Coastal Post Online


April, 2003

First Annual Marin Environmental Film Festival
By Elena Belsky

For the first time, but in what they hope to be an ongoing collaboration, the Environmental Forum of Marin and the California Film Institute ( have teamed up to present a series of award-winning and thought-provoking films from around the world, highlighting important environmental issues. Hosted by the Rafael Film Center in San Rafael, the films will be shown in two sets, on Thursday, April 10th at 7:15 p.m. (includes a panel discussion afterwards) and Saturday, April 12th at 1 p.m. and 3:45 p.m. (Detailed schedule and descriptions below.)

The Environmental Forum of Marin (EFM) is a 30-year old non-profit organization dedicated to providing locally focused environmental education; they offer a 20-session multi-disciplinary training course each year in September. Many prominent Marin environmental advocates began or continued their education through EFM's training program (For more information go to: Tickets are available at the Rafael Film Center box office: Regular admission prices - Thursday night - General $8.50 / Seniors 60+ and Youth 12 and under are $5.75. Saturday matinees - $5.75 for each series. A special discount package is being offered for the Thursday film and panel discussion PLUS one of the Saturday programs for $12 and $10 seniors and students. (

Thursday, April 10 at 7:15 p.m.

"Blue Vinyl" (US, 2002) 98 minutes, followed by an audience Q&A; session with Dr. Amy Kyle, UC Berkeley environmental health expert; and Tom Lent of the Healthy Building Network. "Blue Vinyl" uncovers the impact of vinyl manufacturing and disposal on the atmosphere, the food chain, and humans. After viewing the film you will never look at plastics in the same way again. Judith Helfand and Daniel Gold's warm, funny and thoughtful film revealing the truth about PVCs in our lives.

Saturday, April 12 at 1:00 p.m. (short film series)

"What's For Dinner?" 133 min. This film explores timely issues around who controls market of global food production, and the safety of genetically modified plant and animals.

"Deconstructing Supper" (US, 2002, 48 min.) starts with a gourmet meal in renowned chef John Bishop's five-star restaurant. He then leads viewers on an eye-opening and engaging journey from farmer's fields to biotech labs, into the billion-dollar battle to control global food production.

"The Price of Salmon" (UK, 2002, 59 min.) was a finalist for the prestigious Golden Panda Award and assesses the hidden costs in the success story of farmed salmon. Although it supplies cheap and nutritional benefits, it also has serious downsides on wildfish stocks, local marine life and human health.

"BioPiracy: Who Owns Life?" (Zimbabwe, 2002, 26 min) examines how large Northern Hemisphere corporations are developing their crops by plundering genetic material from Southern Hemisphere farmers and healers who have spent centuries developing it.

Saturday, April 12 at 3:45 p.m. (second short film series)

"Global Warming" -111 minutes. The public, private and future consequences of global warming and issues related to the environmental impact of over-consumption are examined in three films that span the possibilities of environmental filmmaking.

"The Future is Wild: Waterworld" (UK, 2002, 25 min) is a marvelously conceived and well- researched view of what the biological future might be like if we proceed on our present course and uses 3-D computer animation to show us a fascinating world of the imagination.

"Rising Waters: Global Warming and the Fate of the Pacific Islands" (US, 2001, 60 min) puts a human face on the international climate debate by listening to Pacific Islanders. For them there is no debate: they see the everyday reality. Fishermen, scientists and farmers point to the rising tides.

"The Cost of Cool" (US, 2001, 26 min) looks through the eyes of American teens at how youth's buying habits and the "sport" of shopping have a huge impact on the world's environment.



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