Founded in celebration of Earth Week 2008, the ECOScene Film & Arts Festival is a collaboration between the local arts and environmental communities that raises awareness of critical environmental issues through the arts. ECOScene is the only festival of its kind in Canada that is dedicated to supporting the local creative community with the net proceeds from each year. Accordingly, the ECO Artist Program was established through the festival’s charitable partner, Arts Hamilton, to assist local filmmakers and artists in creating environmentally-inspired works that will be featured at upcoming festivals.
SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Thursday, April 28th 6:30 pm @ The Staircase
The top photography submissions will be exhibited at the Staircase Theatre. The jury will select the 2011 ECOScene Photographer of the Year (professional and amateur) and award prizes from the ECO Artist Program and community sponsors. Little Big City (at left) is the 2010 winning image from photographer Reg Beaudry.
Thursday, April 28th 7:30 pm @ The Staircase
Filmed over nearly three years, WASTE LAND follows renowned artist Vik Muniz as he journeys from his home base in Brooklyn to his native Brazil and the world’s largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. There he photographs an eclectic band of “catadores”—self-designated pickers of recyclable materials. Muniz’s initial objective was to “paint” the catadores with garbage. However, his collaboration with these inspiring characters as they recreate photographic images of themselves out of garbage reveals both the dignity and despair of the catadores as they begin to re-imagine their lives. Director Lucy Walker (DEVIL’S PLAYGROUND, BLINDSIGHT and COUNTDOWN TO ZERO) and co-directors João Jardim and Karen Harley have great access to the entire process and, in the end, offer stirring evidence of the transformative power of art and the alchemy of the human spirit. 2011 Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary
Water on the Table
Friday, April 29th 7:30 pm @ The Staircase
Canadian crusader Maude Barlow has had to defend the life-or-death truth against corporate interests for years… And even today, it is a war un-won. At stake in her crusade is humanity’s own right to the liquid that sustains all life – balanced against powerful interests that insist water is just another resource to be bought and sold. In some countries where the corporate argument has prevailed, the poor can be barred from collecting rainwater. Water On The Table is a character-driven, social-issue documentary that explores Canada’s relationship to its freshwater, arguably its most precious natural resource. The film asks the question: is water a commercial good like running shoes or Coca-Cola? Or, is water a human right like air?
So Right, So Smart
Saturday, April 30th 1pm @ The Staircase
Saturday, April 30th 4pm @ The Staircase
There is a new phenomenon in the global arena called “Climate Refugees”. A climate refugee is a person displaced by climatically induced environmental disasters. Such disasters result from incremental and rapid ecological change, resulting in increased droughts, desertification, sea level rise, and the more frequent occurrence of extreme weather events such as hurricanes, cyclones, fires, mass flooding and tornadoes. All this is causing mass global migration and border conflicts. For the first time, the Pentagon now considers climate change a national security risk and the term climate wars is being talked about in war-room like environments in Washington D.C.
Saturday, April 30th 7pm @ The Staircase
In the vast, pristine forests of Western Canada, the ‘war for water’ has already begun. Thanks to Alberta’s Athabasca oil sands, Canada is now the biggest oil supplier to the United States. A controversial billion-dollar industry is heavily invested in extracting crude from the tarry sands through a process so toxic it has become an international cause for concern. Four barrels of glacier-fed spring water are used to process each barrel of oil, then are dumped, laden with carcinogens, into leaky tailings ponds so huge they can be seen from space. Downstream, the people of Fort Chipewyan are already paying the price for what will be one of the largest industrial projects in history. When a local doctor raises the alarm about clusters of rare cancers, evidence mounts for industry and government cover-ups. In a time when wars are fought over oil and a crisis looms over access to clean fresh water, which resource is more precious? And what price are we willing to pay?
What’s on Your Plate?
Sunday, May 1st 1pm @ The Staircase
A witty and provocative documentary produced and directed by award-winning Catherine Gund about kids and food politics.Filmed over the course of one year, the film follows two eleven-year-old multi-racial city kids as they explore their place in the food chain. Sadie and Safiyah take a close look at food systems in New York City and its surrounding areas. With the camera as their companion, the girl guides talk to each other, food activists, farmers, new friends, storekeepers, their families, and the viewer, in their quest to understand what’s on all of our plates.
Sunday, May 1st 4pm @ The Staircase
Canadian director Andrew Nisker is back with another environmental documentary. The award-winning filmmaker behind the eco-hit Garbage! The Revolution Starts At Home, now tackles household cleansers and chemical-based hygiene products in his new film Chemerical. Using a similar formula to his previous environmental documentary Garbage, Nisker helps an ‘average’ Canadian family to get off the toxic teat and start living their lives free from harmful chemicals and other toxic substances. The Goode family of five, like many North American families, are using too many toxic chemicals in their home and require serious detoxification. Nisker asks the family to go chemical free for three months in a bid to raise awareness about the harmful and often carcinogenic chemicals that fill our homes and offices.