Green films will go red this year at the fourth annual Cinema Verde Environmental Film Festival.
The festival director’s Trish Riley said this year the festival concludes on Valentine’s Day, and that’s an opportunity to focus not only on issues involved with sustainability but also an environmentally focused life.
Cinema Verde, an education-based environmental art and film festival held will be held on Feb. 9 to Feb. 14 at the Zuzu Jolie restaurant in downtown Gainesville, Fla.
It reminds people to “lead an authentic existence that give you the opportunity for happiness,” Riley said.
The theme for this year’s festival is love for the planet and a sustainable life, Riley said.
She said the films will cover a variety of issues involving sustainability, including sustainable politics and government. Unlike the majority of the featured films, which focus on the environment, “Happy” and “Radio Love” will focus more on leading a sustainable, environmentally friendly life.
Riley said this year’s festival will include more directors, more actors and more of a local flair.
One such bit of flair is the world premier of “We Are Water” a documentary film directed by world-renowned diver Jill Heinerth.
Heinerth, a Silver Springs, Fla., native, has dived deeper into caves than any woman in history, and she’s just one of the many directors and actors that will be in attendance, Riley said.
Mike Sanford, of Gainesville’s Lunch Out Blog, has attended and volunteered with the festival for the past three years. He said he’s excited for this year’s film lineup.
“I’m not a tree-hugger or anything,” Sanford said, “I’m just interested in the uplifting films.”
In addition to film screenings, Cinema Verde offers a week of events, such as eco-art exhibits, natural resource eco-tours and workshops for festival goers.
“The [workshops] are interesting, informative and engaging,” Sandford said.
Sasha Alvarenga, a 20-year-old sustainability studies sophomore, said the festival, which began as a class assignment, has become something she can’t wait to visit.
“I went last spring,” Alvarenga said, “and because of it, I’m excited for this year’s festival.”
Alvarenga said she was pleasantly surprised to find a community of people who genuinely shared her passion for environmental issues.
After watching one of the screened films “Vegucated” last year, Alvarenga said she found herself inspired to become a vegetarian and what she calls “mostly vegan.”
“I’m looking forward to becoming more informed about environmental issues,” Alvarenga said.
Elle Newbold wrote this story for online.