PEFF 2014



Thin Ice: The Inside Story of Climate Science
Directed by Simon Lamb and David Sington
Thursday Jan. 30, 7:00 p.m.
Running time: 74 min.

Geologist Simon Lamb produced, directed and photographed this documentary that is intended to reveal the enormous range of human activity and scientific endeavor required to help us understand our changing climate. Researchers on four continents and the ocean were interviewed for the film that is a joint initiative between Oxford University, Victoria University of Wellington and London-based DOX Productions.

The screening will be followed by a talk by Dr. Elisabeth Sikes, associate professor of marine sciences at the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences at Rutgers University, Dr. Anthony Broccoli, professor of Environmental Sciences, co-director Rutgers Climate Institute; Dr. Enrique Curchitser, associate professor of Environmental Sciences, Rutgers University; and Elias Hunter, research specialist and marine technician, Rutgers University.

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Great Ideas Breakfast
Friday Jan. 31, 8:30 a.m.

Sustainable Princeton hosts this bright-and-early-morning event, featuring “lightning talks” from local residents and others on the theme of “Visioning Sustainability in the Princeton Community in 2020.” They will provide a free and zero-waste breakfast, featuring Fair Trade foods, coffee and tea.


Garbage or Resource: A Dominican Republic Experience
Directed by Natasha Despotovic
Friday Jan. 31, 11:00 a.m.
Running time: 17 min.

Through corporate and education projects, the Dominican Republic has turned recycling into an important economic opportunity for its citizens.

A Q&A follows the screening with filmmakers Yamile Eusebio and Angel Castellanos.

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Directed by Gayatri Roshan and Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee
Friday Jan. 31, 12:00 p.m.
Running time: 93 min.

This documentary follows individuals from India, Canada and Australia as they confront some of the most pressing ecological challenges of our time. Rajendra  Singh, an Indian government official gone rogue, confronts community opposition and personal doubt as he battles to save the once-pristine Ganges River. Eriel Deranger, a young Canadian mother, struggles with family challenges while campaigning against the proposed 2,000-mile Tar Sands pipeline. In Australia, inventor and entrepreneur Jay Harman searches for investors willing to risk millions on his conviction that nature’s own systems hold the key to the world’s ecological problems. Directed by Gayatri Roshan and Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee; 2013; 93 minutes.

Director Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee will join a post-screening Q&A via videoconference.

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Parrot Confidential
Directed by Allison Argo
Friday Jan. 31, 4:00 p.m.
Running time: 54 min.

This PBS NATURE program reveals the plight of thousands of parrots living in captivity as pets through the story of Lou, a parrot abandoned in a foreclosed home, and others. While their intelligence and ability to communicate have made parrots one of the worlds most popular pets, their high-decibel squawks, complex behavior and 70-plus year lifespan, have left shelters and sanctuaries struggling to care for many who have no place to go.

A talk follows the screening with Charles Leck, retired professor of ecological sciences at Rutgers University and former state ornithologist.

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Bidder 70
Directed by Beth Gage and George Gage
Friday Jan. 31, 7:00 p.m.
Running time: 73 min.

This film profiles University of Utah economics student Tim DeChristopher and the act of civil disobedience, committed in the name of climate justice, that leads to his felony conviction and incarceration.

A Q&A follows the screening with filmmakers Beth Gage and George Gage.

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Fighting for the Futaleuf
Directed by Stephanie Haig
Saturday Feb. 1, 12:00 p.m.
Running time: 17 min.

The fierce natural beauty of Chile’s Rio Futaleuf is explored through the story of rafter Robert Currie, his son, and Patagonia locals as they struggle to preserve the river and their community.

A Q&A follows the screening with filmmaker Stephanie Haig.

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To Be Forever Wild
Directed by David Becker
Saturday Feb. 1, 1:00 p.m.
Running time: 67 min.

This film, being created by a group of Catskills artists, is inspired by Henry David Thoreau, who used his time in the wilderness to reflect on the faults and the potential of the society to which he would return.

This is a work-in-progress screening of the film, which will be released later in 2014.

A Q&A follows the screening with director/producer David Becker, and editor Ian Holden.

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Brooklyn Farmer
Directed by Michael Tyburski
Saturday Feb. 1, 3:00 p.m.
Running time: 26 min.

The challenges facing the Brooklyn Grange, a group of urban farmers who endeavor to run a commercially viable farm within the landscape of New York City, are explored. As their growing operation expands to a second roof, the team confronts the realities of operating the world’s largest rooftop farm in one of the world’s biggest cities.

A Q&A follows the screening with filmmaker Michael Tyburski.

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Panel Discussion: Farming at the Edge of Nature
Saturday Feb. 1, 4:00 p.m.

