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Reel Earth movies starting next week

Posted 10 years, 3 months ago    0 comments

Two weeks of environmentally themed movies - Tuesday, Thursday and Friday for the next two weeks, starting 26th October.

All in the Environment Centre, 25 Ward St, at 7.30pm
$8 pp or $7 for Environment Centre members
Includes refreshments
Flier attached - please print and give to your friends or contact us for hard copies
The schedule is also on our website 

Tuesday 26th October 7.30

Love in Cold Blood

Director: Jane Adcroft & Carla Braun-Elwert
25 mins
New Zealand film makers Carla Braun-Elwert and Jane Adcroft tell an enchanting love story as they bring to life the slow courtship of Mildred and Henry, two elderly tuatara in Invercargill’s Southland Museum. And when we say slow courtship, we mean it: they’ve finally decided to mate at the ripe young ages of 80 and 111 years. It’s an event forty years in the making, but their partnership means a lot, not just for the passionately dedicated people who care for these rare animals, but for the very survival of this rare, iconic species still sailing aboard ‘Moa’s Ark’.  tuatarafilm.wordpress

Unnatural History of the Kakapo

Director: Scott Mouat
New Zealand 2009 (77 mins)

Most New Zealanders know at least something of the story of the kakapo’s rescue from the brink of extinction. What more can be said that hasn’t already been documented? The Unnatural History of the Kakapo uses a strong, well-written storyline, sound information and excellent filming to show the answer is, “Plenty”. For the last several decades, the outlook for kakapo was bleak, as if the efforts were only slowing rather than preventing inevitable extinction. But recently-developed scientific techniques showed much of the problem arises from the birds themselves: they’re too closely related, leading to infertile eggs and dead embryos. The film shows how the combination of careful thought, good science and a diverse range of skilled and passionate researchers and support staff identified the problem, worked out what to do about it, and put those plans into action. The result was the most successful kakapo breeding season on record.
Sometimes funny, sometimes emotionally difficult, but always gripping, Kakapo portrays powerfully the story of one of New Zealand’s most internationally famous conservation successes and the people who confronted the apparent inevitability of this wonderful bird’s extinction.

Thursday 28th October 7.30

The Bill
Director: Peter Wedel
Germany 2009 (4 mins)
These German blokes in a pub talk like us, but get the bill presented in a whole different light. Bring your wit and speed reading glasses, and be sure to see this one!

The Age of Stupid
Director: Franny Armstrong & Lizzie Gillette
UK 2008 (88 mins)

“I think everyone in the future will perhaps blame us for not thinking to protect the environment. We knew how to profit but not to protect.”
Almost flawless, cleverly structured, and with an opening worthy of a Spielberg film, The Age of Stupid delivers an extraordinarily thought-provoking take on modern civilisation’s oil-fueled drag race against planet Earth. In the devastated world of 2055, the curator of an archive of relics from the last days of human civilisation (Pete Postlethwaite) lives alone among books, documentary footage, pickled animals, skeletons and echoes from the past. “Why,” he asks, while looking at footage from our present, “didn’t we stop climate change when we had the chance?” The film takes risks and makes them pay off, delivering a mainstream message in a novel way and creating a film that’s intriguingly complex but not confusingly complicated. Powerful emotive content backed up by sound information and a structure that links disparate threads produces a compelling argument; moreover, it engenders a strong desire to do something to counter the stupidity that’s ruining our Earth. Despite its apparent prognosis The Age of Stupid doesn’t depress — it galvanises. Essential viewing.

Friday 29th October 7.30

International Short Films

Rethink the Shark     1 min

Rethink Happiness   
2 min

Lines of Flight
Director: Sal Brown & Martin Wood
United Kingdom 2009 (22 mins)
“The discovery of a direction they didn’t know.”
Connecting industrial towns and the barren wilderness of the northern English moors and their gritstone outcrops, film makers Sal Brown and Martin Wood portray the adventure and sheer joy of escape through the physically and mentally demanding world of solo rock climbing. Using spectacular ascents of some of the Pennine region’s iconic gritstone climbs, the film considers the impact of social and economic transformations on the landscape and on the minds of a few individuals. A magnificent meditation on environment, place and humanity. As for the solo climbing — it’s for none but the utterly fearless (or foolish)! A film for any thoughtful person, whether you climb or not.

Director: Joe York
USA 2009 (16 mins)
“My beef is just like industrial commodity beef except it’s healthier, safer, better for the environment, and it tastes better. Other than that it’s exactly the same.” — Georgia cattleman Will Harris
Grass-fed beef, the family farm and a dog named Possum: it could be anywhere in New Zealand, but this is the US. With humour and insight, fourth generation cattleman Will Harris provides a timely reminder that, in the grand scheme of things, grass fed beef in an organic context is a surprisingly sustainable land use and wealth generator. The paradox for the New Zealand viewer is to see a farmer being held up by the environmental community as a paragon of agricultural virtue while remaining part of the USA’s environmentally disastrous approach to animal production. In New Zealand, that same farmer and his system would be slated by some environmentalists. What a difference a country and a context makes. A film guaranteed to dismay vegetarians and horrify vegans, but offering a different perspective on agriculture. Frank and refreshing.

