Celebrating the visionaries, innovators and disruptors fighting to protect the environment, this year's Environmental Film Festival Australia (EFFA) is back bigger than ever!
With the theme of Summer of Change the Festival is the second of four seasonal programs taking place across 2020 and 2021.
Presenting a program full of hope, the festival is delivering stories of the individual heroes and communities who are using the power of Action, Progress and Resistance to cultivate change, showcasing the lessons that can be learned from these activists and how the post-COVID world could be a catalyst for bringing about positive environmental impact.
That things will be markedly different is a certainty.
Through coming together around the medium of film, with documentaries, First Nations voices, short packages and even an animation featuring talking dogs, this online program is designed to galvanise our community by providing a platform for those striving to make a difference.
EFFA Director Nathan Senn says becoming an online film festival was a hard one. "The decision to go online was a tough one for EFFA, as we so value the sense of community that is built during live, in-person screenings. That said, we also believe in the benefits that come with fostering digital communities, and with the isolation brought about by the pandemic, we really wanted to try to bring people together online, using the medium of film".
Keenly aware that film can inspire, uplift and to be transportive, he says the festival comes at a special time. "The pandemic has also presented us with a unique opportunity to re-examine the importance of environmental conservation, and so our team felt it was essential to move ahead with the festival in some form. We’ll have two digital events, firstly, Out of this World which took place in November 2020, and Summer of Change, taking place from the 21 January till the 4 February, as well as two further events in April and June, which we hope to host in cinema, conditions permitting.
Excited about the accessibility of the festival online, Nathan says to watch a film is as simple as going to the EFFA website. "To access films simply visit our website here you’ll be redirected to Eventive, our viewing platform where you can buy single tickets, or passes if you’re interested in seeing multiple films. You can watch films on any device or cast to a television if you prefer."
Nathan says the festival planners have been very careful in their selection of the films. "Given the current climate, our team has been mindful to bring together a series of films full of hope, foregrounding stories of the individual heroes and communities who are bringing about positive environmental change. From films about pollution control in China (Smog Town), and solving human-wildlife conflict in the Serengeti (The Edge of Existence) to films that explore the attempt to eradicate micro plastics on our oceans (X-Trillion) and the transformative and healing power of nature (That’s Wild), these are a series of films that showcase what lessons can be learned from environmental change-makers and how the post-COVID world could be a catalyst for bringing about positive environmental impact."
Still Nathan considers the best thing about the Festival the focus on first nations people. "Personally, I’m so proud that we’re able to present so many films that celebrate First Nations people and their custodianship and protection of the environment. From Warrior Women, which tells the story of Madonna Thunderhawk, a Native American activist who has dedicated her life fighting for land rights, to The Last Ice, which looks at a community of Canadian Inuits fighting to protect their climate ravaged land from big Industry, there are some truly exemplary figures on display that we can all learn so much from. We’ve also got our specially curated Elders & the Earth Shorts Package, which contains six poignant shorts that are sure to inform and inspire, serving as both a powerful call to action and an affectionate love letter to the First Nations warriors defending our natural world.
"We’ve also got a collection of films that celebrate youth activism, including the locally produced Wild Things, a film that takes you behind the front lines of the youth climate movement the swept the nation pre-pandemic, and Jacob, Mimmi and the Talking Dogs, a delightful animation for kids young and old alike, that tells the story of a young boy who fights to protect his beloved local park from industrial development. It’s so important for us to engage a younger audience but also so inspiring to see stories of young leaders from all around the world, taking a stand to protect our environment and demonstrating that our future is in such good hands."
See the full selection of EFFA films on from the 21 Jan to 4 Feb on their website here!