NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

PortWatch

May 15, 2014

A call for environmental action

Third annual Earth Port Film Festival features eight works

To drive home a message of one shared planet, one shared destiny, PortMedia is hosting its third annual Earth Port Film Festival this weekend.

Featuring eight short environmental films, the festival will take place Sunday evening at the Firehouse Center for the Arts in Newburyport.

“PortMedia is working to inspire people and raise awareness about these really big challenges that the world is facing now globally,” said Sarah Hayden, executive director of PortMedia, Newburyport’s community media station.

The theme of environment unifies the films selected for viewing by a committee of three, Elizabeth Marcus, Transition Newburyport initiating member; Andrew Love, community producer and training manager of PortMedia; and Lauren Healey, a junior at Newburyport High School and president of the NHS Environmental Club.

The platform Withoutabox was used to allow filmmakers an easy way to digitally enter their work and to attract international submissions. More than 24 films were submitted for consideration this year.

The films address environmental concerns as local as sea level rise and as distant as coral reefs in Indonesia and sea ice in Alaska. Viewers will see landscapes from as far away as Burkina Faso and as close to home as Plum Island, along with stunning views of the Colorado River Basin, the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the Northern Lights.

The audience will hear the voices of the indigenous Blackfeet tribe of Montana speak out against fracking on their sacred lands and German farmers working to protect their nursery against an encroaching coal plant.

“The purpose is to show a variety of films on different topics that will educate in short periods much like sound bites,” said Marcus, who is also one of the festival organizers. “We focus on short films because it is difficult for filmmakers to get their (short) films seen by the public.”

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