2014 Films

The following films were screened during the 2014 Cape Town Eco Film Festival:

 

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Amazing Grace

Friday 28 March 2014 6:00 pm

(SA | 2013 | 5 min | Dir: Rowan Pybus)

amazing graze programme

Award-winning short about Lloyd Maanyina who lives in Zambia, where most people rely on charcoal for fuel. In order to survive he has been a charcoal burner for many years, cutting down thousands of trees. We follow Lloyd on his personal journey as he opts to stop burning charcoal and sets up a micro-nursery selling trees to his neighbouring community instead.

Courtesy of the director.

Screened with The Last Ocean.

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Amazon Gold

(USA | 2012 | 53 min | Dir: Reuben Aaronson)

Saturday 29 March 2014 2:00 pm – SA Premiere –

amazon gold programmeNarrated by Academy Award winners Sissy Spacek and Herbie  Hancock, Amazon Gold is the disturbing account of a clandestine journey into the Amazon rainforest. Ron Haviv and Donovan Webster, two war journalists led by a Peruvian biologist uncover the savage unraveling of pristine rainforest. They bear witness to the apocalyptic destruction in the pursuit of illegally mined gold with consequences on a global scale. In the wake of surreal images of once extraordinary beauty turned into hellish wasteland, Amazon Gold reaffirms the right of the rainforest to exist as a repository of priceless biodiversity.

Courtesy of the director and Amazon Aid Foundation.

Screened with Damocracy and Siwe’s Journey.

Read more and watch the trailer.

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A Wave Ahead

(SA | 2013 | 7 min | Dir: Carlos Francisco)

Monday 31 March 2014 6:00 pm

a wave ahead programmeProject 90 By 2030 and the Two Oceans Aquarium install an innovative generator that captures wave energy in the aquarium’s kelp forest exhibit.

Courtesy of the director and Project 90 By 2030.

Screened with Thin Ice.

 

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Bicycle Anecdotes from Amsterdam

(USA | 2013 | 11 min | Dir: Clarence Eckerson Jr.)

Sunday 30 March 2014 4:00 pm

Amsterdam programmeA short film that offers a fascinating cross-section of commentary on life in the City of Bikes.

Courtesy of the director and Streetfilms.

Screened with In Organic We Trust.

 

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Blackfish

(USA | 2013 | 82 min | Dir: Gabriela Cowperthwaite)

Friday 28 March 2014 8:30 pm – SA Premiere –

Blackfish programmeBlackfish tells the story of Tilikum, a performing killer whale that killed several people while in captivity. Along the way, director-producer Gabriela Cowperthwaite compiles shocking footage and emotional interviews to explore the creature’s extraordinary nature, the species’ cruel treatment in captivity, the lives and losses of the trainers and the pressures brought to bear by the multi-billion dollar sea-park industry. This emotionally wrenching, tautly structured story challenges us to consider our relationship to nature and reveals how little we humans have learned from these highly intelligent and enormously sentient fellow mammals.

Dr Patrick Garratt, the Managing Director of Cape Town’s Two Oceans Aquarium and Helen Lockhart, who heads up the Two Oceans Aquarium’s Communications & Sustainability team, participated in an informal audience discussion after the screening.

Courtesy of the director and NBCUniversal.

Screened with First Light.

Read more and watch the trailer.

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Bringing It Home

(USA | 2013 | 52 min | Dir: Linda Booker & Blaire Johnson)

Saturday 29 March 2014 6:00 pm – SA Premiere –

hemp progHemp isn’t just for hippies anymore. Industrial hemp is a non-psychoactive plant that’s used to make thousands of sustainable products and offers solutions for global warming, nutrition, poverty and deforestation. Bringing It Home, which features South African hemp expert Tony Budden, tells the story of hemp – past, present and future.

Tony Budden, a South African hemp expert and co-owner of Hemporium who is featured in the film, participated in an informal audience discussion and Q&A session after the screening.

Screened with Groningen: The World’s Cycling City and Cape Town: Better by Bike.

Read more and watch the trailer.

