Princeton Environmental Film Festival Kicks Off Tonight, March 19

"Angel Azul" is teh first film screening for the 9th annual Princeton Environmental Film Festival.
A screening of “Angel Azul” kicks off the 9th annual Princeton Environmental Film Festival.


The 2015 Princeton Environmental Film Festival opens tonight, March 19, at Princeton Public Library and runs through Sunday, March 29.

Now in its ninth year, the award-winning festival features a line-up of acclaimed films and speakers presented on 11 days over a two-week period. Films and programs are scheduled both during the day and in the evening.

Under the direction of founder Susan Conlon, the festival has grown over the years but remains true to its original focus on films with local, as well as regional and international relevance.

“Many of the films in this year’s festival reflect on the concept of enough, and that emerged as our theme and helped guide us in film selection,” Conlon said. “They present an opportunity to think about sustainability from a personal perspective in terms of what we buy, how much we think we need, and what we discard as consumers. They also raise the broader question of where we see the tipping point to change course when we decide enough is enough. ”

The festival opens tonight with “Angel Azul,” a film about eco-artist Jason DeCaires Taylor’s attempt to draw attention to the depletion of coral reefs worldwide by casing cement statues from human models and installing them on the ocean floor. The statues create artificial reefs that provide a habitat for marine life and also serve as an underwater museum that raises awareness about coral reefs.

In “Just Eat It,” filmmakers Grant Baldwin and Jen Rustemeyer explore food waste, from farm, through retail and to their own kitchen, examining how billions of dollars of “good food” is thrown away each year in North America, in a nation where one in 10 people live with food insecurity.

“Antarctic Edge: 70º South” follows a team of scientists who choose to live a life at sea in a race to understand climate change in the fastest winter-warming place in the world.

The small town of Williston, North Dakota, is the stage for “The Overnighters,” where tens of thousands of unemployed hopefuls show up with dreams of a paycheck when hydraulic fracturing in that region unlocks a vast oil field. Instead they are faced with the reality of community backlash and not enough infrastructure to house even those who do find employment.

“Project Wild Thing” finds father and filmmaker David Bond dismayed at his own children’s preference for passively watching television over going outside to experience the world first-hand. He turns his frustration into a mission (his own marketing campaign for “Nature”) creating this playful film to encourage families to spend more time outside, build a deeper connection to nature and discover the benefits and joys of play.

Many of the screenings will be followed by talks by filmmakers in attendance including “Angel Azul,” (Marcy Cravat); “Field Biologist” (Jared Flesher); the premiere screening of “No Pipeline Say the Friends of Nelson” (George McCollough, and Anna Savoia); the premiere screening of “Antarctic Edge: 70º South” (Dena Seidel); “Brilliant Darkness: Hotaru in the Night” (Emily V. Driscoll and James K. Fischer); “The Overnighters” (Jesse Moss); “The Wound and Gift” (Linda Hoaglund); the East Coast premiere of “Inhabit” (Costa Boutsikaris); “Divide in Concord” (Kris Kaczor and David Regos); and “Occupy the Farm” (Todd Darling). Other film programs will have sessions with filmmakers via video conference or feature local speakers.

Film festival events for children and families include the animated feature film “Song of the Sea”; the Princeton Environmental Film Festival Sustainability Bowl, offering children grades 3-6 a fun competition to test their knowledge in categories related to the natural world; and “The Puddle Garden” story time and rain garden presentation with local author and naturalist Jared Rosenbaum.

A complete list of films and events, including updated information on speakers, is available on the library website. All screenings are free.