Director: Jules Dervaes
USA 2009 (16 mins)
“You are in danger of becoming free.”
Fifteen minutes from downtown Los Angeles, an urban homesteader pioneers a journey toward self sufficiency. Inspired by a homesteading stint on New Zealand’s West Coast, Jules Dervaes went on to raise a family and run a microfarm enterprise on a tenth of an acre of land in a residential neighbourhood in Los Angeles. This homespun short film tells the story of how a vision for sustainability can enrich a person, a family and a community. An inspiration for kitchen gardeners and sustainability enthusiasts alike.

Dark Clouds 2 mins

The Hidden Life of the Burrowing Owl  5 mins

A Simple Question: The story of Straw
Director: Kevin White and David Donnenfield
USA 2009 (34 mins)
Can a child’s question change the course of history? STRAW traces how an innocent question spawned an amazing response that restored not only a natural area network but also helped restore and connect a community. Starring a tiny shrimp, a massive watershed, politicians, mothers, farmers and youth, the well paced, hopeful story shows how a trickle of inspiration can develop into a cascade leading to healthier communities and healthier streams and creeks. The informal camera work and creative energy lend an accessible element to the film and story. One of the most inspiring short films of the 2010 Reel Earth Festival Season.

Tuesday 2nd November 7.30

Flood Children of the Holdibari
Director: Mary Matheson
Bangladesh 2008 (5 mins)
Bangladeshi children look at practical measures on their river island to make life easier during the floods that have become more extreme with climate change.

Milking the Rhino
Director: David E. Simpson
USA 2008 (83 mins)
The Maasai of Kenya and the Himba of Namibia are two of Earth’s oldest cattle cultures. Conventional African wildlife documentaries often depict both cultures — if at all — as a problem for conservation: in conflict with wildlife, poaching, killing for bushmeat, turning habitat for wildlife into sparse, sere pasture for bony cattle. In contrast, Milking the Rhino gives the Maasai and Himba their own voice in conservation, and offers “…complex, intimate portraits of rural Africans at the forefront of community-based conservation: a revolution that is turning poachers into preservationists and local people into the stewards of their land”. One of this festival’s top films, Rhino busts myths about wildlife conservation in Africa.

Thursday 4th Nov 7.30

Soil in Good Heart
Director: Deborah Koons Garcia
USA 2008 (13 mins)
“You can imagine things that would replace oil; I can imagine no replacement for good soil.” — Dr. David Montgomery
The aural beauty of a mandolin’s harmony opens this short sampler of a documentary currently in production by Deborah Koons Garcia, director of the landmark film, The Future of Food. This new film celebrates the beauty of healthy soil and plant production in a sustainable organic context. The importance of understanding, preserving and rebuilding this essential resource is the foundation of sustainable agriculture.

Director: Ana Sofia Joanes
USA 2009 (70 mins)
“When I was in college my roommate was from Pakistan and he says,
George, he says, you know Americans fear only one thing — inconvenience.”
With a charming mix of humour and pragmatism, Fresh celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who have begun to change the industrial model of food production to a healthier, sustainable system. The setting might be the US, but the problems caused by that industrial model — food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, morbid obesity and others — threaten New Zealand as well.  Fortunately, we’re not yet as far down that industrial road (despite the best efforts of the Mackenzie Basin dairy farmers), but the risks remain. Why repeat the mistakes of the US; why not learn from the examples set by the likes of urban farmer and activist Will Allen, sustainable farmer and entrepreneur Joel Salatin, supermarket owner David Ball and others — people who show clearly that producing good, healthy, bountiful food doesn’t have to cost the Earth.

Friday 5th November 7.30

New Zealand Shorts

The Break Up
Director: Charlee Collins   New Zealand 2009 (4 mins)

Director: Peter Holmes and Steve Ting
New Zealand 2009 (28 mins)
Silver bullet or slippery slope? In Aotearoa, 1080 poison offers the gift of life to some animals but inflicts a painful death on others. With remarkable objectivity, Holmes and Ting explore one of the hottest debates about the New Zealand environment in their debut effort in short film. As the poison rains from the sky, some say the risks don’t justify the means while others claim it’s the only hope for protecting our native wildlife from public enemy number one. Informative, challenging, and creatively filmed. 

Director: Iain Frengley and Edi Saltau
New Zealand 2009 (26 mins)
New Zealand filmmakers Iain Frengley and Edward Saltau trace the story of the albatross, immersing the viewer in the beauty, majesty and vulnerability of these birds as viewed through the dramatic prism of Coleridge’s famous poem The Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Using some of the most innovative visual effects in documentary film, the work distils a vast collection of natural history, harsh reality and folklore in a well paced viewing experience.

Vegetables from the Sea   6 mins

Carving the Future
Director: Guy Ryan and Nick Holmes
New Zealand 2010 (25 mins)
This short film debut by Guy Ryan and Nick Holme stirs hope and challenges the viewer with an inspirational account of how young New Zealanders are leading change for the betterment of our environmental future. The film shows how one person might change the future. It aims to inspire tomorrow’s leaders to act today on the challenges posed by climate change and short sighted management: challenges that are already damaging tomorrow’s environment. Grassroots, youth-driven community action inspired the film. Features the music of Raglan band Cornerstone Roots.  


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