Green Screen @ Sydney Film Festival

Green Screen @ Sydney Film Festival

If a Tree Falls

Credit: If a Tree Falls

8 - 19 June, 2011

The Sydney Film Festival (SFF) will take over the city’s silver screens with feature films, documentaries, short films and animations. Now in its 58th year, SFF is one of the world’s longest running film festivals. As part of the festival, Green Screen will showcase controversial, inspiring and beguiling films with an 'eco' angle, testing the disputed borders between what’s fact and what’s fiction. Don't miss the below Green Screen films at the SFF, all Australian Premieres, and all tackling the issues impacting on our environment with fresh and often surprising perspectives.

Single Adult $17; Single Concession $15; Group Tickets (groups of 10+) $13; Child (0-17) $10; Filmmaker Discount $13; Flexi10 $137; Flexi20 $255; Flexi30 $347.

Cool It

USA | 88 mins | In English
Director: Ondi Timoner | Screenwriters: Terry Botwick, Sarah Gibson, Bjorn Lomborg, Ondi Timoner | Producers: Terry Botwick, Sarah Gibson, Ondi Timoner | With: Bjorn Lomborg | Sales Agent: Content Media Corporation
Named by the Guardian as one of "50 People Who Could Change the Planet", Bjorn Lomborg is the controversial author of bestseller The Skeptical Environmentalist. Lomborg’s think tank of academics and economists, the Copenhagen Consensus Center, proposes to governments and aid agencies how they should prioritise spending to solve the world’s biggest challenges. Lomborg does not deny climate change; rather he questions our alarmist response while suggesting that other issues, such as poverty and malnutrition, are more pressing. He throws out statistics like an inverted Al Gore; for example, more polar bears are killed each year than would be saved by the Kyoto Protocol. Director Ondi Timoner, a filmmaker with a penchant for iconoclasts, as evidenced by her Sundance prize-winning films DIG! and We Live in Public (SFF 2009), travels the world with this cool and
charismatic Dane as he explores our responses to climate change.
Tuesday 14 June 4.30PM Dendy Opera Quays 2
Thursday 16 June 8.45PM Event Cinemas George St (screen 9)

If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front

USA | 85 mins | In English
Directors, Producers: Marshall Curry, Sam Cullman |Screenwriters: Marshall Curry, Matt Hamachek | Production Company: Marshall Curry Productions
The absorbing chronicle of a radical environmental movement and one of its members, Daniel McGowan, as he awaits trial for his part in the group’s activities. The Earth Liberation Front’s (ELF) shift from tree-hugging to fire-setting began in the Oregon forests. Peaceful protest was universally considered to be the best approach, but after legal challenges were belittled and the powers that be got more aggressive, some of the ‘greenies’ took a different path. Newly radicalised New Yorker McGowan initially acted as lookout while his cohorts set fire to a ranger station. The clandestine group went on to destroy properties across the US, although no one was ever injured. Some years later, they were uncovered by the FBI, who had dubbed them ‘the nation’s number one domestic terrorism threat’. This fascinating look at a modern revolutionary movement is directed with pace and precision by Academy Award nominee and Sundance winner Marshall Curry (Street Fight).
Winner: US Documentary Editing Award, Sundance Film Festival.
Thursday 9 June 12.00PM Dendy Opera Quays 2
Saturday 11 June 4.45PM Event Cinemas George St (screen 8)

Letters From The Big Man

USA | 115 mins | In English
Director, Screenwriter, Producer: Christopher Munch |Cast: Lily Rabe, Jason Butler Harner, Isaac C Singleton Jr |Sales Agent: Submarine Entertainment
The green wilderness of southwestern Oregon, the site of many environmental battles (see If a Tree Falls), is the location for this audacious narrative. Sarah (Lily Rabe, daughter of actor Jill Clayburgh) heads into the forest to conduct a survey into the impact of a major fire on a remote valley. With a backpack and a sketch pad, the athletic blonde tramps the creekside, revelling in nature and being alone after a recent breakup. Before long, however, her solitude is interrupted by a half-glimpsed figure, who is ultimately revealed to be a Sasquatch – the legendary American Bigfoot. Back at her cabin, Sarah becomes increasingly alert to the Big Man’s presence and sadly more aware that his world is under threat. Christopher Munch (Berlinale winner for The Hours and Times) tells the story quietly yet boldly, making full use of the breathtaking scenery shot with the revolutionary Red camera by regular collaborator Rob Sweeney.
Thursday 16 June 6.00PM Event Cinemas George St (screen 8)
Saturday 18 June 5.00PM Event Cinemas George St (screen 8)


USA | 83 mins | In English
Director: Laura Israel | Producers: Laura Israel, Autumn Tarleton, Stacey Foster | Production Company: Cat Hollow Films
New York-based filmmaker Laura Israel has taken a local issue and made it global, much like Josh Fox with GasLand (SFF 2010) – only this time it’s wind energy under the spotlight. The tranquil upstate-New York community of Meredith becomes fractured when the town board approves the installation of wind turbines. The board’s chair, a longtime Meredith resident, has already signed up with the wind company. Other locals, largely ‘blow-ins’ from the city, aren’t so sure it’s a good idea. The naysayers do their homework and soon uncover the negative impacts of the turbines and the debatable value of their energy output. Israel’s beautifully constructed documentary, winner of the Grand Jury Prize at DOC NYC, is both ardent and even-handed. It’s also timely, given that Australia is poised for a boom in wind power and our local media features stories just like Meredith’s from our own backyard.
Winner: Grand Jury Prize, DOC NYC
Screens with The Wind.
Friday 10 June 4.30PM Dendy Opera Quays 2
Saturday 18 June 12.00PM Event Cinemas George St (screen 8)