Yale Environmental Film Festival Examines Humanity’s Impact
New Haven, Conn.—An Academy Award-nominated film on Japan’s tsunami, an advance screening of Disneynature’s Chimpanzee, and appearances by film directors are some of the highlights of the fourth annual Environmental Film Festival at Yale (EFFY) from April 9 to 15.
“We can’t wait to share these films,” said Paul Thomson, the festival’s managing director. “EFFY 2012 is about our relationship with the environment. The films examine humanity’s impact on the planet, but really they are deeply personal stories of our connection with the world."
There will be two East Coast premieres, and more than half of the films will make their New England premieres. All screenings are free and open to the public and will take place at the Whitney Humanities Center on 53 Wall Street, at the Yale University Art Gallery on 1111 Chapel Street, and at Criterion Cinemas on 85 Temple Street. Panel discussions with filmmakers, special guests and Yale faculty will be held after each film.
For the full line up, film and filmmaker details, and to watch trailers, visit http://environment.yale.edu/film/films.
The films are:
The Island President (Connecticut Premiere). President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives, the lowest-lying country in the world, takes up the fight to keep his homeland from disappearing under the sea.
The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom was recently nominated for an Academy Award. Survivors in the areas hardest hit by Japan’s tsunami find the courage to revive and rebuild as cherry blossom season begins. The film is a stunning visual haiku about the ephemeral nature of life and the healing power of Japan’s most beloved flower.
Surviving Progress (New England Premiere). Executive Producer Martin Scorsese ponders the meaning of progress when its price is the prolific consumption of the world’s natural resources.
The Atomic States of America (New England Premiere) takes viewers on a journey to reactor communities around the country, exposing the truths and myths of nuclear power, and posing the question of whether or not man can responsibly produce nuclear power.
Chimpanzee (Pre-Release Screening) Disneynature’s newest True Life Adventure introduces Oscar, a young chimpanzee whose playful curiosity and zest for discovery light up the African forest until a twist of fate leaves Oscar to fend for himself with a little help from an unexpected ally.
Bestiaire (New England Premiere). Denis Côté’s wordless film puts humans and animals on display. It is an elegant, bewitching meditation on the nature of sentience and the boundaries between nature and “civilization.”
Eating Alabama (East Coast Premiere). A young couple returns home to Alabama where they set out to eat only food grown in the state for a year. But as they navigate the agro-industrial gastronomical complex, they soon realize that nearly everything about the food system has changed since farmers once populated their family histories.
Big Boys Gone Bananas!* (East Coast Premiere). A follow up to Bananas!*, which screened at EFFY 2010, this is the true story about a Swedish filmmaker and a banana corporation. Dirty tricks, lawsuits, manipulation, and the price of free speech. Both Bananas!* and Big Boys Gone Bananas!* will be screened.
The Last Mountain. In West Virginia a small but passionate group of citizens are trying to stop Big Coal corporations from continuing the devastating practice of Mountain Top Removal.
The Whale is the true story of a killer whale (orca) named Luna who lost his family in British Columbia and forms a unique bond with people. Narrated by Ryan Reynolds and produced by EFFY co-founder Eric Desatnik.
“We selected our films from hundreds of submissions. We have developed a powerful program that covers a variety of important environmental issues,” says Richard Miron, director of programming. “These films will make you laugh, cry and rethink what it means to be human. People are going to be talking about these films. This year’s lineup is the strongest yet.”
EFFY is organized and run by students at the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and is the largest student-run environmental film festival in the world. Major sponsors of the 2012 festival include Films at the Whitney, The Study at Yale Hotel, the Class of 1980 Fund at F&ES, Graduate and Professional Student Senate at Yale and the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies.