Singapore to hold first crowd-based sustainability film festival

After the success of EarthFest at Marina Barrage in 2015, organisers want to bring another first to Singapore: the Earth Film Festival! On and around Earth Day (April 22, 2016) people all over Singapore will host private screenings of internationally-acclaimed sustainability documentaries as part of the world’s first crowd-based film festival.

The aim of the festival is to use documentaries to inspire people to create a sustainable future. “The future is full of potential.” says volunteer Earth Film Festival Director, Michael Broadhead. “Documentaries are one of the most effective tools at inspiring change. We wanted to take it a step further by having it be crowd-based so that families and friends can have a fun, shared experience that empower them to support and motivate each other.”

The festival also coincides with Earth Day, an international day of awareness for sustainability issues like climate change, deforestation, and pollution. The Earth Film Festival gives people in Singapore a chance to be a part of Earth Day.

Aside from being part of history by participating in the first crowd-based film festival, there are other advantages to the crowd-based model. First, the first crowd-based film festival allows the hosts to retain their own copy of the film. “After you leave a traditional film screening, you may never see the film again,” explains the Director. “With the Earth Film Festival, the host keeps a copy they can watch again and share with other friends or family. Instead of being in a room with hundreds of strangers you have no connection to, you are with people you are close to and care about. This gives everyone the perfect opportunity for important and thoughtful conversations that would never happen otherwise.”

The crowd-based model is more sustainable as all films will be distributed digitally instead of with physical media. Hosts will receive legal digital downloads or links to legal streaming versions of the documentaries. Holding the screenings at homes and other small private venues will save on transportation as people will not have to travel to centralised locations. It also saves on electricity as no large air-conditioned cinemas are used.

Earth Film Festival is built upon collaboration and thus will feature several documentaries picked by local sustainability organisations.

EarthFest Singapore’s official selection is Home. Through visually stunning footage from over fifty countries, all shot from an aerial perspective, Yann Arthus–Bertrand shows us a view most of us have never seen. “EarthFest was Singapore’s first comprehensive sustainability festival, covering many issues and allowing visitors to see links between choices and their impacts. Home is our official selection because it is similar in that it communicates the big picture with imagery that people never see,” explains EarthFest Singapore.

Connected Threads Asia’s official selection is The Cotton Road. The Cotton Road follows cotton from field to consumer, shedding light on the environmental and human costs of cheap fashion. “We chose this film because it illustrates how everyone is connected through the fashion choices we make. Being the second most pollutive industry in the world, the fashion industry needs to take responsibility and clean up its supply chain, but as consumers, we also need to question our passion for fashion,” explains Connected Threads Asia.

People’s Movement to Stop Haze’s official selection Heart of the Haze. When Channel NewsAsia’s Get Real documentary crew travelled to Central Kalimantan to get to the Heart Of The Haze, they uncovered something amid the devastation – hope and heroism. PM.Haze chose this film because it provides Singaporeans with a timely opportunity to remind themselves of the importance of respecting nature, a topical subject following last year’s particularly long-lasting haze episode. As PM.Haze explained their choice, they pointed out that, “we hope the documentary will help educate people on the impacts of the haze and hopefully motivate us to address this environmental catastrophe together.”

Vegetarian Society (Singapore)’s official selection is Cowspiracy. Cowspiracy explains why meat is one of the worst culprits in global warming and asks why so many international environmental organisations seem to ignore this crucial fact. Dr George Jacobs, president of Vegetarian Society (Singapore), explains, “We chose Cowspiracy because global warming is especially dire for our low-lying island country. We in Singapore must be leaders in the international effort to slow global warming. We cannot wait for others to take the lead, and our global food fame puts us in a strong position to be a world leader.”

Zero Waste (Singapore)’s official selection is Trashed. In Trashed, actor Jeremy Irons sets out to discover the extent and effects of the global waste problem by traveling around the world to beautiful destinations tainted by pollution.

Eugene Tay, Executive Director of Zero Waste (Singapore) explains, “This film is important to remind us of our waste problem and what we can do to achieve a zero waste future. In our current linear economy of ‘take, make, use and throw’, waste is waste. This is no longer sustainable and we can no longer use more resources to generate more waste. The alternative is a future of zero waste and circular economy, where waste is not waste but resources to be returned back to the economy or environment safely.”

Animal Concerns Research & Education Society (ACRES)’s official selection is Green. Follow the devastating journey of an orangutan named Green as her home is destroyed by logging for palm oil plantations. When asked about their film choice, ACRES responded, “Green cleverly illustrates ACRES’s advocacy of animals being sentient individuals, recognising that the illegal pet trade is a cause of animal cruelty. Similarly, many of our lifestyle choices can affect the animals as well. The film justifies our efforts in tackling the wildlife trade and promoting cruelty-free living in Singapore.”

“The Earth Film Festival is a fun, positive way to help inspire effective change while being part of the first crowd-based film festival,” Michael Broadhead emphasizes, “so anyone reading this that wants to be part of Earth Film Festival, we welcome you to become a host. We hope to tap into the power of the crowd and continue to help Singapore become the greenest nation on Earth. Together we can transform our future.”

The first Earth Film Festival screenings happen on and around Earth Day (April 22, 2016). Hosts can register their preferred film and screening dates at http://earthfestsingapore.com. There is no cost to hosts nor the friends and family they invite.

Inquiries can be directed to Michael Broadhead at hello@earthfestsingapore.comor 9731-4600.

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