Sustainable Film Series premieres Tuesday

The Enduring Film Series will host a film screening on the first Tuesday of each month through April at the Riverwalk Theater in Edwards.
Walking Mountains Science Center / Courtesy photo

The Walking Mountains Science Center screens the first film in its free annual series of sustainable films this Tuesday from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Riverwalk Theater in Edwards.

This year marks the 10th anniversary of the sustainable film series, which was officially founded in 2012 under the leadership of Melissa Kirr, the current Senior Director of Sustainability Programs at Walking Mountains.

The series will feature eight independent films, four feature films and two short films, each of which tackles a different topic related to environmental sustainability and are designed to spark conversation and action among community members who attend. Screenings will take place on the first Tuesday of each month from now until April.

The series started as a small screening at Loaded Joes in Avon, and over the past decade has grown into a beloved community forum that invites people from across the valley to engage in new ideas and share. on problems and solutions with their neighbors. .

“It’s a really big step for us,” Kirr said. “I love movies, I love using them to share knowledge and various topics with the community, and I think it’s a great conversation piece to use for educating audiences.

Inspirational action

One of the unique aspects of the enduring film series is that each screening includes a ‘next steps’ document that provides clear, tangible actions that a viewer can take to deepen their knowledge of the topic and be part of the process. solution.

“The Ants and the Grasshopper” will be the first film in the enduring 10th anniversary film series to be screened.
The ants and the grasshopper / Courtesy photo

Kirr said the idea to include a “Next Steps” document came from a Walking Mountains intern who wrote a list of potential actions after watching one of the films. Kirr had heard from a number of people that watching the movies can be a bit depressing at times, due to the seriousness of the topics and the scale of the environmental issues they deal with, so she decided to include measures. action to help people contribute to the solution, even if it is to a small extent.

“We show some of these often depressing movies that seem like there’s no light at the end of the tunnel and everything is cloudy, and we want to give it some blue sky,” Kirr said. “We look at what’s going on in our community that they can participate and take action, and then these are actions they can take even further nationally or globally. It can be as easy as shopping at farmers’ markets, but it can go as far as writing letters or calling your representatives. We’re really looking at what a person can do on an individual level that can help create action. “

In the last ten years of the series’ airing, Kirr has seen the films change the behavior of many members of the community, who remember the larger picture they were shown in the cinema, then translate that knowledge into small everyday actions that can make a real difference worse.

Spark conversation

Each lasting film screening is followed by a community conversation Kirr leads in the theater after the film ends. This open forum invites viewers to ask questions about what they have watched, discuss the implications and impact of the film, and share their existing knowledge on the subject in order to enhance the overall educational experience of the screening. .

There are a few times where Kirr has invited one of the filmmakers or a guest speaker to join the conversation, but generally it is designed to be an open space where members of the community can absorb the film and share their thoughts. ideas with each other in a casual way and relaxed environment.

“Beyond Zero,” screened Jan. 4, follows the CEO of a global public company on a quest to eliminate all negative environmental impacts by 2020.
Beyond Zero / Courtesy Photo

“We keep it very low key,” Kirr said. “We have a lot of events in the valley, and they’re all amazing, which are held in this lecture series format where you have people talking to the audience about a specific topic. We’re just listening to the movie. He’s the speaker, and after that we just have an open and relaxed conversation, nobody worries about asking silly questions, and I think that’s why he’s become so popular.

The forum also gives viewers the opportunity to draw on the wealth of expert knowledge that many in our community have to share.

“I try to encourage them and remind them that we are all members of the community, that we are all neighbors and that we are here to have a conversation, so don’t be shy,” Kirr said. “Share your thoughts and ask questions, because if I don’t know the answer, maybe there is someone in the room who has that knowledge. It’s amazing how many great people we have in this community, their knowledge and experience and how willing they are to share.

Sustainable communities

All eight films in this year’s sustainable film series transport viewers to places around the world and follow stories that highlight the environmental challenges of our time. The variety of topics covered in the films lineup reflects how intersectional sustainability is, touching on politics, economics, scientific innovation and more, while still being tied to personal narratives that give great ideas a human face.

When selecting films for the series this year, Kirr placed emphasis on selecting films that demonstrate sustainable communities.

