PEFF 2011



Living Downstream
Thursday January 13, 4:30 p.m.
Directed and produced by Chanda Chevannes
Running time: 85 min.

Based on the acclaimed book by ecologist and cancer survivor Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D. “Living Downstream” is an eloquent and cinematic feature-length documentary. This poetic and character-driven film follows Sandra during one pivotal year as she travels across North America, working to break the silence about cancer and its environmental links.

After a routine cancer screening, Sandra receives some worrying results and is thrust into a period of medical uncertainty. Thus, we begin two journeys with Sandra: her private struggles with cancer and her public quest to bring attention to the urgent human rights issue of cancer prevention.

But Sandra is not the only one who is on a journey – the chemicals against which she is fighting are also on the move. We follow these invisible toxins as they migrate to some of the most beautiful places in North America.  We see how these chemicals enter our bodies and how, once inside, scientists believe they may be working to cause cancer. At once Sandra’s personal journey and her scientific exploration, “Living Downstream” is a powerful reminder of the intimate connection between the health of our bodies and the health of our air, land and water.

A discussion follows the film led by Mike Schade, PVC Campaign Coordinator of The Center for Health Environment and Justice,

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The Future of the Electric Car
Featured Speaker: Chelsea Sexton
Thursday January 13, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.

Join us for a discussion with Chelsea Sexton, unlikely car geek whose work on the General Motors EV1 electric vehicle program and passion for it were featured in the 2006 film, “Who Killed the Electric Car.”  Chelsea Sexton continues to drive the implementation of clean transportation and energy, leading the creation of the Automotive X PRIZE in 2005, and Plug In America, a leading advocacy group for plug-in vehicles. Chelsea is a consulting producer on the upcoming follow-up film “Revenge of the Electric Car” and she will include a preview of this new film, to be released in Spring 2011.

This program is co-sponsored by the American Jewish Committee and Princeton Public Library. 

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Presentation by Sustainable Princeton
Friday, January 14, 10 a.m.

Do you want to bike safely to work, install solar panels on your home or business or reduce pesticides on your lawn? Join this discussion to identify the aspects of sustainable living that are important to you and contribute to building a community roadmap to help Sustainable Princeton develop new initiatives and meet its goals for 2011.


“…And This is My Garden”
Friday January 14, 2011 at 12:00 p.m.
Prodcued by Katharina Stieffenhofer
Running time: 58 min.

“…And This Is My Garden” is an inspirational documentary film about the power of education to foster healthier lifestyles and to reconnect youth to the earth. Set in the small Canadian town of Wabowden, Northern Manitoba, the students are empowered with the knowledge, discipline and skill to grow their own food sustainably in backyard gardens.

The film follows the teacher, Eleanor Woitowicz and her students for a season of planting, harvesting, preserving, through to the annual Mel Johnson School harvest display and community feast.

Along the way, the students develop a sense of responsibility, pride and accomplishment and address issues of Community Food Security, Chronic Disease Prevention and Environmental Improvement.

A panel discussion follows the featuring Katharina Stieffenhofer via video conference, and in person Dorothy Mullen, the garden artist in residence at Riverside Elementary School in Princeton. They will talk about starting and funding school gardens and they share their experiences about drawing support for their programs.

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Communicating Sustainability: The Student Environmental Communication Network (SECN)
Friday January 14, 2011 at 2:00 p.m.

Directed by Shana Weber and the Office of Sustainability at Princeton University, The Student Environmental Communication Network (SECN) is a training program for Princeton students in audio and video production around the topic of sustainability. Podcasts and video works produced since 2007 are the result of SECN internships, academic course-work, and a summer intensive training program.

The objective of the SECN is to develop a model for student training that can be shared among institutions of higher education to document and distribute student explorations of environmental and sustainability topics important to them. Some of the works will be shared at the program.

Shana Weber, Ph.D., will share some of the films from the SECN


Talk: The Weather of the Future
A talk by Heidi Cullen
Friday January 14, 2011 at 4:00 p.m.

In her new book “The Weather of the Future” Dr. Heidi Cullen, one of the world’s foremost climatologists and environmental journalists, puts a vivid face on climate change, offering a new way of seeing this phenomenon not just as an event set to happen in the distant future but as something happening right now in our own backyards. Arguing that we must connect the weather of today with the climate change of tomorrow, Cullen combines the latest research from scientists on the ground with state-of-the-art climate-model projections to create climate-change scenarios for seven of the most at-risk locations around the world. Dr. Cullen will discuss her latest book and research.

