The SA Eco Film Festival is celebrating its 5th birthday this year, with the festival running in Cape Town, from 22 to 29 March. This friendly festival aims to showcase intriguing and creative film content that highlights topics on sustainability, the environment, ecology and social justice.
And this year, as you’ll see, it has all sorts of other things going on… Including the outcome of the 2017 Reliance Talent Campus, a short film, EMBO, created by new filmmaker Xola Mteto, which will open and close the SA Eco Film Festival.
- And there’s more: Talent Campus Breakfast panels on Crowdfunding, to a
- experiential offering for children: Little Explorers,
- a 3D Google Cardboard experience,
- This year’s theme is #Connected.
The festival is, itself, exploring all the ways such an event can reach out to touch and connect with our audiences.
Many films are followed by a Q n A with a speaker, where time allows: the conversations that link the experience of the film to our experiences day-to-day are perhaps one of the most important aspects of how the festival can step forward and our audience can feel, or get, #Connected
Showcasing the longest list of international feature films so far, the heart of the festival will primarily take place in local independent cinemas: The Labia Theatre in Cape Town, The Bioscope in Johannesburg, and with satellite venues at the African Leadership Academy (a ‘mini-fest’ run by the students).
SA Eco Film Festival Line Up
As usual, the film line up is offering a diverse range of topics from Oceans, to Slums, to the Stars – Let There Be Light shares the story behind the building of an ‘artificial star’ in the chase for Nuclear Fusion and unlimited clean energy, while the oh-so-real footage in A Plastic Ocean is both captivating and disturbing (they went to find whales, they found plastic…) – and the highly entertaining BUGS, looks at how top chefs are making bugs not just an eco food choice but also delicious… to Secrets at Sunrise the profound tale of a team of scientists striving to save one little earth-bound species of parrot.
With water currently on all our minds, and the opening day of the festival being World Water day, there are two important films looking at aspects of water crises from unique view points:
- Thank you for the Rain, and
- The Man Who Wanted to Change The World.
Both films are European co-productions investigating stories coming out of Kenya and stories of individuals who step forward to make a difference. The festival is very fortunate this year to welcome the director of the Man Who Wanted to Change the World, Mariette Faber to the festival, who will be joining us for a Talent Campus Breakfast Panel, and a QnA session after the film on Sunday 25 March.
See details of film line up below.
Free Screenings at SA Eco Film Festival
Special inclusion this year to celebrate the Eco Festival’s 5th birthday are several free screening events:
- the National Geographic’s documentary on Jane Goodall: Jane, in Johannesburg and Cape Town;
- Yann Arthus-Bertrand’s stunning Planet Ocean, in Cape Town on Sunday 25 March.
- The SA Eco Shorts film fest, hosted on 29 March at the Cape Town designers-collective BoOp bring a new twist to the traditional support of shorts, and
- a very exciting once-off event at the V & A Waterfront Amphitheatre on Friday 30 March ends the festival with a flourish: showcasing ‘sneak preview’ footage from South African eco-films currently in production, introduced by the filmmakers themselves.
WHERE: Labia Theatre, 68 Orange Street, Cape Town
WHEN: 22 – 29 March, 2018
SA Eco Film Festival is kindly supported by local businesses, most especially long term supporters Reliance Compost, Sustainable.co.za and Ballo.co.za
List of SA Eco Films:
A PLASTIC OCEAN (102 MINS, USA, 2016) WATCH TRAILER
Dates CT: 29 March 18h30
Pollution in the world’s oceans and potential solutions are the focus of this documentary.
BUGS – THE FILM (73 MINS, USA 2016) WATCH TRAILER
CT: 24 MARCH 18H30/ 27 MARCH 18H30
In an effort to determine their sustainability as a food source, two chefs travel throughout the world tasting insects.
CHASING CORAL (93 MINS, USA 2017) WATCH TRAILER
CT: 25 MARCH 18H30/ 28 MARCH 18H30
Coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate. A team of divers, photographers and scientists set out on a thrilling ocean adventure to discover why and to reveal the underwater mystery to the world.
EVOLUTION OF ORGANIC (77 MINS, USA 2016) WATCH TRAILER
DATES CT: 25 MARCH 14H00/ 27 MARCH 18H30
Evolution of Organic brings us the story of organic agriculture, told by those who built the movement. A motley crew of back-to-the-landers, spiritual seekers, and farmers’ sons and daughters rejected modern chemical farming and set out to invent organic alternatives.
FOOD COOP (97 MINS, USA 2016) WATCH TRAILER
CT: 24 MARCH 16H00/ 25 MARCH 16H00
In the middle of an economic crisis, in the shadow of Wall Street, an institution that represents a less well-known American tradition is booming. The Park Slope Food Coop: a cooperative supermarket where all 16,000 members work 3 hours per months to earn the right to buy the best food in New York at incredibly low prices.
HOW TO LET GO OF THE WORLD AND LOVE ALL THE THINGS CLIMATE CAN’T CHANGE (127 MINS, USA 2016) WATCH TRAILER
DATES CT: 23 MARCH 18H30/ 24 MARCH 12H00
Documentarian Josh Fox (“Gasland”) travels the globe to meet with global climate change “warriors” who are committed to reversing the tide of global warming. Funny and tragic, inspiring and enlightening, the film examines the intricately woven forces that threaten the stability of the planet and the lives of its inhabitants.