“A Journey Upstream,” screened February 1, follows the Braker brothers’ love for their home watershed, the Chesapeake Bay.
A trip upstream / Courtesy photo

“I’m looking for films that deal with the waste sector or the energy, water and sustainable agriculture sector, and I feel like I’ve started to be more drawn to sustainable communities.” , Kirr said. “Four of these films address that, and they show a community that is affected and how they come together to be resilient or adapt to what’s going on in their community. You see a lot of action, and it’s inspiring to watch.

The first film in the series, “The Ants and the Grasshopper,” premieres at Edwards’ Riverwalk Theater this Tuesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Tickets are free, but attendees are encouraged to register online. to reserve a place. and sign up for additional resources that will accompany the films.

Upcoming Movies

The ants and the grasshopper: November 2

Anita Chitaya has a gift; she can help bring abundant food from the dead land, she can make men fight for gender equality, and she can end hunger among children in her village. Now, to save her home from extreme weather conditions, she faces her biggest challenge: persuading Americans that climate change is real. Traveling from Malawi to California to the White House, she meets climate skeptics and desperate farmers. Her journey takes her through all the divisions that shape the United States, from the rural-urban divide to racial, class and gender schisms, to the thought that allows Americans to believe they live on a planet. different from everyone else. It will take all of his skill and experience to help Americans recognize and overcome a logic that is already destroying Earth.

Understory – A trip to the Tongass: December 7

A Journey Into the Tongass tells the story of a young fisherman who grew up in a salty fishing village in the Tongass National Forest in Alaska. When Elsa Sebastian learns that millions of acres of her rainforest home will be stripped of their guards and opened for clearcutting, she is pushed into action; repairing an old sailboat first, then setting out on a 350-mile journey to explore the last stands of the Tongass old-growth forest. Elsa is joined on this expedition by two friends: a biologist, Dr Natalie Dawson, and a botanical illustrator, Mara Menahan. Together, the three women document the rugged beauty of the coastal temperate rainforest and bear witness to the destructive effects of clearcutting.

Beyond Zero: January 4

After a life-changing epiphany, the CEO of a global public company embarks on a high-stakes quest to eliminate all negative environmental impacts by 2020. To be successful, they must overcome deep skepticism, abandon status. quo and spark a new industrial revolution. . Beyond Zero offers an inspiring roadmap on how businesses can reverse climate change.

A Journey Upstream & Brave Blue World: February 1

A Journey Upstream is a short film that shares a personal insight and reflection on the Braker brothers’ love for their original watershed, the Chesapeake Bay. It’s a look at how things have changed over time and how two essential species can distinguish the health of this massive ecosystem.

Brave Blue World explores technologies and innovations that have the potential to solve the global water crisis. The film highlights the scientific and technological advances that have taken place to ensure that the world’s population has access to safe drinking water and sanitation services and that the environment is protected.

Current revolution and across the hill: March 1

This month we will be showing two short films. Nation in Transition explores the transition from coal to renewable energy in the Navajo Nation and northern Arizona through the stories of workers, their families and communities, business and tribal leaders, utility leaders, policy makers and environmental activists. The film offers a roadmap for accelerating and managing just energy transitions for workers and communities around the world. Other Side of the Hill explores the impacts of climate change in rural eastern Oregon – as seen through the eyes of local leaders on the ground. From innovative logging operations in Wallowa County to large-scale solar power in Lakeview, we amplify the voices of rural communities often left speechless. In an era of unprecedented cultural divide between rural and urban Oregon, we find common ground in the urgency of dealing with a changing landscape.

“Current Revolution” will be one of two short films screened on Tuesday March 1st.
Current Revolution / Courtesy photo

Residents – An Indigenous Perspective: April 5

Inhabitants follows five Native American tribes through deserts, coastlines, forests and grasslands as they restore their traditional land management practices. For millennia, Native Americans successfully managed and shaped their landscapes, but centuries of colonization disrupted their ability to maintain traditional land management practices. Deserts, coasts, forests, mountains and meadows, indigenous communities are restoring their ancient relationship with the land. As the climate crisis intensifies, these proven practices of North America’s earliest inhabitants are becoming increasingly essential in a rapidly changing world.

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