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Environmental Film Festival Australia (EFFA) 2018

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Face facts about our environment - be inspired and empowered
The Environmental Film Festival Australia (EFFA) is on again from October 11th – 19th with screenings at ACMI and Palace Westgarth Cinema. More than just a film festival, it brings together creative and passionate minds who are facing the hurdles while working towards sustainable change. There are 43 films from 16 countries including some Australian feature and short films. Australian short films will screen ahead of all feature films.

Into the Okavango, film, movie, documentary, Neil Gelinas
Into the Okavango, directed by Neil Gelinas


Opening night is Thursday October 11th from 6:30 pm. This year's event begins with National Geographic's Into the Okavango. You'll follow the journey of an expedition to save one of the world's last remaining wildlife habitats from human interference. Into the Okavango shows the setbacks and triumphs faced by the expedition team, bringing personal perspectives to our global environmental challenges. This film is followed by Opening Night celebrations with food and drinks.

There is a collection of Experimental Shorts which capture stunning landscapes and their stories, which will make you rethink your surrounds both indoors and out. While International Shorts gives local perspectives to environmental challenges. In addition, there are Virtual Reality screenings which will give an insight to four climate change stories from around the world.

Festival Feature Films

As Worlds Divide, Rob Henry, doco, movie, film
As Worlds Divide, directed by Rob Henry


As Worlds Divide takes you to the tropical Indonesian islands of Mentawai where Rob Henry immerses himself in the Indigenous culture at a coconut farming village. Rob will give a Q&A session after the screening, sharing his experience of living two very different lives.

Anote's Ark is a highlight of the festival. This film follows Anote's international campaign to show the real impact of rising sea levels on Kiribati. Two of the Pacific nation's atolls are already submerged, with residents moving to neighbouring countries for survival. This not only affects their homes but it also their culture. Following this screening Kiribati's then-President, now environmental campaigner, Anote Tong will be in-conversation with triple J journalist Jo Lauder.

The Reluctant Radical is an emotional story of long-time environmentalist and activist, Ken Ward, who confronts the greatest crisis of human civilisation, climate change. Ken is alarmed by scientific evidence and receiving little support from environmental organisations he takes matters into his own hands. Putting himself in front of the fossil fuel industry with nonviolent acts of civil disobedience, Ken is now facing 20 years in jail. But is it Ken who is out of touch with reality or is it the rest of society that is delusional with complacency in the face of climate change. This film is followed by a discussion panel.

Welcome to Sodom, Florian Weigensamer, Christian Krönes, film, doco, documentary
Welcome to Sodom directed by Florian Weigensamer, Christian Krönes


Welcome to Sodom takes us to the world's largest electronic waste dump in Agbogbloshie, Accra. It shows the reality of land littered with metal scraps and toxic fumes from smouldering plastic, offering an insight into a place that is so damaged by waste that it seems like a post-apocalyptic reality. This film uncovers the reality of those who gain the benefits of electronics without considering the shocking environmental, health and social costs.

The Devil We Know highlights the impacts caused by chemicals used in Teflon. A captivating story which may have you questioning everything in your kitchen. But more cynical than that, it has been a part of one of the biggest environmental scandals of our time. This film is followed by a panel discussion.

Dark Eden captures the high price people pay to work at one of the world's largest oil reserves, the Athabasca Oil Sands. Canada is the home of the third largest oil reserve on the planet. But what cost is there to people and the environment in pursuit of personal wealth and perceived happiness. A panel following includes a speaker from Latrobe Valley's Voices of the Valley (Hazelwood).

The Milk System, Andreas Pichler, documentary, doco, film
The Milk System directed by Andreas Pichler


The Milk System examines the impact of industrial agricultural, human and animal health. Farmers, politicians, activists, NGOs and scientists all over the world have differing views about the multi-billion dollar milk industry. We are asked to challenge our role as consumers and consider our ethical stance on milk. This film has a panel discussion to conclude.

Sleep has her House is a film where you can get away from it all, by taking a moment to remember the beauty and stillness of the forest in the dark. Sleep Has Her House will screen with a live musical accompaniment by Rose Riebl a classically trained pianist and composer, which will add a special element to this narrative-free film.

Panguna Syndrome, Olivier Pollet & Alexandre Berman, film, doco, documentary
The Panguna Syndrome directed by Olivier Pollet & Alexandre Berman


The Panguna Syndrome, tells the story of the fallout of Papua New Guinea's Bougainville Crisis. The Panguna copper mine has the indigenous locals waging civil war because the culture and the spirit of the land have been violated. They are up against the government who are attempting to resurrect the mine. Is it possible for a mining site to be inclusive of their traditional cultures?

Living the Change is a collation of inspiring stories about people creating change in their own lives and bringing it into their communities. This film features global experts and offers local solutions to reducing environmental impacts via small, everyday changes that everyday people can make. Co-director, Jordan Osmond, will hold a Q&A session after the screening.

The Ancient Woods captures the extraordinary wilderness of Lithuania's last remaining old growth forests. Without commentary, the film is narrated by the sounds of nature where you can getaway from it all and immerse yourself in ancient wildness, and enjoy a deeply meditative experience.

Stella Polaris Ulloriarsuaq, Yatri N. Niehaus, doco, film, documentary movie
Stella Polaris Ulloriarsuaq, directed by Yatri N. Niehaus


Stella Polaris Ulloriarsuaq, showcases Greenland's ice sheets literally melting before our eyes. The Kalaallit people live with the ice, but the foundation of their traditions is literally melting beneath their feet, due to climate change. This film is followed by a panel discussion.

When Lambs Become Lions captures the true cost of ivory hunting on those who pursue and protect against this outlawed practice. There are over 300,000 elephants killed every year for their tusks and there are both environmental and human costs with the ivory trade.

The Experimental City gives a visionary outlook from scientist Althestan Spilhaus who said that new technologies couldn't be tested in old cities. An engineer should not sit back and predict results, they should design the future. But his ambitious sustainability plans were questioned by politicians, scientists and some of the public. This is the story of an idea that almost revolutionised the planet. This film will be followed by an enlightening panel discussion.

Bird of Prey, Eric Liner, film, doco, Philippines, documentary, eagle
Bird of Prey directed by Eric Liner


Closing Night is Friday 19th October and Bird of Prey will be screened. Bird Of Prey follows a 30-year campaign to save the Philippine Eagle from extinction. Native and found only in the Philippines this majestic bird is now incredibly rare and its future is dependent on the preservation of the Philippine's old growth forest. Closing night has complimentary drinks and food.

Tickets are between $20-55 plus concessions and member discounts also apply. There are also multi-passes which offer discounts if you see a number of the films, which makes it easier if you can't choose between them!

Please see the EFFA website for full details, session times and the program of events.
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Why? To be inspired by environmental films from Australian and around the world
When: October 11th – 19th
Where: ACMI and Palace Westgarth Cinema
Cost: See website for details
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