THURSDAY, JANUARY 26
Opening Night Film: Connected
Directed by Tiffany Shlain
Thursday Jan. 26, 7:00 p.m.
Running time: 85 min.
Equal parts documentary and memoir, this film takes viewers on a roller coaster ride toward discovering what it means to be connected in the 21st century.
A Q&A follows the film with filmmaker Tiffany Shlain.
FRIDAY, JANUARY 27
Hummingbirds: Magic in the Air
Produced by Ann Johnson Prum
Friday, Jan. 27, 4 p.m.
Running time: 50 min.
This PBS NATURE documentary showcases the stunning abilities of hummingbirds using cameras that capture 500 images per second.
A discussion follows the screening led by Charles Leck, former New Jersey State Ornithologist.
Queen of the Sun
Directed and produced by Taggart Siegel
Friday Jan 27. 7:00 p.m.
Running time: 82 min.
An alarming inquiry into the insights behind scientist Rudolf Steiner’s 1923 prediction that honeybees would collapse within 80 to 100 years. The film examines the dire global bee crisis through the eyes of beekeepers, scientists, farmers and philosophers.
Co-sponsored by the library and the Waldorf School of Princeton.
A Q&A follows the screening with producer Jon Betz via videoconference.
SATURDAY, JANUARY 28
Talk and Demonstration: Amazing Animals
Saturday, Jan. 28, 11:00 a.m.
The New Jersey Audubon will share the many traits and characteristics of the animal kingdom from insects to mammals. Live animals native to our state will add to the learning experience.
Shellshocked: Saving Oysters to Save Ourselves
Directed, produced and edited by Emily Driscoll
Saturday, Jan. 28,12:30 p.m.
Running time: 39 min.
This film follows efforts to prevent the extinction of wild oyster reefs, which keep our oceans healthy by filtering water and engineering ecosystems. Today, because of overfishing and pollution, wild oyster reefs have been declared ‘the most severely impacted marine habitat on Earth’ and no longer play a role in their ecosystems. Now scientists, government officials, artists and environmentalists are fighting to bring oysters back to the former oyster capital of the world – New York Harbor.
A Q&A follows the screening with filmmaker Emily Driscoll, Meredith Comi, director of New York and New Jersey Baykeeper’s oyster restoration project, and Mara Haseltine, who creates on-toxic oyster sculptures that serve as habitats for aquatic life.
Rescuing the Raritan
Produced, directed, written, and edited by Eric Schultz
Saturday, Jan. 28, 2:00 p.m.
Running time: 60 min.
The Raritan River runs through the center of New Jersey, with upper reaches that are incredibly beautiful, providing a valuable source of water for more than a million people. But industry took hold of the lower Raritan early on and left its mark. This documentary tells the compelling story of a river that has been profoundly contaminated over 200 years and of the extraordinary efforts to clean it up. It reveals how government agencies, powerful corporations, environmentalists, developers, scientists and lawyers have all clashed in their attempts to deal with the aftermath of extensive pollution and environmental neglect.
The screening with be followed by a Q&A with Eric Schultz, Jim Waltman, director of the Stony Brook-Millstone Watershed Association, and Robert Spiegel, executive director of the Edison Wetlands Association, who is featured in the film.
Panel Discussion: Independent Filmmakers
Saturday, Jan. 28, 4 p.m.
Filmmakers Steve Chernoski, Emily Driscoll, Jared Flesher, Tish Streeten, Christian Schuller and Robert Szuter discuss the nuts and bolts of documentary filmmaking, including advice for beginners. The session will culminate with a sneak preview of “Sourlands,” Flesher’s new film about human and ecological sustainability in central New Jersey.
Revenge of the Electric Car
Directed by Chris Paine
Saturday Jan. 28, 7:00 p.m.
Running time: 90 min.
In 2006, thousands of new electric cars were purposely destroyed by the same car companies that built them. Today, less than 5 years later, the electric car is back… with a vengeance. Paine takes his film crew behind the closed doors of Nissan, GM, and the Silicon Valley start-up Tesla Motors to chronicle the story of the global resurgence of electric cars.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 29
Plan B: Mobilizing to Save Civilization
Produced by Hal and Marilyn Weiner
Sunday Jan. 29, 10:30 a.m.
Running time: 84 min.
Based on the book by environmental visionary Lester Brown, this is the 12th episode of the PBS series “Journey to Planet Earth.” Featuring some of the world’s most influential and original thinkers, it focuses on a new and emerging economy based upon renewable sources and realistic strategies to avoid the growing threat of global warming.
A Q&A follows the screening with Hal and Marilyn Weiner.
Directed by Shira and Yoav Potash
Sunday Jan. 29, 1:00 p.m.
Running time: 65 min.
“Food Stamped” — This film follows a couple as they attempt to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet on a food stamp budget. Along the way, they consult with members of Congress, food justice organizations, nutrition experts and people living on food stamps.