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Cape Town: Better by Bike

(SA | 2014 | 2 min | Dir: Leonie Mervis)

Saturday 29 March 2014 6:00 pm

bcpt video coverCape Town ‘s urban cycling culture is gaining momentum as more people choose to ditch their cars and go by bike – fueling a revolution that is changing the way we live and move, and connect with fellow citizens.

Launched in 2012 Bicycle Cape Town is a community generated campaign to promote bicycle culture in Cape Town – inspiring more people to cycle in the urban environment and supporting the transformation of Cape Town into a truly bicycle-friendly city.

Courtesy of the director.

Screened with Bringing It Home and Groningen: The World’s Bicycle City.

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Complicit

(Ireland | 2013 | 5 min | Dir: Gavin Hoffman)

Friday 27 March 2014 8:30 pm – SA Premiere –

complicit programmeA man is seeking help to come to terms with his past actions. He is haunted by what he has been a part of and opens up about the nature of his complicity. Time to make things right is running out…

Courtesy of the director.

Screened with GMO OMG.

Watch the trailer.

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Damocracy

(Turkey | 2012 | 35 min | Dir: Todd Southgate)

Saturday 29 March 2014 2:00 pm – SA Premiere –

Damocracy programmeDamocracy is a film about the cultural and natural heritage the world could lose if two controversial large-scale dams are built despite widespread opposition and resistance – the Belo Monte Dam in the Brazilian Amazon and the Ilisu Dam in southeast Turkey. Award-winning filmmaker Todd Southgate travels from the vast Amazon rainforest in Brazil to the mountains and plains of upper Mesopotamia and the ancient town of Hasankeyf, Turkey, and visits communities threatened by the two major dam projects. Damocracy exposes the myth of large-scale dams as clean energy and reveals the undemocratic processes forcing these dams onto an unconsenting public by governments steamrolling national laws and international regulations.

Courtesy of the director.

Screened with Amazon Gold and Siwe’s Journey.

Watch the trailer.

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First Light

(SA | 2012 | 7 min | Dir: Leonie Mervis)

Friday 28 March 2014 8:30 pm

light programmeIn South Africa there are about 2.5 million households without electricity. First Light takes a look at a Rural Solar Initiative in KZN, where 50 impoverished households are fitted with solar lighting kits, many of them receiving electricity for the very first time.

The film follows Project 90 By 2030′s team of activists and eco engineers as they bring green energy solutions to communities across South Africa and empower them to build a better future.

Courtesy of the director and Project 90 By 2030.

Screened with Blackfish.

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Gasland Part II

(USA | 2013 | 125 min | Dir: Josh Fox)

Thursday 27 March 2014 6:00 pm – SA Premiere –

Gasland2 programmeIn this explosive follow-up to his Oscar®-nominated film Gasland, filmmaker Josh Fox uses his trademark dark humor to take a deeper look at the dangers of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, the controversial method of extracting natural gas and oil, now occurring on a global level. Gasland Part II shows how the stakes have been raised on all sides in one of the most important environmental issues facing the world today. The film argues that the gas industry’s portrayal of natural gas as a clean and safe alternative to oil is a myth and that fracked wells inevitably leak over time, contaminating water and air, hurting families, and endangering the earth’s climate with the potent greenhouse gas, methane. In addition the film looks at how the powerful oil and gas industries are in Fox’s words “contaminating our democracy”.

The Treasure Karoo Action Group‘s Jonathan Deal participated in an informal audience discussion and Q&A session after the screening.

Courtesy of the director and HBO.

Read more and watch the trailer.

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GMO OMG

(USA | 2013 | 85 min | Dir: Jeremy Seifert)

Thursday 27 March 2014 8:30 pm – SA Premiere –

GMO OMG programmeGMO OMG director and concerned father Jeremy Seifert is in search of answers. How do genetically modified crops affect our children, the health of our planet and our freedom of choice? And perhaps the ultimate question, which Seifert tests himself: is it even possible to reject the food system currently in place, or have we lost something we can’t gain back? These and other questions take Seifert on a journey from his family’s table to Haiti, Paris, Norway and the lobby of agra-giant Monsanto, from which he is unceremoniously ejected. Along the way we gain insight into a question that is of growing concern to citizens the world over: what’s on your plate?

Screened with Complicit.

Watch the trailer.

