Opening Night (Hidden Valley + Mining the Truth + launch party)
The Fifth Season
Atomic States of America
The Fruit Hunters
F*ck For Forest
Lost Rivers + Wadi Wadi
More Than Honey
Sand Wars + The Kids
The Earth Wins (IMAX)*
The Last Ocean
Sandgrains + Arekara
Opening Night will feature two Australian-made world cinematic premieres, Hidden Valley and Mining The Truth, linked by their delicate exploration into the lives of communities bearing the social and environmental impacts of mining.
Following these spectacular films, festival patron and special guest Bob Brown will talk to the filmmakers about their experiences and the complex issues raised in their films.
"Is this development for the benefit of local people or for the shareholders in Australia and South Africa?" - Howard Sindana
The Hidden Valley gold and silver mine in Papua New Guinea is devastating communities living along the Watut River, a long and fast-flowing river in the lush mountains of the Morobe Province. This evocative and beautifully shot short documentary illustrates how indigenous models of development are clashing with those imposed by mining companies and government.
We hear from a diverse range of local community representatives, community workers, landowners and experts as they describe the impacts of this Australian / South African owned mine on their lives, and discuss the way forward to a more sustainable future.
Hidden Valley was produced by the Mineral Policy Institute, an international civil society organisation that focuses on assisting communities affected by mining projects and on achieving industry reform through improvements to policy, law and practice.
A huge number of Australian communities are dealing with the impacts of coal and gas mining. In Mining the Truth we take a roadtrip with 60 young and inspiring Australians to visit mining communities on Australia's east coast and hear their stories. We hear from traditional owners, miners, doctors, farmers, parents and others who are directly experiencing the environmental and social impacts of coal and gas mining.
A world cinematic premiere, this beautifully shot and profoundly human documentary digs up some simple truths about the highly politicised and complex issue of mining in Australia.
Organised by the Australian Student Environment Network (ASEN), Mining the Truth roadtrips transport young people out of the cities to the coalface, to witness the effects of coal and gas extraction firsthand and meet with affected community members and groups trying to bring about social and environmental change. For many roadtrip participants, the experience is life-changing.
Join us afterwards at our exclusive launch party at Strange Wolf to enjoy live music, fine food and wine and discuss the films with a network of people who "give a flick" about the environment.
Our beaches and coastlines are a national treasure, a shared resource, and a beautiful constant in a rapidly changing world - yet they are disappearing before our very eyes.
Shored Up asks tough questions, close to the heart of beach lovers (and developers) everywhere, about our coastal communities and our relationship to the land. What effect will sea level rise have on our homes, our businesses, our future?
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, surfers, politicians, scientists and residents look at the impacts of climate change on Long Beach Island, New Jersey and the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and consider the future of coastal development.
With wry humour, Shored Up explores the practice of beach engineering and sand replenishment as a solution to rising sea levels, and begs the question - can we afford to pile enough sand on our shores to keep the ocean at bay?
A must see film at this year's festival, Shored Up is as enjoyable as it is alarming.
Port Phillip Baykeeper
Born into a redgum forest sleeper cutting family, Neil's formative years in a Murray River town gave him a lifelong love and respect of waterways. Early occupations included fruit picker, gardener, barman, builder's labourer, truck-driver, youth worker, sleeper cutter, and bass guitarist in a country and western band.
Commencing work as a City of St Kilda Park Ranger in 1986 gave him a unique insight into our love affair with the coast, the changeable moods of the weather: storm surges pounding beaches, conspiring with torrential rains to flood low-lying areas. To encourage community care of local open space he began to research the natural history of St Kilda and to systematically collect data on local species. This journey of urban environment discovery lead to his current role as Director of Port Phillip EcoCentre and Port Phillip Baykeeper. He was awarded an Order of Australia medal in 2005 for services to community and the environment. From 2005 - 08, as a spokesperson for Blue Wedges Coalition, he campaigned against the disposal of dredged contaminated silts in the Bay, and the risk of altered tidal regimes causing coastal erosion. He continues to document the changing coast.
Global Technical Leader (Climate Adaptation), AECOM
Michael has worked on sustainability and climate change for almost 20 years. He has led over 100 climate change impact, risk assessment and adaptation projects for coastal regions, infrastructure, corporations and all levels of government. Michael has worked on projects in Australia, USA, Canada, China, India, Brazil, New Zealand and United Kingdom.