A panel discussion will follow the screening featuring Liz Cohen of Yes We Can! Food Drives, Mark Smith, food services director of the Crisis Ministry of Princeton and Trenton, and Julia Hicks de Peyster.
Food Stamped is an informative and humorous documentary film following a couple as they attempt to eat a healthy, well-balanced diet on a food stamp budget. Through their adventures they consult with members of U.S. Congress, food justice organizations, nutrition experts, and people living on food stamps to take a deep look at America’s broken food system.
Overdrive: Istanbul in the New Millennium
Directed by Aslihan Unaldi
Sunday Jan. 29, 4:00 p.m.
Running time: 80 min.
This documentary tells the story of Istanbul’s struggle to come to terms with accelerated population growth and car-centric policies that have dominated its development in the last five decades – issues that are challenging megacities around the world. Istanbul, where once only a select few people were granted the special privilege to ride horses rather than walk, is now being inundated with cars. With 45 percent of its citizens spending two or more hours commuting, the joy of living in this beautiful city is being overshadowed by congestion and all the other social and environmental problems this implies. Both a love poem and a critical investigation, the film explores the impact of global trends on a city with a unique and complex history.
A Q&A follows the screening with post-screening discussion will feature filmmaker Aslihan Unaldi and executive producer Sibel Bulay.
This documentary film tells the story of Istanbul’s struggle to come to terms with accelerated population growth and car-centric policies that have dominated its development in the last five decades – issues that are challenging megacities around the world. Istanbul, where once only a select few people were granted the special privilege to ride horses rather than walk, is now being inundated with cars. With 45 percent of its citizens spending two or more hours commuting, the joy of living in this beautiful city is being overshadowed by congestion and all the other social and environmental problems this implies. Both a love poem and a critical investigation, the film explores the impact of global trends on a city with a unique and complex history. Once an ancient imperial capital, now a bustling modern megalopolis, will Istanbul renew itself once again, or succumb to uncontrolled motorization and urban growth? Directed by Aslihan Unaldi.
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 2
Directed by Jan van den Berg and Pipaluk Knudsen-Ostermann
Thursday Feb. 2, 4:00 p.m.
Running time: 62 min.
The Arctic plains are an eminent example of nature’s untouched beauty: an endless nothing in which only few know how to survive. But a silent assassin is destroying the Inuit community in Greenland. Chemical residues from all over the world accumulate here invisibly, poisoning both humans and animals. By ocean currents and attached to snow, pesticides like DDT are carried northbound into Inuit land, causing illness and premature death. Interwoven with the polar expedition, the film follows a young Greenlandic woman (Pipaluk Knudsen-Ostermann) on her journey all around the world to find the local causes of the contamination that is quietly poisoning her people. In three different continents she meets the people behind the sources of pollution and discovers the heartbreaking dilemmas that lie at the heart of it.
SoLa, Louisiana Water Stories
Directed by Jon Bowermaster
Thursday Feb. 2, 7:00 p.m.
Running time: 71 min.
The film takes a poignant look back at a way of life that may be gone forever since the massive 2008 oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico – what he calls “the worst manmade ecologic disaster ever.” Everywhere you look in Southern Louisiana (SoLa) there’s water – rivers, bayous, swamps, the Mississippi River, the Gulf of Mexico. And everyone in Cajun Country has a water story, or two, or three or more. Its waterways support the biggest economies in Louisiana – a $63 billion-a-year oil and gas industry and a $200 million-a-year fishing business, in addition to tourism and recreational sports. They are also home to some insidious polluters: the same oil and gas industry, 200 petrochemical plants along a 100-mile-long stretch of the Mississippi known as “Cancer Alley.” The region also harbors the world’s largest Dead Zone in the Gulf of Mexico and erosion that is costing the coastline 25 square miles of wetlands a year. At the same time SoLa is home to one of America’s most vital and unique cultures; if everyone who lives there has a water story, they can also most likely play the fiddle, waltz, cook an etouffe and hunt and fish.
A Q&A follows the screening with filmmaker Jon Bowermaster.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 3
Call of Life
Friday, Feb. 3, 4:00 p.m.
Running time: 60 min.
This film looks at the growing threat posed by the rapid and massive loss of biodiversity on the planet. Featuring leading scientists, social scientists, environmentalists and others, it explores the scope, causes and predicted global impact of a mass extinction occurring on a scale not seen since the disappearance of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.
If current trends continue, scientists warn that half or more of all plant and animal species on Earth will become extinct within the next few decades. Entirely caused by human activities, this contemporary mass extinction is disrupting and destroying the complex, interconnected biological systems that support life on earth.
Through interviews with eminent biologists and ecologists, the film examines the primary drivers of species loss: habitat destruction, global warming, pollution, and invasive species, all compounded by the expanding human population and our consumption patterns.
