Fast Forward: Eco-film series tell the stories that need to be told

April 1, 2019   ·   0 Comments

By Constance Scrafield

They say the best way to press home a point or information for public consumption is repetition, because no one hears the message the first or even the fifth time around. With this in mind, the Fast Forward Dufferin-Caledon Eco Film series is running for its third year. All the films are shown at Westside Secondary School.

When the Climate Change Action – Dufferin Caledon group was formed in 2016, they were more or less aware of this common saying and, undaunted by what was being required of them, said, as did the founder, Nancy Urekar, “We can’t just sit back and do nothing.”

A few of them had heard about Erin’s Eco- film Festival and decided to do something similar. The Erin Eco – Film Festival runs from January to April and is in its tenth year.

“We wrote our mission statement to say that we took the responsibility to do what we could to influence change. It took some time for us to write that,” Ms. Urekar told the Citizen. “We thought if we have a film festival too, it’s a great way to tell people what’s happening and what we can do about it. So, we latched on to the eco-film idea. The Erin people were really helpful.”

She admitted that last year the series of films were largely about what has gone wrong, what defines the causes of climate change and how serious it all is. However, this year, they have sorted out films about the problems and the solutions.

They theorized that, although it is essential for people to understand how bad the problems are with global warming, resulting the climate change and what are the causes, these films send people home, depressed and feeling overwhelmed.

Films that offer solutions, things that people can do themselves and really feel they can make a difference by setting examples for others to follow. Gives one reason to hope the trickle up or seep upwards effect could take hold.

If hundreds of millions of people began to live sustanedly, to minimize their foot prints, individual efforts would begin to make a genuine difference. If, the next step up, farms smaller and industrial, changed their methods of growing and especially, harvesting, where now some 40% percent of what is grown is left in the fields, if all that was re-thought and changed to see how all of each plant can be completely consumed, there would be a startling decline in pollution.

For example, 60% of a cauliflower is its leaves, which are delicious and edible but  never come to the grocery store. Worst, if you happen to purchase a cauliflower with some of its leaves, you might be inclined to chop them off and waste them without realizing they are good to eat.

The upcoming film, showing next Thursday, April 2, Wasted! The Story of Food Waste discusses the problem, what is being done by many people and how it is possible to stop the rot. From farmers to chefs, many voices go into teaching by example and how that happens around the world.

In the section from the U.K., the mountain of wasted bread from sandwich factories, goes to make beer, which leads one of the hosts of the film to say, “Tackling waste doesn’t need to be depressing when making beer from wasted bread. Stop the bread from going to a landfill, make some beer, and have a party while you’re figuring out what to do next. The great collaboration between food waste warriors and craft beer makers in action.”

The film is depressing when it talks about the massive volume of waste of food and damage that growing food does to the planet. Then, is almost humorous about the very true solutions. In places, it is very uplifting.

The final film of the series, showing on April 23, is called Living the Change, also mainly but not entirely, about food, which accounts for about 30% of the earth’s green house gases. It too tells us that the quantity of the food we grow is sufficient to feed the planet’s burgeoning population; food is not the problem; there is plenty of food but our handling of it kills off the sufficiency.

Dark and light play with us in Living the Change, throwing us into the depth of disaster and then offering the way out and how people are already leading the charge.

“It’s about doing something,” Ms. Urekar said, “All the movies are positive. These movies are much more inspiring than the ones we showed last year, although they were good movies, but depressing. This year, people are going home to start doing something fresh with their lives.”

Wasted! The story of Food Waste is showing at Westside Secondary School, 300 Alder Street on April 2. There is a proper film room there with about 90 seats. “There’s plenty of room,” she said. 

Living the Change will be presented on April 23 at the same venue.

For both movies, the doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the movie begins at 7:00.

Each of the movie presentations is marked by being a bit of an occasion. Vendors who fit the theme with their products or the information they bring, are part of the events. Refreshments are served and attendees are asked to bring their own mugs for the beverages. 

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