Heidi Cullen is a senior research scientist with Climate Central, a nonprofit research organization through which she reports on climate change for news outlets, including PBS NewsHour,, and The Weather Channel. Before joining Climate Central, Dr. Cullen served as The Weather Channel’s first on-air climate expert and helped create Forecast Earth, the first weekly television series to focus on issues related to climate change and the environment. Dr. Cullen holds a BS in engineering and a PhD in climatology from Columbia University, and she is a visiting lecturer at Princeton University, a member of the American Geophysical Union and the American Meteorological Society, and an associate editor of the journal Weather, Climate, and Society.

A book signing will follow the program.


An Evening with Fabien Cousteau
A talk by the filmmaker and oceanographic explorer.
Friday January 14, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.

Fabien is the son of Jean-Michel Cousteau and grandson of Jacques-Yeves Cousteau and continues his family’s relationship with the ocean. Diving since age four, Fabien was irrevocably imprinted with an unwavering appreciation for the wonder, beauty, and importance of our aquatic ecosystems to sustaining life on this big blue planet of ours. He will share stories about his life and work, and talk about his organization Plant a Fish.

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PRESENTATION: Philly Zoo on Wheels
Saturday January 15, 2011 10:00 a.m.

The Philadelphia Zoo, America’s first zoo, rolls into Princeton with their “Zoo on Wheels” outreach program. Their staff will provide a lively presentation on conservation, endangered species, and environmental sustainability, and they will bring along bio-facts and a few live animal friends from the zoo.


A Simple Question: The Story of STRAW
Directed, produced and written by David Donnenfield and Kevin While
Saturday January 15, 2011 at 12:00 p.m.
Running time: 30 min.

“A Simple Question: the Story of STRAW” chronicles students’ efforts to save an endangered species. It all began in Laurette Rogers’ 4th grade class as a project to save the imperiled California freshwater shrimp, and has morphed into a regional science learning program combining habitat restoration work and community service. That class project is now the Bay Institute’s STRAW Project, or Students and Teachers Restoring a Watershed.

Partnering with ranchers, scientists, and government agencies, this remarkable service-learning project has led to the restoration of 21 miles of riparian habitat for the CA freshwater shrimp. In the process, it catalyzed significant educational innovations by connecting kids with nature and classrooms with community. The STRAW program serves as testimony to the importance of empowering children to transform their world, which in turn, transforms us all.


Play Again
Directed by Tonje Hessen Schei, produced by Meg Merrill
Saturday January 15, 2011 at 2:00 p.m.
Screening co-sponsored by The Waldorf School of Princeton
Running time: 80 min.

One generation from now most people in the U.S. will have spent more time in the virtual world than in nature. New media technologies have improved our lives in countless ways. Information now appears with a click. Overseas friends are part of our daily lives. And even grandma loves Wii.

But what are we missing when we are behind screens? And how will this impact our children, our society, and eventually, our planet? At a time when children play more behind screens than outside, “Play Again” explores the changing balance between the virtual and natural worlds. Is our connection to nature disappearing down the digital rabbit hole?

This documentary follows six teenagers who, like the “average American child,” spend five to fifteen hours a day behind screens. “Play Again” unplugs these teens and takes them on their first wilderness adventure – no electricity, no cell phone coverage, no virtual reality.

A panel of adults and youth from the community will lead a discussion after the film.

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Pandemic Prevention: Swine Flu and Other Emerging Infectious Diseases
Presentation by Dr. Michael Greger
Saturday January 15 2011 at 4:00 p.m.

Influenza pandemics, triggered by bird or swine flu viruses, have the potential   to kill millions of people. The influenza virus has existed for millions of years as an innocuous intestinal virus of wild ducks. What turned a harmless waterborne duck virus into a killer? In an engaging multimedia presentation, Dr. Michael Greger traces the human role in the evolution of this virus and suggests what society can do to reduce the likelihood  of such potential catastrophes in the future.

Michael Greger, M.D., is a graduate of the Cornell University School of Agriculture and the Tufts University School of Medicine, and he serves as Director of Public Health and Animal Agriculture at The Humane Society of the United States.


Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home
Directed by Jenny Stein and produced by James LaVeck
Saturday January 15, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
Running time: 95 min.

“Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home” explores the awakening conscience of several people who grew up in traditional farming culture and have come to question the basic assumptions of their inherited way of life.

This documentary features strikingly honest interviews and rare footage demonstrating the emotional lives and intense family bonds of animals most often viewed as living commodities and shatters changing experience,” “Peaceable Kingdom: The Journey Home” shatters stereotypical notions of farmers, farm life, and perhaps most surprisingly, farm animals themselves.

