoms into a realized self.

Lasting Beast, directed by Nagi Gianni and Raphaëlle Mueller (CHE) 18 min. A dark and dramatic piece challenging the viewers sensibilities. The filmmaking duo explore the tensions between humans, animals and their endangered ecosystems, speculating on the possibility of a utopian civilization. Their work bridges the realms of environmental science and cultural history; a reconciliation of the feeling body and the wild contained within.

PM 2.5, directed by Piotr Biedroń (POL) 7 min. According to the W.H.O., Poland’s air quality is the worst in Europe. PM 2.5 offers a glimpse of a future for a country continually ignoring calls for regulations. One man is left, with one oxygen-producing plant. Link to trailer: Here.

Sara the Dancer, directed by Tim Ellrich (DEU) 13 min. Sara is a Google Street View Camera and photographs the streets from the top of a car. But when she listens to the music of driver Larry for the first time, something starts to shake in her. An incredible original and creative approach to existential questions faced in a purpose-filled life.

The Exhale, directed by Mohmmad Hormozi (IRN) 24 min. An inescapable reality of living on Earth is death. Hormozi’s approach isn’t to demystify or soften the realities of death but simply show how life and death exist side by side. In field of the fathers childhood, his son must break the news that his father has leukemia. Long, steady and well-composed shots produce a very clear artistic voice, leaving space for the audience and characters to reflect on the ramifications of the narrative.   Link to trailer: Here.

The Legacy, directed by Diego de la Vega (PER) 13 min. What happens when violence among men outweighs the peace we seek? In this post-apocalyptic film, Vega poetically warns his audience of possible outcomes. Beautifully shot and paired with an ominous vocal portrayal of a world of destitution.


Animated Shorts

Au Revoir Balthazar, directed by Rafael Sommerhalder (CHE) 10 min. An endearing animation that eloquently expresses love of our natural world and the gift of our senses to experience it. A scarecrow is introduced to the sound of the sea and will follow his heart to the end of the Earth to witness the dramatic presence of the Ocean.

Ugly, directed by Nikita Diakur (DEU) 12 min. In contrast to the title this serene piece studies the abuse of our planet by following an “ugly” cat as it looks for relativity in a selfish world. Diakur is very direct and forceful in his direction; a clear artistic voice that ask: how do we value and relate to our earthly experience?


Free Form

165708, directed by Josephine Massarella (CAN) 7 min. Shot entirely in 16mm black and white film using single frame photography, 165708 employs in-camera techniques and chemical manipulation of processed film to produce an eidetic study of temporal elasticity. Exploring the capacity of the medium to express various notions of time, the film begins with a woman looking out from the shoreline. This acts as a point of departure to disparate yet interconnected sequences which prompt the viewer to engage in a structurally unique mode of inquiry and experience. Employing an individual experience to this artist journey.

Aldea Mundial, directed by Michael Wagner and Santiago Silva (COL) 35 min. A musical journey of traditional Colombian folk music paired with landscapes and poetry. You will dance and move with the film as it is projected into the dance studio at Wine Time.

Calm Quiet Strength, directed by Michael Cullen (USA) 4 min. A dignified tribute by a 200-year-old witness to American history: an Appalachian Mountain tulip poplar tree. Cullen takes the perspective of the forests we often walk through; what stories they must have!

My Golden Rule, directed by Sally Sherwood (USA) 4 min. Eco-minded folk singer, Mellissa Gail Klein takes us on a musical journey to what it means to be the consciousness of the earth, what it means to be aware of our life journey and determine what is most important: what is our golden rule?

Praise Song for Oceana, directed by Justyn Ah Chong (USA) 5 min. A video poem about the ecologies, histories, politics, economies, and the cultures of the Ocean written by Chamorro poet Craig Santos Perez.

Sea, directed by Hristina Belousova (UZB) 1 min. With the distinction of being the shortest film in the 2018 festival, Sea offers a very big message. Composing a majority of the Earth the sea has influence on all of us. This poetic piece reveals a love for the sea that is irresistible.

Shinrin-Yoku (Forest Bathing), directed by Mark Knight (USA) 6 min. Forest bathing is the practice of taking a short, leisurely visit to a forest for health benefits. The practice originated in Japan where it is called Shinrin-Yoku (森林浴). This film shares a forest bathing experience with stunning scenery and sound-scape; a reminder to be in relationship with the planet.


Virtual Reality

A Yosemite Welcome…, directed by Kevin Pontuti (USA) 10 min. If your answer to the question, “what historical figure would you like to meet?” is John Muir, here is your opportunity to do just that. Watch as he tells a story in his favorite environment, Yosemite National Park and imparts wisdom on a life lived in love with nature. The mountains are calling, and WE must go.

Being an Astronaut, directed by Pierre-Emmanuel Le Goff (FRA) 14 min. Ever wonder what it is like to train like an astronaut? Here is your chance to experience how astronauts prepare to travel in space at the NASA training center in Houston, TX. After the high G-force centrifuge, you will be plunged into the gigantic pool designed to simulate extravehicular exits.

Dolphin Man, directed by Benoît Lichté (FRA) 10 min. An incredible experience that will have you free diving with world record holder, William Trubridge. Drop through the depths of blue to see the underwater world like never before. Fall back in love with life under the sea.

Lost in Time, directed by Adriano Perez Gil (ESP) 16 min. This VR experiences takes participants back in time through the eyes of a scientist and conveys his urgent message to us before it’s too late.

Planet ∞, directed by Momoko Seto (FRA) 6 min. An incredibly creative piece that immerses us into a world never before imagined, where mushrooms tower like forest giants and tadpoles become monsters of the sea. Watch mold grow like the birth of a galaxy. A powerful piece that reminds us of the magic happening all around us, all the time; an infinite world of wonder.

The Great – A Great White Shark VR Experience, directed by Roy Kimhi (MEX) 6 min. Dive into the deep blue 200 miles into the open ocean near a remote island called Guadalupe, near Baja California, Mexico. Guadalupe is a world-famous spot to encounter the mysterious yet vulnerable Great White Shark. With the inaccurate stigma as a “man-eater”, the Great White Shark has many hurdles to overcome to receive the respect and protection it deserves. Experience what it is like to swim with these beautiful and misunderstood creatures.

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