Professor, University of Melbourne
Jon is a political geographer whose research investigates the impacts of and responses to environmental change on social systems, with a focus on risks to human security, hunger, conflict, and water stress. He has been conducting research on the social and institutional dimensions of vulnerability and adaptation to climate change since 2000. This has included field-based research in the South Pacific, China, and Timor-Leste. Jon is host convenor of the research network on the social, economic and institutional dimensions of climate change, which is part of the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility. He is a Lead Author for the Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Executive Editor of the adaptation domain of "Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews Climate Change", and is on the editorial board of "Global Environmental Change".
What would happen if spring never arrived?
A small, close-knit village, deep in the Ardennes forest waits for spring to arrive but as the calendar rolls along, a different season emerges.
Seeds no longer sprout, cows stop producing milk and the military comes to take away 'contaminated' livestock.
For the villagers hope begins to vanish, and life takes unexpected turns, as they try to survive on a newly dormant earth. Emerging from the wreckage a few souls take flight while the rest of the community implodes.
The Environmental Film Festival Melbourne's first ever narrative feature film,The Fifth Season, offers a dramatic glimpse of nature in revolt against mankind.
Selected for screening at the Toronto International Film Festival, EFFM is thrilled to host the Australian premiere of this visceral and stunning arthouse feature.
In 2010, the United States approved the first new nuclear power plant in 32 years, heralding a "nuclear renaissance". But that was before the Fukushima accident in Japan renewed a fierce public debate over the safety and viability of nuclear power. The Atomic States of America journeys to nuclear reactor communities across the US to provide a candid exploration of the history and impacts of nuclear power, debunking myths and uncovering truths about this controversial energy source.
The film introduces people who have been on the frontlines of this issue for decades: community advocates, investigative journalists, renowned physicists, engineers, industry regulators, and former government leaders. As a nation stands at the crossroads of a possible nuclear renaissance, The Atomic States of America inspires informed discussion on the safety, viability and future of nuclear power.
"A mango is always a negotiation - it's a love story."
A divine product of two years trailing fruit-obsessed horticulturalists, pomologists, and backyard enthusiasts, director Yung Chang takes us on a global journey in search of rare, delicious and forgotten fruits, that reminds us of the limitless imagination of nature.
We search for white-fleshed mangoes in Bali, go hunting in Borneo for the rare kura-kura durian, join an Italian fruit detective sleuthing amongst Renaissance paintings for long-forgotten figs and even follow Bill Pullman pursuing his dream of creating a community orchard in Hollywood.
Through Chang's lens we gain a greater appreciation for our symbiotic relationship with fruit through culture, history, and ecology and glean a sense of our infinite biodiversity so clearly under threat by an all-consuming monoculture.
Can sex save the world? Founders of Berlin-based NGO, F*ck for Forest, certainly think so. Raising money by selling home-made erotic films on the internet, they are on a mission to save the planet from environmental destruction.
Meet Danny, a troubled soul, as he accidentally discovers an exuberant, neo-hippy world where sexual liberation merges with global altruism, and joins their already colourful operation. From the streets of Berlin to the depths of the Amazon, together they are on a planet-saving mission to buy a piece of forest and save the Indigenous peoples from the sick, sick West.
R-rated, this foray into eco-erotica will make you laugh, cringe and think outside the square when it comes to saving the planet.
Once upon a time, in almost every city, many rivers flowed. Why did they disappear? How?
Lost Rivers takes us on an adventure across the globe and into the entrails of our cities, retracing rivers swallowed years ago by urbanisation. We hear from visionary thinkers, activists and artists united in their quest to reconnect with the natural world and reclaim our disappeared waterways.
Guiding us through the hidden river networks of London, Brescia, Montreal and Toronto, intrepid groups of subterranean explorers known as 'drainers', bring the buried secrets of our cities to the surface.
In Yonkers and Seoul, we explore initiatives to resurface and revitalise lost rivers, reconnecting city dwellers with their natural environment.
A gentle, inquisitive film that traverses the relationship between humans and their environment, Lost Rivers highlights the importance of water to humankind and the need for better management so that cities and rivers can share a mutually beneficial coexistence.
