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RVA Environmental Film Festival Announces Partial Lineup

Andy Thompson

@richmondoutside
January 17, 2016 10:04pm

Organizers are pleased to announce the sixth annual RVA Environmental Film Festival to be held on the first week of February 1-7. The Enrichmond Foundation, Capital Region Land Conservancy, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, and Falls of the James Group – Sierra Club have been working together to make sure this year’s festival is the best yet, with many films designed to raise awareness of environmental issues relative to all residents of our planet — and to Richmond citizens in particular. As with last year, all of the festival’s events are free and open to the public.

Although the full week’s schedule will not officially be released until a time closer to the festival, organizers have announced the first part of the children’s portion of the festival.

Back by popular demand, the 2016 RVA EFF will include a children’s portion at the historic Byrd Theater in Carytown, starting at 10 a.m. on Saturday, February 6, beginning with The Lorax, hopefully inspiring some new environmentalists and re-igniting the hope of older ones. Continuing at 10:30 am, there will be a screening of Disney’s Monkey Kingdom, a documentary that follows a newborn monkey and its mother as they struggle to survive within the competitive social hierarchy of the Temple Troop, a dynamic group of monkeys who live in ancient ruins found deep in the storied jungles of South Asia. With starring voice-over from Tina Fey, this received a huge audience response when it was released earlier this year.

Festival organizers have extended the festival to a full week and will include venues all over the region, including evenings at the University of Richmond, Virginia Commonwealth University, Visual Arts Center of Richmond, as well as Richmond’s Main Library, Chesterfield County’s North Courthouse Road Library, and Henrico County’s Tuckahoe Library. Many of the films are not only new but area premieres.

Festival sponsors include the James River Association, Slow Food RVA, Relay Foods, Sunflower Solar/Old Dominion Energy, Watershed Architects, Sierra Club Foundation, Enrichmond Foundation, Capital Region Land Conservancy, Whole Foods Market, VA Sun, Chesapeake Climate Action Network, University of Richmond, Rice Center-Virginia Commonwealth University, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Visual Arts Center of Richmond, RichmondOutside.com, WCVE,and the Byrd Theatre.

For more information on the Festival, including sponsorship and volunteer opportunities, visit www.rvaenvironmentalfilmfestival.com.

Information about the films, guests, speakers, and specific schedules for each day will be made available as the event nears. However, the following films have been confirmed:

Plant this Movie — A comprehensive look at the international urban agriculture movement which vividly illustrates, the ingredients for scaling up urban farming and reconnecting people to the food we eat are now all around us. The movement provides hope that people across the nation and the world that they will once again have access to healthier, locally grown food, using the land near where they live as a primary source.

Living Green — profiles Jen Jensen the unsung pioneering landscape architect who became one of America’s most influential urban designers and early conservationists, shaping the Midwest’s physical and cultural landscape in an enduring way. Footage includes photos, interviews of Jensen himself. Jens Jensen is hailed as a pioneer of sustainable design and a champion of native species.

Thule Tuvalu — Two places at the edge of our planet are making headlines due to climate change: Thule, Greenland, because of record ice melts there, and Tuvalu, a remote Pacific island nation which is on the verge of sinking as sea levels rise. Inhabitants of both Thule and Tuvalu are looking into an uncertain future.

Easy Like Water — In rural Bangladesh, 20 million people may be washed away by mid-century, Floating schools turn the front lines of climate change into a community of learning. Boat schools using modern technology are bringing education to kids, especially girls, who might otherwise never get a chance to go to school.

Shark Loves the Amazon — Can twenty-one million people and the rainforest share the same space? With levels of deforestation approaching the point of no return at an alarming rate, Mark London, also known as “Shark”, poses a provocative alternative to the age-old mantra, “leave the forest untouched.”

End of the Line — Where have all the fish gone? We’ve eaten them! Fishing is occurring at an unsustainable rate. Technological advances, political indecisiveness, and commercial interests in the fishing industry have produced a culture where fish stocks are being exploited beyond their capacity to regenerate. Commercial fish may become extinct within our lifetimes.

Monkey Kingdom — A Disneynature film, a spectacular tale set among ancient ruins in the storied jungles of South Asia. Maya, a clever and resourceful monkey, strives to keep her son, Kip, safe through unexpected and perilous adventures. Amazing footage captures all the magic and surprises of their magnificent world.

Bat City Bat City USA — A fascinating, close-up glimpse of the world’s largest urban bat colony amid colorful downtown Austin, Texas. The film reveals how the bats moved into the downtown Congress Avenue Bridge and survived eradication plans by hostile residents. Merlin Tuttle, founder of Bat Conservation International, convinces residents of the benefits of the bats.

This Changes Everything — This film, inspired by Naomi Klein’s international non-fiction bestseller, presents seven powerful portraits of communities on the front lines, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing, and beyond.  Klein builds to her most controversial and exciting idea: that we can seize the existential crisis of climate change to transform our failed economic system into something radically better.

Overburden — The story of a fiery, pro-coal right-winger and a tenacious, environmentalist grandmother as they take on the most dangerous coal company in America. These two lives intertwine as they unite to rebuild their fractured community. Decades after Harlan County, W.VA filming the coal industry is facing extinction, and with an increase in alternative energy and the work of these two courageous women, the epicenter of change may just come from the most unexpected place, the ridges of the Appalachian Mountains.

Yes Men are Revolting — For 20 years the notorious Yes Men dressed in thrift-store suits and with a lack of shame have lied their way into business events and government functions determined to expose the dangers of letting greed run our world. These iconoclastic activists stage outrageous and hilarious hoaxes to draw international attention to corporate crimes against humanity and the environment while sending a hopeful message about fighting for change.

How to Change the World — In 1971 a small group of activists set sail from Vancouver, Canada in an old fishing boat. Their mission was to stop Nixon’s atomic test bomb in Amchitka, Alaska. Chronicling this untold story at the birth of the modern environmental movement and with access to dramatic archive footage unseen for over 40 years, the film centers on eco-hero Robert Hunter and his part in the creation of the global organization we now know as Greenpeace.


About Andy Thompson

I was the Outdoors Columnist at the Times-Dispatch from 2007 to 2013, writing twice a week about mountain biking, fishing, hunting, paddling and much more. I live a 1/4 mile from the James River, close enough to see bald eagles soaring over my house on their way to find a meal. Pretty cool, eh?


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