‘The Big Picture’ is Bigger than We Think
Green Screen’s How to Change the World event at St. Mary’s College
When one hears “environmental film festival,” some stereotypical images of tree hugging and Animal Planet features on plant and animal life cycles may come to mind. However, this is far from true. The Green Screen Environmental Film Festival was not just pretty images of the oceans and hilly landscapes, it was an exploration of natural and man-made phenomena, commentary on social injustices that arose as a result, review of the powerful movements that shaped the landscape of environmental activism and very importantly, a call to action. These were addressed via riveting feature length films, shorts and panel discussions.
The Green Screen Environmental Film Festival is a two-week annual film festival that features acclaimed local, regional and international films that explore crucial environmental issues. Adhering to the festival’s 2016 theme, “The Big Picture”, Green Screen focused on various aspects of the environment and their wide impact on human life. With international feature panelists, premiere screenings and a local film development programme, the festival achieved its goal of placing T&T into the global landscape of the environment and what it means to be environmentally conscious. FilmTT is proud to have concluded its Film Festival Season 2016 with such an important and impactful festival.
Here are four of the biggest things that took place during this year’s Green Screen Environmental Film Festival that truly showed us THE BIG PICTURE:
1. Local Shorts Explored Rarely Told Stories One of Green Screen’s objectives is to help foster local content. The Films for a Better Place initiative was directly supported by FilmTT and provided selected local short film projects with technical support and small grants.
These 5 films, which were in heavy rotation throughout the festival, were productions by local filmmakers: • Maya Cross-Lovelace- The Trouble with Plastic • Ozy Merrique Jr.- Horse • Rhonda Chan Soo & Edward Inglefield- Quiet Revolution • Miguel Galofré- Green & Yellow • Carver Bacchus- Teach a Man (not in competition)
Each documentary highlighted different individuals in T&T and their relationship with the environment. The stories of persons whose lives are not usually seen locally were told. These films showed how much we rely on the environment for survival and gratification; they reminded us of how quickly we can destroy nature but also how quickly and effectively small changes can reverse the destruction. We saw a man’s consuming life as an environmental artist, passionate farmers staging a quiet revolution, a man’s struggle to maintain his livelihood, the realities of two of society’s forgotten men and the troubling effects of a commonly used product in the Films for a Better Place.
At the end of the festival, the films were judged by a jury and saw Maya Cross-Lovelace’s The Trouble with Plastic winning the Guardian of the Environment Award and Quiet Revolution by Rhonda Chan Soo and Edward Inglefield emerging as the winner of the Jury Award for best use of documentary technique. Read more about the Films for a Better Place 2016 Package here.
Green Screen Closing night from l-r: Miguel Galofre, Rhonda Chan Soo, founder and director of green Screen Carver Bacchus, Edward Inglefield & Maya Cross-Lovelace
2. The Pearl Button Rocked the Opening Night On its opening night, Green Screen hosted the Caribbean premiere of the Chilean documentary, The Pearl Button. The film looked at the Pacific Ocean along Chile’s longest boarder as a container of history, survival and culture. Via this ocean, Chile’s indigenous Patagonian people sailed, dove, ate and made a living for many years. But this ocean also brought colonizers’ to Chile and the destruction of their way of life. Nevertheless, the few surviving Patagonian people feel forever connected to the water.
The sea also plays an important part in one of the darkest periods in Chilean history, the Pinochet dictatorship. It holds the country’s tragic memories and dark secrets as discovered in the seabed many years later was a mysterious pearl button, a remnant of this tumultuous time. All in all, the film shows that water never dies, it keeps flowing and with it, the history of humanity lingers. The Pearl Button is almost like an ode to water and its significance in all of our lives. The Pearl Button opened to unsurprisingly rave reviews at the festival. Check out the reactions at the film’s screening here.
3. Roberta (Bobbi) Hunter, Co-founder of Greenpeace, Attended the Festival Roberta (Bobbi) Hunter, co-founder of renowned international environmental organization Greenpeace came to Green Screen to attend the screening of How to Change the World and be part of the post panel discussion. How to Change the World depicted the birth of Greenpeace and the growth of the worldwide green movement. A younger Bobbi and her husband, Bob Hunter can both be seen in the movie among other young revolutionaries fighting against environmental injustices.
Bobbi’s message to the captivated audience at Green Screen was that if you have a passion fighting against some environmental issue, go forth because there are people who want to join you! Her work is clearly testimony to this! Her small group’s meetings and protests eventually led to creation of the green movement as seen in the movie. She also lamented to the audience that many young people are currently doing so much good but it is not being documented in the media. However, she continued to encouraged all to make small changes where they can. Read more about the insightful How to Change the World panel discussion here.
From l-r: Panel Discussion Moderator with Peter O’Connor (Project Officer, Asa Wright Nature Centre),
Bobbi Hunter (Co-founder of Greenpeace), Molly Gaskin (President & Founding Member of Pointe-a-Pierre Wild Fowl Trust), Akilah Jaramogi (Managing Director, Fondes Amandes Community Reforestation Project)[/caption]
4. Guests Enjoyed Movies Under the Stars Staying true to its name, the Green Screen Environmental Film Festival held some of its screening outdoors in beautiful natural settings. On a cold and damp Sunday evening, many braved the rain and came out to Green Screen’s film screenings at the beautiful Botanical Gardens. Then, a week later the festival collaborated with Moving Table to host a dinner and movie fundraiser at the open San Antonio Farms. A scrumptious locally sourced dinner was provided while guests enjoyed the open air screening of Bright Spot and My Father’s Land.
The festival ended on a cool, laid-back note with its closing night and awards ceremony taking place at the San Fernando Hill. Guests viewed the final films against a picturesque view of the South Trinidad landscape.
These outdoor screenings truly make Green Screen unique. There’s nothing like watching life-changing films immersed in scenic and relaxing natural settings with your friends and family. Green Screen allowed its patrons to enjoy powerful films in the most relaxing and unassuming way.
View at San Fernando Hill on Green Screen Closing Night
FilmTT is a leading sponsor of the Green Screen The Environmental Film Festival, the final event of its Film Festival Season 2016. The Film Festival Season began with the trinidad+tobago film festival then followed with the Animae Caribe Animation and Digital Media Festival and ended with Green Screen The Environmental Film Festival.