EarthxFilm, one of the largest environmental film festivals in the U.S., and EarthXR, the interactive branch of the film festival, have unveiled their lineups of virtual programming celebrating the landmark 50th Anniversary of Earth Day. Kicking off with the pre-festival Music and Film event on April 17 at 6 p.m. ET, EarthxFilm will take place April 22-27 from 2-10 p.m. ET daily, offering 36 features and shorts; virtual options for XR experiences; various filmmaker Q&As, film panels, live music, and youth film programming.
The 2020 EarthxFilm festival is supporting its filmmakers during this uncertain time, with screening fees and online donations collected for the films and filmmakers participating in the virtual film festival presentation. Additionally, cash prizes totaling $20,000 will be awarded to filmmakers and the environmental organizations and efforts that the winning films explore at a live-streamed awards ceremony on Sunday, April 26. The Youth Film Competition, a Planet911 Challenge developed in collaboration with Instagram and Creative Visions, will award up to $5,000 in cash and prizes.
Notable virtual guests for EarthX, EarthxFilm and EarthXR festivals participating in panels, intros, Q&As and musical performances include James Balog, Jane Fonda, Judith Helfand, Dereck and Beverly Joubert, Slater Jewell-Kenker, Damien Mander, Matthew Modine, Leilani Münter, Jeff Orlowski, Louie Psihoyos, Ian Urbina, Danni Washington, N’Dambi and Classic Roots among others.
Highlights from this year’s groundbreaking documentary work include Brett Fallentine’s FIRE ON THE HILL: THE COWBOYS OF SOUTH CENTRAL L.A.; Alexander John Glustrom’s MOSSVILLE: WHEN GREAT TREES FALL; David Byars’ PUBLIC TRUST; Deia Schlosberg’s THE STORY OF PLASTIC; and Jared P. Scott’s THE GREAT GREEN WALL.
EarthXR will host panels curated with top-tier environmentalists, XR experts and industry leaders, such as Sarah Steele, Global Content Partnerships Lead at Google/YouTube; Kris Severson, Director of Global Content Partnerships at HTC Vive/VR for Impact; Ulrico Grech-Cumbo, founder of Habitat XR, director of Ellen Fund’s Gorillapallooza VR and Predicament of Pangolins; Ian Urbina, NY Times bestselling author of The Outlaw Ocean with Lucas Gath, co-director of GHOST FLEET VR; Damien Mander, founder and CEO of the International Anti-Poaching Foundation/Akashinga; “WILD IMMERSION endorsed by Jane Goodall” director Adrien Moisson, and many more.
“It has been invigorating to curate the offerings we have the privilege of presenting at this year’s EarthxFilm film festival as we mark a half-century of Earth Day,” said Michael Cain, Co-Founder and President of EarthxFilm. “So many of the stories we share about conservation, climate change, and the heroes working to protect our planet are a testament to the triumph of the spirit, and our collective hope for the future.”
David Holbrooke, EarthxFilm Artistic Director adds, “We can’t think of a better time than now to gather (at a distance) and experience those stories, highlighting the difference we can play.”
This year’s festival will kick-off on April 17 with EARTHXDANCE, a live-streamed DJ set highlighting the intersection of urban and indigenous cultures featuring Classic Roots, a Toronto-based music producer and performer. His performance will begin with a screening of the doc short TURNING TABLES about his music and influence. In addition to Classic Roots, N’Dambi and other artists will be presenting live musical performances.
“The magic of EarthxFilm and EarthXR has always been in how we can leverage art, music, stories, and media to help audiences holistically connect with the world around us,” added Tiffany Kieran, Director of Interactive Programming for EarthXR. “Our 2020 festival will still deliver this same multi-sensory experience despite our current physical restrictions, potentially bringing together an even broader audience to learn and be inspired toward climate action.”
The 2020 Youth Film Competition, a Planet911 Challenge developed with Instagram and Creative Visions, will award up to $5,000 in cash and prizes. In collaboration with Creative Visions and Instagram, the competition asked youth from around the world to show how or why they will protect the planet. Throughout the festival, EarthxFilm will have youth-friendly offerings showing films appropriate for youth and educator audiences that can be incorporated into a distance learning curriculum for Earth Month.
EarthxFilmYouth Reports invites Planet911 reporters to showcase youth climate activists, environmental experts, filmmakers, and young planet heroes. Segments include interviews with 17-year-old filmmaker Taegen Yardley, representatives from March For Science, Earth Guardians and One Up Action along with talks with some of the EarthxFilm Festival filmmakers.
Complete programming and information on free registration for EarthxFilm and EarthXR is available online at earthxfilm.org.