EarthxFilm 2021 announces film lineup for 5th edition (April 16-25)
Environmentally-focused film festival doubles up on daily
in-person and virtual screening presentations including Opening
and Closing Night selections of Sally Aitken’s PLAYING WITH
SHARKS and World Premiere of Clark Johnson’s PERCY VS GOLIATH
PLAYING WITH SHARKS, PERCY VS GOLIATH
DALLAS, TX – EarthxFilm announces ten days and nights of drive-in, outdoor and online screenings during this year’s hybrid edition of the Dallas-based environmental film festival. The Festival continues its mission to showcase films and emerging media that explore science, conservation, climate change, and the environment while honoring the heroes working to protect our planet. EarthxFilm aims to turn awareness into action through education, art, and media.
Opening Night for EarthxFilm will be highlighted with a drive-in presentation of Sally Aitken’s Sundance favorite Playing with Sharks, about the charismatic and groundbreaking diver Valerie Taylor, while Closing Night will feature the world premiere virtual presentation of Clark Johnson’s Percy Vs. Goliath, starring Christopher Walken, Adam Beach, Christina Ricci, and Zach Braff. Executive Produced by NBA champion Dwight Howard, this true-life story tells of a farmer taking on a multi-national corporation over the impact of GMOs on his livelihood. Additional film highlights will include an evening of Texas-focused films featuring EarthxFilm alum Ben Masters’ American Ocelot and Nicol Ragland’s Trans Pecos.
“Over the course of the past year, EarthxFilm has worked to adapt and innovate the way we present environmental stories and messages to the world,” said Michael Cain, Co-Founder and President of EarthxFilm. “With over 12 million views since EarthxTV’s launch in September, we have seen great success with our online presentations, and we are excited to safely share these inspiring films with audiences in a public space once again.”
David Holbrooke, EarthxFilm Artistic Director, adds, “While environmental issues have been less in focus because of the relentless news cycle of the last year, we know at EarthX that these challenges are no less urgent. That is why we are so grateful to our many daring filmmakers and planetary heroes who have continued their work to bring us essential stories that will inspire our audience into action.
The 2021 EarthxFilm festival actively supports filmmakers through the payment of screenings fees and facilitating audience donations to their causes. In addition, cash prizes totaling $25,000 will be awarded to filmmakers and through impact grants to environmental organizations showcased in the films.
A highlight of this year’s edition is Christi Cooper’s Youth V Gov. The story of a groundbreaking lawsuit filed by America’s youth against the U.S. government, asserting it has willfully acted over six decades to create the climate crisis. The film was supported throughout its production by EarthX via a filmmaker residency and financing assistance.
YOUTH V GOV, 2040, OKAVANGO: RIVER OF DREAMS
Additional highlights include the award-winning film 2040, Damon Gameau’s visual letter to his 4-year-old daughter, a vision board of how environmental solutions could regenerate the world for future generations; David Abel’s Entangled, about how climate change has accelerated a collision between the nation’s most valuable fishery, and a federal agency mandated to protect both; and Beverly & Dereck Joubert’s Okavango: River of Dreams, a film about the Okavango River in Botswana, seeing the animals and people that use her, as well as those who are victim to the changes, brought about by her.
Another focus of this year’s lineup are two Texas-themed films screening back-to-back, Ben Masters’ American Ocelot, about the endangered wild cats, and Nicol Ragland’s Trans Pecos, which looks at the issues of land and water rights in far west Texas. A group of animal-focused, family-friendly short films will include Ami Vitale and David Allen’s Shaba, about an elephant sanctuary in northern Kenya; Richard Reens’ Pant Hoot, about a genocide survivor transcending overwhelming odds to become a master chimpanzee linguist; Kaitlyn Schwalje’s Snowy, a whimsical look at a pet turtle’s happiness; and Dominic Gill’s The Linesman: Both Sides Matter, which is the story of one man’s mission to end the human-elephant conflict in Myanmar.
