After a huge festival last year, the Environmental Film Festival Melbourne will be coming back in 2013. Our mission is to entertain and inspire our audiences with brand new films on environmental issues – not brow-beating one-eyed rants, but beautiful films that explore the complexity of every life and the decisions we make, in the hope that these can clear the fog of how we can tread more lightly.
Also, stick this in your diary: EFFM 2013 will run from Friday 6 September to Friday 13 September. Yep, Friday 13th, that’s right. The issues in our films might have a particular impact this year, because the day after the close of EFFM is the minor matter of the Federal election. Obviously we were in consultation with the PM in setting the date of the election, so we’re hoping this will help put environmental issues front and centre in the minds of more voters.
We are now receiving film submissions for our 2013 festival! We’re open to films of all length, of all styles, covering any topic related to the environment and how we interact with it. Full details on our homepage. Submissions open until May 31.
Finally, we’re looking for awesome organisations to help make the festival happen. Got a business you want to promote to an audience interested in sustainability? Get in touch with us to talk about sponsorship opportunities.
It was a fantastic week, and that’s the Environmental Film Festival Melbourne done and dusted for another year.
A massive thank you to everyone who came along – we hope you left both informed and inspired. If you plan on changing something, or getting involved in something, because of the films you’ve seen at EFFM, please drop us a line – we always love hearing about the good news stories!
A special thanks to our panelists who enlivened us with even more thought-provoking discussion after the films.
Here’s a few other bits and pieces for the post-festival glow:
Voting for the VicSuper People’s Choice Award
Once again this year, our major sponsor VicSuper is hosting your votes for the VicSuper People’s Choice Award. Cast your vote here!
By voting, you also go into the running to win one of three $100 vouchers to the biome online store full of goodies to help you lead a more sustainable lifestyle.
Audience vox pops
We tried something new this year: we wanted to capture people’s responses to our films just as they came out of the cinema. You can check out what people were thinking on our shiny new YouTube channel.
Regional tour October/November
If you live in regional Victoria, you might have a chance to check out a selection of our films in the coming months!
We’ll be in Yackandandah on October 5/6, then both Orbost and South Gippsland Shire on November 9-11.
We’ll be back next year!
Environmental problems seem to be getting worse each year. On the up side, this means there’s absolutely no shortage of people making awesome and inspiring films about those problems and how we can solve them.
If you’re a budding film-maker, or know someone who is, sign-up to our email updates through our website – we’ll be calling for submissions for EFFM 2013 early next year. And if you’re an enthusiastic audience member, get ready for us again next September!
One of our favourite parts of the festival is the conversations we get to have with experts in a range of fields after the film screenings.
The panel discussions help dig further into the detail, as well as giving a local perspective to the issues presented in the films. So, if you’ve got tickets to one of sessions that is followed by a panel, here’s who you can ask a question of:
Kelvin Thomson MP – Federal Member for Wills
Kelvin Thomson is a tireless campaigner for population stabilisation, for action on climate change, and for the protection of Australia’s beautiful and fragile environment. In 1996 Kelvin was elected to the Federal Parliament as Member for Wills, one of only two seats Labor gained in an otherwise dismal election result. Since then he has regularly recorded strong primary and two-party preferred votes.In 1997 Kelvin became a Shadow Parliamentary Secretary and in 1998 he joined Labor’s frontbench as Shadow Assistant Treasurer. As Shadow Environment Minister between 2001 and 2004 he was responsible for Labor’s adoption of policies to tackle climate change including ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, introduction of an emissions trading system, and lifting the Renewable Energy Target.Following the election of a Labor Government in 2007, Kelvin served as Chairman of the Joint Standing Committee on Treaties, which produced significant reports concerning Nuclear Non-Proliferation and Disarmament, the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change, and the sale of uranium to Russia.In 2009 Kelvin kick-started a national debate concerning Australia’s population with a speech to the Parliament in August and the release of a 14 Point Plan for Population Reform in November. Kelvin was re-elected to the Federal Parliament as Member for Wills for the sixth time in August 2010.
