17th Annual Environmental Film Festival returns to Eckerd

February 6, 2015

The 17th Annual Visions of Nature/Voices of Nature Environmental Film Festival at Eckerd College runs Feb. 20-28, featuring compelling and important films to raise awareness and promote discussion of matters relating to nature, place and the environment.

Each screening is free and open to the public and includes an introduction and discussion by the filmmakers or scholars.

The subjects of this year’s festival range from Immokalee, Fla., tomato pickers to the great Pacific garbage patch.

The festival’s aim is to engage the audience in a lively dialogue about the environmental perspectives contained in the documentary, animated, experimental and feature films.

The festival is organized by Catherine Griggs, program coordinator and associate professor of American Studies, and by Nathan Andersen, professor of philosophy. Check out the newly redesigned festival website, where you can get complete details about each film.

Social Impacts of Capitalism and Climate Change: Snowpiercer

Friday, Feb. 20, 7 p.m.
Directed by Bong Joon-ho
(Korean with English subtitles, 126m, 2013)

This film captures a new ice age kills all life on earth except for the lucky few who make it on to an unstoppable train that maintains its heat by remaining in constant motion. The closed quarters of the train exacerbate social inequalities that had existed prior to the climate disaster. Introduced b Christina Petersen, Christian Nielsen assistant professor of film studies at Eckerd College and co-director of the International Cinema Series.

The True Costs of Agriculture: Food Chains
Saturday, Feb. 21, 7 p.m.
Directed by Sanjay Rawal
(USA, English, 83 min., 2014)

Focusing upon a daring group of tomato pickers from Southern Florida who have managed to revolutionize food labor through their Campaign for Fair Food, the film is a story of hope that shows how, with dedication and perseverance, morality can triumph over corporate greed. Introduced by director Sanjay Rawal, who will also discuss the film alongside members of the Coalition for Immokalee Workers

Urban Environments—New Orleans: Changing the Channel and Getting Back to Abnormal
Sunday, Feb. 22, 2 p.m.
Directed by Andrew Kolker and Louis Alvarez (USA, English, 28 min., 1977)

Changing the Channel was the first American documentary to discuss the concept of urban gentrification, showing how the restoration of historic homes was unexpectedly displacing longtime neighborhood residents. Thirty-five years later, the filmmakers returned to study the city’s post-Katrina landscape, with racial tensions and housing challenges testing the city’s famous celebratory culture. Introduced by Louis Alvarez and Andrew Kolker, directors.

War and Conservation: Virunga
Monday, Feb. 23, 7 p.m.
Directed by Orlando von Einsiedel
(UK/Congo, English/French/Swahili with English subtitles, 90 min., 2014)

This film depicts a group of brave individuals who risk their lives to save the last of the world’s mountain gorillas in the midst of renewed civil war and a desperate scramble for Congo’s natural resources. Introduced by Nathan Andersen, professor of philosophy at Eckerd College and co-director of the International Cinema Series and the Environmental Film Festival.

Struggles with Nature: Corn Island
Tuesday, Feb. 24, 7 p.m.
Directed by George Ovashvili
(Georgia, Georgian/Abkhazian/Russian with English subtitles, 100 min., 2014)

After the flooding season, along the war-torn border between Georgia and Abkhazan, the recession of the Inguri River creates temporary islands of fertile soil. A poor farmer and his granddaughter cultivate one such island, despite soldiers and the forces of nature. Introduced by Bruce Foltz, professor of philosophy at Eckerd College.

The Eyes of the River: Yakona
Wednesday, Feb. 25, 7 p.m.
Directed by Paul Collins and Anlo Sepulveda
(USA, English, 85 min., 2014)

An exquisitely filmed tribute to the San Marcos River, Yakona explores the history and ecology of its flowing waters from the perspective of the river itself, considered sacred by the native Americans who once lived along its banks. Introduced by Paul Collins, director. (The film will be preceded by The Emotional Dimensions of the James River, a short experimental film by Michelle Marquez, a 15-year-old Virginia high school student, to illustrate her award-winning research into the affective dimensions of sound and music.)

The Ecological and Human Impact of the Gulf Disaster: The Great Invisible
Thursday, Feb. 26, 7 p.m.
Directed by Margaret Brown (USA, English, 92 min., 2014)

In 2010, the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 workers and causing the worst oil spill in history. Director Margaret Brown spent four years investigating the impact of this environmental disaster and talking to those who were affected to create this gripping documentary. Introduced by David Hollander of the USF College of Marine Science.

When Nature Refuses: The Fifth Season

Friday, Feb. 27, 7 p.m.
Directed by Peter Brosens and Jessica Woodworth
(Belgium, French/Flemish with English subtitles, 93 min., 2012)

When nature refuses to cooperate with the villagers of an idyllic Belgian farming community, their folk traditions begin to take on a darker significance in this richly imagined parable. Introduced by James Deutsch, program curator at the Smithsonian Institution and adjunct professor of American studies at George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

Where the Waste Goes: Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch
Saturday, Feb. 28, 7 p.m.
Directed by Angela Sun
(USA, English, 57 min., 2013)

Every single piece of plastic that has ever been created since the 19th century is still somewhere on our planet. So if it never goes away, where does it go? Angela Sun, award-winning journalist, sportscaster and documentary filmmaker, decided to find out. Introduced by Angela Sun, director.