The Earth Day Film Festival is a platform to showcase art and film projects of an Earth sensitive population. Our film festival runs entirely on Clean Energy with Zero Waste goals, holding film screenings around the world on Earth Day and throwing fat festival full good earth love and mind expansion in San Francisco. We match the action to the message.
Interview with Allen Myers:
Matthew Toffolo: What is your Film Festival succeeding at doing for filmmakers?
Allen Myers: As a filmmaker myself, I understand the work it takes and the value of the films for the creators. It’s important that we honor those who are the backbone of the festival: the films and their creators. We have partnered with Ro*co Films, an international film distributor who will be present at the festival to watch the official selections. Ro*co Films will also hold a panel discussion for filmmakers, describing the current climate of film distribution and steps to bring their films to the market. We have an industry mixer where storytellers- our filmmakers- can partner with environmental organizations. We have also spent a lot of time ensuring that our gift bags for film makers are loaded with great gifts expressing our appreciation. This is a holistic and growth oriented approach that I think any film maker would appreciate.
MT: What would you expect to experience if you attend the festival this year (2016)?
AM: One of our tag lines is, “Changing the content we celebrate and how we celebrate it.” We are not interested in the traditional regurgitated story lines that are being pumped out by hollywood and other avenues looking for a safe, money making approach. We are looking to be as cohesive as possible in a holistic approach to how an “Earth Day Film Festival” should look. We work to ensure our practices match the messages we share by using clean energy to power all of our screenings and maintaining zero-waste goals. We are also stepping away from traditional black box theater experiences and moving into environments that align with the stories we share. For example, we will screen a block of films around this years theme-Water- onto the sails of a sail boat in the San Francisco Bay. We will have a nature walk with a native plant specialist with filmmakers who will sharing their films in the forest. What you are going to experience is the future of how festivals will operate and the stories that will be shared. Its all incredibly exciting.
MT: What are the qualifications for the selected films?
AM: The main requirement we have established is honesty. Is this an honest film? This criteria extends to fiction films too. We select sincere creations, not something that is seeking fame or glory through the traditional channels. We are looking to share stories that inspire us to create a better world. We understand that an earthly experience is a broad experience and we welcome diverse interpretations. We are not set on “nature porn” as some might assume. Some of my favorite films are on the experimental side. There are several stages in this consciousness movement. First is awareness to the veil that has been pulled over us. For most, the initial reaction to this deceit is, understandably, anger. We get a lot of documentaries and films that present that voice. To appreciate films that call others forward into the journey, we present the “Activist Award”. The next phase is application, “what are we doing in our lives to create a better world?” We award this film with “The New Paradigm Award”.
The “Earths Choice Award” goes to the film that has aligned message with produced methods, meaning a environmentally low-impact film about the environment. As you can see we are not a traditional film festival and we are proud of that.
MT: Do you think that some films really don’t get a fair shake from film festivals? And if so, why?
AM: Absolutely, a large part of that has to do with safety. If we continue on the paths that other film festivals have traveled for so long, we will just keep getting more of the same stories and same results.
MT: What motivates you and your team to do this festival?
AM: We are motivated by the shared vision we hold to reconnect humanity to a planet that many of us might feel separated from. That it is somehow just a resource to use, where we believe we are the world and it is through holistic and intentional systems that we will be the healthiest and happiest we can be.
MT: How has the festival changed since its inception?
AM: Growing rapidly!
MT: Where do you see the festival by 2020?
AM: I see this festival continuing on the path that it is on and expanding all over the world. Part of our festival is understanding that a film festival celebrating the Earth should not be location specific; it is for the Earth as a whole! For that reason our selected themed films are open to people around the world who wish to screen them in their communities. All we request is that the films be screened with clean energy and that zero waste goals are upheld (meaning no one time use items such as straws, disposable bags etc). The main idea behind this event is to create a global collective consciousness movement, one that is positively directed and focused around themes of environmental remediation, global community and peace. We are excited about current technological developments around the internet and mass communication and would like to utilize that to affect positive action. This year, selected films around the theme of water will be screened in Los Angles, San Francisco, Vancouver, Mexico City, Madrid and New York. I see our awards like the “New Paradigm Award”, “Activist Award” and “Earths Choice” being as coveted as an Academy Award.
MT: What film have you seen the most times in your life?
AM: Probably “Baraka”
MT: In one sentence, what makes a great film?
AM: Honesty, a true unique voice.
MT: How is the film scene in your city?
AM: San Francisco is rough right now, it’s in a state of ‘pay to play’ and a lot of the artists have up and left for more supportive communities. This does make for great story telling and any artist will tell you that through trial and tribulations some of the best art is brought forward. There are several filmmaker groups and art collectives that continue to share the indy filmmaker voice. Merchants of Reality and the ATA are good examples of that.
Interviewer Matthew Toffolo is currently the CEO of the WILDsound FEEDBACK Film & Writing Festival. The festival that showcases 10-20 screenplay and story readings performed by professional actors every month. And the FEEDBACK Monthly Festival held in downtown Toronto on the last Thursday of every single month. Go tohttp://www.wildsound.ca for more information and to submit your work to the festival.