"Green Screens" Film Series
The Bucknell University Environmental Center's spring "Green Screens" film series began on Tues., Feb. 26, with a 7:30 p.m. showing of "Chasing Ice."
The Campus Theatre is located at 413 Market Street in Lewisburg.
The acclaimed 2012 film, directed by Jeff Orlowski, follows photographer James Balog's "Extreme Ice Survey," an assignment for National Geographic, in which Balog and assistants battled untested technology in subzero conditions to document melting glaciers in the northern hemisphere over a period of three years. Using time-lapse photography, Balog and his team captured striking images that ultimately compress years into seconds and show ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate. The documentary, its makers say, provides a first-hand look at the results of global climate change.
"Chasing Ice" has won 23 awards at film festivals around the world, including "Excellence in Cinematography Award: US Documentary" from the Sundance Film Festival and the Environmental Media Association’s 22nd Annual "Best Documentary" award. "Chasing Ice" had been one of 15 films up for nomination for an Academy Award in the "Best Documentary Feature" category, but it was not one of the five nominees. It was nominated, however, in the "Music (Original Song)" category for J. Ralph's song "Before My Time," performed by Scarlett Johansson.
An open discussion, led by Dr. Duane Griffin and Dr. R. Craig Kochel, followed the film screening.
"The Island President"
On Tues., March 5, the 2011 documentary "The Island President" will be shown. Jon Shenk’s film tells a story of President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives, a man confronting a problem greater than any other world leader has ever faced — the literal survival of one of the most low-lying countries in the world and everyone in it. After bringing democracy to the Maldives after thirty years of despotic rule, Nasheed faced an even greater challenge: a rise of three feet in sea level would submerge the 1200 islands of the Maldives enough to make them uninhabitable. "The Island President" captures Nasheed’s first year of office, culminating in his trip to the Copenhagen Climate Summit in 2009, where the film provides a rare glimpse of the political horse-trading that goes on at such a top-level global assembly. (On Feb. 7, 2012, Nasheed resigned under the threat of violence in a coup d'etat.)
An open discussion, led by Dr. Peter Wilshusen, Executive Director of Bucknell’s Environmental Center and David and Patricia Ekedahl Professor of Environmental Studies, followed the film screening.
On Tues., April 2, the 2006 documentary "Black Gold" will be shown. Directed by Marc and Nick Francis, "Black Gold" explores the international coffee trade and its ramifications for the farmers who grow coffee. It focuses on the coffee growers of the Oromia Region of southern and western Ethiopia, following Tadesse Meskela, the General Manager of the Oromia Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union, as he visits coffee-growing regions in Sidamo and Oromia, as well as a coffee processing center, a coffee auction house, and his union's headquarters in Addis Ababa. He also travels to England and the United States in an effort to promote Ethiopian coffee by eliminating the numerous middlemen. The film also includes footage of the New York Board of Trade, a commodity trading floor in New York City, where the "C" international benchmark price of coffee is set each business day based on supply and demand, and explores the effects that these international prices have on Ethiopian coffee growers. Other footage was shot at the first Starbucks and the World Barista Championship at the 2005 Specialty Coffee Association of America conference in Seattle; and at a café and the Illy coffee company in Trieste, Italy. These scenes stand in stark contrast to the footage of the impoverished conditions faced by the Ethiopian coffee farmers and their families.
The screening of "Black Gold" is sponsored by Weis Markets. Instead of a panel discussion, a pre-film reception featuring fair-trade products will begin in the theatre lobby at 7 p.m.
"Burning in the Sun"
On Tues, April 23, the 2010 documentary "Burning in the Sun" by Cambria Matlow and Morgan Robinson will be shown. Twenty-six-year-old Daniel Dembélé is equal parts West African and European, and looking to make his mark on the world. Seizing the moment at a crossroads in his life, Dembélé decides to return to his homeland in Mali and start a local business building solar panels -- the first of its kind in the sun-drenched nation. His goal is to electrify the households of rural communities, 99% of which live without power. "Burning in the Sun" tells the story of Dembélé's journey growing the budding idea into a viable company, and of the business' impact on his first customers in the tiny village of Banko. Addressing climate change, poverty, and self-sufficiency, the film demonstrates how a small-scale, local business model can provide jobs, appropriate technology, and empowerment to people everywhere. The film also explores what it means to grow up as a man, and a vision of what it takes to prosper as a nation.
A post-screening discussion will be led by Dina El-Mogazi, Director of the BUEC Campus Greening Initiative. (A public Renewable Energy Workshop will be held at Bucknell on April 27.)
Admission to the film showings is $2 per person.