Environmental Youth Forum:
Where are the connections between promoting a green planet, social justice, eliminating poverty and war? A journey beyond the carbon footprint.
Dates: Thursday, May 21 and Wednesday, May 27
8:30am to 12:30pm for films and panels
11:00am to 2:15pm for Active Cinema room
Place: The Christopher B. Smith Rafael Film Center
The forum will present some of the newest and best thinking about an active environmentalism as well as films that take a different, fresh approach to greening the planet. Expanded environmental concerns such as population, green jobs, green lending, and the issues surrounding “war litter” like unexploded bombs, landmines and bomb craters that give rise to mosquitoes and the diseases they carry.
The other aspect of the forum will be a continuation of the “active cinema” project started by the Mill Valley Film Festival where audiences are given an immediate means for making social change through projects, face-to-face individual discussions with advocacy group members, and donations for micro-loan organizations. There will be a forum area where groups would be invited to come in and share their literature and discuss their missions informally.
Films will be shown on all three of the Smith Rafael Film Center screens staggered so students can pick and choose, mix and match subjects of films and panels.
Angie Coiro (moderator May 21 panel) is currently hosting The Angie Coiro Show on Green 960AM, the San Francisco home of Air America. Mike Wallace, Martin Short, Calvin Trillin, Gloria Steinem — they’ve all sat for live, onstage interviews with Angie. Angie’s skill lies in creating an easy, flowing conversation, while keeping the guest at ease, the audience in hand, and a sharp eye on the clock. She can wrangle a contentious debate, as she did at Stanford University, when Rev. Lou Sheldon faced off with gay rights activist Evan Wolfson on the topic of same-sex marriage.
For 25 years, John Antonelli, in association with The Mill Valley Film Group, has been producing award-winning documentary films for theatrical distribution, cable TV, PBS, syndication, and for an impressive list of corporate clients. For the past six years, Antonelli has been producing, directing and writing segments for Global Focus: The New Environmentalists a half hour program narrated by Robert Redford that is broadcast on PBS stations, The Sundance Channel and in a number of international markets. It has won numerous awards at environmental film festivals worldwide.
Patsy Northcutt a Producer/Director/Editor, owns a film and video production company, Northcutt Productions and has been working as a filmmaker for over 25 years. She has produced, directed and edited a variety of short and long format environmental and social justice programs, focusing on creating cultural change in areas such as green building, our ecological footprint, species extinction, alternative transportation, green plans, the Natural Step, gay and lesbian civil rights, criminal justice and teen pregnancy prevention. Patsy produces and directs the 4 camera live satellite feed of the annual Bioneers conference and was closely involved in creating the Bioneers Free Speech T.V. series.
Julia H. Rhee is a first generation movement builder and has been training students across the country on issues grounded in racial justice, anti-oppression, and building student power for the past seven years. She is the youth organizer for Van Jones’ Green for All. Oakland’s Jones has just been tapped by President Obama as part of the Whitehouse council on environmental quality pushing for more green jobs. A graduate of Eugene Lang College of the New School, she is a proud alumnus of the only national progressive AAPI grassroots student organization, the National Asian American Student Conference (NAASCon) and the first Leadership Academy fellowship class for Young People For, YP4. She is currently the co-chair for the Bay Area Chapter of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum.
Sharon Smith works with Earth Island Institute as Program Director for the New Leaders Initiative and Brower Youth Awards. These programs honor young environmental leaders in North America for their outstanding activism and achievements. She launched her career in environmental advocacy in 1999 with a year-long fellowship with Green Corps, the field school for environmental organizing. Sharon graduated from U.C. Berkeley in 1999 with dual degrees in Conservation and Resource Studies and Anthropology, and spent a year in the tropics studying medical anthropology and tropical forest ecology and conservation.