Q&A follows film with filmmakers Jenny Stein and James LaVeck and and film subject Harold Brown.

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Better Bones and Gardens
Directed by Natalie Elder and Lindsey Clark
Sunday January 16, 2011 at 11:00 a.m.
Running time: 25 min.

“Better Bones and Gardens” explores the quirky projects of Dan Phillips, a trash architect. and Kipp Nash, an urban farmer. These men are remaking the common house and garden in wildly imaginative ways. Discarded cattle bones, wine corks, DVDs, and bottle caps are used as building materials for homes, while manicured grass lawns are transformed into lush nutritious gardens. While these projects may sound a little strange, Kipp Nash and Dan Phillips show that by following their passion for building and gardening, they can help people save money and keep our planet a little cleaner.


Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio
Directed by Sam Wainwright Douglas
Sunday January 16, 2011 at 11:30 a.m.
Running time: 60 min.

In 1993 the late architect and MacArthur Genius Samuel Mockbee started the Rural Studio, a design/build education program, in which students create striking architecture for impoverished communities in rural Alabama. Guided by frank, passionate interviews with Mockbee, Citizen Architect: Samuel Mockbee and the Spirit of the Rural Studio shows how a group of students use their creativity, ingenuity and compassion to craft a home for their charismatic client, Jimmie Lee Matthews, known to locals as Music Man because of his zeal for old R&B and Soul records.

The film reveals that the Rural Studio is about more than architecture and building. Mockbee’s program provides students with an experience that forever inspires them to consider how they can use their skills to better their communities. Interviews with Mockbee’s peers and scenes with those he’s influenced infuse the film with a larger discussion of architecture’s role in issues of poverty, class, race, education, social change and citizenship.

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The screenings will be followed by a talk by David E. Cohen, AIA, DEC Architect, Princeton, NJ.


I Bought a Rainforest
Directed by Jacob Andrn & Helena Nygren
Sunday January 16, 2011 at 1:30 p.m.
Running time: 58 min.

Jacob Andrn, an ordinary kid going to school in Sweden the 80’s, was, as at many schools in the western world, involved in fundraising actions to “save the rainforest”. Their teachers urged them to help by “buying a tree”. Now a grown up young man he is wondering about what happened to all those trees that he and his classmates bought with the money they made by selling stuff on the flea market. He remembers getting a certificate, but that was 20 years ago. Jacob decides to buy a plane ticket to try to find his tree and to find out if their effort did make a difference.

He starts with looking for the old certificate but it is hard to trace. While searching, he learns that over 400,000 Swedish kids did buy trees in the rainforest as well, and even more kids in other countries. But is that forest of 20 years ago still there? And where? And what threats are these forests facing today. Jacob wants to find the answers.

He manages to find his old teacher from primary school, who tells him the forest he helped saving is in Costa Rica. She tells him that the forest was to be protected forever, but she is only a teacher and cannot promise him that it is still there. This is when Jacob decides to go tracing his trees and find the truth. “I Bought a Rainforest” shows that individual action can make a difference, it is at the same time a reflection on the freedom of childhood and about using that inspiration to make a change.

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A Q&A follows the screening via video conference with filmmaker Jacob Andrn.


Jane’s Journey
Directed by Lorenz Knauer
Sunday January 16, 2011 at 4:00 p.m.
Running time: 107 min.

More than 20 years ago, Dr. Jane Goodall, now 75, decided to give up her career as a primatologist, as well as her private life, in order to devote her entire energy to saving our endangered planet. Since then she’s been spending 300 days a year scouring the globe on her mission to spread hope for future generations. She has taken on the responsibilities of a UN Messenger of Peace, has been honoured with countless awards, was appointed “Dame of the British Empire” and was even admitted to the “Lgion d’Honneur”, the highest decoration of France.

In “Jane’s Journey”, we accompany her on her travels across several continents, with unprecedented access to her intense and exciting past. From her childhood home in Bournemouth, England, we embark to ‘Gombe National Park’ on the shores of Lake Tanganyika, in Tanzania, her second home. This is where she began her groundbreaking research nearly half a century ago, and where to this day she still returns every year to enjoy the company of the chimpanzees that made her the internationally recognized activist so loved and deeply respected. “Jane’s Journey” is an intimate portrait of the private person behind theworld-famous icon – an exceptional woman, possibly the most fascinating woman of our time, whose scientific breakthroughs are considered to be among the most important of the past 100 years.

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Solutions for a Clean Energy Economy: A Talk by Van Jones
Sunday January 16, 2011 at 6:00 p.m.