JANE (90 MINS, USA, 2017) WATCH TRAILER
FREE SCREENING CT: 22 MARCH 18H30
Opening Event of SA Eco Film Festival 2018 – invitation only, a few limited tickets available to the public, book quickly… The life and work of the renowned primatology scientist, Jane Goodall, especially on her research about chimpanzees.
LET THERE BE LIGHT (80 MINS, CANADA/FRANCE 2017) WATCH TRAILER
CT: 25 MARCH 14H00/ 26 MARCH 18H30
Let There Be Light follows the story of dedicated scientists working to build a small sun on Earth, which would unleash perpetual, cheap, clean energy for mankind. After decades of failed attempts, a massive push is now underway to crack the holy grail of energy.
PLANET OCEAN (94 MINS, USA/FRANCE 2012) WATCH TRAILER
CT: 25 MARCH 12H00
Dive into our planet’s greatest mysteries with a team of international underwater cinematographers as they explore the breathtaking bond between humanity and the ocean.
RIVERBLUE (95 MINS, CANADA/USA 2016 ) WATCH TRAILER
CT: 24 MARCH 16H00
RiverBlue chronicles an unprecedented around-the-world river adventure, led by renowned paddler and conservationist, Mark Angelo, who ends up uncovering and documenting the dark side of the global fashion industry.
SECRETS AT SUNRISE (79 MINS, AUSTRALIA 2017) WATCH TRAILER
CT: 24 MARCH 14H00/ 29 MARCH 18H30
The dramatic fight to save a species on the brink of extinction by a team of passionate individuals determined to help the beautiful western ground parrot survive against the odds.
Clinging to life in a remote pocket of Australian wilderness the parrot faces many challenges – wildfire, climate change, habitat loss and feral cat predation all threaten to wipe out the last 150 individuals of the species.
Yet there is hope! Two teams of scientists and a group of dedicated volunteers are battling to save a species.
THANK YOU FOR THE RAIN (90 MINS, NORWAY/UK 2017) WATCH TRAILER
CT: 24 MARCH 18H30/ 25 MARCH 16H00
Five years ago Kisilu, a Kenyan farmer, started to use his camera to capture the life of his family, his village and the damages of climate change. When a violent storm throws him and a Norwegian filmmaker together we see him transform from a father, to community leader to an activist on the global stage.
Thank You For The Rain addresses a range of issues linked to climate change, including climate justice, urbanization, gender equality, education, access to water, climate refugees, and adaptation to our changing world.
THE FUTURE OF ENERGY (65 MINS USA 2013) WATCH TRAILER
CT: 23 MARCH 18H30/ 28 MARCH 18H30
The Future of Energy is a powerful documentary that captures the movement across the Unites States to transition to renewable energy and what everyday people are doing to help foster that shift. It’s a positive film about the renewable energy revolution, and a love story about the countless individuals and communities that are re-imagining their relationship with the planet and with each other.
TIME TO CHOOSE (97 MINS, USA, 2016) WATCH TRAILER
CT: 24 MARCH 12H00/ 26 MARCH 18H30
Oscar-winning documentary director Charles Ferguson turns his lens to address global climate change in a new film showing the breadth of the climate challenge, the power of solutions already available, and the remarkable people working to save our planet – from American farmers and African villagers to Indonesian anti-corruption officials and Silicon Valley entrepreneurs.
THE MAN WHO WANTED TO CHANGE THE WORLD (60 MINS, NETHERLANDS/KENYA 2016) WATCH TRAILER
CT: 24 MARCH 14H00/ 25 MARCH 12H00
African-born artist Peter Westerveld claims he has developed a solution to combat desertification and ultimately climate change. His designs for restoring the water cycles in Africa are unlike any organisation has embarked on before, let alone a single man. But in Peter’s mind there is no doubt that he can heal the land. He is quarrelsome and his ideas are controversial. Despite being ridiculed he relentlessly pursues his dream for a green and drought-resistant world.
SHORT FILM FEST ENTRIES (29 MARCH,18h30 AT THE BO OP, cnr Rose and Wale street, Cape Town)
EXPLORE WANDERLUST (4 MINS 20 SECS, SOUTH AFRICA 2017)
“If they’re outside, they’re probably playing Pokemon.”
“Millenials spend all their time looking at a screen – computers, phones.”
“They’re always on their phones!”
But what happens when we aren’t? We explore.
LOVE IN THE MIDST OF CLIMATE CHANGE (SHORT FILM 7MIN 33 SECS SOUTH AFRICA)
A documentary that highlights ordinary people doing extraordinary things to survive and lead decent lives in the teeth of adverse circumstances.
This short will highlight Khoelife Soap Farm which is located on a smallholding in Gordon’s Bay, a seaside village just outside Cape Town, South Africa. Khoelife oils and soap gifts to the world are, cooked on solar power and biogas, rooted in indigenous knowledge, vegan-friendly, not tested on animals and handmade in South Africa. This Is Khoelife mission to saving the ecosystem we all share.
POOP ON POVERTY (SHORT FILM 6 MIN 30SECS)
For a week every winter, a small Indian town on the edge of the Thar Desert hosts the world’s biggest camel fair that attracts tourists and camera teams from around the world. But beyond the exotica of one of the most filmed and photographed places in the world, lies the harsh reality of some of the local people who use the same week to address one of the most fundamental needs of their lives.
TEACH A MAN TO FISH (SHORT FILM 6 MINS SOUTH AFRICA/INDIA 2017)
A timely retelling of the apocryphal story. Shot on location in Cape Town’s Kalk Bay.
When a recruiter for a commercial fishing company tries to exploit a small time fisherman, he gains perspective on his own life and his idea of success.