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October 20, 2008   Columns Articles | Inside UGA | Eco-focus, Eco-friendly

Eco-focus, Eco-friendly

Ecology school to present environmental film festival

By Anisa Jimenez | October 20, 2008
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The Odum School of Ecology will present an environmental film festival Oct. 23-26 at Ciné (234 W. Hancock Ave.) in downtown Athens. Open to the public, EcoFocus will feature world-class environmental films as well as children's programming, Q&A sessions with film directors and more. The full schedule of events is available online (www.ecofocusfilmfest.org).

"The success of films such as Al Gore's An Inconvenient Truth demonstrates how effective film can be in raising public awareness about environmental issues," said Sara Beresford, EcoFocus managing director. "Each year, numerous films are made highlighting ecological subjects, but only with limited releases. EcoFocus will help bridge that gap by bringing a collection of these important films to UGA and Athens."

EcoFocus will kick off at 7 p.m. on Oct. 23 with the new Werner Herzog film, Encounters at the End of the World. One of ten feature-length films included in the festival, Encounters at the End of the World offers a perspective of life in Antarctica. Athens artist Alan Campbell, who has traveled to Antarctica many times over the past 20 years, will discuss the film with a panel of Antarctica researchers and artists.

EcoFocus also will showcase two 2008 Sundance Film Festival winners as well as films of local interest, including Carving Up Oconee: A Rural County Fights for its Future.

The evening of Oct. 25 will be geared toward the local sustainable food movement including a showing of the award-winning Tableland, about the sustainable food chain from farmers to chefs to consumers. In addition, The Garden, a documentary about farmers being removed from their 14-acre community farm in South Central Los Angeles, will be shown.

The closing event on Oct. 26 will feature winners of the Eco-Focus Short Film Competition. More than 50 entries were submitted to the competition from around the world and were judged by an international panel of filmmakers.

Festival passes can be purchased online or at the Ciné box office, (706) 353-7377 Individual screening tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students and seniors.

"We must change our way of thinking about how and why we interact with the environment," said John Gittleman, dean of the Odum School. "Scientific facts help do this, but the really convincing ideas are through everyday avenues such as art and film. It is our hope that EcoFocus will help promote discussion and inspire action on behalf of the environment."

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