“Short is sweet,” according to the coordinators of the EarthDance Short-Attention-Span Environmental Film Festival, which is coming to campus this Thursday. The films being screened range from three to 30 minutes in length. The festival is “about a planet where adventure is alive and stories matter,” according to the event’s website.
“Short is sweet,” according to the coordinators of the EarthDance Short-Attention-Span Environmental Film Festival, which is coming to campus this Thursday. The films being screened range from three to 30 minutes in length.
The festival is “about a planet where adventure is alive and stories matter,” according to the event’s website.
The film festival will accommodate student schedules by offering two separate screenings, one from 3:30–5 p.m. and the other from 6–7:30 p.m. The festival will be hosted by the Portland State Outdoor Program, a division of the university’s Campus Rec department.
Between the two screenings, attendees can participate in a one-hour workshop and question-and-answer session facilitated by the EarthDance tour coordinator, Zak Brazen.
EarthDance is visiting PSU as part of an annual world tour. Coordinators say the organization finds its material by sourcing other film festivals and traveling the globe in search of “the most entertaining and inspiring stories on Earth.”
The tour begins each winter at its San Francisco base, and this will be the event’s first time at PSU.
“Since it’s PSU’s first year as a site for the festival, it’s a bit of a pilot,” said Kat McLaughlin, student coordinator of the PSU Outdoor Program and organizer of the festival’s PSU stop. “Hopefully we’ll keep it going annually.
“They’ll be screening films from different years, [featuring] the ones that are most poignant and [that] will gather the most attention of PSU students interested in what’s going on environmentally in Portland,” McLaughlin said. “These are some really high-quality films about issues of environmental and social awareness.
“I want students to be able to come together as a community at Portland State, and have a sense of awareness of their own impact on each other and the environment,” McLaughlin continued. “I think cinema is a really great way to bring art into expressing important issues, and it’s a different way to connect to students. It will be entertaining, educational and fun.”
McLaughlin hopes that EarthDance will spark some environmental awareness in people who don’t normally think about sustainability, in hopes that people may be “a little more cognizant of their actions, and how the smallest things they do on the regular—like bringing in a coffee cup that’s reusable—are really simple things to do,” she said.
“If…you’re not aware of what that impact can be, then it’s harder to change that habit,” McLaughlin continued. “It’s bringing those little nudges for people to become more aware of themselves.”
The festival’s lineup is designed to be flexible.
“If you want to come for the whole four hours or so and see the movies and attend the workshop, that’s great,” McLaughlin said. “But you can come for just the workshop or just the films.”
The interactive workshop conducted between the two screenings will give attendees the opportunity to respond to the films and start a discussion about how the messages they contain might be applied here at home.
Brazen will field questions and present on social and environmental sustainability issues that tie into initiatives taking place here at Portland State.
EarthDance promotes positivity in their approach to sustainability issues, which helps engage students.
“We believe the power of nature and the human spirit can change the world for the better. All of the EarthDance films have an important message to tell—whether it’s rescuing a daredevil marooned atop Devil’s Tower, a tale of friendship amid evolving Himalayan culture or the struggle of a native community to restore salmon to its rivers,” coordinators said.
The festival hopes to connect like-minded students, help them find resources and encourage them to immerse themselves in environmental activism on campus.
The EarthDance Short-Attention-Span
Environmental Film Festival
Thursday, April 18, at 3:30 p.m. and 6 p.m., with facilitated workshop between screenings
Smith Memorial Student Union, room 338
Free for students, faculty and staff, $5 general admission
“There are tons of sustainability missions among different organizations that students can become involved with,” McLaughlin said, “either through academic programs or clubs on campus.
“For example, the PSU Environmental Club holds weekly meetings and does a lot of events,” McLaughlin said. “They’re part of the reason we’re hosting EarthDance in April—it’s Environmental Awareness Month.
“Earth Month is a time for collaboration between different student groups aiming to raise environmental awareness and spread information about all the different ways that students can plug in to those organizations.”
For more information on the festival, check out earthdancefilms.com, where you can watch snippets of some of the films coming to campus next Thursday.