Ecotopian Short Film Festival - Monday, Sept 10 from 7-8:30 pm in Beckman Auditorium

Ease of access to digital film technology and sites like Youtube.com have made the genre of the short film explode around the world. Come see three recent films that will stretch your brain to think new and differently about green issues of today!  These films also fit in nicely with this year's International Studies theme "Migration/Displacement/Belonging" and Human Rights Focus on the IWU campus.

We will watch the following three films:

"Pumzi" by Wanuri Kahui (Kenya, 21 minutes, 2009)
A sci-fi film about Africa in the future, 35 years after World War III, the water war.
Trailer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3elKofS43xM

"Seed" by Hugo Perez (15 min. USA, 2010) from FutureStates.tv
The year is 2022. After a decade of world famine and food riots, the Mendelian Corporation now bioengineers the world's entire commercial supply of genetically modified seeds. This comes at the expense of outlawed natural "heirloom" seeds, with their susceptibility to disease viewed as a threat to a stable food supply. The Mendelian Corporation's control of the food supply gives it great political clout, and it has used it to consolidate great power. Rural areas and farm country are now under a corporate marshal law, and the ban on "heirloom" seed has resulted in a black market, with "seed-runners" emerging to satisfy the underground market.

Young boys seeking to serve their country are encouraged to join the Mendelian Corporation's Sprouts youth program. The Sprouts motto "Duty First" indicates that the security of the food supply comes above all else, and that a Sprout must remain vigilant at all times. At 12 years old, Juan (Sebastian Villada) is completely devoted to the Sprouts, and to Sprouts leader and local security chief Dick Phillips (Yul Vazquez). Under his tutelage, Juan — whose mother died in a food riot a decade earlier — routinely uses his electronic "seed-sniffer" to secretly inspect the crops on neighboring farms in search of "bad seeds." On one otherwise average day, Juan is inspecting a cornfield on the Ballard Farm when he discovers a contaminated patch. The field is burned down and the farmer is arrested.

But young Juan is torn when he finds his father Mateo (Julian Acosta) in the family barn, meeting with a man he doesn't recognize. Juan suspects the two men are collaborating as underground seed-runners. Mateo is disappointed in his son's blind loyalty to the corporation, and Juan is conflicted about his suspicions regarding his father, but needs help making moral sense of this new world order. The young man struggles to juggle his alliances, and in the end, his choices may change his life forever.

"Mister Green" by Greg Pak (16 min. USA, 2010) from FutureStates.tv
In the disturbingly near future, Venice is submerged, Canal Street in New York City has become a real canal again, and it's 87 degrees in December in Boston. Catastrophic global warming has moved from theory to fact. At the Biosphere Climate Change Expo, undersecretary for the Department of Global Warming Mason Park (Tim Kang) informs the crowd of scientists and activists that the tipping point has passed, and that they are all at fault.

He tells them that the scientists of the world failed to create the necessary pressure, which would have allowed for the political changes needed to confront global warming. Now the Department of Global Warming has been defunded, drying up research money for climate initiatives.

That night at the hotel bar, Park runs into Dr. Gloria Holtzer (Betty Gilpin), a former graduate school classmate, and one of the scientists who will be losing her grant money. Park blames himself for failing to prevent the climate catastrophe in time, but finds comfort in Holtzer's arms. However, she has an ulterior motive. Park awakens in the morning and soon realizes that everything has changed.

Holtzer's ecotech company has developed an entirely new way to confront the challenge of catastrophic global warming — by changing the very nature of the human race itself. And Park has become a very powerful test subject.

Mister Green is a parable about change — both personal and political.

These last two film descriptions are from the FutureStates.tv Web site. 

For more information about the event, contact Sonja Fritzsche.  This event is sponsored in part by International Studies - African Studies.