As Earth Day approaches, the question often arises, How can one person make a difference? The answer: there are as many ways as there are people asking. For 32 of those answers, look to the 2010 Green Shorts Film Festival, showing tonight at the Lobero Theatre at a special event and awards ceremony.
With Earth Day’s theme set as “Bringing it Home,” the Community Environmental Council asked everyone from young schoolchildren to filmmakers amateur and pro to conceive a two-minute film “regarding sustainable living, eating and growing local food, sustainable transportation, energy independence and a green future without petroleum.” That’s according to the press release and contest poster.
But who reads those? Megan Diaz, outreach coordinator at the CEC and one of the judges, soon found out that entries had gone way beyond the guidelines. “We received a number of films on various topics, but we did pay attention to those who kept close to the theme.” And all stayed under two minutes.
The CEC’s mission is “Fossil Free by ’33” and clean energy, but “some of the strongest films didn’t talk about that, they talked about recycling, appreciating planet Earth, and one talks about bringing in different ethnicities to the green movement.”
There’s also a film featuring puppets and aliens, so do not expect an evening of dry PSAs.
Diaz and the CEC are remaining silent about the names of the filmmakers who will screen at the festival. We do know that there are three entrants in the 11-years-and-under category, four in the 18-and-under category, and the rest are from college and above. We also know that of the 32 entries received, all are being shown. That’s twice as many as last year’s inaugural fest.
“We want people to come and be surprised who the winners are,” Diaz says.
“With digital cameras nowadays, anybody can do this. Some have better production values than others, but they all show that people care about the environment.”
And, Diaz says, she was very surprised by the quality of some of the winners.
The CEC plans to use the films in the future for their own publicity, so if you do miss tonight’s screening, there may be another chance to see them on local television, date and time to be announced. They’ll also be shown at the CEC’s Earth Day tent.
“People are more interested in hearing what their neighbors are doing to save the planet instead of us suggesting what they should do,” Diaz says. “And this fest ties in with that. These are your neighbors, and that’s why you should come.”
2010 GREEN SHORTS FILM FESTIVAL
When: 8 p.m. Friday
Where: Lobero Theatre, 33 E. Canon Perdido St.
Information: lobero.com, (805) 963-0761