The newly rebranded Doc Edge Festival (DEF) will run an environmental strand under the banner Eco-Warriors, featuring five films.
Environmentalism is the new religion, a topic which divides opinion and sells tickets ever since An Inconvenient Truth gave Al Gore a new lease on life, so it makes sense to have a section dedicated to satisfy people’s thirst for carbon zero filmmaking and attract the green dollar.
Three of the five films featured have a distinctly nautical theme, focusing on different aspects of life and death in the briny.
Dan Stone’s At the Edge of the World tells the story of the Sea Shepherd’s mission as the film trawls across 370,000 square miles of the Ross Sea, following 46 eco-warriors on 2 ships with one shared mission – to save the whales from the Japanese whaling fleet. The documentary follows the 3rd Antarctic Campaign undertaken by the controversial Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, and their astonishingly reckless and, some would say, admirable journey.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, along comes the equally reckless and Dutch (not that those facts are related) Geert Droppers with Gimme a Hug, about doing unusual things with sharks. The film is an attempt to convince us that not all sharks are like Jaws. Using a technique called tonic immobility the sharks are put into a hypnotic state and the results are truly astounding!
The End of the Line, directed by Charles Clover UK and narrated by Ted ‘Cheers’ Danson picks up the fishy tale once the fish have left the ocean, destined for dinner plates around the globe. The director confronts politicians and restaurateurs about the dangers of overfishing as he travels from the Straits of Gibraltar to the coasts of Senegal and Alaska and the Tokoyo fish market.
Brian Hill’s Climate of Change is an environmental film that focuses on the efforts of ordinary people who are making extraordinary decisions to find solutions for environmental issues in their homes. The documentary jumps from India, to Africa to London to Papua New Guinea, to Norway and Washington, showing people making inspirational choices in their everyday lives.
Returning to the animal kingdom, David E Simpson’s Milking the Rhino visits the game reserves of Africa, where Kenya’s Maasai tribe and Namibia’s Himba—two of the oldest cattle cultures on earth—are emerging from a century of “white man’s conservation”. The effects of creating reserves and protecting both the lives and status of local wildlife has come at the expense of local people. Milking the Rhino challenge audiences to look at conservation through a different lens.