Associate Professor Peter Christoff – Melbourne School of Land and Environment (University of Melbourne)
Dr Peter Christoff teaches about climate policy in the Department of Resource Management and Geography. He was formerly a member of the Premier’s Climate Change Reference Group, and of the Victorian Ministerial Reference Council on Climate Change Adaptation, under the Victorian Brumby Government. He is currently Vice President of the Australian Conservation Foundation.Peter’s research interests include Australia’s environmental politics, climate change policy and environment movement, and ecological modernisation and global ecological governance.
Patrick Hearps – University of Melbourne Energy Research Institute & Beyond Zero Emissions
Patrick Hearps is a Chemical Engineer, with several years of experience working for ExxonMobil Australia. He is currently a Research Fellow in Energy & Transport Systems at the University of Melbourne’s Energy Research Institute. He was a lead author on the Zero Carbon Australia Stationary Energy Plan, analysing the feasibility of renewable energy to meet 100% of Australia’s energy needs. The Zero Carbon Australia Project is a collaborationbetween the University of Melbourne’s Energy Research Institute and the non-profit climate change solutions research and education thinktank Beyond Zero Emissions. It is the product of pro-bono contributions from dozens of engineers and scientists to collaboratively outline detailed, cost-effective and feasible solutions for decarbonising the Australian economy.
Mark Doneddu – President, Vegetarian Victoria
Mark has had extensive experience researching vegetarian health issues as well as the environmental impacts of a healthy vegetarian diet. He regularly develops and presents talks on behalf of Vegetarian Victoria regarding vegetarian issues, including the sustainability of a meat-free diet. As well as being President of Vegetarian Victoria Mark has been the Event Manager for World Vegan Day and is a regular guest speaker for organisations such as student groups and university clubs and has spoken several times at events such as the Sustainable Living Festival, Self Sustainability Forum, Mind Body Spirit Festival, Rainbow Serpent Festival and World Vegan Day. Mark has also been interviewed on many popular radio stations in Melbourne and Australia wide.
Dr Michael Crawford – Deputy Executive Director, Future Farming Systems Research Division, Department of Primary Industries
Dr Michael Crawford has over 23 years experience in agricultural science, working mostly with the Victorian Government’s Department of Primary Industries (DPI) in research and extension related to farming systems and natural resource management. He is currently Deputy Executive Director of DPI’s Future Farming Systems Research division which has 280 staff with expertise in animal and plant production systems, chemistry, soil and water sciences and landscape systems. DPI uses this capability to undertake research to support the dairy, grains, horticulture and lamb industries and to inform government policy in relation to soil, water, climate change and natural resource management.Michael has an Honours Degree in Agricultural Science from the University of Melbourne, a Graduate Diploma in Rural Resource Management from La Trobe University, and a PhD in Soil Science from the University of Adelaide. His PhD looked at carbon sequestration in soil and its implications for both sustainable crop production and greenhouse gas abatement. He also has an Executive Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Melbourne and the Australia New Zealand School of Government.
Dr Gyorgy Scrinis – Melbourne School of Land and Environment, University of Melbourne
Dr Gyorgy Scrinis teaches food politics at the University of Melbourne. He research examines the sociology and politics of food, agriculture and nutrition, with a focus on agricultural technologies, functional foods and nutrition science. His book on ‘nutritionism’ — a critique of nutritional reductionism in scientific research, dietary advice, and food marketing—will be published in 2013.
Kristen Whittle – Design Director, Bates Smart
Kristen Whittle is a multi awarding architect and urban designer. Educated at Manchester University in England, Kristen completed postgraduate studies at SCIArc in Los Angeles. He then went on to work with Herzog & De Meuron in Basel Switzerland, playing a lead design role on the Laban Dance Centre and Tate Modern Museum of Modern Art project inLondon.He is now design director for Bates Smart’s Melbourne office where he works across a full spectrum of architectural projects, focusing on deliberate, sustainable and tailor-made solutions for each client. He has worked with the Victorian Government on their new plans for Federation Square East and has recently completed the National Centre for Synchrotron Science in Melbourne. Kristen is the design director for the new Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne which recently won the 2012 Victorian Architecture Medal as well as numerous national and international health and sustainability awards.He has led the design of 171 Collins Street which is Melbourne’s first premium office building with a six star green star energy rating in 20 years. He has recently contributed to the national ‘Healthy Parks Healthy People’ and ‘Arts and Health’ Conference’s and has also been a design advocate for the Climate Commission on architecture and sustainability.
Suzette Jackson – Director, Innate Ecology
Suzette Jackson is the director of Innate Ecology specializing in design, research and strategic solutions for sustainable living and urban places. Her passion is in the transformation to sustainable communities of our existing cities and towns, through education, awareness and design from policy to community activation.She teaches Regenerative Design and Urban Ecologies at University of Melbourne and Deakin University.Suzette is also a Founding Director and the Executive Officer of the recently established Living Future Institute Australia, promoting restorative design in Australia.
Brod Street – Senior Policy Officer, Department of Sustainability and Environment
Brod Street and his family are celebrities as a result of their exemplar sustainable home alteration undertaken in 2001. Brod has written many professional articles on being energy and water efficient. The media coverage of their efforts, in print, radio and TV, at one stage felt like a full time career for the Streets. As a finalist in the 2010 National Save Water Awards Brod has offered others practical lessons and awareness in achieving high levels of resource efficiency. He is particularly passionate about green roofs and spends many hours perched on his own green roof in Hawthorn. With over 20 years experience in State and Commonwealth Government – dealing with policies on solar energy, energy efficiency and environmental assessment – Brod has been fortunate to take up residential sustainability at the highest level of government.
Dr Kate Brooks – Adjunct Senior Fellow – Research School of Social Sciences, ANU
Based in Melbourne, Australia, Kate Brooks is a social scientist focused on increasing understanding of social networks and circumstances to assess and inform rural industry planning options. With a focus on sustainability, in the context of management systems and policy, Kate undertakes social research, analysis and research management, across a range of industry sectors, including the fishing industry. Her work assists government and industry clients to identify and understand the social perspectives of blockages in industry or policy, and to create solutions that are economically and environmentally integrated, and sustainable.
As an Adjunct Senior Fellow with the Research School of Social Sciences at the Australian National University, and a consultant, Kate has seventeen years experience working with corporate and government sectors, statutory authorities and research agencies. In addition to her experience in research analysis, strategic planning, network analysis and project management, her key field of specialisation is in social impact assessment, social capital development, community networking and capacity building.
John Ford – Marine Research, Department of Zoology, Melbourne University
John is a marine scientist at Melbourne University who delves into both conservation ecology and fisheries management. He has worked with local Victorian fishermen, the Australian Conservation Foundation on their fisheries sustainability program, and regularly discusses sustainable seafood on “Radio Marinara” on 3RRR Melbourne. John is an expert on local marine life and has dived extensively in Port Phillip Bay and the Victorian coastline.
Simon Branigan – Marine & Coastal Project Officer, Victorian National Parks Association
Simon is the Marine and Coastal Project Officer with the Victorian National Parks Association. Simon has worked in environmental fields for over ten years in NSW, WA, Tasmania and now Victoria, for both non-government organisations and industry. His career work has included roles in policy development, on-ground project coordination, community engagement and campaigning. Simon has a master’s degree in Environmental Management from the University of Tasmania, where he was awarded the Governors Environmental Scholarship. He is currently a member of the Victorian Project Advisory Committee for the University of Technology Sydney and Australian Conservation Foundation’s Sustainable Seafood Assessment Project. Simon is an avid surfer and passionate about the future health of our marine and coastal environment.
EFFM 2012 is almost upon us! The buzz is building, and we’re getting pretty excited to get these films out there.
First off, a quick shout-out to our major sponsor VicSuper, without whom this festival would probably not be happening. Do yourself a favour and check them out for all your super needs. They take sustainability seriously, and we like that.
A few updates on what has been happening in the last week:
Four of our sessions will be followed by panel discussions, and we’ve put together some great minds to hash it out post-film – make sure you stick around to find out how to become part of the solution. More details on panels in a few days.
Remember there’s a discount for buying 3x or 5x sessions – contact email@example.com for details
We’ll have a limited edition EFFM 2012 t-shirt on sale during the festival – check it out on our cargo-bike-riding director below.
And if you just can’t buy enough tickets, and you can’t shout “I love EFFM” loud enough, you can also make a donation to support our work.
Looking forward to seeing you all next week at the Kino!
Science has proven that owning an EFFM 2012 t-shirt will make you 78% more awesome.
I had a great chat with Waleed Aly on RN Drive during the week, exploring the role of films and art more generally in challenging people on environmental and political issues. You can find the download and/or stream of the interview here.
Australians have all heard of the two-speed economy, but most have not directly experienced the clash of cultures, interests and values when the mining industry rolls in and flexes its politically-weighty muscle.
A new feature-length documentary, Bimblebox, takes a close look at exactly what can be won and lost, in the short and long term, through Australia’s mining boom.
Directed by Michael O’Connell, it follows the story of Paola Cassoni, a resident of Alpha, Queensland, a tiny town 500 km west of Rockhampton. Bimblebox Nature Refuge, co-owned by Cassoni, is an 8000 ha property directly in the path of Clive Palmer’s proposed ‘China First’ coal mine, which would become the world’s largest.
“This documentary was born out of the necessity,” Cassoni said, “to let the broader public know that our bush, our communities, our farms and our waters are going through a radical transformation.”
“It shows the daily battles and frustrations of ordinary people in dealing with both mining corporations and an indifferent Government. It’s more than a hint that we need a new direction in energy consumption both at home and globally.”
Paola in the Bimblebox Nature Refuge, Qld
According to Friends of the Earth campaigner Ellen Roberts, “If Australia’s coal exports are included, we are the world’s sixth largest carbon emitter. We need to start taking responsibility for the climate chaos we are exporting, as well as the havoc being wreaked in Australia by coal mining.”
Emphasising the film’s local relevance, Roberts says “Victoria is the new frontier for the export coal industry. Both Premier Baillieu and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson see Victoria as ‘the new Pilbara’. From Bacchus Marsh to the outskirts of Melbourne to the rich dairy country of Gippsland coal and gas companies are planning massive open cut coal mines and gas wells.”
Bimblebox has its first screening in Victoria as part of the upcoming Environmental Film Festival Melbourne.
Festival Director Nicholas Aberle says the film “encourages the audience to question the impacts of the mining boom on individual livelihoods, on environmental integrity and on Australia’s on-going moral responsibility for the coal we export.”
Bimblebox is screening at the Kino Cinemas on Collins St, on Sunday, September 9th at 4pm. The Environmental Film Festival Melbourne 2012 runs from 4th to 9th September.
We’re looking for a motivated, well-organised and committed person to join our team in a key festival management role.
Who we are:
The Environmental Film Festival Melbourne is an annual festival that uses film as a means to promote awareness and informed debate around a wide range of environmental issues.
Running for a week in September, the festival aims to cover topics as diverse as climate change, local sustainability efforts, population growth, the food we eat, the chemicals we expose ourselves to, and the tension between economic growth and environmental protection.
The all-volunteer committee is passionate about environmental issues, and is committed to making a positive contribution to society, rather than providing another one-sided view of a complex situation. Our efforts have been recognized through our inclusion as a finalist for the 2012 Melbourne Awards in the category of “Contribution to sustainability by a community organisation”.
Who we are looking for:
While we have many people who can help out here and there, and as some of our existing committee members move to different stages of life (kids, more demanding jobs, etc), we are now looking for a volunteer to join our team in a key festival management role.
Ideally, you will have experience or expertise in at least one of the film industry, environmental issues, or event management, and an interest in at least one of the others.
We think this is a great opportunity for someone from an environmental field to gain some practical managing experience in a different context, or for someone in film or events to find an outlet for their environmental passion.
Major tasks will include:
Sourcing content for the festival, being involved in the film selection process and liaising with producers of selected films
Establishing and maintaining professional relationships with existing and new sponsors, supporters and suppliers
Managing, coordinating and supporting other committee members with their social media, web content, graphic design, regional tour and marketing/PR roles
Assisting with the organisation of panel discussions held after films
Performing a range of event management administrative tasks, such as managing ticket sales, coordinating non-committee volunteers, etc
The anticipated time commitment is 3-8 hours per week from February to June, increasing to 10-20 hours per week in the final weeks leading up to the festival in early September.
Also, ideally, those interested in joining us for next year’s festival will be able to attend this year’s festival (4-9 September) to gain first-hand exposure to what we do and how we do it, with something of a behind the scenes look, to help them hit the ground running for EFFM 2013.
This is an unpaid position (like all other positions on our committee). Its for the love of it!
Please send your expression of interest, CV and a recent writing sample to:
This week we got some great news: we are a finalist for the Melbourne Awards in the category of “Contribution to sustainability by a community organisation”!
