By Lynn Dirk, GLOB Content Editor
The films have been selected! Titles of the films will be announced tonight at the Green Drinks 5th Anniversary Party at 7 pm at The Jam, live music venue. Green Drinks is a monthly environmental social networking opportiunity.
Just like last year, I will do a GLOB countdown to the Festival in which information and updates about the films and related events will be announced regularly, so stay tuned for more CV information.
Gainesville and Alachua County harbor many special treasures, such as the heart of the Gator Nation, a LARGE population of REAL gators, crystal clear springs, the Devil's Millhopper, Kanapaha Gardens, the Butterfly Rainforest, and the Spring and Fall Art Festivals, to name only a very few of our many treasures.
Another treasure that adds to Gainesville's unique role as an intersection "where nature and culture meet" is The International Film and Arts Festival with a mission, Cinema Verde, which is beginning preparations for the 5th Annual Festival.
> Developments are under way for the 2014 Festival to take place at the new Gainesville Depot Park, the newly renovated, historic train depot area in SE Gainesville.
Cinema Verde is also kicking off an Indiegogo fundraising campaign: Check it out! One reason for this is that ticket prices for Festival films are intentionally kept low to enable as many people as possible to attend.
"The Cinema Verde team is very excited about this year's festival, and we wanted to take advantage of the Indiegogo website to allow environmental enthusiasts to join in this important cause," said Cinema Verde Director Trish Riley.
Elsewhere in the GLOB I have chanted my Cinema Verde mantra: I ♥ movies + I ♥ environment = I ♥ Cinema Verde. I think this equation is as powerful as E=MC squared as far as the ability of documentary films to create social change by making complex environmental issues understandable and thus inspiring people.
The logo for Cinema Verde is the passion flower. Indeed, Cinema Verde films always inspire passion: They are powerful and shocking, moving and compelling, enlightening and frightening, and, yes, sometimes heartbreaking, but they can also be funny and sweet. With dramatic personal stories, powerful images, and revealing illustrations of causes and effects, these films open our eyes, our hearts, and our minds.
I've previously written in the GLOB about Mad City Chickens, which I loved. Another of my favorite films was Plastic Planet. The grandson of a man who pioneered the plastics industry sets off on a journey around the planet to see how far and wide the influence of plastic has grown and how it is shaping our world. It is a fascinating journey "from the Moroccan Sahara to the middle of the Pacific Ocean, from a factory in China [going undercover] to the highest peaks of the Alps, to reveal the far-flung reaches of our plastic problem. Interviews with the world's foremost experts in biology, pharmacology, and genetics shed light on the perils of plastic to our environment and expose the truth of how plastic affects our bodies and the health of future generations."
It was from this movie that I learned if a plastic item has a smell, it was not manufactured correctly and the fumes are dangerous. Shortly after that, at a local big box store, I discovered a stack of plastic items that not only smelled but were actually oily! This film has had such a big impact that the plastics industry has created a website to try and quell fears about plastic. Is it possible that Plastic Planet exaggerates the risks? Maybe. The important thing is that there are risks, and thanks to this documentary, the industry now publicly addresses them and is engaging in a public conversation about risks and benefits of plastic. That's change!
Thus, the stories in Cinema Verde films can inspire us to take action – even in small ways, or especially in small ways, because it is the little things that can make a huge difference. Small changes that add up will help transform our culture so that we can continue to benefit from both the resources and the beauty of our world and so our grandchildren and their children can live in as beautiful and as bountiful a world as we have enjoyed.
With your support Cinema Verde will help make Gainesville and Alachua County not only a place where culture and nature meet, but a place that will show the world how to transform culture and nature so that environment stewardship and a thriving economy go hand in hand.