An innovative community film project that explores Indigenous Australians' connections to the rivers and waterways in their country.
In this film, Traditional Owners from the Wadi Wadi Nation, present a compelling case for "cultural flows" - allocations of water that are owned and managed by Indigenous people.
"If bees were to disappear from the globe, mankind would only have four years left to live." - Einstein
Over the past 15 years, huge numbers of bee colonies have been decimated throughout the world, yet the cause remains unknown. Oscar-nominated director Markus Imhoof (THE BOAT IS FULL) tackles the vexing issue of why bees, worldwide, are disappearing.
With the tenacity of a man out to solve a world-class mystery, he investigates this global phenomenon, questioning bee experts in California, Switzerland, China and Australia.
Labelled "colony collapse disorder" by scientists, this epidemic is not only a threat to the bee species but also to humankind. 80% of plant species require bees to pollinate and without them, fruits and vegetables could disappear entirely from the face of the earth.
Exquisite macro-photography of bees in flight and in their hives reveals a fascinating, complex world in crisis. A startling and moving film that raises questions about the survival of a species in cosmic as well as apiary terms.
The SAND WARS have begun. Every house, skyscraper and glass building, every bridge, airport and sidewalk in our modern society depends on sand. And, Australia is one of the biggest exporters of this lucrative commodity.
Most of us think of sand as a complementary ingredient of any beach vacation. Yet those seemingly insignificant grains of silica surround our daily lives. We use it to manufacture optical fiber, cell phone components and computer chips. We find it in our toothpaste, powdered foods and even in our glass of wine.
But is sand an infinite resource? Can the existing supply satisfy the gigantic demand fueled by construction booms? What are the consequences of intensive sand mining for the environment and the neighbouring populations?
Based on encounters with sand smugglers, barefoot millionaires, corrupt politicians, unscrupulous real estate developers and environmentalists, this investigation takes us around the globe to unveil a new and unprecedented gold rush.
Three greedy siblings bicker over a family inheritance thinking they have won the favour of their environmentally conscious father. An entertaining Australian short that playfully parodies the environmental movement.
Made over seven years, across four continents: The Earth Wins is the first Australian-produced IMAX documentary film to be released in a decade. A cross between environmental and symphonic documentary, The Earth Wins takes us on a journey over disaster zones, beautiful, rugged and remote locations, favelas and slums, offering us a new perspective on the delicate relationship that man has with the planet.
Featuring rare footage of Hurricane Katrina and the aftermath of Black Saturday, The Earth Wins offers us a reminder of how the planet only needs to sneeze, for us to realise the extent of her power; and that we must find a way to live sustainably to remain in harmony with her. The Earth Wins features a well selected soundtrack of The Who, Coldplay, New Order, The Temper Trap and many more which all contribute to make this film the most unusual of ballets.
This special EFFM screening will be followed by a panel discussion with the Victorian-based filmmakers Director/Writer Jerry Grayson, Producer Sara Hine and Nobel Prize Winning Climate Change Scientist, Professor David Karoly.
Jerry's eight years flying in the Royal Navy's Fleet Air Arm culminated in him being awarded the Air Force Cross by Her Majesty the Queen for outstanding gallantry in Search and Rescue.
In 1980 he left the Navy, channelling his flying into film work and rapidly earned the accolade of being one of the world's leading helicopter film pilots, designing the aerial action sequences on "James Bond" movies such as "View to a Kill". He flew and directed aerial sequences for over 300 TVCs, 60 factual documentaries and many feature films, leading eventually to the director's role in 1989 with the formation of Helifilms.
His experience directing live-action, "special format" films is second to none, and he still loves flying the helicopter on all Helifilms' aerial productions. Jerry wrote all the scripts for Helifilms' many productions; such as The Space Academy and Space Cadet School for Valencia's City of Arts and Science, Zero G Space Lab for the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, and films for Action Stations in Plymouth and the Imperial War Museum in Duxford, UK.
He has completed scripts for two further giant screen films, which are currently in development, a feature film and his first book.
Sara started her career in London in 1981 assessing new programme potential with Richard Price Television Associates. She then spent two years representing portrait photographer Terry O'Neill as well as his actress wife, Faye Dunaway on the film "Barfly" and the theatre production, "Circe and Bravo".