We’re really proud of what we’ve achieved in the past two years, and with another great line-up of films this year, we’re hoping to continue our (short) tradition of trying to increase awareness of a range of environmental issues, while at the same time entertaining and inspiring people.
We’ll be frocking up for the gala dinner in a few weeks, but in the meantime here’s what the City of Melbourne has to say about the finalists:
The judging panel for the City of Melbourne’s prestigious Melbourne Awards has today released its shortlist of finalists, following a record number of submissions for the city’s top honours.
Now in its 10th year, the Melbourne Awards provide an opportunity to honour and celebrate the city’s high achievers, recognising their outstanding contributions in the areas of sustainability, community and the profile of the city.
The shortlist celebrates both small and large-scale organisations and industry leaders, with subcategories to recognise corporations, community organisations and individuals within each field.
A special tenth anniversary gala event will be held at the Melbourne Town Hall on Saturday 18 August where the winners and Melburnian of the Year will be announced.
Lord Mayor Robert Doyle said he was delighted to see a record response for the Awards’ tenth anniversary.
“In this landmark tenth year it is extremely pleasing that we have received more than 100 submissions for this year’s Melbourne Awards. The program has really established itself as an integral part of how this city acknowledges its greatest ambassadors,” the Lord Mayor said.
“The Awards tell the inspirational stories of passionate Melburnians who shape our city and have helped make Melbourne one of the world’s most liveable cities.
“Each of these finalists joins a rich legacy of Melburnians and organisations recognised over the past decade, establishing events, projects and businesses that embody the energy and culture of the city.
The independent judging panel for the Melbourne Awards 2012 includes over 40 business and community leaders across a range of industry sectors. The final shortlist has been decided upon following thorough scrutiny of the applications submitted and a rigorous interview procedure.
We’ve got some stiff competition for the award: Friends of the Westgate Park (urban landcare), Spirit of the Little Black Dress (sustainable fashion), and the Sustainable Living Festival. Fingers crossed we get the nod, but if we don’t, it will surely go to a worthy winner.
Here at EFFM, we (obviously) like environmental films. We like watching them, we like putting on a festival so lots of others get to watch them, and we also like supporting those who make them.
EFFM Director Nick Aberle and Plasticized director Mike Lutman, rocking out almost-matching shirts, just after the premiere of Plasticized.
Almost two years ago, we came across a Kickstarter project to support a Melbourne-based film maker, Michael Lutman, who wanted to make a film about a voyage through the South Atlantic monitoring the amount of plastic pollution. We thought that sounded like a winner, so a few of us kicked in a few dollars, scored ourselves a gig in the credits and got a few other gifts in exchange for our contributions.
Jump ahead slightly to October last year, and Lutman’s film Plasticized was having its world premiere to a full house at EFFM 2011. Needless to say, we were pretty happy with how things panned out.
So when this came across our proverbial desks (we aren’t yet so glamorous as to have, like, an office, with, you know, proper desks – we exist more as a collection of computers linked by the InterTubes, and a PO box), we saw another great opportunity to support a cool-looking film.
One thing we feel has been lacking from the line-up at EFFM in the past is narrative films. ie. NOT documentaries. Academic research has shown that fiction, like The Day After Tomorrow, way-out there as it is in terms of scientific accuracy, can have a much stronger impact on people’s acceptance of climate science and their future behaviour than things like An Inconvenient Truth (although other studies show this was quite effective, at least at raising awareness).
The ability for a story to really engage people with an issue can never be overlooked. And when it comes to environmental issues, and presenting possible impacts, nothing says ‘engaging story’ like sci-fi.
Think about it – so many of our dystopian sci-fi films are either based on environmental disasters, and about living with the consequences of the decisions that lead to those disasters, or just living in conditions that projections suggest we are currently heading towards. Mad Max, Waterworld (tell me you didn’t love it), The Road, Children of Men, The Matrix… And of course most recently, Avatar was about as obvious as you get for the old conservation-v-resource-extraction battle.
Anyway, with a trailer like this made on zero budget, Vivarium could be a super cool film:
If you agree, maybe think about pledging a few bucks at their Kickstarter page (remember: your donation only actually goes through if they meet their goal and the film actually goes ahead).
You never know – you might get to see it (and your name in the credits) at EFFM 2013!