Westwood’s Fourth Annual “Green Screen” -- a week-long festival of fascinating and informative environmental films -- will kick off on Thursday, January 31, 2013 and run through February 6, 2013 at the Westwood Cinema, 182 Center Avenue, Westwood, NJ and at the Westwood Public Library, 49 Park Avenue, Westwood, NJ. The Green Screen film series is Northern New Jersey’s only environmental film festival and features six award-winning, widely acclaimed films not shown in local theaters.
As the festival’s premiere event, the new Sundance-winning documentary, Chasing Ice, will be shown for the first time in Northern New Jersey. Other films in the series, PLANEAT and FRESH, focus on healthy eating and sustainable farming; the latter’s free screening featuring a talk from Ramsey native and Blooming Hills organic farmer Guy Jones.
This year, in addition to the outstanding films, the Green Screen invites filmgoers to attend a pre-festival reception on Thursday, January 31st at 6:00 p.m. at Bibi’z Restaurant, 284 Center Avenue, Westwood, NJ where organic and sustainably produced hot and cold hors d’oeuvres and wines will be served. The pre-festival reception is tickets-only. The price of all six films plus the Pre-Film Reception at Bibi’z Restaurant is $35. All films are priced separately or are free. For a full schedule and pricing information, or to purchase tickets, go to: www.westwood.bccls.org and click on Green Screen.
Organized by the Westwood Public Library and Westwood Cinema along with the non-profit groups United for Earth and Pascack Sustainability, the 4th Annual Green Screen brings to Bergen County an outstanding lineup of award-winning documentaries focused on key environmental issues, from the undeniable evidence of climate change in the melting Arctic glaciers, to an emerging global sustainable food movement, to the hazards of automobile idling and plastics in our environment. Co-sponsors to the festival include: ClimateMama, Food & Water Watch NJ, and 350.orgNJ. The festival’s media sponsor is Community Life.
Chasing Ice tells the story of National Geographic photographer and former climate skeptic James Balog, who uses time-lapse cameras to capture glaciers in motion as they disappear at an astonishing rate. The film earned Best Cinematography at Sundance Film Festival and Best Documentary by the Environmental Media Association and will be shown at Westwood Cinema at 8:00 p.m. on January 31st. Co-sponsors Harriet Shugarman of ClimateMama, Aditi Sen of United for Earth, and Rosemary Dreger Carey of Pascack Sustainability & 350.orgNJ will lead a discussion after the film. Tickets for the screening are $10.
PLANEAT (72 mins.) -- The story of a search for a diet that is good for our health and good for the future of the planet. Through personal interviews with a top scientist, a leading physician, world class chefs and farmers, the film explores the link between diet and disease, and how our food choices contribute to global warming, land use and oceanic dead zones. PLANEAT will be shown on Tuesday, February 5, 2013 at 7:30 pm at Westwood Cinema. Tickets are $10.
Dear Governor Cuomo (75 mins.) -- This award-winning documentary uses music and cautionary narrative to explain the threats of the controversial energy drilling process known as “fracking” and to motivate people to rise up against the practice. With music-direction by Natalie Merchant, the film features actors Mark Ruffalo and Melissa Leo, environmental biologist Sandra Steingraber, and musicians Joan Osborne, Citizen Cope, Medeski Martin and Wood and The Felice Brothers. Dear Governor Cuomo will be shown on Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 7:30 pm at Westwood Cinema. Tickets: $10. Co-sponsor Matt Smith of Food & Water Watch NJ will provide information before and after the film.
In addition to the films shown at Westwood Cinema, the Green Screen Film Festival will feature free documentary films and opportunities for discussion at the Westwood Public Library, 49 Park Ave., Westwood NJ:
Bag It: Is Your Life Too Plastic? (78 mins.) What started as a documentary about plastic bags evolved into a wholesale investigation into plastics and their effect on our waterways, oceans, and even our bodies. Discussion after film will include an invitation to join the Bag It movement and decide for yourself how plastic your life will be. The film will be show on Saturday, Saturday, February 2 at 2:00 p.m. Westwood Public Library. Admission is free. Co-sponsors Pascack Sustainability & 350.orgNJ will lead a discussion after the film.
FRESH (72 mins.) celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system by forging healthier, sustainable alternatives. The film will be shown Sunday February 3 at 3:00 p.m. at Westwood Public Library. Co-sponsor Pascack Sustainability and local farmer Guy Jones of Blooming Hill Farm, Blooming Grove, NJ will lead a discussion after the film. Admission to the film is free.
IDLE THREAT (60 mins.) is an inspiring documentary film about one man’s resilient struggle with the NYPD to enforce a 38 year-old anti-engine idling law in order to reduce air pollution and battle global warming. Against all odds, he succeeds and in the process, gets worldwide recognition, and improves the quality of life in New York. The film will be shown Monday, February 4 at 7:00 p.m. at Westwood Public Library. Admission to the film is free.
Pascack Sustainability Group is a non-profit with a mission to raise environmental awareness and promote sustainable practices in the Pascack Valley towns of Northern New Jersey. For more information, visit www.pascacksustainabilitygroup.org.
United for Earth is a non-profit organization which with its subsidiary Kids for Earth offers workshops, earth fairs, and kids scouting programs that are designed to enable both young and old to embrace sustainable living habits. For more information, visit www.unitedforearth.org and www.kidsforearth.org.