Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Sustainable Planet Film Festival

Were you aware that there is a Sustainable Planet Film Festival? There have been five to date since it's launch in 2005 and I happily attended the most recent one in New York.

The festival, produced and organized by Pamela Peeters, is the first platform where movie makers meet with for-profit and non-profit organizations in order to watch movies and discuss sustainable solutions in an entertaining way. Peeters, originally from Belgium, is the author of "My Urban Ecology", and the host of the television show "Our Planet". Her interest in the planet was born in early childhood- she launched her first environmental magazine, "Grab the Green" when she was 12.

(The Meatrix was shown)

Peeters credits her multi-cultural education as the reason she sees the world as "her field and not just as a country or nation." She chose to develop a film festival because she wanted to the world community to inspire each other by sharing with each other what they are doing.

It was a full day, packed tight with touching films from around the world showcasing community building efforts and environmental care, which were intertwined with interesting and noteworthy speakers.

(Pamela Peeters with Dr. Jaime Lerner)

Dr. Jaime Lerner, the mayor (for 12 years with a 92% approval rating) of Curitiba Brazil, was the highlight for me. Curitiba, Brazil is one of the greenest cities on the planet. It boasts 17 parks, is filled with trees (Lerner provided 1.5 million tree seedlings to neighborhoods for them to plant and care for), bikers enjoy 90 miles of bike paths and they are visited by officials from other cities so they can study their traffic and garbage systems. And that is just the start.

(Courtesy of Dr. Jaime Lerner)

Lerner believes cities are the answer because they easily combine where you live and work, though they must include key components. One being having less dependence on the car (less of them in general), and replacing the need for cars with an efficient public transportation system. He likens the car to our mother-in-law. That you have a good relationship with her but not to let her conduct your life. Another key component on Lerner's list is recycling in every home at the home. Curitiba teaches children (via the school) from a young age the benefits of recycling. Quite impressively, Curitiba recycles two-thirds of it's garbage - one of the highest rates of any city. Please click HERE to learn more about Lerner and Curitiba.

(Josh Dorfman)

In addition to Lerner, the other main speakers were Josh Dorfman TV host for the Green Sundance Channel- aka the Lazy Environmentalist, Steven Lovink from Planet 2025, Alberto Gonzalez CEO of Gusto Organics, Economist Hazel Henderson, Kim Slicklein CEO of Enclave Rising, and more. For the full schedule please click HERE.

(Economist Hazel Henderson via Skype)

It was quite uplifting to hear all the positive things everyone was doing in their own way. And it was very cool to hear how the movement has progressed- they agreed that Al Gore's movie, "The Inconvenient Truth" really got the ball rolling. And I think most would agree there is a definite awareness and momentum for positive change in a big way.

(A steward gala ended the festival where you were invited to mingle)

Aside from New York, the film festival has traveled to Jordan, Belgium, Los Angeles, Washington and Miami. I am happy to report the next one is in October in New York. You won't want to miss it.

No comments:

Post a Comment