Talking back to films focus for festival

Organiser Victoria Jakobs is ready for the Reel Earth Environmental Film Festival.

Organiser Victoria Jakobs is ready for the Reel Earth Environmental Film Festival.

The Reel Earth Environmental Film Festival organisers do not mind if you whisper during the films. In fact, they encourage some good robust discussion about the issues presented at the annual event. 

The festival is in its 11th year and will include a mixture of documentary and short films, all with an environmental theme, which will have discussion forums running alongside them.

Organiser Victoria Jakobs said the forums set the festival apart from others because they focused on people and create dialogue around the films. 

"We are trying to create local discussions around the films as well. We need to entertain and educate around these issues but we also have to inspire and people need to talk to do that. It's getting the message across in a positive way."

The films will be shown at the Globe Theatre and at the Palmerston North City Library, as well as two outdoor screenings on George St, one of which is a fundraiser for Palmerston North's free food store, Just Zilch.

"The outdoor space gets transformed and we are doing one night of short films and the other night is the fundraiser.

"The film is about food waste, called Just Eat It, so there's a real connection. I have really strived to do that this year, think about what are the things which interest us and can these films lead to a dialogue or inspiration."

The festival lineup includes films from Canada, United States and Britain, as well as films from New Zealand directors Sarah Grohnert and James Reardon.

Grohnert's film Ever The Land is one of the festival standouts for Jakobs. The film documents the construction by Ngai Tuhoe of Te Kura Whare, their 'living building'.

"This one is really exciting. We actually have a Tuhoe trustee coming down to talk about it and it's really topical at the moment with the Rangitaane Treaty settlements being signed off.

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"Ever the Land is what Tuhoe have done with part of their money, so it's really what's happening now."

Speakers at the forums include Palmerston North film-maker Sy Taffel, permaculture teacher Vanessa Witt, Heather Went from Manawatu Family Microadventures and environmental anthropologist Tricia Farrelly.

The Reel Earth Environmental Film Festival opens on November 13 and runs until November 27.  

 - Stuff


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