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Lights, Camera, EARTH!

Six films to be screened at annual environmental film festival March 6-8

Jeff Goodell, author of the acclaimed 2006 book Big Coal, will be the featured speaker during the Lights, Camera, EARTH! environmental film festival to be held March 6–8 in Mitchell Hall on the University of Delaware campus in Newark.

Goodell's book was the basis for the documentary film Dirty Business, an exposé of the coal industry that will be screened at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 7, as part of the festival. The film is one of six documentaries scheduled for the festival.

"Goodell serves as our guide throughout the film Dirty Business," says Adam Rome, the Unidel Helen Gouldner Chair for the Environment and coordinator of the festival. "He maintains a deep faith in American ingenuity, but he has no patience for the obfuscations of the coal industry as he asks the question, ‘Can coal ever really be made clean?'"

Rome will moderate a discussion and question-and-answer session with Goodell after the screening. Like all Lights, Camera, EARTH! events, the film and talk are free and open to the public.

Another highlight of the festival, according to Rome, is the film Breathing Earth at 7 p.m. on Friday night, March 6.

"This is just a gorgeous movie," says Rome, "and it's one that you won't be able to see any other way. It's not available on DVD or online, and it hasn't had a theatrical release in the U.S."

Breathing Earth tells the story of Japanese artist Susumu Shingu, whose outdoor sculptures reveal the movement of the wind with mesmerizing beauty. It follows the sculptor and his wife as they search for the perfect location to build their dream, an eco-village powered entirely by the wind.

All the films in the festival will be screened at either 4 or 7 p.m. and followed by a faculty-led discussion. Vimalin Rajivacharakul, associate professor of art history, will lead the discussion of Breathing Earth.

"In selecting the films for the festival this year, we tried to cover a wide range of subgenres, ranging from the exposé to the art film to the stunt film to the study of people in place," says Rome. "Environmental filmmaking has really evolved in recent years, and we wanted to show a broad cross-section of types. These aren't your parents' nature films."

Other films included in this year's festival include Carbon Nation (Friday, 4 p.m.), King Corn (Saturday, 4 p.m.), Garbage Dreams (Sunday, 4 p.m.), and Bidder 70 (Sunday, 7 p.m.).

The festival will close at 9 p.m. on Sunday night with the screening of the winner of the annual student video competition sponsored by the Delaware Environmental Institute (DENIN).

The theme of this year's competition is "A Personal Journey." The producer of the winning video will receive a $1,000 prize.

Lights, Camera, EARTH! is co-sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences Environmental Humanities Program, co-directed by Rome and McKay Jenkins, Cornelius Tilghman Professor of English, and DENIN.

For more information, including trailers, running times, and discussion moderators for all films, visit the festival webpage.

UDaily article by Beth Chajes

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