A Q&A follows the film with Rhea Landig from Species Alliance, the organization who produced the film.
Directed by Cindy Meehl
Friday, Feb. 3, 7:00 p.m.
Running time: 88 min.
Meet cowboy and real-life “horse-whisperer” Buck Brannaman, who believes that “your horse is a mirror to your soul.” He travels the country nine months each year to help horses with people problems. The film chronicles Brannaman’s life, from his abusive childhood to his phenomenally successful approach dramatically transforming horses – and people – with his understanding, compassion and respect. In this film, the animal-human relationship becomes a metaphor for facing the daily challenges of life.
A discussion follows the screening lead by Hunterdon County horseman Peter Boglioli.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 4
Saturday, Feb. 4, 10:00 a.m.
Running time: 89 min.
An epic true story set against the backdrop of one of the wildest places on Earth. This family-friendly film produced by DisneyNature captures the real-life love, humor and determination of the majestic kings of the Savanna. The story features Mara, an endearing lion cub who strives to grow up with her mother’s strength, spirit and wisdom; Sita, a fearless cheetah and single mother of five mischievous newborns; and Fang, a proud leader of the pride who must defend his family from a once-banished lion.
Demos and Talk: Energy Zone: Get All Charged Up About Energy
Saturday, Feb. 4, 1:00 p.m.
Turn your motion into electricity, capture light, and save some energy. Explore how we power our world, and help turn energy into all sorts of fun forms with Wondergy, a Philadelphia-based science entertainment group.
The Clean Bin Project
Directed by Grant Baldwin, Produced by Jen Rustemeyer
Saturday, Feb. 4, 4:00 p.m.
Running time: 77 min.
What would it take to live waste free? What would be the impact on the planet, and on our lives? The Clean Bin Project follows a couple, Jen and Grant, as they go head-to-head in an uplifting and often-humorous competition to see who can produce the least amount of garbage in an entire year.
Their rivalry presents the serious topics of modern consumption habits and waste reduction in a light-hearted, optimistic way that encourages viewers of all ages to consider what simple steps they can take in their own lives and communities.
Journey of the Universe
Executive produced by Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim
Saturday, Feb. 4, 7:00 p.m.
Running time: 60 min.
From the Big Bang to the epic impact humans have on the planet today, this film explores the work of acclaimed author and evolutionary philosopher Brian Thomas Swimme NSis designed to inspire a new and closer relationship with Earth during a period of growing environmental and social crisis.
A Q&A follows the screening with filmmakers Mary Evelyn Tucker and John Grim will lead a post-screening discussion. 1 hour.
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 5
Produced by Judith Manassen Ramon
Sunday, Feb. 5, 1:00 p.m.
Running time: 72 min.
Morad, a teenager from an Arab village in the north of Israel, withdraws after experiencing a violent attack. As a last resort before hospitalization, his father takes him to be treated with dolphins in Eilat. Morad starts speaking again after months of silence, but he erases his past and refuses to go home. This documentary, filmed over four years, is about the devastating havoc that violence can wreak upon the human soul, and about the healing powers of nature and of love.
A Q&A follows the screening with filmmaker Judith Manassen Ramon.
Mother: Caring for 7 Billion
Directed by Christophe Fauchere
Sunday, Feb. 5, 4:00 p.m.
Running time: 60 min.
Since the 1960s, the world population has nearly doubled, adding more than 3 billion people. At the same time, talking about population has become politically incorrect because of the sensitivity of the issues surrounding the topic: religion, economics, family planning and gender inequality. The film illustrates both the over consumption and the inequity side of the population issue by following Beth, a mother, a child-rights activist and the last sibling of a large American family of 12, as she discovers the thorny complexities of the population dilemma and highlights a different path to solve it.
THURSDAY FEBRUARY 9
Talk: “Moby Duck: The True Story of 28,800 Bath Toys Lost at Sea and of the Beachcombers, Oceanographer, Environmentalists, and Fools, Including the Author, Who Went in Search of Them” with Author Donovan Hohn
Thursday, Feb. 9, 7:00 p.m.
Investigating the mysterious loss of thousands of bath toys at sea, the author is pulled in to the secretive world of shipping conglomerates, the daring work of Arctic researchers, the lunatic risks of maverick sailors and the shadowy world of Chinese toy factories. A New York Times Notable Book of the Year, “Moby-Duck” is a journey into the heart of the sea and an adventure through science, myth, the global economy, and some of the worst weather imaginable.
Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing by the author.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10
Great Ideas Breakfast
Friday, Feb. 10, 8:30 a.m.
Sustainable Princeton hosts this event featuring “lightning talks” by the organization’s volunteers and a preview of a new Green Map project for Princeton.
Directed by Mark MacInnis
Friday, Feb. 10, 10:30 a.m.
