Hugh Mitchell Casey shares his excitement for the St Andrews Green Film Festival in its 3rd consecutive year and his hope that it will inspire people to act. 


 

Beats from FS bounced along the Scores and lapped across North Street to fall into many hungover laps on Sunday morning. So, where do we turn after one of the highest attended events on the St Andrews calendar? This week sees the Green Film Festival running in its third consecutive year, offering a wonderful chance to cast a glance further than the coastal parameters of this town.

This year’s festival is smaller in size due to certain time constraints, but four films and a panel debate still provide a vast offering—a plenitude of scientific, philosophical, and visual wonderments. The festival aims to ‘inspire people, showing that they can make a difference.’

Opening with Racing Extinction directed by Louie Psihoyos on Monday the 15th in the evening, followed by Just Eat It on Tuesday the 16th, the festival bears witness to some astonishing work. Racing Extinction received 7 nominations across different film festivals, including The Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Festival 2015. With Mother Caring For 7 Billion on Thursday the 18th, and Debate: COP21 Paris Climate Summit: Success or Failure on Friday the 19th at 5:15pm, the aim of inspiring people appears well within reach.

 

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Falling onto the pile of homogenised bow ties and heels is a routine ease in the proximity of an ever growing number of fashion shows that stop by every other week. Such freedom and choice is a fantastic way to create, inspire, or unwind, which I take no ills with. I must concede that from my own experiences it is a fair recognition that many events of a ‘green’ orientation melt many of the same crowds into a completely sustainable, organic composting mulch. Yet the main obstacle that smaller events face is how best to engage a wider audience base.

Nevertheless, awareness is living and breeding. Racing Extinction follows a group of activists pursuing human involvement in the mass extinction of animal species. The film investigates illegal trading of shark fins and manta ray gills. Whilst frustrations and despairs of some realities are disheartening, others spread hope and positivity that will reinvigorate interests in our planet. Climate change is real, as are obstacles preventing the implication of adaptations and solutions. Whether they can be realised or not is one of the questions that this week is addressing.

Forward looking and future thinking, this event demonstrates how important photo-journalism and documentary making is in communicating with the audience.

 

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Following Monday night’s screening, Professor Will Cresswell (St Andrews University, School of Biology) gave a talk about his own love of nature expressed through bird watching. This pushed towards the individual in the collective. The message is clear: become distinct individuals, take action into your own hands. One person got in touch with Mariya Simeonova (a member of the Festival’s committee) telling of their own plan to stop eating meat as a result of what they had seen and heard.

Start with one small thing. Stand with hope and celebrate success. Act so that we do not cry for something that we’ve lost, rather, we can smile for what we have.

The closing party is on Saturday, February 20th in Sandy’s. There will be musical performances by Milk and Honey, The Hummingbirds, Uklear Fision and many more!!! Be sure to grab a pablo and stop by.

 

 

Hugh Mitchell Casey 

 

 

Featured images courtesy of St Andrews Green Film Festival and Chirsty McFadyen