SMC Film Fest Promotes Sustainability

Colin Jones, Staff Writer

Environment was the focus of the One Planet Film Festival in Galileo Hall at Saint Mary’s College. Films were shown through September and November on Tuesday evenings.

Titles included Call of Life: Facing the Mass Extinction, a film exploring the rapidly decreasing diversity of species on Earth; Green Gold, a documentary about humanity’s efforts to repair the environment; and How Many People Can Live on Planet Earth, a movie on overpopulation. The free festival aimed to increase awareness about the environmental crisis the world is facing.

Introduction to Sustainability professor and author Kenneth Worthy developed the event. “I often like to use films in my courses,” he said. “Because sustainability really involves making connections with the community, I decided I should show the movies to the St. Mary’s community and community members from Lamorinda.”

Worthy believes that people will change their ways after seeing the films. “A lot of people will just be more aware and gradually become more environmentally friendly. But some people will seek political action and realize that we need to change the shape of our behaviors.” 

Worthy enjoyed the movies. “I have two [favorite movies]. The first one is the first film we showed, Call of Life. It’s a very thoughtful film about how the sixth mass extinction is happening. The other one is Food, Inc. It’s a very powerful message about where our food comes from.”

Some of the films featured familiar faces. The 11th Hour, a documentary about global climate change and what humans can do to help, featured celebrities from Leonardo DiCaprio to Steven Hawking to Mikhail Gorbachev. The aforementioned How Many People Can Live on Planet Earth was narrated by the famed Sir David Attenborough.

Along with movies, guest speakers sometimes spoke to the audience. After Call of Life was played, its director Monte Thompson came out for a Q&A with the audience. Addicted to Plastic featured Beth Terry, the author of the blog My Plastic Free Life.

“People need to learn more about how their lives affect the world,” said Worthy.