The Portland EcoFilm Festival at the Hollywood Theatre features 6 monthly screenings of new films covering topics of nature conservation, environmental activism and community wellness. All screenings include a filmmaker Q +A or a panel discussion with local experts designed to engage audience participation and activism.
The Presenting Sponsor of the Portland EcoFilm Festival is Chipotle Mexican Grill. Taking steps to educate and solidify the message of sustainability, and explore from where and how we receive food, is one of the many ways that Chipotle hopes to effect change, and create awareness about social issues.
Our 2013 festival has wrapped – but we’ll be back in Spring of 2014! In the meantime, follow the Portland EcoFilm Festival on Facebook!
Questions or want to submit a film? Contact Producer Dawn Smallman at [email protected]
The Presenting Sponsor of THE PORTLAND ECOFILM FESTIVAL is Chipotle Mexican Grill
Coldplay’s haunting classic ‘The Scientist’ is performed by country music legend Willie Nelson for the soundtrack of the short film entitled, “Back to the Start.” The film, by filmmaker Johnny Kelly, depicts the life of a farmer as he slowly turns his family farm into an industrial animal factory before seeing the errors of his ways and opting for a more sustainable future. Both the film and the soundtrack were commissioned by Chipotle to emphasize the importance of developing a sustainable food system.
Drawing from ancient knowledge and cutting edge science, SYMPHONY OF THE SOIL is an artistic exploration of the miraculous substance soil. By understanding the elaborate relationships and mutuality between soil, water, the atmosphere, plants and animals, we come to appreciate the complex and dynamic nature of this precious resource. The film also examines our human relationship with soil, the use and misuse of soil in agriculture, deforestation and development, and the latest scientific research on soil’s key role in ameliorating the most challenging environmental issues of our time. Filmed on four continents, featuring esteemed scientists and working farmers and ranchers, Symphony of the Soil is an intriguing presentation that highlights possibilities of healthy soil creating healthy plants creating healthy humans living on a healthy planet.
THE FRUIT HUNTERS
May 9, 2013
Followed by a panel discussion with Jim Gilbert (One Green World), Katy Koelker (Portland Fruit Tree Project), and Harriet Fasenfest (Culinate blogger)
You can find them deep in the jungles of Borneo, in the hills of Umbria and perhaps even in your own backyard. They are fruit hunters, the subjects of the new film from acclaimed director Yung Chang (Up the Yangtze, China Heavyweight).
THE FRUIT HUNTERS travels across culture, history and geography to show how intertwined we are with the fruits we eat. Our guides are devoted fruit fanatics. Movie star Bill Pullman’s obsession leads him on a crusade to create a community orchard in the Hollywood Hills. Adventurers Noris Ledesma and Richard Campbell scour the jungle for rare mangos, hoping to intervene before the plants are steamrolled by industrialization. Pioneering scientist Juan Aguilar races to breed bananas resistant to a deadly fungus that threatens the worldwide crop. And fruit detectives including Isabella Dalla Ragione investigate Renaissance-era paintings for clues, hoping to rediscover lost fruits. And, of course, there are the fruits themselves, presented in all their mouthwatering glory: cherimoyas, ice cream beans, durians and more.
A cinematic odyssey through nature and commerce, THE FRUIT HUNTERS will change not only the way we look at what we eat but how we view our relationship to the natural world.
ELEMENTAL tells the story of three individuals united by their deep connection with nature and driven to confront some of the most pressing ecological challenges of our time.
The film follows Rajendra Singh, an Indian government official gone rogue, on a 40-day pilgrimage down India’s once pristine Ganges river, now polluted and dying. Facing community opposition and personal doubts, Singh works to shut down factories, halt construction of dams, and rouse the Indian public to treat their sacred “Mother Ganga” with respect. Across the globe in northern Canada, Eriel Deranger mounts her own “David and Goliath” struggle against the world’s largest industrial development, the Tar Sands, an oil deposit larger than the state of Florida. A young mother and native Denè, Deranger struggles with family challenges while campaigning tirelessly against the Tar Sands and its proposed 2,000-mile Keystone XL Pipeline, which are destroying Indigenous communities and threatening an entire continent.
And in Australia, inventor and entrepreneur Jay Harman searches for investors willing to risk millions on his conviction that nature’s own systems hold the key to our world’s ecological problems. Harman finds his inspiration in the natural world’s profound architecture and creates a revolutionary device that he believes can slow down global warming, but will it work?
Separated by continents yet sharing an unwavering commitment to protecting nature, the characters in this story are complex, flawed, postmodern heroes for whom stemming the tide of environmental destruction fades in and out of view – part mirage, part miracle.
Oscar-nominated director Markus Imhoof (THE BOAT IS FULL) tackles the vexing issue of why bees, worldwide, are facing extinction. With the tenacity of a man out to solve a world-class mystery, he investigates this global phenomenon, from California to Switzerland, China and Australia. Exquisite macro-photography of the bees (reminiscent of MICROCOSMOS) in flight and in their hives reveals a fascinating, complex world in crisis. Writes Eric Kohn in Indiewire: “Imhoof captures the breeding of queen bees in minute detail, ventures to a laboratory to witness a bee brainscan, and discovers the dangerous prospects of a hive facing the infection of mites. In this latter case, the camera’s magnifying power renders the infection in sci-fi terms, as if we’ve stumbled into a discarded scene from David Cronenberg’s THE FLY.” This is a strange and strangely moving film that raises questions of species survival in cosmic as well as apiary terms.
August 9, 2013
+ additional screenings through August 15th
MUSICWOOD is an adventure-filled journey, a political thriller with music at its heart. It is a journey that follows an unusual band of world-renowned guitar-makers — Chris Martin, Bob Taylor and Dave Berryman of Gibson — to remote, foreboding and primeval Southeast Alaska. These guitar-makers are on a desperate mission: to negotiate with Native Americans and change the way a rare rain forest is logged before it’s too late for acoustic guitars.
MUSICWOOD upends our simplistic view of indigenous peoples and the past, with a story where it’s often impossible to tell the good guys from the bad. MUSICWOOD is a culture clash of staggering proportions, between Native American loggers, white CEO’s, and the most radical environmental group in the world.
The film features exclusive acoustic performances and interviews with guitar players like acoustic virtuoso Kaki King, The Antlers, Yo La Tengo, Steve Earle, Turin Brakes, and Kurt Wagner of Lambchop.
September 12, 2013
Post film discussion with Stacey Sobell, Farm to School Manager at Ecotrust and Shannon Stember, Assistant Director, Nutrition Services at Portland Public Schools.
CAFETERIA MAN is a story of positive movement that shows what’s possible in our nation’s schools. It’s about the aspiration of activists and citizens coming together to change the way kids eat at school. It’s about overhauling a dysfunctional nutritional system. And, it’s the story of what it takes, and who it takes, to make solutions happen.
The feature documentary film chronicles an ambitious effort to ‘green’ the public school diet serving 83,000 students in Baltimore. Leading the charge to replace pre-plated, processed foods with locally-grown, freshly-prepared meals is Tony Geraci, food-service director for the city’s public schools. A charismatic chef from New Orleans, Geraci’s bold vision includes school vegetable gardens, student-designed meals, meatless Mondays, and nutrition education in the classroom. His mission is as audacious as it is practical.