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Filmmaking as a Tool for Conservation

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 23/10/2015 Kate Neligan

Filmmakers are gifted with the power of the moving image to enlighten, educate and inspire audiences and activate social change. One of the best ways that environmentalists can help to protect our animals and natural resources is through the medium of film.
The G2 Green Earth Film Festival brings the world these types of films. This weekend is the second half of the Festival and it's happening in the middle of Venice, California's trendy Abbot Kinney Boulevard, named by GQ to be the "Coolest Block in America." All screenings, panels, and events take place at the G2 Gallery which has stood out as a beacon of art and environmentalism since 2008.
This marks their third year of showcasing films that provide eco-conscious filmmakers of all levels of experience - students to seasoned professionals - a platform to show and share their work with other like-minded individuals and groups. Their mission is to raise awareness, connect people with great ideas, and support environmental charities with any donations they receive throughout the festival.
Tonight there is a panel called "Filmmaking as a Tool for Conservation" and I am excited to be one of the five panelists that will discuss why conservation films are important and how we can make them successful. Along with Michael Miner (Screenwriter of Robocop), Stefanie Brendl (Executive Producer of Extinction Soup), Jason Fitzpatrick (Executive Producer of Mile...Mile and a Half), Jim Cook (Executive Director of Western National Parks Association), we'll provide tips and advice to conservation filmmakers who are just starting out and need to consider different fundraising, distribution, marketing and networking opportunities. We'll also share case studies of what has worked well in this space.
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Following this panel is a screening of Planetary, a provocative film that provides a breathtaking wakeup call through a cross-continental cinematic journey that explores our cosmic origins and our future as a species.
For the closing night, there will be a screening of the incredible conservation film Medicine Of The Wolf. Showing at 7pm, this film chronicles the travels of filmmaker Julia Huffman as she ventures into wolf country to pursue the deep intrinsic value of brother wolf and our forgotten promise to him. Questioning the rationale of wolf hunts, the film features captivating testimony from world-renowned environmentalist and National Geographic photographer Jim Brandenburg, Ojibwa Medicine Man from Red Lake Nation, Chi Ma'iingan, and Dr. John Vucetich, Wolf Scientist from the Wolf and Moose Study of the Isle Royale.
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The Festival ends with a closing night party and awards ceremony with open bar, appetizers and live music by The Jonathan Rowden Duo.
All donations at the door will be gifted to incredible non-profits such as Greenpeace and Western National Parks Association. Sponsors include Firemen's Brew, Nature's Bakery, Divine Dips Ice Crème, Chipotle, Samy's Camera and Hint Water.
For the full festival schedule and more information, please visit: http://www.theg2gallery.com/g2_green_earth_film_festival.html
For curated short films about Planetary Wellness please visit Synergy TV Network.

OPTIMISM © martinplkang via Getty Images OPTIMISM

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