Bon chance ….
We had good luck this past weekend, at the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival, where they screened both TERRA ANTARCTICA and the brand-new WHAT WOULD DARWIN THINK?
TERRA was given the festival’s “Grand Prize for Best Film” (the Jury: Jon Bowermaster takes us with stunning images on his sailing boat and kayak right into the beauty of the seventh continent. A place, not many of us will ever have the chance to see. He delivers a subtle message about climate change as we visit various research stations. The funding acquired for this film shows in professional visuals and a round delivery.)
And DARWIN was given the prize as “Best Environmental Film” (the Jury: The message is clear in this film stuffed with beautiful shots of all the famous Galapagos species such as the turtles, iguanas and marine life. Simply too many people are pressuring the 3% of the island that is accessible for the public. Tourists and the people depending or co-depending on tourism “visiting” nature to death.)
I’ve obviously seen the films many times now, in small editing rooms, various computer screens and on big screens and each time out I pick up small things I hadn’t seen previously. More interesting each time out is watching and listening to the audience, getting a sense of what they respond to in each, what they laugh at, what they moan at, when it is that they start looking at their watches.
While the two films are quite different, set in two very different environments, they share one common theme: Both are pristine environments threatened in part due to man’s rapacious desire to put his/her footprints … everywhere. In both places booms in tourism have both benefited and put at risk environments that we love. The challenge for the very near future is to figure out how to both protect these special places while at the same time making them just accessible enough that visitors can come, see and return home as ambassadors for protecting them.
This coming weekend both films show at the prestigious San Francisco Ocean Film Festival, at Pier 39 on the Embarcadero. (TERRA at 1 p.m. on Saturday, DARWIN at 4 p.m. on Saturday.)