Running time: 90 min.
This film follows the urban farming phenomenon in Detroit and speaks to a nation grappling with collapsed industrial towns and the need to forge a sustainable and prosperous future.
Directed by Yvonne Latty
Friday, Feb. 10, 1:00 p.m.
Running time: 30 min.
The legacy of uranium mining has left the Navajo living where clean water is limited, where families lose children to contamination and cancer seems to live inside of many.
A Q&A follows the screening with Yvonne Latty.
Friday Feb. 10, 4:00 p.m.
Snakes ‘n’ Scales presents animals from two of the most amazing habitats on Earth: the Southeast Asian Rain Forest and the South African Veldt.
If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front
Co-directed by Sam Cullman and Marshall Curry
Saturday, Feb. 10, 7:00 p.m.
Running time: 85 min.
Focusing on the transformation and radicalization of one of its members, Daniel McGowan, who was arrested by Federal agents in a nationwide sweep of radical environmentalists involved with the Earth Liberation Front– a group the FBI called America’s “number one domestic terrorism threat.”
Part coming-of-age tale, part cops-and-robbers thriller, the film interweaves a verite chronicle of Daniel on house arrest as he faces life in prison, with a dramatic recounting of the events that led to his involvement with the group. And along the way it asks hard questions about environmentalism, activism, and the way we define terrorism.
Presented in partnership with American Documentary/POV.
A Q&A follows the screening with filmmaker Sam Cullman.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 11
Next Generation Environmental Fair
Saturday, Feb. 11, 11:00 a.m.
Children, teens and adults are invited to come together with local students and discuss ongoing sustainability initiatives at area middle and high schools. Come discover what today’s youth are doing to help preserve our planet. Light refreshments will be served. Co-sponsored by the library and Princeton Day School
Saturday, Feb. 11, 4:00 p.m.
Directed by Ian Cheney
Running time: 48 min.
Using green-roof technology and heirloom seeds, filmmaker Ian Cheney plants a vegetable garden on the only land he has: his Granddad’s old pick-up truck. Once the mobile garden begins to sprout, viewers are trucked across New York to see the city’s funkiest urban farms, and to find out if America’s largest city can learn to feed itself.
A Q&A follows the screening with filmmaker Ian Cheney.
The City Dark
Directed by Ian Cheney
Saturday, Feb. 11, 7:00 p.m.
Running time: 84 min.
When filmmaker Ian Cheney moves to New York City and discovers skies almost completely devoid of stars, he wonders what we lose when we lose the night. The film spans a journey to America’s brightest and darkest corners. Astronomers, cancer researchers, ecologists and philosophers provide glimpses of what is lost in the glare of city lights. Blending a humorous, searching tone with poetic footage of the night sky, what unravels is an introduction to the science of the dark and an exploration of the human relationship to the stars.
A Q&A follows the screening filmmaker Ian Cheney and Climate Central senior science writer Michael Lemonick. http://www.climatecentral.org/
SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 12
Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Directed by Werner Herzog
Sunday, Feb. 12, 11:00 a.m.
Running time: 90 min.
The film follows an exclusive expedition into the nearly inaccessible Chauvet Cave in France, home to some of the most ancient visual art known to have been created by man. The film provides a unique glimpse of pristine artwork dating back more than 30,000 years, nearly two times older than any previous discovery.
Panel Discussion: Green Burial is a Natural
Sunday, Feb. 12, 1:00 p.m.
This discussion will focus on ecological “green” burials and natural, economic and meaningful funerals. Featured panelist: Author Mark Harris (“Grave Matters”) and Laurie Powsner of the Funeral Consumer Alliance, Princeton, and filmmakers of the upcoming film “A Will for the Woods.”
Co-sponsored by the library and the Funeral Consumer Alliance, Princeton.
Short films and talk by Stan Waterman and Carrie Manfrino
Sunday, Feb. 12, 3:00 p.m.
Directed by Suzanne Chisholm and Michael Parfit
Sunday, Feb. 12, 4:30 p.m.
Running time: 85 min.
A true story of a young, wild killer whale, an Orca nicknamed Luna, who became lost on the coast of British Columbia and turned up alone in a narrow stretch of sea between mountains, a place called Nootka Sound.
Orcas are social. They live with their families all their lives. An orca who gets separated usually just fades away and dies.
Luna was alone, but he didn’t fade away. There weren’t any familiar orcas in Nootka Sound, but there were people, in boats and on the shore. So he started trying to make contact. And people welcomed him. This contact did not turn out to be simple. It was as if we humans weren’t ready for him.
The film celebrates the life of a smart, friendly, determined, transcendent being from the other world of the sea who appeared among us like a promise out of the blue: that the greatest secrets in life are still to be discovered.
A Q&A follows the screening with filmmakers Suzanne Chisholm & Michael Parfit via videoconference.