Announcements will follow with news regarding panels, music presentations, youth films, EarthXR and more. For more information please go to: EarthxFilm : The Dallas Film Festival.
EarthxFilm 2021 Film Lineup
Playing with Sharks : The Valerie Taylor Story” DRIVE-IN PRESENTATION
Director: Sally Aitken
Country: Australia, Running Time: 95 min
Most people aren’t thrilled at the chance to be surrounded by a shiver of sharks, but Valerie Taylor isn’t most people. A fearless diver, marine conservationist, and Australian icon, she dedicated most of her life to exploring the beauty of sharks—forming a sought-after underwater cinematography team with her husband, Ron, and even shooting the real sharks in Jaws. Director Sally Aitken captures Taylor’s enduring passion for these intimidating creatures and her unflinching willingness to connect with them in their element. Now in her 80s, Taylor reflects on her lifelong journey with the sea while sumptuous, remastered 16mm footage transports us to the mysterious deep and testifies to the richness of the ocean as it once was.
Not Trailer, but great interview.
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front (2011) –VIRTUAL PRESENTATION
Director: Marshall Curry
Country: USA, Running Time: 75 min
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front explores two of America’s most pressing issues — environmentalism and terrorism — by lifting the veil on a radical environmental group the FBI calls America’s “number one domestic terrorism threat.” Daniel McGowan, a former member of the Earth Liberation Front, faces life in prison for two multimillion-dollar arsons against Oregon timber companies. What turned this working-class kid from Queens into an eco-warrior? Marshall Curry (Oscar®-nominated Street Fight) provides a nuanced and provocative account that is part coming-of-age story, part cautionary tale and part cops-and-robbers thriller.
Percy Vs Goliath VIRTUAL PRESENTATION
Director: Clark Johnson
Country: US, Running Time: 120 min
Based on events from a 1998 lawsuit, PERCY follows small-town farmer Percy Schmeiser, who challenges a major conglomerate when the company’s genetically modified (GMO) canola is discovered in the 70-year-old farmer’s crops. As he speaks out against the company’s business practices, he realizes he is representing thousands of other disenfranchised farmers around the world fighting the same battle. Suddenly, he becomes an unsuspecting folk hero in a desperate war to protect farmers’ rights and the world’s food supply against what they see as corporate greed.
Director: Damon Gameau
Country: US, Running Time: 91 min
Award-winning director Damon Gameau embarks on a journey to explore what the future could look like by the year 2040 if we simply embraced the best solutions already available to us to improve our planet and shifted them rapidly into the mainstream. Structured as a visual letter to his 4-year-old daughter, Damon blends traditional documentary with dramatized sequences and high-end visual effects to create a vision board of how these solutions could regenerate the world for future generations.
Director: David Abel
Country: US, Running Time: 75 min
Entangled is an award-winning, feature-length film about how climate change has accelerated a collision between the nation’s most valuable fishery, one of the world’s most endangered species, and a federal agency mandated to protect both. The film chronicles the efforts to protect North Atlantic right whales from extinction, the impacts of those efforts on the lobster industry, and how NOAA Fisheries has struggled to balance the vying interests. Entangled, from the makers of Lobster War and Sacred Cod, won a 2020 Jackson Wild award, known as the Oscars of nature films. It also won Best Feature Film at the Water Docs Film Festival, Best Conservation Film at the Mystic Film Festival, and the John de Graaf Environmental Filmmaking Award at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival.
Making A Mountain
Directors: Rikke Selin Fokdal, Kaspar Astrup Schröder
Country: Denmark, Running Time: 51 min
Following the process of a visionary project that combines waste management and infrastructure with spectacular architecture and a recreational urban space. Bjarke Ingels’ prestigious project Amager Hill – the waste-to-energy plant with a ski slope on top.
