Environmental film festival set to return

Peggy Revell

The big screen will be “going green” at the Townshend Theatre next week as J.W. Walker and Fort Frances High School host the second-annual Environmental Film Festival on April 27-29.
Featured films area students will have the opportunity to see this year include “Varmints,” directed by Marc Craste, “Waste=Food,” directed by Rob Van Hattum, “Flow” directed by Irena Salina, and “This Land,” which was created by the National Film Board of Canada.
“We were funded last year, but we weren’t funded this year so we had to fundraise for the rights to the movies,” noted J.W. Walker teacher Angela Petsnick, pointing to the hard work students have done to raise money through popcorn sales as well as selling purses they’ve made by reusing old juice jammer bags.
The silver collection taken up at last year’s festival also went towards buying the needed licensing.
Students in J.W. Walker’s environmental club also have been working to put together a presentation to show those attending the film festival about environmental “footprints” each person has.
And this year’s festival once again will feature film shorts that Grade 8 students at Walker have put together with the help of local filmmaker Andrew George.
“Our video was called ‘Trash Attack,’ and basically it was about littering, how bad it is in our town,” noted Keely-Shaye Douglas, explaining the video was filmed at the “really disgusting” high school pits.
“We hope that they understand that if you litter and you get caught, you could get charged money,” added fellow student Cassidy Lampert.
“And not only that, it’s just littering is really bad for the environment,” Douglas added.
“Our video is ‘Lights out,’” said Grade 8 student Riley Pollard, referring to the other short the students have made.
“It’s trying to encourage everyone to turn out the lights,” he explained.
When people see the film, he hopes they take home the message of “saving energy and turning out lights when possible,” noting J.W. Walker School itself has installed motion detectors that turn off the lights in all the classrooms.
“It was just fun overall. Getting to see yourself on the video was kind of cool,” Douglas said about the film-making process.
“We all agreed that our videos this year are better than last year’s,” she laughed.
While last year’s film festival was open to the public, Petsnick said this year’s will be solely for students.
But the public still will get to see the films made by Walker students as they will be posted online at the film festival’s website: www.wix.com/marmour66/Environmental-Film-Festival
This website also includes the student-made films from 2009, as well as environmental lesson plans and resources.