Feature

Films that make a difference

Green Lifestyle

We chat to Daniel Simons, director of the Transitions Film Festival, about why you shouldn't miss these films.

Transitions Film Festival

Thanks to Transitions Film Festival you could win a double-pass to the screening of Surviving Earth on Friday March 6. For your chance to win, enter the code SurviveGreen at www.transitionsfilmfestival.com/win.

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What is the Transitions Film Festival?
Transitions Film Festival is a visionary festival dedicated to sharing films about the big ideas and groundbreaking innovations that will shape our collective future. We showcase cutting-edge documentaries from around the world and the local leaders that are creating an impact in Australia.

This year’s festival covers a huge range of themes, including: global art projects, activist-pranksters, food system revolutions, alternative architecture, ecological and economic sustainability, climate communications, sustainable lifestyles, big data and the quest for immortality.

How did it start?
The first Transitions Festival took place in Darwin in 2011, and since then we’ve screened in multiple cities across Australia.

After the bushfires, water shortages, global financial crisis, and the birth of the Occupy Movement in the lead up to 2012, there was a strong sense that we were living in historic times, and on the cusps of some sort of radical shift in the way the world functioned. We wanted to share as many stories as possible about alternative ideas and practical solutions to social challenges to help people feel empowered, and to ensure that society is steered in the right direction.

How is it different to other festivals?
There were already some film global festivals that focused on environmental issues, but none that specifically curated films about the broad spectrum of environmental, ecological, economic, and social transformations that were taking place – and none that emphasised the solutions to global challenges.

We've been hearing about the impending ecological crises since Earth Day in the 1970’s, but there are still so many solutions to global challenges that are being born and developed every day that not enough people know about. It was important for us to create a program that highlighted solutions and provided a sense of hope and optimism in the face of the multitude of challenges we face collectively.

What are the highlights of this year’s Festival?
We’re really excited to have so many filmmakers coming to present their films this year, especially Laura Nix with the Australian Premiere of The Yes Men Are Revolting, Amy Browne with Will for the Woods, Heidi Douglas with Defendant Five and Peter Charles Downey with Surviving Earth.

We also have a huge range of local heroes speaking, including Amanda Mckenzie from the Climate Council, Stephen Bygrave from Beyond Zero Emissions, Eyal Halamish of Oursay, John Wiseman from the Melbourne Sustainable Society Institute, Kirsty Albion from the Australian Youth Climate Coalition, Greg Foyster author of Changing Gears, as well as representatives from the Australian Conservation Foundation, Oxfam, the Wilderness Society, and the Foundation for Young Australians.

We’re also excited to have Dianne McGrath, who was just shortlisted to be one of the first humans to go to Mars, speaking on the panel after Just Eat It on Thursday 26 February.

What would you recommend Green Lifestyle readers go to see?
If you like fun an uplifting films, I’d recommend The Yes Men Are Revolting, Just Eat It, Microtopia, or Alive Inside. If you’re looking for ‘big issue’ films, I’d suggest Merchants of Doubt, or Surviving Earth. Or if you’re looking for new ideas or innovations that will play a huge role in shaping the future, then you have to see Immortalists and the Human Face of Big Data.

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Thanks to Transitions Film Festival you could win a double-pass to the screening of Surviving Earth on Friday March 6. For your chance to win, enter the code SurviveGreen at www.transitionsfilmfestival.com/win.

The Transitions Film Festival is running now until March 6, at various venues across Melbourne. For the full program, visit: www.transitionsfilmfestival.com.