Van Jones is the founder of Green For All, the national organization working to get green jobs to disadvantaged communities. He was the main advocate for the Green Jobs Act, which George W. Bush signed into law in 2007. The Act was the first piece of federal legislation to codify the term “green jobs.” Under the Obama administration, it has resulted in $500 million for green job training nationally.

Globally recognized, award-winning pioneer in human rights and the clean-energy economy, Van is a co-founder of three successful non-profit organizations: the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights, Color of Change and Green For All. He is the best-selling author of the definitive book on green jobs, “The Green-Collar Economy.” He served as the green jobs advisor in the Obama White House in 2009.

Van is currently a senior fellow at the Center For American Progress. Additionally, he is a senior policy advisor at Green For All.

Van also holds a joint appointment at Princeton University, as a distinguished visiting fellow in both the Center for African American Studies and in the Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

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The Farmer and the Horse
Directed by Jared Flesher
Tuesday January 18, 2011 at 12:00 p.m.
Running time: 76 min.

In New Jersey, land of “The Sopranos,” “Jersey Shore,” and the Turnpike, farmland is more expensive than almost anywhere else. It’s not an easy place to try to start a career as a farmer. But for a new generation of farmers inspired by sustainability, everything seems possible, even a farm powered by draft horses. Follow filmmaker Jared Flesher as he follows farmers Tom, Matt, and Aubrey out of the suburbs and back to the land. Way back.

A Q&A follows the screening with filmmaker Jared Flesher, and Tom Paduano, one of the farmers featured in the film.

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A Tree Grows in Trenton
Directed by Jenny Chiurco
Tuesday January 18, 2011 at 2:00 p.m.
Running time: 30 min.

“A Tree Grows in Trenton’” is a short documentary on a tree-planting program in New Jersey called the “Cool Cities Initiative.”  Tree planting is a low-cost, low-tech way to fight many environmental problems facing our cities today. The film explains how tree planting in urban centers can reduce energy costs from 20 to 50 percent, as well as reduce air pollution and urban development. At the same time, it serves to raise real estate prices, beautify neighborhoods, and make people feel good about where they live. Trenton serves as an example for how successful this program has been and how the trees have affected the city and its residents in very positive ways.

A Q&A will follow the screening with filmmaker Jenny Chiurco.


A Murder of Crows
Directed by Susan Fleming
Tuesday January 18, 2011 at 4:00 p.m.
Running time: 60 min.

Crows live everywhere in the world except Antarctica and are a part of myths and legends in many cultures. Their reputation in the stories varies from comical to frightening, godlike or wise, bringers of light and bringers of death, though a “murder” of crows refers to a flock of crows, and not to anything murderous, at all. They may be all these things, but the film examines that what we are learning is that they are especially smart.

New research has shown that crows are among the most intelligent animals on the planet. They use tools as only elephants and chimpanzees do, and recognize 250 distinct calls. One particular talent they have been discovered to possess is the ability to recognize individual human faces and pick them out of a crowd up to two years later – a trick that might make even Hitchcock shiver with fright.

They thrive wherever people live and have used their great intelligence to adapt again and again to a constantly changing world. Some memorize garbage truck routes, and follow the feast from day to day. Others drop nuts in the road and wait for passing cars to crack them open. And some build their nests from items we throw away – like wire clothes hangers.

These are social birds that mate for life and raise their young for up to five years. And they learn from each other’s misfortunes. When one is killed in a farmer’s field, it’s not uncommon for them to change entire migratory patterns so that no crows fly over that field for as long as two years.

These birds might have a scary reputation, but what may prove to be the scariest thing about them is how much they know about us, and how little we know about them.

Presented in partnership with PBS NATURE.

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Migratory Birds and Shade Grown Coffee
Directed by Marshal T. Case, Elisabeth N. Radow, Samuel Orr
Tuesday January 18, 2011 at 6:00 p.m.
Running time: 12 min.

Americans consume 400 million cups of coffee a day! This short film explores the relationship between migratory bird species and the benefits to its species protection and the positive impact on its habitat and the environment by growing coffee in the shade.


The Commoners
Directed by Jessica Bardsley
Tuesday January 18, 2011 at 6:30 p.m.
Running time: 17 min.

In 1890, one man attempted to release every bird ever mentioned by William Shakespeare into Central Park. The only bird to survive in the New World was the European Starling, now among the commonest – and most despised – birds in America.  “The Commoners” is an essay film about European Starlings, poetry, the rhetorical relationship between nationalism and environmentalism, and the paths people forge through history as they attempt to improve the natural world.

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The Olmsted Legacy?
Directed by Rebecca Messner; Executive Producer Mike Messner
Tuesday January 18, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
Running time: 60 min.

