September 29, 2008

Enjoy an Eclectic Mix of Earth-Friendly Films

By John Richardson

"An Inconvenient Truth" might have raised the bar, winning an Academy Award and all.

But there are a whole lot of environmental movies out there. And next Saturday, eight of the newest ones will be screened in Portland during what's billed as The Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival.

"They make you think. They make you argue," said Mary Cerullo, associate director of the Friends of Casco Bay. There also should be some chuckling, and even cringing, going on.

The movies will be shown one after another between 5 and 9 p.m. in the Abromson Auditorium at the University of Southern Maine. There will be breaks for food and drinks - organic, of course.

Here are a few picks from the playbill:

* "Gimme Green" digs into the American obsession with the perfect lawn.

* "Pollen Nation" travels the country with an immigrant beekeeper and his honeybees-for-hire.

* "Oil & Water Project" is the story of two world-class kayakers in search of big water who drive from Alaska to Argentina, fueled by cooking grease they scrounge along the way.

* "Grand Canyon Adventure" is the feature film of the festival and promises to plunge the audience into the Grand Canyon with intense rafting footage. This one has the most star power, with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. on screen, Robert Redford narrating and the Dave Matthews Band providing the soundtrack. It'll be introduced by Gloria Reuben, an actress, singer and environmentalist.

The longest film is 45 minutes, and all are intended to be family- friendly, as well as earth-friendly.

"I'm promoting it as cheap date night," Cerullo said.

It will at least be the greenest date in town.

Friends of Casco Bay is hosting the film festival as its annual fundraiser. The outdoor retailer Patagonia produces The Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival in cities around the country, although the local groups select the movies.

Other sponsors include Whole Foods, which will be donating free refreshments and desserts, and Peak Organic Beer, which will be offering its brew for a separate price. (The Portland Press Herald/ Maine Sunday Telegram is a sponsor.)

Admission is $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Tickets are on sale at Whole Foods Market in Portland, Cycle Mania in Portland, Bull Moose Music stores and the Patagonia Outlet in Freeport.

Tickets and more information also can be found on line at http://

Staff Writer John Richardson can be contacted at 791-6324 or at:

[email protected]

Read John's blog at:

Originally published by by John Richardson staff writer.

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