Weezie Yancey-Siegel is one of the four national founders of YouthGive, a national nonprofit growing the next generation of givers and global citizens. Weezie is YouthGive’s National Youth Coordinator and is a senior at Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley, CA. She spent six months living in the Himalaya mountains of India where she attended the Woodstock School and was part of a student crew making a documentary on the role of women in village sustainability. In the summer of 2008, Weezie helped lead YouthGive’s Digital Story-Telling, Youth & Microfinance Trip to Africa, where nine teenage students went to learn about and document global poverty solutions that their African peers are working on. Weezie loves learning about youth around the world, who are doing amazing things to change their environment and solve local and global problems inspiring us all to act.
Alan Snitow (moderator May 27 panel) is an independent film producer and director based in Berkeley. His nationally broadcast films with co-director Deborah Kaufman include “Thirst” about community resistance to water privatization, “Secrets of Silicon Valley” about the downsides of Silicon Valley and high tech industries, and “Blacks and Jews” about inter-ethnic conflict. Snitow is a former KTVU news producer and KPFA News Director. He is a board member of the California Media Collaborative, a think tank developing the next generation of media to support reporting on state and local issues. He is also on the board of Food and Water Watch, a Washington-based policy group working on issues of management, ownership and control of natural resources and food safety. His book, Thirst: Fighting the Corporate Theft of Our Water”–with Deborah Kaufman and Michael Fox–was published by Jossey Bass in 2007.
Andrew Lyons is Vice President (West) of The HALO Trust USA. HALO is the world’s largest humanitarian landmine clearance organization, and currently fields 7,500 staff in nine countries. Andrew managed 2,800 mineclearance and bomb disposal staff in Afghanistan from 2005 to 2007 as senior operations officer. Prior to that, he served two years in Angola as finance officer. He has also done field work in Mozambique, Kosovo, Colombia and Cambodia. He currently resides in San Francisco.
Panel Discussion One
Local Solutions for Global Problems
Moderator Angie Coiro, Green 960AM
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
Julia Rhee, Green for All
Teryn Norris, Breakthrough Generation
Sharon Smith, Brower Youth Awards & New Leaders Initiative
Panel Discussion Two
Global concerns and how to change the National consciousness on the environment.
Moderator: Alan Snitow (director of Thirst)
Andrew Lyons for Halo, a humanitarian group for mine removal
Lauren Thorpe, Greenpeace
Weezie Yancey-Siegel, Youthgive
Patsy Northcutt. Pachamama Alliance
Jorgen Vos who is working on new software to calculate carbon footprints
Some Organizations for the Active Cinema Room
Pacific Gas & Electric Company
Ella Baker Center
Kids vs. Global Warming
Spirit Bear Youth Initiative
Brower Youth Awards
Earth Island Institute
Green for All
Asian Pacific Environmental Network
Earth Cinema Circle
Sustainable Living Roadshow
Fuel is an insightful portrait of America’s addiction to oil and an uplifting testament to the immediacy of new energy solutions. Director, Josh Tickell, a young activist, shuttles us on a whirlwind journey to track the rising domination of the petrochemical industry — from Rockefeller’s strategy to halt Ford’s first ethanol cars to Vice President Cheney’s petrochemical company sponsored energy legislation — and reveals a gamut of available solutions to “repower America” — from vertical farms that occupy skyscrapers to algae facilities that turn wastewater into fuel. Tickell and a surprising array of environmentalists, policy makers, and entertainment notables take us through America’s complicated, often ignominious energy past and illuminate a hopeful, achievable future, where decentralized, sustainable living is not only possible, it’s imperative. With appearances by Robert Kennedy Jr., Barbara Boxer, Sheryl Crow, Woody Harrelson, Julia Roberts, Larry David, Willy Nelson and Neil Young
Power of Community: Cuba and the Peak Oil Crisis. A stunning essay on the 1990 peak oil crisis in Cuba, where the island’s isolation and oil dependence on the crumbling Soviet Union caused a complete break-down in energy supply and havoc to agriculture because of lack of petroleum based fertilizers. Cuba gives us a glimpse of a possible future. It shows how government and people can overcome their dependence on oil by a series of comparatively easy—but in the short term hard—steps to energy independence.