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Groningen: The World’s Cycling City

(USA | 2013 | 16 min | Dir: Clarence Eckerson Jr.)

Saturday 29 March 2014 6:00 pm

Groningen programThe Dutch city of Groningen feels a bit like bicycle nirvana. You’ll see the 10,000 (!) bicycle parking spaces at the train station, some of the incredible infrastructure that enables cyclists to make their journeys safer and quicker, and you’ll hear from residents who go just about everywhere by bike.

Courtesy of the director and Streetfilms.

Screened with Bringing It Home and Cape Town: Better by Bike.

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In Organic We Trust

(USA | 2012 | 82 min | Dir: R. Kiplin Pastor)

Sunday 30 March 2014 4:00 pm – SA Premiere –

organic programmeIn Organic We Trust is an eye-opening food documentary that follows director/producer Kip Pastor on a personal journey to answer commonly asked questions about organic food: What exactly is organic? Is it really better, or just a marketing scam? The film digs deep with farmers, organic certifiers, scientists, and organic critics to explore the content beneath the label and the truth behind the marketing. It takes a balanced approach to clear up misconceptions about organic food while highlighting practical solutions that are transforming the way we grow and eat.

Screened with Bicycle Anecdotes from Amsterdam.

Read more and watch the trailer.

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In Transition 2.0

(UK | 2012 | 69 min | Dir: Emma Goude)

Saturday 29 March 2014 4:00 pm 

in trans programmeIn Transition 2.0 is an inspirational immersion in the Transition Movement, gathering stories from around the world of ordinary people doing extraordinary things to build resilience for a world without cheap fossil fuels. It visits communities printing their own money, growing food everywhere, localising their economies and setting up community power stations. It’s an idea that has gone viral, a social experiment that is about responding to uncertain times with solutions and optimism. In a world that is awash with gloom, here is a story of hope, ingenuity and the power of growing vegetables in unexpected places.

Screened with The Story of Solutions.

Read more and watch the trailer.

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More Than Honey

(Switzerland | 2012 | 92 min | Dir: Markus Imhoof)

Sunday 30 March 2014 6:00 pm

honey programmeOver the past 15 years, numerous colonies of bees have been decimated throughout the world, but the causes of this disaster remain unknown. Depending on the world region, 50% to 90% of all local bees have disappeared, and this epidemic is still spreading from beehive to beehive all over the planet. Everywhere, the same scenario is repeated: billions of bees leave their hives, never to return. No bodies are found in the immediate surroundings, and no visible predators can be located. A beautifully shot film, More Than Honey searches for the reasons behind this global disaster.

Local bee expert Tlou Masehela and beekeeper Brendan Ashley Cooper participated in an informal audience discussion and Q&A after the screening.

Screened with The Buzz for Food.

Read more and watch the trailer.

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Op Theefontein

(SA | 2012 | 53 min | Dirs: Hermien de Vos & Johann Botha)

Sunday 30 March 2014 2:00 pm

theefontein programmeThe touching story of a Griqua herbalist who teaches a white woman to heal people using traditional herbal remedies. Set in the heart of the Great Karoo and featuring Oom Johannes Willemse, already in his nineties, and well-known Afrikaans actress Antoinette Pienaar, Op Theefontein is a gentle meditation on the relationship between two individuals and all of our relationship with nature.

Afrikaans with English subtitles.

One of the film’s directors, Hermien de Vos, participated in an informal audience discussion and Q&A session after the screening.

Courtesy of the directors.

Watch the Trailer.

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Siwe’s Journey: Sanitation in Khayelitsha

(SA | 2014 | 12 min | Dir: Amazwi Wethu)

Saturday 29 March 2014 2:00 pm

siwe programmeSiwe is a 17 year-old student living and attending school in Khayelitsha. Through her work with Equal Education, she has become increasingly aware of the sanitation crisis in her community. Follow her on a journey as she meets other young people and explores issues of sanitation and service delivery.

The Social Justic Coalition‘s Axolile Notywala participated in an informal audience discussion after the screening.

Courtesy of Amazwi Wethu and Equal Education.

Screened with Amazon Gold and Damocracy.