Okavango: River of Dreams
Directors: Beverly & Dereck Joubert
Country: Austria, Running Time: 94 min
Drawing on Dante’s “Divine Comedy”, the story is told as a journey from Purgatory into Paradise, a quest for truth, for the soul of this river, the Okavango in Botswana, seeing those who use her, as well as those who are victim to the changes she brings, used by her. Floods rise up and transport trillions of liters of water, and yet, each droplet makes a difference. There are characters like Feeketsa, a wounded lioness that makes it against all odds and becomes a kind of talisman for the tale, a symbol of hope through hardship. The film is like looking through windows into stories and then moving on, until we reveal that each story binds us to the next, and to the river herself. It is also a symbol of hope against a backdrop of climate change that threatens every pristine landscape in the world.
The Last Horns Of Africa
Director: Garth de Bruno Austin
Country: South Africa, Running Time: 97 min
With unprecedented access, The Last Horns of Africa is a gripping and intimate look at the current rhino poaching war raging across Africa. We follow the journeys of two conservation heroes who put their lives on the line to protect the rhino in their care, all the while a top-secret, covert operation endeavors to bring down South Africa’s most notorious rhino poaching syndicates.
There Is a Place On Earth
Director: Ellen van den Honert
Country: Netherlands, Running Time: 73 min
There Is a Place On Earth is a feature length documentary exploring the role of artists in wilderness conservation. Dutch Filmmaker Ellen van den Honert takes us on a beautiful and poetic journey around the world where we meet artists/conservationists who share extraordinary creative work and a commitment to the environment. In the process we experience a unique, intuitive connection to the wild – and the necessity to protect it.
Director: Nicol Ragland
Country: US, Running Time: 64 min
Trans Pecos is a timely intervention weaving together the issues of land and water rights, while painting an honest portrait of what is to come if we allow oil interest to supersede public good. It is a cautionary tale meant to inspire people from every walk of life to take action and work toward change that can happen if informed citizens and those in power hold oil and gas companies accountable. A documentary that uncovers the truth in Far West Texas and one pipeline reflecting the beginning of the invasion of one of the last American frontiers.
We Are as Gods
Directors: Jason Sussberg, David Alvarado
Country: Russia/US, Running Time: 90 min
“We are as gods and might as well get good at it.” This is the audacious opening line of the Whole Earth Catalog, a compendium of wonderful tools compiled by counterculture legend Stewart Brand. A psychedelic experimenter, cyberspace pioneer, and environmentalist, he is now urging humanity to use our god-like powers to reframe our relationship with time and life itself. Today, Stewart is using biotech to resurrect extinct species. He and a team of scientists travel to Siberia to collect ancient DNA in an effort to make a hybrid Woolly Mammoth. Former allies in the environmental movement vow to stand in his way, but Stewart forges ahead in his life-long mission to conserve the whole earth.
Youth V Gov
Director: Christi Cooper
Country: US, Running Time: 90 min
Youth V Gov is the story of America’s youth taking on the world’s most powerful government. Armed with a wealth of evidence, twenty-one courageous leaders file a ground-breaking lawsuit against the U.S. government, asserting it has willfully acted over six decades to create the climate crisis, thus endangering their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property. If these young people are successful, they will not only make history, they will change the future.
EarthxFilm showcases films and emerging media that explore conservation, climate change, and the environment while honoring the heroes working to protect our planet. Our mission is to turn awareness into action through art and media. We achieve our goals by partnering with top environmental, film, and entertainment organizations across the globe. EarthxFilm presents year-round programs culminating in a 10-day festival, April 16 – 25, 2021.
EarthX convenes the world’s largest environmental expo, conference and film festival, and is a member of IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature. EarthxTV, which launched in Fall 2020 is a web-based platform for balanced, inclusive environmental conversations, programs, emerging media & films. Founded in 2011 by environmentalist and businessman Trammell S. Crow, the Texas-based 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization promotes environmental awareness and impact through conscious business, nonpartisan collaboration and community-driven sustainable solutions. Earthx2020 was held virtually in April and drew over 550,000 visitors worldwide. Visit www.EarthX.org or follow us @earthxorg on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.