The launch of inaugural Cape Town Eco Film Festival, an event showcasing local and international documentary films focusing on environmental issues.
Whether you are an environmental activities, conscious food consumer or animal guardian, there are plenty choices with 9 titles premiering in South Africa out of 24 film line-up!
Gasland Part II, sequel to director Josh Fox's Oscar®-nominated Gasland kicked off the 5-day programme. Gasland Part II speaks to the dangers of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a controversial method of extracting natural gas and oil. To bring the facts home, Karoo author and photographer Jonathan Deal facilitated a heated discussion after the screening.
As a passionate foodie, I was more excited about the second film GMO OMG. Director Jeremy Seifert embarked on a journey seeking answers - What is on our plates? How do genetically modified crops affect our children, the health of our planet and our freedom of choice? He first became aware of genetically modified organisms (GMO) foods when he became a father, documenting his frustrations as he struggled to explain the impact of GMO foods to his 6-year old son. This translated to fantastic storytelling and engaging animations, giving audience digestible, light-hearted food for thoughts.
I was shocked by glaring statistics:
"420 million acres of GMO crops worldwide"
"World demand for pesticides to reach $52 billion"
As it is often true with documentary films, I found myself pumping adrenaline, blood boiling, and ready to engage in action after a screening! I have just learned new information that can, and have, greatly impacted my life and choice as a consumer. Yet within moments, I find myself deflated at the seemingly insurmountable mountain ahead.
"What could I possible do to make any difference? The system is MASSIVE - there's NO WAY my action could make a meaningful impact....!"
And so, I engage in moments of heated discussions after the screening, followed by a shrug as I gather my belongings and head for the exit with other viewers. Within days, the shock factor will fade like this summer's ripe, purple figs: tantalizingly delicious, but mere short-term glory... BUT, what if this didn't have to be the case? What if my words can count, and my thoughts translated into action can make a meaningful difference?
This is when Google comes in handy. With a quick 15minute spent researching online, here is a list of ACTIONABLE resource you can use.
1.Want to learn more about GMO foods:
2. Learned about GMO foods, and is curious about how you can learn & engage in Cape Town:
3. Are ready to be an active citizen and exercise your rights to demand GMO transparency in South Africa:
4. Are fired up and ready to make your voice heard globally:
Wouldn't you want to be the change you wish to see in the world?
Imagine what a dent in the world will look like, if we all took 15 minutes out of our days to research, take action, and raise awareness? If you are in Cape Town from 27 - 31st March, be sure to check out the Cape Town Eco Film Festival.