Prior to forming Helifilms in 1989, she worked at Chatsworth Television on a number of successful international television series, such as Channel 4's long-running "Treasure Hunt".
Sara has produced all of Helifilms productions from major live sports events such as Athens Olympics, Melbourne Commonwealth Games, Doha Asian Games and Soccer World Cup in South Africa, where Helifilms supplied the entire tv broadcast aerial unit, to TVCs, music videos and special format films and Museum exhibitions. As well as taking care of all the usual duties of a producer, Sara's particular skills lie in raising deficit finance through sponsorship, pre-sales to exhibitors, distribution deals and co-production partnerships.
Sara is a founding officer and former Vice President of the European Division of the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA) which is an international trade association for all suppliers to museums, theme parks, visitor centres and planetaria, with over 600 member companies worldwide.
Professor, University of Melbourne
David Karoly is a Professor of Atmospheric Science in the School of Earth Sciences and the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science at the University of Melbourne. He is an internationally recognised expert in climate change and climate variability, including greenhouse climate change, stratospheric ozone depletion and interannual climate variations due to El Nino Southern Oscillation. He was heavily involved in preparation of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released in 2007, in several different roles.
GMO OMG explores the systematic corporate takeover and potential loss of humanity's most precious and ancient inheritance - seeds. Director Jeremy Seifert investigates how the loss of seed diversity and the genetic alteration of food, affects his young children, the health of our planet, and freedom of choice everywhere. GMO OMG follows one family's struggle to live and eat without participating in an unhealthy, unjust, and destructive food system.
In GMO OMG, the encroaching darkness of unknown health and environmental risks, chemical toxins, and food monopoly meets with the light of a growing global movement to take back what we have lost. Has the global food system been irrevocably hijacked? Or can we take back our food, heal the planet, and live sustainably? The choice is ours, but we have to start now!
The Ross Sea, Antarctica is the most pristine stretch of ocean on Earth. A vast, frozen landscape that teems with life - whales, seals and penguins carving out a place on the very edge of existence. Largely untouched by humans, it is one of the last places on the planet where the delicate balance of nature prevails.
But an international fishing fleet has recently found its way to the Ross Sea. It is targeting the Patagonian Toothfish, sold in up-market restaurants around the world - a catch so lucrative it is known as white gold. Unless this is stopped the natural balance of the Ross Sea will be lost forever.
Scientists, nature photographers and filmmakers who share a deep passion for this remote corner of the world have rallied together to begin a campaign that takes on commercial fishing and the governments that allow it, to protect Earth's last untouched ocean from our insatiable appetite for fish.
"A shocking look at how far the energy industry and the government will go to crush just one voice." - Michael Moore
"The choice you are making today is what side are you on." - Tim DeChristopher
Bidder 70 centres on an extraordinary, ingenious and effective act of civil disobedience carried out in the name of climate justice.
It's the story of a young man fed up with corporate control of his government; of the power of individual choices and their consequences; and of a principled young man and his undying commitment to a liveable world.
On December 19, 2008 Tim DeChristopher disrupted a highly disputed Utah BLM Oil and Gas lease auction, effectively safeguarding thousands of acres of pristine Utah land that were slated for oil and gas leases. He outbid industry giants on land parcels worth millions of dollars with no intention of paying or drilling. Now, he's paying for it with his future.
In Bidder 70, we follow DeChristopher from college student to charismatic climate justice leader and incarcerated felon and ask ourselves whether peaceful civil disobedience is justified in a time of climate chaos and government inaction.
Winner of countless awards, this highly-charged, extraordinary documentary challenges our ideas of justice and ignites a spirit of civil disobedience in us all.
Jonathan Moylan is a young environmental activist and anti-coal campaigner from Newcastle, the hometown of the world's biggest coal port, who is passionate about protecting communities from the health impacts of coal and coal seam gas mining. Since early 2012, Jonathan has been campaigning with local farmers against Whitehaven Coal's controversial Maules Creek coal mine. In early 2013 he issued a fake press release, stating that ANZ was withdrawing its funding for the project on environmental grounds which exposed ANZ as the main backer of the Maules Creek mine and caused Whitehaven Coal's share price to fall over $300 million. He is the first person to be charged under section 1041E of the Corporations Act and if convicted, could face up to 10 years in prison and almost half a million dollars in fines.