A group of local farmers and naturalists discuss their farming practices, philosophy, ethics, business models, challenges and optimism for the next generation dedicated to working closely with the land. The panel includes Alec Gioseffi and Lauren Nagy from Cooperative 518; Lindsay Napolitano and Johann Rinkens of Fields Without Fences; Jared and Rachel Rosenbaum of Wild Ridge Plants, Growers and Stewards of Native Plants; Steve Tomlinson, who works at Great Road Farm; and Ben Flanner, subject of the film “Brooklyn Farmer” and Brooklyn Grange CEO and head farmer. Jared Flesher, documentary filmmaker and Edible Jersey editor, moderates the panel. A trailer of Flesher’s upcoming film, “Field Biologist,” will be shown at the event.


Cool Vines: Stories about Wine
Saturday Feb. 1, 5:30 p.m.

Mark Censits, owner of Cool Vines, discusses wine as both a beverage and as an agricultural product, the flavor of which is determined by vines, soil and the degree to which it is processed. Centsis shares the stories behind the wines and gives an opportunity to taste what makes each bottle special.

Registration required, must be age 21 or older.


Directed by Jeremy Seifert
Saturday Feb. 1, 7:00 p.m.
Running time: 85 min.

Director and concerned father Jeremy Seifert searches for answers to the question of how genetically modified food affects our children, the health of our planet and our freedom of choice. Seifert’s journey takes him from his family’s table to Haiti, Paris, Norway, and the lobby of agri-giant Monsanto, from which he is unceremoniously ejected. Along the way we gain insight into industrial agriculture’s profit-driven mission to manipulate seeds for higher yields.

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Wallaby Tales
Sunday Feb. 1, 10:00 a.m.

Wildlife educator Travis Gale uses humor presenting live animals from all over the world in a show for the whole family. Entertaining, high-energy and educational, the program highlights the importance of protecting the wildlife of the world.

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A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet
Directed by Mark Kitchell
Sunday Feb. 2, 11:00 a.m.
Running time: 101 min.

Directed and written by Academy Award-winning director Mark Kitchell, and inspired by the book of the same name by Philip Shabecoff, this is the first big-picture exploration of the environmental movement — grassroots and global activism spanning 50 years from conservation to climate change.

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Pandora’s Promise
Directed by Robert Stone
Sunday Feb. 2, 1:30 p.m.
Running time: 89 min.

Academy Award-nominated director Robert Stone examines whether nuclear power — the one technology we fear most — could save our planet from a climate catastrophe, while providing the energy needed to lift billions of people in the developing world out of poverty. Stone tells the intensely personal stories of environmentalists and energy experts who have undergone a radical conversion from being fiercely anti- to strongly pro-nuclear energy, risking their careers and reputations in the process.

A Q&A follows the screening with filmmaker Robert Stone.

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William and the Windmill
Directed by Ben Nabors
Monday Feb. 3, 4:00 p.m.
Running time: 92 min.

The film tells the story of young Malawian William Kamkwanba who rescues his family from poverty and famine when, despite unbelievable circumstances, he builds a power-generating windmill from scrap parts.

A Q&A follows the screening with filmmaker Ben Nabors.

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Slow Food Story
Directed by Stefano Sardo
Wednesday Feb. 5, 6:00 p.m.
Running time: 73 min.

The film profiles activist and Slow Food movement founder Carlo Petrini and chronicles the evolution of the movement from its beginnings in the small town of Bra in the Piedmont region of Italy to a worldwide network of 170 chapters in 150 countries.

A discussion follows the film led by Raoul Momo, Terra Momo Restaurant Group, and Jim Weaver, Slow Food Central NJ and Tre Piani Restaurant.

Screened at Princeton Garden Theatre, 160 Nassau St. Mediterra Resturant on Hulfish Street and Teresa Caf on Palmer Square will be offering three-course meals inspired by the film.

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Growing Cities
Directed by Dan Susman
Thursday Feb. 6, 4:00 p.m.
Running time: 60 min.

This documentary examines the role of urban farming in America and asks how much power it has to revitalize our cities and change the way we eat. The film follows two friends on their road trip across the country as they meet the people who are challenging the way this country grows and distributes its food—from those growing food in backyards to make ends meet; to educators with the goal of teaching kids to eat better; to activists seeking a meaningful alternative to the industrial food system, and others.

A Q&A follows the screening with filmmaker Dan Susman.

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Directed by Maxine Trump
Thursday Feb. 6, 7 p.m.
Running time: 80 min.

A group of the most famous guitar-makers in the world (Bob Taylor of Taylor guitars, Chris Martin of Martin Guitars and Dave Berryman of Gibson Guitars) travels into the heart of the Alaskan rainforest to negotiate with Native American loggers and change the way the Sitka spruce tree, used in the creation of quality acoustic guitars, is logged. Featuring a soundtrack of music by Yo La Tengo, Kaki King, Steve Earle, and others, the film reveals the clash between the loggers, corporate CEOs, and the environmental group Greenpeace.

A Q&A follows the screening with filmmaker Maxine Trump.

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Bringing It Home
Directed by Linda Booker and Blaire Johnson
Friday Feb. 7, 12:00 p.m.
Running time: 52 min.

