Food, Farms and Gardens: Whaleback Film Festival Presents Two Nights of Environmentally Themed Films on May 9th and 11th
Portsmouth, NH - Stopping traffic for cow crossings, moving sheep from lawn to lawn through town, and beekeepers who move themselves instead of the bees. Whaleback Film selections ranging from the super-short 5 minute Credible Egg to the full-length feature presentation of Elemental embrace this year's theme: Food, Farms and Gardens. Six films cover the issues from sustainability on small farms to tuna ranching, subsistence whaling, and what it might take to replace the egg.
"It's hard to believe this is already our third year presenting Whaleback Festival", said festival organizer, and new filmmaker, Dyanna Smith. "We're doing things a little differently this spring and offering two separate evenings - a double feature night with a local filmmaker Q & A, and a series of four films shown at the Music Hall Loft."
Both nights include films that are in keeping with the festival's priority for new filmmakers and student work. Thursday night features a pre-screening of Piglets & Perspectives, a 40-minute film produced by Smith as part of her doctoral research in environmental studies at Antioch University New England.
The film highlights sustainable farming practices in the seacoast and Peterborough areas of New Hampshire. "Most of the footage in the film is shot by the farmers themselves," Smith explains. "They are a unique group of individuals who are very thoughtful and innovative with their farming."
Many of them have never tried filmmaking before, and Smith shares that what they were able to capture gives us, as viewers, an amazingly intimate look at the practices and philosophies that set them apart in how they operate small, sustainably-minded farms today in our area.
Piglets & Perspectives features Dick Wollmar of Moor Farm in North Hampton, Phil and Becky Brand of Brandmoore Farm in Barrington, Brendan Cornwell of Victory Bees, Dan and Ruth Holmes of Sunnyfield Farm in Peterborough, and Conrad and Ellen Dumas of Ten Talents at La Bergerie Dumas in Greenfield. A filmmaker Q & A panel following the screening will include Smith and a number of the featured farmers.
Then on Saturday, May 11, the Loft is host to a series of four new films. First, The Credible Egg briefly ponders how egg substitutes might ease pressure on industrialized egg production. Jump over to the sparkling coast of Turkey, where
Fish Meat investigates open ocean tuna "ranching" and centuries-old style carp aquaculture.
Next, filmmaker Tom Weston will be on hand to personally guide the screening of his new film The Wind That Blows. Weston shot the film over a span of 20 years among the traditional whalers of Bequia, giving voice to a humble community on a tiny island still clinging to its past.
The evening peaks with the stunning feature film Elemental, exploring the lives of three individuals united by their deep connection with nature and driven to confront some of the most pressing ecological challenges of our time. The film follows Rajendra Singh on a pilgrimage to save India’s polluted and dying Ganges River; Eriel Deranger, campaigning tirelessly against the proposed 2,000-mile Keystone XL Pipeline which would destroy Indigenous communities of northern Canada; and Jay Harman, an Australian inventor searching for investors willing to risk millions on his revolutionary device that he believes can slow down global warming.
"Elemental is a real coupe for Whaleback," Smith says. "It is scheduled to open in New York City at the end of May, and being able to show it in Portsmouth ahead of it's opening is a big deal - and for those of us out there striving for lasting environmental change it is deeply inspiring."
Thursday's double feature is a free event, hosted by the Portsmouth Public Library from 6:30-9pm. Then on Saturday, Whaleback takes place at the Music Hall Loft from 6:30-10pm. Tickets are $18 for the evening, includes 4 films, and can be purchased online at www.themusichall.org. Seating is limited. More information and event details can be found on the festival website at www.whaleback.org. All proceeds support environmental filmmaking, art and conservation.
Whaleback is organized by The Red Eft Project, a nonprofit headquartered in Portsmouth that fosters conservation and environmental protection through research, education, and opportunities to explore and connect with nature. To find out more about Red Eft, visit www.redeft.org. The Festival is named after the iconic lighthouse that marks the entrance to Portsmouth Harbor. Like Whaleback Light, the festival illuminates and draws in stories celebrating our environmental culture.
Friday, April 26, 2013
Food, Farms and Gardens: Whaleback Film Festival presents two nights of environmentally themed films on May 9th and 11th
[From the Whaleback Film Festival:]