Felicity has been the Principal Solicitor at the EDO (Vic) since 2010. Felicity has worked in environmental and planning law throughout her career and been involved in a several significant public interest environmental law cases. Before joining EDO (Vic), she worked as a Senior Solicitor at the Environmental Defenders Office in NSW and as a solicitor in private practice at a firm specialising in Local Government, Planning and Environment law. In 2011, Felicity was named Young Australian Environmental Lawyer of the Year by the Law Council of Australia.
Associate Professor Peter Christoff teaches and researches climate politics and policy in the Department of Resource Management and Geography at the University of Melbourne. He is on the Board of the Australian Conservation Foundation, and was formerly a member of the (Victoria) Premier's Climate Change Reference Group and the Assistant Commissioner for the Environment (Victoria).
Elemental tells the story of three individuals united by their deep connection to nature and their drive to confront some of the world's most pressing ecological challenges. Separated by continents yet sharing an unwavering commitment to protecting the environment, the characters are complex, postmodern heroes for whom stemming the tide of environmental destruction fades in and out of view.
The film follows Rajendra Singh, a government official gone rogue, on a pilgrimage to cleanse the once pristine Ganges river, now polluted and choking on waste. Facing community opposition, Singh works to rouse the Indian people to treat their sacred "Mother Ganga" with respect.
Across the globe in northern Canada, Eriel Deranger mounts her own "David and Goliath" struggle to protect Indigenous heritage and the local environment from the world's largest industrial development, the Tar Sands, an oil deposit larger than the state of Florida.
And in Australia, inventor Jay Harman searches for investors willing to risk millions on a revolutionary device, based on nature's own forms, that he believes can slow down global warming.
An exquisitely shot documentary that wanders the globe to tell three stories, across three continents linked by one commitment to change.
Gold Fever witnesses the arrival of Goldcorp Inc to a remote village in the highlands of Guatemala. 500 years after the conquistadors, and still reeling from decades of US-backed repression, local women Diodora, Crisanta and Gregoria are caught in the crossfire of another global frenzy for gold.
Gold is an obsession of men and nations; a symbol of wealth and power. But for Diodora, Gregoria, Crisanta and the people living near the Marlin Mine, gold represents oppression, intimidation, pollution and even murder.
These brave women firmly resist the threat to their ancestral lands in the face of grave consequences and see their community divided and their land destroyed.
A raw, compelling and heartbreaking film, Gold Fever opens our eyes to the shocking impacts of the world's unstoppable hunger for gold.
After a long absence, Jose Fortes returns home to Cape Verde to find his community transformed. The fish that have provided income and food for generations are disappearing from the sea, and people are being forced to sell the sand from their beaches just to survive. The cause of this transformation can be seen all around the archipelago - European vessels returning home with fish from Cape Verdean waters.
Sandgrains is a crowd-funded documentary about the local impacts of global fishing. The story takes us all the way from Africa to the corridors of the EU Parliament where an effort to revive Europe's failing fishing industry is underway.
In a visually stunning, short documentary we hear five candid testimonies from survivors of the devastating Fukushima tsunami. The testimonies are terrifying, harsh and sad, but at the same time touching, sincere and deeply human, with a focus not on the particular event in Japan, but rather the universal stories of all the victims of natural disasters throughout the world.
"Heritage Fight lifts the lid on both the local impacts of mining out of control in Australia and what happens when people stand up against the industry invaders." - Bob Brown
There are still some pristine places left on earth, untouched by industrialisation. But for how long?
In the far north corner of Australia, lies the Kimberley, a pristine and complex landscape of unrivalled biodiversity and beauty and Australia's last great wilderness.
It is here, at James Price Point, that Western Australia's Premier, Colin Barnett, and Woodside, a multi billion-dollar mining company, have decided to build the second largest liquefied natural gas plant in the world.
Faced with the threat of mass industrialisation, the traditional owners - the Goolarabooloo people - along with the residents of Broome and environmentalists, are determined to fight to protect Aboriginal heritage and this last remaining corner of pristine wilderness.
A confronting and passionate film that documents one of Australia's biggest environmental fights and seeks to reveal the complex relationship between industrial development and community resistance.