Cher Gilmore | SCV Eco-Film Festival Coming Soon

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It isn’t every day that we have a chance to be entertained and educated at the same time. However, on March 9, the Santa Clarita Valley Eco Alliance is sponsoring a free Eco-Film Festival at College of the Canyons, which will provide a unique opportunity to enjoy learning more about the world we live in. Reeling from the effects of climate change in the form of recent Southern California atmospheric rivers, some of us may now want to learn more about how our activities affect the natural world. 

Six environmental films will be screened in two time blocks at the festival. In the morning, from 10 a.m. to noon, “The Biggest Little Farm,” “A Plastic Ocean” and “The Aqueduct Between Us” are scheduled to run. Each film will be followed by a short discussion/Q&A session about the film and its focus. For example, “The Biggest Little Farm” is the story of how Apricot Lane Farms, in Moorpark, came to be. It was a couple’s dream to transform 10 acres of land that had been farmed extractively for 50 years, and that dream turned into a joint 214-acre regenerative endeavor that reawakened the ecosystem. The discussion might include what a visit to the farm is like, since it’s in our immediate neighborhood, or where to look for instructions on how to regenerate any piece of land near you that needs help. 

“A Plastic Ocean” dives into and investigates the devastating impacts on our environment that plastic has caused — especially affecting marine life. The film also highlights innovative large-scale solutions to this problem, and the discussion might revolve around what we can do individually to reduce use of plastic. 

“The Aqueduct Between Us” documents the oral histories about water in L.A. County as told by the Indigenous people of Tovaangar (Los Angeles) and Payahuunadu (Owens Valley), and shows how redirecting the Owens Valley water to Los Angeles affected the lives of the native people of Owens Valley. The discussion will add to the history of the aqueduct, including the effects of drying up Owens Lake, and also outline the benefits of the aqueduct to Los Angeles.  

At noon, a food truck will be in the Honor Grove, offering vegetarian and other options for purchase. 

In the afternoon, from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m., films to be shown are “I Am Greta,” “The True Cost” and “Racing Extinction.” The first film is the story of teenaged climate activist Greta Thunberg, as told through fascinating, never-before-seen footage. It starts with her one-person school strike for climate action and ends with her sailing voyage across the Atlantic to speak at the UN Climate Action Summit in New York City.  An update on youth climate action since that time will be on the agenda after the film.  

We may not think our choice of clothing has an impact on people elsewhere, but “The True Cost” awakens us to the untold story of the people who make it and the environmental cost of “fast fashion,” which results in literally tons of discarded, poor-quality, cheap clothing on foreign shores every day. A question to be discussed may be, “Who really pays the price for our clothing and how can we make better choices regarding what we wear?”  

Endangered species are being harvested, hunted, displaced and sold around the world to satisfy the demand for exotic wildlife products, and it’s driving species toward extinction. “Racing Extinction” follows a covert team that infiltrated the world’s most dangerous black markets and uncovered the lucrative world of wildlife trafficking. Discussions may include species that are endangered here, and what we can do to protect these important parts of our ecosystem.     

The festival is a joint project of the SCV Eco Alliance, composed of over a dozen local environmental groups: the California Native Plant Society (L.A./Santa Monica Mountains Chapter), California Trout and Southern Steelhead Coalition, Citizens’ Climate Lobby (Santa Clarita chapter), the Community Hiking Club and St. Francis Dam Memorial Foundation, Eco Chicos Environmental Club (Canyon High School), Friends of the Santa Clara River, California State Parks (Hungry Valley State Vehicular Recreation Area), the Outdoor Adventure Club (COC), Santa Clara River Conservancy, Santa Clarita Organization for Planning and the Environment, the Sierra Club, the Sustainable Development Committee and Hands on Earth Club (COC), the Tiüvac’a’ai Tribal Conservation Corps, and TreePeople. Some of these groups will have tables in the Aliso Courtyard during the festival hours, with opportunities to engage, fun activities and free giveaways. 

For more information, go to www.facebook.com/groups/2610013549155670.  

Cher Gilmore 

Group Leader, Citizens’ Climate Lobby

Santa Clarita

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