Burning the Future. (featured at MVFF 2008) The new developments with fly ash and slurry ponds threatening homes in Appalachia was predicted by this moving film that goes into the homes of people living near these coal strip mines. The film is full of hope as local residents become activists not only for their own cause but the cause of the planet and global warming. The film features Maria Gunnoe, just awarded the prestigious Goldman environmental prize.
Recipes for Disaster. A family experiment, led by a rather obsessed dad, where the whole family goes on an “oil diet” for a year. The film is divided into chapters chronicling their efforts on a monthly basis. It’s not pretty. By the end though, it proves that mankind’s biggest challenge for the future is to overcome deep-rooted denial about our place in the world. Funny and thoughtful and “family friendly”.
Strait Through the Ice examines the complex issues and increasing strain between ecology and geopolitics through the inevitable opening of the “Northwest Passage” between Asia and Europe as the ice-bound North begins to melt.
Bomb Harvest is a look inside the serious (though sometimes darkly comic) work of removing unexploded bombs and “bombies” that were left after the US carpet bombed Laos. These create hazards for children in particular and make it difficult for rice farmers who still, 20 years after the war, find unexploded bombs in their rice paddies. One look at the overlooked environmental damage of “war litter”.
Thirst, by Bay Area filmmakers Deborah Kaufman and Alan Snitow. Is water part of a shared “commons,” a human right for all people? Or is it a commodity to be bought, sold, and traded in a global marketplace? “Thirst” tells the stories of communities in Bolivia, India, and the United States that are asking these fundamental questions. Over a billion people lack access to safe drinking water. Each year, millions of children die of diseases caused by unsafe water. The numbers are increasing. These facts drive a debate in the opening scenes of “Thirst” at the 2003 Third World Water Forum in Kyoto, Japan. Politicians, international bankers, and corporate executives gather to decide who will control global fresh water supplies.
Spirit Bear: The Simon Jackson Story is a Canadian dramatic film based on the very real teenager, Simon Jackson, who fought the lumber interests of his Canadian province to preserve the Komode, or Spirit, Bear. Jackson’s one-man campaign became a phenomena in Canada and led to his starting the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition. It’s a fine example of how the individual can make a difference. Veteran actor Ed Begley Jr., who plays the hard-nosed lumber baron is a lifetime environmental activist and public speaker. With Mark Rendall as Simon and also starring Native American actor Graham Green and Ed Begley Jr.
Who Killed the Electric Car? Answers that question with vehemence—and a modicum of humor. But director Chris Paine is clear whose side he’s on when it comes to the wholesale trashing of the beloved Ev1 all electric car made by GM. It’s not a pretty story.
Flip Flotsam is a short and sweet documentary film. This beautifully photographed, charming documentary traces the fantastic journey of Africa’s most popular shoes: the flip-flop. Easily bought, quickly discarded, for Westerners the flip-flop stands as a symbol of the summer holiday. But in its African homeland, it has a unique life cycle and their story reveals much about Africa’s economy and culture. Gathered from across the shores of the Kiwaiyu Island, flip-flops are carved into dolphins, turtles and mobiles, fueling a new cottage industry which provides precious income for many families. Their children craft model boats from the rubber soles, making their own toys from the ocean’s debris.
The Greening of Southie. What happens when you try to build an all-green building in a conservative, blue collar community like South Boston. This often funny, but essentially enlightening film follows the project that is often stopped—or stymied– when closed minded construction crews and contractors start scratching their heads in disbelief. It’s a film with a very happy ending and a model of how to bring the Green message to socially and politically conservative working-class people. Just give them ownership in the process.
The Nuclear Comeback charts recent efforts to make nuclear energy environmentally friendly. With 27 nuclear power stations under construction around the world and 136 more to be commenced in the decade to come, Justin Pemberton’s film tours the planet’s most famous nuclear facilities to set out the arguments for both detractors and supporters. There is no commentary except for questions put to nuclear industry spokespeople and environmental scientsists, but the tour of Chernobyl is chilling enough. 58 min.