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The Buzz for Food

(SA | 2012 | 17 min | Dir: Carlos Francisco)

Sunday 30 March 2014 6:00 pm

buzz programmeTlou Masehela, as a youngster, used to be afraid of bees. Having made his peace, he has now embarked on his PhD, doing important research into the Cape and African Honeybees’ forage needs. Working together with honeybee forage expert Martin Johannsmeier, he shows us how they are investigating the food sources used by bees throughout the year.

Bee expert Tlou Masehela and beekeeper Brendan Ashley Cooper participated in an informal audience discussion and Q&A after the screening.

Courtesy of Steps Southern Africa.

Screened with More Than Honey.

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The Carbon Rush

(Canada | 2012 | 84 min | Dir: Amy Miller)

Monday 31 March 2014 8:30 pm – SA Premiere –

carbon programmeHundreds of hydroelectric dams in Panama. Incinerators burning garbage in India. Biogas extracted from palm oil in Honduras. Eucalyptus forests harvested for charcoal in Brazil. What do these projects have in common? They are all receiving carbon credits for offsetting pollution created somewhere else. But what impact are these offsets having? Are they actually reducing emissions? And what about the people and the communities where these projects have been set up? The Carbon Rush takes us around the world to meet the people most impacted. They are the least heard in the cacophony surrounding in this emerging multi-billion dollar carbon industry.

Michael Baillie from Greenpeace Africa participated in an informal audience discussion after the screening.

Screened with The Story of Cap & Trade.

Read more and watch the trailer.

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The Last Ocean

(NZ | 2012 | 88 min | Dir: Peter Young)

Friday 28 March 2014 6:00 pm – SA Premiere –

Last ocean programmeThe Ross Sea, Antarctica is the most pristine stretch of ocean on Earth. A vast, frozen landscape that teems with life – whales, seals and penguins carving out a place on the very edge of existence. Largely untouched by humans, it is one of the last places where the delicate balance of nature prevails. But an international fishing fleet has recently found its way to the Ross Sea. It is targeting Antarctic toothfish, sold as Chilean sea bass in up-market restaurants around the world. The catch is so lucrative, it’s known as white gold. Unless fishing is stopped the natural balance of the Ross Sea will be lost forever.

Courtesy of the director.

Screened with Amazing Grace.

Read more and watch the trailer.

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 The Story of Cap & Trade

(USA | 2009 | 10 min | Dir: Annie Leonard)

Monday 31 March 2014 8:30 pm

cap programmeA fast-paced, fact-filled look at one of the proposed solutions for global warming. Host Annie Leonard introduces the energy traders and Wall Street financiers at the heart of this scheme and reveals the “devils in the details”. If you’ve heard about cap and trade, but aren’t sure how it works (or who benefits), this is the film is for you.

Courtesy of The Story of Stuff Project.

Screened with The Carbon Rush.

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The Story of Solutions

(USA | 2013 | 10 min | Dir: Louis Fox)

Saturday 29 March 2014 4:00 pm

solutions programme2This short film explores how we can move our economy in a more sustainable and just direction. What if the goal of our economy wasn’t “more”, but “better” – better health, better jobs and a better chance to survive on the planet?

Courtesy of The Story of Stuff Project.

Screened with In Transition 2.0.

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Thin Ice

(NZ | 2013 | 74 min | Dir: Simon Lamb & David Sington)

Monday 31 March 2014 6:00 pm

ice programmeIn recent years climate science has come under increasing attack, so geologist Simon Lamb took his camera to find out what is really going on. For over three years he followed scientists from a wide range of disciplines at work in the Arctic, Antarctic, Southern Ocean, New Zealand, Europe and the USA. They talk about their work, their hopes and fears with a rare candour and directness. This creates an intimate portrait of the global community of researchers racing to understand our planet’s changing climate, and provides a compelling case for rising CO2 as the main cause. Thin Ice reveals the human face of climate science and offers the inside story on the worldwide debate: a film about climate science made by a scientist.

Dr Guy Midgley, Chief Director of the South African National Biodiversity Institute‘s Climate Change and Bioadaptation Division and member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, as well as Michael Baillie from Greenpeace Africa participated in an informal audience discussion after the screening.

Courtesy of the directors.

Screened with A Wave Ahead.

Read more and watch the trailer.

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