“The Olmsted Legacy” examines the formation of America’s first great city parks in the late 19th century through the enigmatic eyes of Frederick Law Olmsted (1822 – 1903), visionary urban planner and landscape architect. 151 years after Frederick Law Olmsted designed New York City’s Central Park with Calvert Vaux, it remains an undisputed haven of tranquility amidst one of the largest, tallest, and most unnatural places on earth.

With incredible foresight that spanned centuries, Olmsted brought nourishing green spaces to New York, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Atlanta, Louisville, and dozens of other US cities. Throughout his working life, Olmsted and his firm carried out over 500 commissions, nearly 100 of which were public parks. The parks, he held, were to be vital democratic spaces in cities, where citizens from all walks of life could intermingle and be refreshed. In large part through Olmsted’s own words, the film features the voices of Kevin Kline and Kerry Washington, to weave together his engaging and poignant personal story with those of the lasting masterpieces he left for us today.

The film will be followed by a Q&A with its executive producer?Mike Messner, a co-founder with his wife, Jenny, of The Speedwell Foundation, sponsor of The Olmsted Legacy. He is currently spearheading a nationwide initiative, to bring more green space into our cities.

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Geospatial Revolution
Directed by Stephen Stept; Produced and Co-Directed by Stephanie Ayanian and Cheraine Stanford, Penn State Public Broadcasting.
Wednesday January 19, 2011 at 2:00 p.m.

Geospatial information influences nearly everything. Seamless layers of satellites, surveillance, and location-based technologies create a worldwide geographic knowledge base vital to solving myriad social and environmental problems in the interconnected global community. The Geospatial Revolution Project is an integrated public service media and outreach initiative about the world of digital mapping and how it is changing the way we think, behave, and interact. The Geospatial Revolution Project also offers companion

K-16 learning materials. “The location of anything is becoming everything.” The first 2 episodes of the program will be screened.

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A Road Not Taken
Directed and produced by Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller
Wednesday January 19, 2011 at 4:00 p.m.
Running time: 66 min.

In 1979, Jimmy Carter, in a visionary move, installed solar panels on the roof of the White House. This symbolic installation was taken down in 1986 during the Reagan presidency. In 1991, Unity College, an environmentally-minded center of learning in Maine acquired the panels and later installed them on their cafeteria roof. In “A Road Not Taken” Swiss artists Christina Hemauer and Roman Keller travel back in time in this documentary essay, following the route the solar panels took, interview those involved in the decisions regarding these panels as well as those involved in the oil crisis of the 1970’s They also look closely at the way this initial installation presaged our own era.

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Carbon Nation
Directed by Peter Byck; Produced by Peter Byck, Craig Sieben, Karen Weigert, Artemis Joukowsky & Chrisna van Zyl
Wednesday January 19, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
Running time: 86 min.

“Carbon Nation” is about climate change solutions. Even if you doubt the severity of the impact of climate change or just don’t buy it at all, this is a compelling and relevant film that illustrates how solutions to climate change also address other social, economic and national security issues.

“Carbon Nation” is an optimistic discovery of what people are already doing, and explores what as a nation we could be doing and what the world needs to do to prevent (or slow down) the impending climate crisis. The film examines that we already have the technology to combat most of the worst-case scenarios of climate change, and it is very good business as well.

A host of entertaining and endearing characters are part of the film’s journey including entrepreneurs, visionaries, scientists, business, and the everyday man, all making a difference and working towards solving climate change.

The film will be followed by a talk by Robert Socolow, Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Princeton University, and Co-Director, The Carbon Mitigation Initiative.

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Talk: Sustaining Books In Personal & Public Library Collections
A demonstration and talk by Bill Strong
Thursday January 20, 12:00 p.m.

Bill Strong knows how to preserve and extend the life of books, helping to keep them out of landfills and in our valued personal and public library collections. He got his training at Johns Hopkins through a National Endowment of the Humanities program. Applying his skills for more than 20 years Bill has repaired and restored hundreds of books since he started working as a volunteer at the Princeton Public Library in 2003. In this program Bill will demonstrate what’s involved in the repair & care of books, showing examples of repairs, what kinds of tools he uses, and teaching children how to handle a book with care.


Talk: A WWOOFer’s Journey
A talk and presentation by Mary Clurman.
Thursday January 20, 1:00 p.m.

“WWOOF, “ is variously spelled out as Worldwide Opportunities in Organic Farming and Willing Workers on Organic Farms. It is a loose network of organic farmers and gardeners willing to exchange room and board for a week or more of help. Both hosts and volunteers pay a small fee to use any of several countrywide or regional databases of contact information. Each host lists location, accommodations, basic work schedule and other logistics, and volunteers, age 18+, apply by e-mailing their choice of hosts with details about themselves. Where you go and how long you stay depends mutual agreement between the WWOOFer and host, on the WWOOFing network extends to five continents.

