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Q: Give us a brief introduction to the Green Film Festival’s general aims.
A: We partner with Transition in an attempt to raise ecological awareness in a manner that is both accessible and fun. Especially in today’s changing political climate, we think it’s so important to promote material with a pedagogical intent, considering the widespread effects of climate change and how little people actually know about it.
Q: What does the committee do in terms of assembling a roster of films? What makes a film suitable for the Green Film Festival?
A: We select full-length features for the main part of the festival from a broad range of approaches; the only general requirement is that the film explore environmental issues in an emotionally satisfying and interesting way. We also have a short film contest (deadline for entry is 3 February) with awards called the “Leafies” for particularly innovative entries. For each day of the festival, we’ve grouped films and concurrent events under specific themes, so the first day is “Consumerism”, the second is “Food”, the third is “Power”, and the fourth is “People”. Overall we’re hoping attendees will see how these smaller elements work towards a whole standard of complacency, and the festival will culminate in a panel discussion we hope will inspire more discussion and action in the near future.
Q: Who participates in this festival?
A: We’ve always been unusually lucky to have a large amount of local participation, sometimes more local participation and attendance than students. Equally, we’ve been working on involving the School of Film Studies in terms of acquiring expert camera equipment. Most of the committee is made up of Geography and Sustainable Development students, with a few Film Studies students mixed in. We’re a small committee, but deeply committed.
Q: Does it strike you as worrying that this material is even more relevant today than it was, say, a year ago?
A: Yes, which is why our panel will chiefly focus on the environmental impacts of, say, Brexit. We’re incredibly committed more than ever to seeing this material make a very obvious and loud statement.
Q: That in mind, do you have any plans for overall change or expansion in the future or are you generally more comfortable with the impact and coverage the festival has at the moment?
A: We’d love to see a wider range of international submissions, and perhaps a larger roster next year. This year we’ve had more student involvement than ever, which is something we’d love to continue, so hopefully the relevance of this festival will inspire more student participation in the future.
Q: Are there any particularly standout films you’re personally looking forward to seeing? What’s your favourite?
A: The first night includes a film called My Stuff. It’s new, out within the last year or so, and fits beautifully into the Consumerism theme of the first night. I don’t want to give too much away, but the general plot focuses on a person who packs all of his possessions into a garage of sorts, and only uses one per day. It’s an innovative concept that’s really well executed. As a committee, we look forward to the range of short films as well.
The St Andrews Green Film Festival takes place from 9-13 February, involving a series of feature length and short film screenings, workshops, and other invents committed to raising awareness about the environment. Students are encouraged to submit short film work to the festival as well, deadline 3 February.