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The Green Life: Online Film Festival Inspires Eco-Action

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June 01, 2009

Online Film Festival Inspires Eco-Action

Earthy issues, like the world’s first climate-change refugees and U.S. paper consumption, will be among the pressing topics examined in an upcoming film festival with a special focus on inspiring activism. The 9th Annual Media That Matters Film Festival will showcase 12 independent films -- each 12 minutes or shorter -- jury-selected for their power to engage people on critical social and environmental issues. One of the first web-based festivals, it aims to “harness the power of online film.”

“The whole idea behind the festival is that short films can be a way to inspire people to take action,” said Patrick Kowalczyk, spokesman for Arts Engine, the festival co-presenter, with Cinereach. Each online screening is accompanied by a “Take Action” toolkit related to the issue portrayed.

The outreach strategy, which includes public online viewings and more than 100 local screenings, seems to work. The 2006 video A Girl Like Me reached more than 1 million viewers and landed its 16-year-old creator an appearance on Oprah. Next Wave, this year’s jury prize winner, tells the story of the Carteret Island refugees, who are suffering the human cost of climate change -- an issue covered last week in the New York Times. The Secret Life of Page covers America's disproportionate paper consumption, which exceeds all other countries’.

Starting June 4, the films will be available for public screening at this link.

--Jamie Hansen

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