Mary Clurman is back from her own WWOOFing journey and will share it in stories and pictures in this program. A retired 69-year-old idealist who lives in Princeton, Mary was inspired by a film and talk at the 2009 PEFF to try WWOOFing herself. In April until November of 2010, Mary WWOOFed her way from Ireland through France to Belgium and to the Scottish Highlands. Her activities included milking cows and goats and weeding everywhere she went. She saw many sights, ate totally fresh vegetarian, met Moroccan, German, Australian, Dutch, and Turkish WWOOFers and many more people from around the world.


Talk: Earth Quaker Action Team: Bank Like Appalachia Matters!
Presented by The Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT)
Thursday January 20, 2011 at 2:00 p.m.

A little more than a year ago, the Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT) arose, inspired by the history of Quaker actions to bring about change in our society to supportsboth economic and ecological justice. Starting with Alice Paul, who organized nonviolent direct actions for women’s right to vote, Friends and friends of Friends have been engaged in such actions, and they have largely been successful.

In deciding to address matters of ecological and economic justice, the small and newly forming EQAT had to find a project that would fit into this huge scheme and that would be within its power to really make a difference. In this talk which includes slides and video, some of those who organized the group and led it for the past year, along with two local members, will describe how they narrowed in on a skillful campaign against mountaintop removal (MTR) coal mining.

Speakers: Ingrid Lakey and Zachary Hershman from Philadelphia; Ann Yasuhara and Laura Hawkins from Princeton.


Burning in the Sun
Directed by Cambria Matlow and Morgan Robinson
Thursday January 20, 2011 at 4:00 p.m.
Running time: 81 min.

Daniel Dembele, 26-year-old charmer, is equal parts West African and European, and he is looking to make his mark on the world.  Seizing the moment at a crossroads in his life, Daniel decides to return to his homeland in Mali and start a local business building solar panels – the first of its kind in the sun drenched nation.  Daniel’s goal is to electrify the households of rural communities, 99% of which live without power.

“Burning in the Sun” tells the story of Daniel’s journey growing the budding idea into a viable company and of the business’ impact on Daniel’s first customers in the tiny village of Banko. Taking controversial stances on climate change, poverty, and African self-sufficiency, the film explores what it means to grow up as a man, and what it takes to prosper as a nation.

A Q&A with filmmaker Morgan Robinson via video conference follows the film.

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Houston We Have a Problem
Directed by Nicole Torre
Thursday January 20, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
Running time: 85 min.

Step inside the energy capital of the world, to hear the hard truth about oil, straight from the Texas oilmen themselves. For decades American presidents have warned of our nation’s dependence on foreign oil. See just how the U.S. Energy Policy turned into a strategy of defense, not offense.

Hear the confessions of oilmen, who work in the trenches every day, scrambling to feed America’s ferocious appetite; every year we spend over 700 billion dollars on foreign oil. Will this addiction be our demise?

The film also explores where we stand at the crossroads and the birth of the clean energy revolution and 21st century “Wildcatters” who are leading the way. “Houston We Have a Problem” brings both sides together, seeking solutions, making it clear that we must embrace all forms of alternative energies in order to save the planet and ourselves.

A Q&A follows the screening with fimmaker Nicole Torre via video conference, and Dr. Vikram Pattarkine, a chemical-environmental engineer in-person.

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Laid to Waste: A Chester Neighborhood Fights for its Future
Produced by Robert Bahar and Geogre McCollough
Friday January 21, 2011 at 12:00 p.m.
Running time: 60 min.

In the economically depressed, largely African-American “West End” of Chester, Pennsylvania, Zulene Mayfield lives next door to the fourth-largest trash-to-steam incinerator in the nation and a few doors away from a large processing facility for infectious and hazardous medical waste. The county’s sewage treatment plant, adjacent to her neighbors’ homes a block away, while additional waste-processing facilities have been proposed for the community.

A Q&A follows the screening with filmmaker George McCollough


The Sky is Burning
Directed by Luciano Capelli
Friday January 21, 2011 at 2:00 p.m.
Running time: 57 minutes

“The Sky is Burning” chronicles the ongoing efforts to protect the tropical dry forests and ecosystem of Costa Rica. The film focuses on the plight of the Guanacaste tropical dry forest, documenting the struggle to preserve over three hundred thousand species of life through reforestation efforts carried out at the Santa Rosa National Park.