The question of why industrial hemp cannot be grown in the United States is explored. Grown in 31 other countries, and a potential economic opportunity for farmers, hemp is used for construction, textiles, nutrition and more in the United States and around the globe.

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Tiny: A Story About Living Small
Directed by Merete Mueller and Christopher Smith
Friday Feb. 7, 4:00 p.m.
Running time: 62 min.

The film follows one couple’s attempt to build a “tiny house” from scratch, and profiles other families who have downsized their lives into homes smaller than the average parking space. Through homes stripped down to their essentials, the film raises questions about good design, the nature of home, and the changing American Dream.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with filmmaker Merete Mueller.

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The Crash Reel
Directed by Lucy Walker
Friday Feb. 7, 7:00 p.m.
Running time: 108 min.

Academy Award-winning director Lucy Walker follows snowboarder and Olympic hopeful Kevin Pearce on his long journey back from a traumatic brain injury he sustained during training. Filmed over more than two years, the documentary includes footage from traditional archival sources and informal sources like Pearce’s friends, family, sponsors and others.

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Presentation: Marine Mammals and Sea Turtles of New Jersey
Saturday Feb. 8, 10:00 a.m.

In this presentation for youth and families, Sarah Miele, outreach coordinator at the Marine Mammal Stranding Center, gives an overview of the organization that responds to marine mammals and sea turtles in distress along all of New Jersey’s waterways and works to rehabilitate and release them back into the wild. 60 minutes.


Saving Otter 501
Directed by Bob Talbot and Mark Shelley
Saturday Feb. 8, 11:30 a.m.

This PBS NATURE production records the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s 501st attempt to save an orphan otter. From her discovery as a stranded newborn pup crying on the beach through her rehabilitation in secret roof tanks atop the Aquarium, the film follows as Otter 501 learns how to dive, hunt, eat, and fend for herself in the wild, where survival is a long shot at best.

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Invisible Ocean: Plankton and Plastic
Directed by Emily Driscoll
Saturday Feb. 8, 1 p.m.
Running time: 9 min.

During a Tara Oceans expedition to study the health of the oceans, New York scientist/artist Mara Haseltine finds an unsettling presence in samples of plankton she collected. The discovery inspires her to create a sculpture revealing an ongoing invisible battle beneath the water’s surface, showing that the microscopic ocean world affects all life on Earth.

Premiere screening.

A Q&A follows the screening with producer/director Emily Driscoll and Mara Haseltine.

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Short Takes
Saturday Feb. 8, 2:00 p.m.

A selection of short films will be screened, including those submitted in the student competition co-sponsored by the library and Princeton University’s Office of Sustainability.


Running Wild: The Life of Dayton O. Hyde
Directed by Suzanne Mitchell
Saturday Feb. 8, 4:00 p.m.
Running time: 92 min.

From rodeos, conservation battles, and wild horse rescues, to award-winning books, personal heartbreak and more, “Running Wild” is a self-told tale of a 6-foot-5 cowboy who finds personal freedom through his protection of wild horses.

A Q&A follows the screening with filmmaker Suzanne Mitchell in person, and Dayton O. Hyde via videoconference.

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Directed by Gabriela Cowperthwaite
Saturday Feb. 8, 7:00 p.m.
Running time: 83 min.

“Blackfish” tells the story of Tilikum, a performing killer whale that killed several people while in captivity. Through a shocking compilation of footage and emotional interviews, the film explores the creature’s extraordinary nature, the species’ cruel treatment in captivity, the lives and losses of the trainers and the pressures brought to bear by the multi-billion dollar sea-park industry.

A Q&A follows the screening with associate producer Tim Zimmermann.

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Kiss the Water
Directed by Eric Steel
Sunday Feb. 9, 11:00 a.m.
Running time: 80 min.

Director Eric Steel explores the life and art of Megan Boyd who for decades perfected the craft of fly-making for fishermen on the edge of the Scottish coast. Hailed as some of the best flies ever made, they have garnered her and her techniques an almost cult status. With a mix of cinematography and hand-painted animation, the film captures the beauty and mysticism of both Boyd and the fly-fishing art.

A Q&A follows the screening with filmmaker Eric Steel via videoconference.

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A Will for the Woods
Directed by Amy Browne, Jeremy Kaplan, Tony Hale and Brian Wilson
Sunday Feb. 9, 1:30 p.m.
Running time: 92 min.

Musician, folk dancer and psychiatrist Clark Wang battles lymphoma and faces a potentially imminent need for funeral plans. Determined that his last act will not harm the environment and may even help protect it, Clark discovers the movement that works to further sustainable funerals that conserve natural areas.

A Q&A follows the screening with filmmakers Jeremy Kaplan, Tony Hale and Brian Wilson via videoconference.

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Blood Brother
Directed by Steve Hoover
Sunday Feb. 9, 4:30 p.m.
Running time: 92 min.

Filmmaker Steve Hoover traces the story of his best friend Rocky Braat, a young man from a fractured family and a troubled past who left his life, friends and career in Pittsburgh to live with a group of HIV-positive children he met while traveling through India.

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