The second annual Earth Focus Environmental Film Festival will take place Sat., April 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. at Laemmle's Monica Film Center in Santa Monica (1332 2nd St., Santa Monica, CA. 90401) in partnership with Laemmle's Theatres. Open to the public, the event kicks off with a screening of environmental shorts from UCLA's Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies (LENS) program, followed by four acclaimed films, and closing with a screening of two back-to-back episodes of KCET and Link TV’s "Earth Focus," the longest running environmental news magazine on U.S. television. The screening will premiere two episodes from the new season, exploring how environmental changes are forcing all living creatures to adapt in order to survive. The series premieres later this month, created in partnership with the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
*Please be at the theatre at least 10 minutes before the start of your film. Latecomers will not be admitted once the film has started.
There will be standby line for each film and people will be admitted on a first-come, first served, space available basis before the start of the film.
9:30 a.m.: Opening of all-day festival with Heal The Bay, River LA, Sierra Club, Citizens’ Climate Lobby, Project Save Our Surf and L.A. Works in the upstairs mezzanine area of the Laemmle’s Santa Monica Film Center.
In partnership with KCET, UCLA's Laboratory for Environmental Narrative Strategies (LENS), with extensive contributions from faculty and MFA students in UCLA’s documentary film program in the School of Theater, Film and Television, has launched a yearlong collaboration to create innovative forms of immersive environmental reporting and documentary storytelling. The project brings together UCLA faculty and students from English, Film, Anthropology and Environmental Science and also represents an original collaboration between LENS and represents an original collaboration between LENS and UCLA’s School of Theater, Film and Television. Films being shown include "Taylor Yard: A Change of Heart in Los Angeles" and "Urban Ark Los Angeles" plus 4 student shorts. Introduced by Allison Carruth, LENS Faculty Director. Q&A will follow featuring UCLA LENS co-founder Jon Christensen and Ursula Heise, moderated by UCLA Film professor Kristy Guevara-Flanagan.
Filmmaker Luc Jacquet returns to the Antarctic to revisit the Emperor Penguins who call the frozen continent home. A decade after making his Academy Award® winning March of the Penguins, Jacquet spent two months shooting in the Antarctic winter using the new technology of 4K cameras, airborne drones, and under-ice diving to show the astonishing lives of these mysterious creatures in an entirely new light. The film tells the story of two penguins, a father and son, as they face and overcome the almost unimaginable challenges of life in this hostile land. Introduction by actress Sharon Lawrence (Shameless, Queen Sugar, NYPD Blue). Q&A following with Sara Mandel, aviculturist (bird expert) in charge of the June Keyes Penguin Habitat at Long Beach’s Aquarium of the Pacific, and moderated by Sharon Lawrence.
Academy Award®-nominated director Mark Kitchell (“Berkeley in the Sixties,” “A Fierce Green Fire”) brings us the story of organic agriculture, told by those who built the movement. The film is narrated by recent Oscar® winner Frances McDormand. A motley crew of back-to-the-landers, spiritual seekers and farmers’ sons and daughters reject chemical farming and set out to explore organic alternatives. It’s a heartfelt journey of change from a small band of rebels to a cultural transformation in the way we grow and eat food. By now organic has gone mainstream – split into an industry oriented toward bringing organic to all people, and a movement that has realized a vision of sustainable agriculture. Prior to the film, the short film “The Soil Story” from LA’s environmental nonprofit Kiss the Ground, explores the first viable, low-cost way to reverse climate change through soil. Introduced by actor/filmmaker Raphael Sbarge (Once Upon A Time, Murder in the First, Longmire). Q&A will follow with regenerative agriculture expert Annie Martin and geoscientist Dr. Jenney Hall, moderated by Deadline film editor Anita Busch.
Conflict photographer Kate Brooks turns her lens from the war zones she is used to covering to a new kind of genocide - the killing of African Elephants and Rhinos - in this sweeping and sobering expose. As the single-digit population of Northern White Rhinoceros ticks closer to zero, Brooks outlines the myriad factors contributing to the current epidemic of highly effective poaching and trafficking syndicates, drawing startling connections between the illegal wildlife trade, drug cartels, international terrorism and border security. But all is not yet lost — at the same time, Brooks documents the heroic efforts of conservationists, park rangers, and scientists to protect these animals in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds. Introduced by actress Kim Delaney (Chicago Fire, Army Wives, NYPD Blue). Q&A will follow with Mark Monroe, the co-writer of the film, moderated by Link TV Co-Founder Kim Spencer.
2:30 p.m.: “Jane” (Total Running Time 1 hr. 30 min.)
Oscar®- and Emmy®-nominated director Brett Morgen uses a trove of never-before-seen 16 mm footage unearthed after 50 years from the National Geographic archives to shed fresh light on trailblazing conservationist Jane Goodall. Morgen tells Goodall’s story starting in 1960, when the 26-year-old British woman arrives in a remote area of northwestern Tanzania to study chimpanzees. Drawing on stunning wildlife footage and exclusive interviews with Goodall, as well as research footage from the Jane Goodall Institute and Goodall family videos, Morgen offers an unprecedented, intimate portrait of a woman who defied the odds to become one of the world’s most admired conservationists. Introduced by actor Patrick Fabian (Better Call Saul). Q&A will follow with Craig Stanford, Dir. Of Jane Goodall Center at USC moderated by the International Documentary Association's Director of Programming & Policy Claire Aguilar.
5 p.m.: “Earth Focus: Sea Level Rising - Living with Water” (30 min.) & “Earth Focus: Climate Migration” (30 min.)
“Earth Focus: Sea Level Rising - Living with Water" explores how Louisiana is learning from Hurricane Katrina. Forecasts are dire for Louisiana to experience the second-highest sea level rise in the world. There is a big movement brewing in New Orleans to build adaptive “resilience zones.” In Southeast Louisiana, the native peoples of the Isle de Jean Charles have become the first U.S. citizens moving within their homeland displaced by climate change. “Earth Focus: Climate Migration” follows populations that are dramatically shifting as climate change drives migration. Droughts and floods are driving many people away from their rural, farming communities into big cities. We see how this is manifesting in Mongolia and examine the factors leading to the new community of Haitian people living in limbo at the border between Mexico and the U.S. Q&A following with Director Nicky Milne, UCLA LENS co-founder Jon Christensen, and LENS Faculty Director Allison Carruth. Moderated by KCETLink TV Chief Creative Officer Juan Devis.
Laemmle Monica Film Center is located at 1332 2nd St., Santa Monica, CA 90401.
Go Metro and take Expo Line to Downtown Santa Monica Station. Then, it’s about a 10 minute walk to the theater on 2nd Street. Purchase roundtrip fare in advance and plan your trip on metro.net or call 323-GO METRO (323-466-3876).
Show your TAP card at the admissions gate and receive a free hat! (While supplies last.)
All films are unrated and there is no age limit for any of the films featured in the Earth Focus Environmental Film festival. It's a good idea to arrive about 30 minutes prior to the start of the film. Admission is on a per film basis only.