Dive! Living Off America’s Waste
Directed by Jeremy Seifert
Friday January 21, 2011 at 4:00 p.m.
Running time: 55 min.

Every year in America we throw away 96 billion pounds of food.  That’s 263 million pounds a day: 11 million pounds an hour, 3,000 pounds a second.

Inspired by a curiosity about our country’s careless habit of sending food straight to landfills, “Dive!” follows filmmaker Jeremy Seifert and friends as they dumpster dive in the back alleys and gated garbage receptacles of Los Angeles’ supermarkets. In the process, they salvage thousands of dollars worth of good, edible food – resulting in an eye-opening documentary that is equal parts entertainment, guerilla journalism and call to action.

A Q&A follows the screening with filmmaker Jeremy Seifert via video conference.

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Bag It
Friday January 21, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
Directed by Suzan Beraza, produced by Michelle Hill.
Running time: 79 minutes

This story follows Jeb Berrier, an average American guy who is admittedly not a “tree hugger,” who makes a pledge to stop using plastic bags. This simple action gets Jeb thinking about all kinds of plastic as he embarks on a global tour to unravel the complexities of our plastic world. When Jeb’s journey takes a personal twist, we see how our crazy-for-plastic world has finally caught up to us and what we can do about it. Today. Right now.

“Bag It” is a film that examines our society’s use and abuse of plastic. The film focuses on plastic as it relates to our society’s throwaway mentality, our culture of convenience, our over consumption of unnecessary, disposable products and packaging—things that we use one time and then, without another thought, throw them away. Where is “Away?” “Away” is over-flowing landfills, clogged rivers, islands of trash in our oceans, and even our very own toxic bodies. Jeb travels the globe on a fact-finding mission—not realizing that after his simple resolution, plastic will never look the same again!

Sharon Rowe, CEO and founder of will lead a post-screening discussion.

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Where the Whales Sing
Directed and produced by Andrew Stevenson
Saturday January 22, 2011 at 10:00 a.m.
Running time: 61 min.

Three years ago Bermuda-based filmmaker Andrew Stevenson embarked on what seemed like a challenging project, to film the North Atlantic humpback whales underwater in the middle of their mid-ocean migratory crossings.

Stevenson started the Humpback Whale Research Project, Bermuda, in 2007. They research and collect visual and acoustics data on the humpbacks as they migrate past Bermuda to broaden our knowledge of these magnificent animals. For the last four years, Andrew has studied the humpbacks’ pelagic migratory behavior. His initial research was conducted between February 2007 and February 2010 while making this film. The second phase of research started in March 2010 and will continue until May 2013.

The humpback whales have since become an overriding passion. The film shares his journey, told through the eyes of his 6-year-old daughter, Elsa.

A presentation about coral reefs will follow by Carrie Manfrino, associate professor of Oceanography Kean University, PhD and President, Central Caribbean Marine Institute.

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Students Saving the Ocean
Directed by David Schwartz, produced by Satva Leung, MEDIAmobz; Executive Producer Outhink Media Productions
Saturday January 22, 12:00 p.m.
Running time: 23 minutes

This short documentary short brings together local organizations and students to exemplify their efforts on improving the health of the ocean.

Developed in collaboration with dozens of Bay Area California high schools, aquariums, and organizations, the film is based on the book, 50 Ways to Save the Oceans, by David Helvarg and cartoonist Jim Toomey of the nationally syndicated “Sherman’s Lagoon.” The film highlights actions that can be taken on a daily basis to improve the health of the oceans.

An interactive talk follows the film with  slides and a short video from the BOS scientific crew on a marine debris expedition direct from the Sargasso Sea – aboard the Schmidt Research Foundation’s Lone Ranger vessel, with Nicole Argyropoulos, environmental education specialist from San Francisco has worked for The Rocky Mountain Institute, The Clinton Climate Initiative and Jean-Michel’s Cousteau’s Ocean Futures Society, and Janice Hall, president, Natural Network International, a marketing, communication and trends specialist for natural and environmental products and issues.


Sharks In Focus
A talk by Stan Waterman
Saturday January 22, 2011 at 1:30 p.m.

Stan Waterman returns to the Princeton Environmental Film Festival to talk about the broad environmental efforts of Shark Savers to reduce the rapid depletion of sharks by commercial overfishing. Stan will share some short films highlighting shark encounters in the Bahamas with three different feeding activities and also exploration of the biggest underwater cave system in the islands.

