Over the October 20-22 weekend, Loyola Marymount University’s Center for Urban Resilience (CURes) and School of Film and Television hosted the G2 Green Earth Film Festival, an annual event that features award-winning, environmentally focused films from around the world. The festival was founded in 2012 by G2 Gallery owners Dan and Susan Gottlieb, who continue to grant funding to make this annual event possible. The Gottliebs launched the festival to provide a forum for environmental filmmakers to screen their movies and to raise awareness about eco issues.

Dr. Eric Strauss welcoming filmmakers, filmgoers, and sponsors.

The 5th Annual G2 Green Earth Film Festival was co-sponsored by LMU’s CURes and School of Film and Television. From 1,677 submissions, 18 films were chosen as Official Selections, with two additional film premiers not being judged. More than 200 filmgoers attended the weekend-long festival and helped raise funding for the festival’s nonprofit partners.

Friday’s theme was “Common Bond” – Changing the Conversation Between Man and Animal. The five films screened were:

  • The Shepherd on the Outskirts of Paris (Benoit Cassegrain and Helene Legay)
  • Turtles Shell at BIM (Alexanderson Bolano De La Lanza)
  • Pandas in the Mist (Thierry Garance and Juan Rodriguez)
  • Forgotten But Not Gone: The Pacific Fisher (Morgan Heim)
  • Grey Area: Wolves of the Southwest (Dean Cannon)

There was also a panel discussion led by Dr. Eric Strauss, President’s Professor of Biology at LMU and Executive Director of CURes. The panel featured Melya Kaplan, Founder and Executive Director at Voice for the Animals Foundation, and Lisa Fimiani, CURes Fellow and former Executive Director at Friends of Ballona Wetlands. Proceeds from the evening were donated to Voice for the Animals Foundation.

LMU students attending the film festival at Mayer Theater.

Saturday focused on “Getting Current” – Navigating Earth’s Water Crisis. The day began with a premiere of Jim Thebaut’s film Beyond the Brink, with a panel discussion following featuring the filmmaker and Jeff Kightlinger, General Manager at The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California. The six other films screened Saturday included:

  • A Plastic Ocean (Craig Leeson)
  • Teach a Man… (Carver Bacchus)
  • Port Rivalry (Rayane Jemaa)
  • The Call from the Sea (Taylor McNulty)
  • The Oyster Revival: Restoring Our Waters (Allison Keir)
  • Here After (Esy Casey and Sarah Friedland)

There was a panel discussion led by Dr. Strauss featuring Dr. John Dorsey, Director of Urban Ecology Research at CURes and Professor of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science at LMU, and Sarah Sikich, Vice President of Heal the Bay. Proceeds from the evening benefitted Heal the Bay.

Panel featuring Sarah Sikich, Dr. John Dorsey, Dr. Eric Strauss

Sunday revolved around “Green City” – Sustainable Living in Today’s Urban Environment. The premiere of the day was The Cat that Changed America (Tony Lee), with the seven following selections:

  • The Arcade Creek Project (Jierel Almario)
  • Circularity Preparing for the New Economy (Marion Wolff)
  • Living with Fire (Claire M. Andreae)
  • Cycologic (Emilia Stalhammar, Veronica Palsson, and Elsa Lovdin)
  • Green Soil (Keerthi Raj)
  • Trash Manufactured (Jim Jacobi and Chris Jones)
  • Evolution of Organic (Mark Kitchell)

Dr. Strauss led a discussion with Angela Hughes, former Gjelina Volunteer Program Director and current teacher at Venice High School with Farm to Fork program, and Tom Ford, Executive Director at The Bay Foundation. Proceeds from the evening benefitted The Bay Foundation’s Table to Farm Composting program.

Dr. Eric Strauss, Angela Hughes, and Tom Ford at Sunday’s panel.

At Sunday night’s award ceremony, five prizes were handed out:

  • The Gottlieb Award for Environmental Excellence: The Arcade Creek Project: A Mosaic of Sustainability (Jierel Almario)
  • Best Feature: Gray Area: Wolves of the Southwest (Dean Cannon)
  • Best Short: A Plastic Ocean (Craig Leeson)
  • Audience Award: Evolution of Organic (Mark Kitchell)
  • LMU CURes/SFTV Student Award: Trash Manufactured (Jim Jacobi and Chris Jones) & Living with Fire (Claire M. Andreae)
Left to Right: Dr. Eric Strauss, LMU award winners Claire M. Andreae and Chris Jones, and Gregory Ruzzin.

Thank you to all filmgoers and directors who were able to attend. We’d also like to thank LMU’s passionate faculty and student volunteers, who helped make this event memorable and an incredible success. Thank you to our beverage sponsor Firestone Brewing Company. And most of all, many thanks to festival founders Dan and Susan Gottlieb, whose generosity and environmental passion continue to make this celebration of eco-conscious films possible.

Left to Right: Lisa Fimiani, Gregory Ruzzin, Emily Simso, Jared Nigro, Dr. Eric Strauss

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