Yale's Environmental Film Fest opens with Food, Inc.

Festivals screening environmental films are happening year-round from Washington, DC’s Fest in March to Colorado’s in November, UK and Australia offerings, Toronto’s Planet In Focus: Film & Video Festival, Earth Vision in Japan, EcoFilm in Czech Republic, Green Vision in Russia, and Italy’s 12th annual Cinemambiente Environmental Film Festival in Torino. Before school’s out, Yale is hosting its first eco-film fest at its LEED-Platinum Kroon Hall headquarters, April 16-19. Opening the inaugural Environmental Film Festival at Yale, is filmmaker Robert Kenner’s Food, Inc. The documentary exposes the underbelly of the food biz, an image and reality far from the agrarian fantasy of farms, revealing how the factories are producing our food and what’s being systematically hidden. It included interviews with Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma) and Stonyfield Farm's Gary Hirshberg. Tagged: You'll Never Look at Dinner the Same Way Again, the film is part of initiatives with Take Part, a network that connect with entertainment that inspires change. It opens in June.

Other documentaries being shown include Crude, by filmmaker Joe Berlinger about Ecuador’s battle with Chevron over communities destroyed by oil drilling; Scott Hamilton Kennedy’s Oscar nominee, The Garden, about the nation’s largest community garden in a mostly Latino neighborhood of Los Angeles, and how South Central Farm has resisted a developer’s bulldozer and political wrangling, and Gimme Green about American obsession with the $40-billion industry of lawns.

The 15-film event closes with Josh Tickell’s Fuel, about America's relationship with oil and how sustainable energy sources are an alternative to fossil fuels. Discussions follow with professors from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, the school’s Hixon Center for Urban Ecology and Urban Resources Initiative, experts such as Dr. Prabhakar Singh, Director of the Connecticut Fuel Cell Center, and William Langewiesche, international correspondent for Vanity Fair.

Besides the screenings, Yale's green initiatives for the fest include going ticketless, publicizing electronically, feeding guests with the school's Sustainable Food Project, organic cotton t-shirts donated by EDUN LIVE, thank-you notes from found materials, and NativeEnergy offsets for the carbon emissions from transportation, hotel and building-related emissions.

More on green film festivals
Tokyo International Film Festival Going Green
San Francisco Ocean Film Festival
SnagFilms Environmental Film Festival
Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival
New Global Green Indigenous Film Festival in 2008

Tags: Agriculture | Carbon Footprint | Documentaries | Farming | Food Safety