Pioneer underwater film producer and photographer Stan Waterman, winner of five Emmy’s, has been at the forefront of scuba diving since its inception. Mr. Waterman continues his work in film and television productions and speaks to dive groups around the world. He also hosts dive tours to exotic destinations, to which he brings a legacy of a half century of diving and filmmaking.

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Directed by Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud; Produced by Disneynature
Saturday January 22, 2011 at 3:00 p.m.
Running time: 124 min.

?Dive into “Oceans” from Disneynature, the studio who produced “Earth,” for a spectacular story about remarkable creatures under the sea. The film features an exhilarating look under the sea through the eyes of those that live there. Incredible state-of-the-art-underwater filmmaking will take viewers breath away as they migrate with whales, swim alongside a great white shark, and race with dolphins at play.

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Short Films Program
Saturday January 22, 2011 at 5:00 p.m.

Watch some of the short films submitted to the festival, including “A Mongolian Couch,” directed by George Clipp and Eva Arnold; “Skylight,” directed by Dave Baas; “Earth, Our Home, “ directed by Robert Colon; “What If?” directed by Cameron Tingley, and more.


Garbage Moguls
Saturday January 22, 2011 at 6:00 p.m.
Running time: 30 min.

“Garbage Moguls” returns to the PEFF! Watch an episode of documentary series from the National Geographic Channel, for an unadulterated, inside look at how TerraCycle CEO Tom Szaky and company literally turn trash into treasure right here in New Jersey!

The TerraCycle team uses an unorthodox creative process to build a profitable business with products composed entirely of trash. Once named the “The Coolest Little Start-Up in America!” by Inc. magazine, TerraCycle™ is redefining green business, focusing each day on the next million-dollar idea, even if that means spending hours scrounging through garbage.

Followed by a Q&A with TerraCycle’s CEO Tom Szaky and VP of Media Relations Albi Zakes.


Directed by Josh Fox
Saturday January 22, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
Running time: 107 min.

The largest domestic natural gas drilling boom in history has swept across the United States. The Halliburton-developed drilling technology of “fracking” or hydraulic fracturing has unlocked a “Saudi Arabia of natural gas” just beneath us. But is fracking safe? When filmmaker Josh Fox is asked to lease his land for drilling, he embarks on a cross-country odyssey uncovering a trail of secrets, lies and contamination. A recently drilled nearby Pennsylvania town reports that residents are able to light their drinking water on fire. This is just one of the many absurd and astonishing revelations of a new country called “Gasland.” Part verite travelogue, part expose, part mystery, part bluegrass banjo meltdown, part showdown.

A Q&A follows the film screening with filmmaker Josh Fox.

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Directed by Nicholas Sherman
Sunday January 23, 2011 at 11:00 a.m.
Running time: 82 min.

There are very few places of quiet left in the United States.

For the past thirty years, Emmy Award-winning nature sound recordist, Gordon Hempton, has made it his life’s mission to find and record these places before they are gone completely. “Soundtracker” follows Gordon on the road and into the wilderness as he travels throughout America’s West in search of these quiet places.  Unwilling to give up when the noise of civilization intrudes upon his every recording, his quest takes on new dimensions as he begins to search for a different kind of sound that captures his imagination and the spirit of America.

Shot throughout the Pacific Northwest and sound-mixed to incorporate Gordon’s own pristine binaural recordings, “Soundtracker” explores the sounds and the soul of an uncompromising artist.

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Waste Land
Directed by Lucy Walker
Sunday January 23, 2011 at 1:30 p.m.
Running time: 98 min.

Filmed over nearly three years, “Waste Land” follows renowned artist Vik Muniz as he journeys from his home base in Brooklyn to his native Brazil and the world’s largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro. There he photographs an eclectic band of catadores—self-designated pickers of recyclable materials. Muniz’s initial objective was to “paint” them with garbage. However, his collaboration with these inspiring characters as they recreate photographic images of themselves out of garbage reveals both the dignity and despair of the “catadores” as they begin to re-imagine their lives.

Post-screening talk by Tom Szaky, CEO TerraCycle

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This Way of Life
Directed by Tom Burstyn, produced by Barbara Sumner Burstyn
Sunday January 23, 2011 at 4:30 p.m.
Running time: 85 min.

Set against the imposing mountains and isolated beaches in a remote part of North Island, New Zealand, “This Way of Life” is an intimate portrait of a Maori family—Peter and Colleen Karina and their six children, ages 2 through 11—and their relationship with each other, horses and nature. “This Way of Life” is a blueprint for how to live with little. It is a modern parable of one family’s unconventional and incredibly positive response to the questions that confront many families trying to find their own way.

A Q&A with filmmaker Barbara Sumner Burstyn via video conference follows the film.

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