This small article caught my eye today: “Environmental Films Beyond Polar Bears.” It’s from the January 17th issue of The Chronicle Review, a publication of The Chronicle of Higher Education. The article describes the Tales From Planet Earth Film Festival at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, which took place in November.
Excerpt from the article:
Some 50 films shown over three days featured the work of professional filmmakers, as well as that of students enrolled in a course in environmental filmmaking.
“We took students with no experience, who were doing work in environmental science, journalism, and humanities, and in two months taught them how to create effective stories in film,” says Gregg Mitman, the festival’s curator and interim director of the Nelson Institute.
Mitman, who is also a historian of science at Madison, became interested in environmental films while writing Reel Nature: America’s Romance With Wildlife on Film (Harvard University Press, 1999). The festival defines environmental issues broadly, to include where people live, work, and play, he says. “We’re not just talking about polar bears as an endangered species, but things right here in our neighborhood, such as food equity and access, and issues of public health.”
The Festival website has an assortment of trailers. Here’s a little two-minute trailer that tells a sweet, wild love-story about two red-tailed hawks: