Posted on July 6, 2014Written by Maryanne Galvin
Our title REWILDING AMERICA: Lessons Learned from the Cape Cod Bear might suggest a singular focus on land dwelling wildlife. Nothing could be further from the truth. I toured with the film this spring, traveling to festivals across the USA, including two on the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. At the Fort Myers Beach Film Festival and the Boston International Film Festival conversation turned to our ocean dwelling friends despite the fact that both states have seen a steady resurgence in their black bear populations.
The day after the Fort Myers Beach Film Festival wrapped, I was afforded the opportunity to bear witness to local environmental efforts. Several of us partook in an eco-tour of a local estuary. Moments after embarking, just a few yards from shore, I caught my first glimpse of something I’ve never seen in the water. Basking in the sunshine was a gentle giant, the marine equivalent of a land-dwelling elephant. Off the coast of Fort Myers (and much of the Florida coast) lives the state marine animal, the manatee. This particular manatee seemed unaware of its immediate threat— the other humans and me.
Unfortunately, manatees live with a barrage of threats, most notably, boats and other watercraft. To prevent collisions, various activists groups are working to enforce slow speed zones where manatees live. My hosts told me that they have had much success with this, as many of the areas manatees frequently inhabit now have reduced speed limits
Back in my hometown, at the Boston International Film Festival, sharks were the focus. The Cape Cod shoreline has seen a burgeoning seal population followed by an increase in shark sightings. Sharks have faced many threats to their population. Though not exclusively an East Coast issue, one of the largest threats is shark finning. Every year tens of millions of sharks die a slow death because of finning. Finning is the inhumane practice of hacking off the shark’s fins and throwing its still living body back into the sea. The sharks starve to death, are eaten alive by other fish, or drown. Lack of regulation for shark finning and poor fishing practices result in millions of sharks being killed every year in legal and illegal fisheries, decimating shark populations around the world. In addition to advocating for more protections, Defenders of Wildlife and other like minded organizations work to present on-the-ground solutions. In December 2013, Defenders helped organize a shark identification workshop in Brazil as part of an international effort to cut down on the devastating impact of the fin trade on shark species.
You can help stop shark finning and save these endangered species by signing Humane Society’s “no shark fin” pledge.
We’re proud that our film has provided a point of departure for these discussions. Hopefully, the film has raised awareness of the many ways each of us can interact with array of species who call planet Earth their home.
If ocean dwellers are your thing, I invite you to join me next year on June 8, 2015, to celebrate World Oceans Day. Initiated in 1992, today World Oceans Day is coordinated internationally by the Ocean Project and the World Ocean Network, with increasing success and participation each year. Every June 8th this day honors the planet’s oceans, celebrating their intrinsic value and the marine life they support.
Maryanne Galvin is the director of Rewilding America: Lessons Learned from the Cape Cod Bear and Urban Odyssey
Posted on June 24, 2014OFF THE FLOOR is excited to announce its world premiere at the Manhattan Film Festival on Sunday, June 29th at 1:00pm. The filmmakers, Matt and Katie Celia, will also be hosting a documentary workshop about the editorial process of the film at the 14th St Apple Store on Friday, July 27th at 7pm.
OFF THE FLOOR is a feature length documentary about the emerging art of contemporary aerial dance and how it has evolved into a movement of feminine empowerment and self-expression.
The film follows the personal journey of one dancer, Jessica Anderson-Gwin, a trained hip-hop and modern choreographer with a unique vision of blending modern dance with aerial fitness. She forms the first ever contemporary pole dance company, Jagged, and with her passionate and visionary recruits learns what it takes to share an artistic vision with the world and bring one’s dreams to life.
To get tickets to the screening, please visit:
OFF THE FLOOR will be available at Dark Hollow Films in July 2014.
Posted on June 8, 2014by Rick Minnich, Director of Forgetting Dad
Films have a life of their own.
As filmmakers, we spend years researching, shooting and editing a film before finally releasing it to the world. It’s a process that often feels like it will never end. The whole time a huge question mark looms over our heads: What are audiences going to think of the fruits of our labor?
This is a question my co-writer/co-director/editor Matt Sweetwood and I debated often during the three years we worked on “Forgetting Dad” together. Sometimes when I found footage I thought was a gem, Matt played devil’s advocate and said: “That may be interesting to you and your family, but will anyone else care?” That’s not exactly what I wanted to hear. I knew that in making a film about my own family and the effects my father’s mysterious case of amnesia has had on all of us, we were walking a thin line between naval gazing family therapy and a universal story that would move audiences everywhere. Not until the film started finding its way around the globe were we certain we had reached our goal of creating a truly universal story.
Posted on May 11, 2014by Mariah Wilson, Director of Revealing Hate
I began filming Revealing Hate in 2004 with Stetson Kennedy’s interview. I had originally intended to make a film about the 94-year-old’s remarkable achievements in the civil rights realm over the course of his life. But instead of wanting to speak about what he had done in the past, Stetson was insistent on talking about the present-day status of the white supremacist movement. His focus on the current situation piqued my interest, so I started looking into it more and eventually chose to make Revealing Hate more focused on the state of right-wing extremism in America today. I spent the next several years putting together a documentary that tells the stories of those who prosecute, photograph, protest, and participate in these organizations… voices from all sides of the equation. Continue reading…
Posted on May 5, 2014Ending Silence, Shame & Stigma: HIV/AIDS in the African American Family will screen on Tuesday, May 6th at 7pm on the campus of The New School in Rm. 704. The screening will be followed by a discussion with filmmaker Kat Cheairs.
Zev Robinson be screening Arribes and Raices Valencianas on Thrusday, May 8, at 19:30 at Cinemes Girona C c. Girona, 175. The two films present an interesting contrast of two models of sustainability and the production of food.