Sustainable Community Film Series provokes thought, creates action | VailDaily.com

Sustainable Community Film Series provokes thought, creates action

From oceans and oil to thrown away food and trash in general, the fifth annual Sustainable Community Film Series delves deep into challenges the environment is facing and possible solutions.

The free film series put on by Walking Mountains Science Center spans seven months with two showings the first and third Tuesday of the month. The first film in the series is "YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip," which aired Nov. 1 at Loaded Joe's in Avon and will be played again Nov. 15 at the Dusty Boot in Eagle.

"People really enjoyed it," said Melissa Kirr, organizer for Walking Mountains Science Center. "With the first one, 'Your Environmental Road Trip,' my idea is that we're starting off this year on an environmental road trip together for the next six months."

The film series has grown since its first year, expanding from the Avon location to Eagle and increasing attendance and sponsorship along the way.

Movie nights are laid back and social. At Loaded Joe's in Avon, a projection screen is set up as the film plays on the other TVs as well and the sounds comes from the speakers above. At the Dusty Boot in Eagle, a side area is reserved to show the film on a large TV.

A brief discussion introduces each film, and then a questions and comments segment immediately follows. Food and beverages flow throughout the night.

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"We just come together, have fun and watch a movie," Kirr said. "It's very laid back."

The series features current award-winning films that raise awareness and encourage community dialogue about environmental issues afflicting our world, both locally and abroad.

"The sustainable films are a great opportunity to learn about today's most pressing environmental issues and spark conversation around them," said Shawn Bruckman, owner of GroundUp and supporter of the series since its beginning.

FILMS

"YERT" is a thought provoking and witty documentary that helps to uncover some of the environmental issues present today and how to be on the forefront of change.

A crew of three friends, and all of their trash, embark on a yearlong journey across all 50 U.S. states. Through odd and often humorous encounters, filmmakers and friends give a voice to the places and people they meet along the way, as well as the initiatives they take to help combat the environmental issues we face.

From Chicago's green roofs to Nebraska's mud huts, they discover a "movement that needs to keep moving."

"Plastic Ocean" is the film for January. It begins when journalist Craig Leeson discovers plastic waste in what should be pristine ocean while searching for the elusive blue whale.

In this adventure documentary, Craig teams up with a free diver and an international team of scientists and researchers who travel to 20 locations around the world over four years to explore the fragile state of the oceans.

In February, it's two for the price of one (the film series is still free, with a $5 suggested donation). "Nature's Orchestra" is a short film about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge that will open for "The Burden,," the first documentary of its kind to tell the story of mankind's dependence on fossil fuels.

"Racing to Zero" is the film for April. The quick-moving, upbeat documentary presents new solutions to the global problem of waste. By substituting the word "resource" for the word "garbage," a culture can be transformed and a new wealth of industries can emerge.

"The Power of One Voice" wraps up the film series in May with a 50-year perspective on the life of Rachel Carson, a marine biologist and conservationist who is credited with advancing the global environmental movement.

"If you're interested in these kinds of topics, then we'd love to have you," Kirr said. "And if you're not quite interested and just want to see what the film series is about, then we want you to come, too."

Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and rleonhart@vaildaily.com. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.

Film Series

November: “YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip,” Nov. 15 (The Dusty Boot, Eagle).

December: “Just Eat It,” Dec. 6 (Loaded Joe’s, Avon) and Dec. 20 (The Dusty Boot, Eagle).

January: “A Plastic Ocean,” Jan. 3 (Loaded Joe’s, Avon) and Jan. 17 (The Dusty Boot, Eagle).

February: “The Burden” and “Nature’s Orchestra,” Feb. 7 (Loaded Joe’s, Avon) and Feb. 21 (The Dusty Boot, Eagle).

March: “The Messenger,” March 7 (Loaded Joe’s, Avon) and March 21 (The Dusty Boot, Eagle).

April: “Racing to Zero,” April 4 (Loaded Joe’s, Avon) and April 18 (The Dusty Boot, Eagle).

May: “The Power of One Voice,” May 2 (Loaded Joe’s, Avon) and May 16 (The Dusty Boot, Eagle).