Green Screen – The Environmental Film Festival is back! Wednesday October 31st , 2018, marked the Opening Night Gala at Digicel IMAX, which featured the T&T Premiere of ‘Anote’s Ark’ as the festival’s Opening Night film, and the launch of a new program – the Very Short Shorts Mobile Film Competition.
For the past eight years, ‘Green Screen’ led by founder and director of Sustain T&T, Carver Bacchus, has been on a mission to highlight issues of environmental conservation and climate change, hoping “to work toward solutions for a more sustainable future.”
Given the theme, “Stories of our Rivers and Seas”, the public was challenged to create a one-minute film with a mobile device. After receiving 50 submissions, 20 short films were selected to be screened for the first time at the opening gala. The festival offered prizes of $10,000 courtesy SWMCOL for Best Overall Short (won by Shane Hosein) and $5000 courtesy FilmTT for Best Short, Youth Award in the 17 – 25 years category (won by Renaldo “Red” Frederick). A People’s Choice Award was also introduced with the winner to be announced on the festival’s closing night, November 3rd , at Grundlos Kollektiv.
Hosein’s film, ‘Soluble’, highlights our everyday use of soluble pollutants that affect our environment while Frederick’s film, ‘I, Refuse, is set in a futuristic dystopian society where plastic is traded for clean water, an otherwise natural resource. In only one minute, both films successfully managed to be thought-provoking, and a catalysts for meaningful conversation on environmental awareness, something desperately needed in times like these.
”This year I introduce the festival with the theme ‘Perspective’ as we here in T&T come together to respond to the first natural disaster I can recall in my lifetime,” said Carver Bacchus in relation to the recent flooding that plagued the nation.
In connection to ‘Perspective’, he appealed to the audience to see this terrible event as being “an opportunity for gratitude”. Then smartly reminding us about the importance of environmental conservation, he drove his point home with, “But of course, gratitude is not passive, it begs action. If you’re thankful for something you should want to preserve it.”
‘Anote’s Ark’, the Canadian film selected to open the festival, echoes the sentiments of Carver Bacchus. Directed by Matthieu Rytz, it introduces us to the Pacific Island of Kiribati which is threatened by the rise in sea levels and on the verge of being wiped out. The filmmakers follow Kiribati’s President, Anote Tong, as he struggles to find help to preserve his homeland and to find a safe haven for his people, while also telling the story of Tiemeri, a young married woman from Kiribati trying to escape this impending disaster by seeking refuge in New Zealand. At one of the many conferences that Anote attends, he puts forth a simple question, “What is the most important thing in the world?” Almost immediately he answers himself, “It is people. It is people. It is people.”
Putting it across in a different way, Carver Bacchus leaves us with the same food for thought, “Our greatest resource is us, the people of Trinidad and Tobago, who are resilient and resourceful and smart.”
Green Screen – The Environmental Film Festival is sponsored by SWMCOL, FilmTT, Atlantic, Culturego Magazine and the Canadian High Commission and runs from 31st October to November 3rd.
CLICK HERE for Photo highlights from Green Screen’s Opening Night and Gala.