Earth Day Texas and the local film community had its first environmental film festival called EARTHxFilm this past weekend. There were a couple of pre-screenings and events as well. An interesting look at community farming in Oak Cliff and South Dallas with the the film Where’s the Food? by Dallas filmmakers Beau Ethridge and Daniel Nanasi. The film, like the local farming projects, are a work in progress. However, it was an eye-opener to see the devastation in certain areas of the city but inspiring to witness the solutions to these food deserts.
The films were pretty diverse. For example, the Opening Night film was Chasing Coral, a story about the devastation of coral bleaching. In a green carpet interview, director Jeff Orlowski explains what this is. I also spoke with producer Larissa Rhodes and the amazing diver and young scientist Zackery Rago. Beware, though, there is a possibility you will fall in love with coral. Find this later this year on Netflix!
A special guest included the Academy Award winning director Louie Psihoyos (The Cove). His most recent film, Racing Extinction, is an action packed documentary calling out illegal activity that, not only hurts innocent people that get sucked into that world, but the actual world itself. I also interviewed race car driver Leilani Münter who is an important part of the film, producer Chip Comins and Oceanic Preservation Society member James Haddaway. Find it streaming on Hulu, iTunes, Amazon and Google Play.
Psihoyos’ next film is a documentary about vegan athletes. He gives an inside scoop on the research involved and some examples of athletes who are the top of their game and live a vegan lifestyle.
But really the star of the night (besides the environment) was EARTHxFilm founder Michael Cain for his vision and drive to bring these films to a part of the world where one would least expect an environmental film festival to be. Cain is also one of the founders of Earth Day Texas itself and the Deep Ellum Film Festival which then became AFI Dallas which is now the Dallas International Film Festival. Here is an interview with Cain and other individuals involved with EARTHxFilm, including Dennis Bishop and Janis Jolcuvar (education and development) and Texas filmmakers Tom Huckabee and Gabriel Horn (Carried Away).