It was only two years ago that Al Gore premiered a little-known film called An Inconvenient Truth at Sundance 2006. Since then, the festival has experienced an increase in eco-themed documentaries and movies; not to mention environmental awareness in handling everything from programs to merchandise to transportation.
This year’s entries include such topics as America’s dependency on fossil fuels to the precarious future of water resources to, well, the end of the world.
First up is Field of Fuels — a film about U.S. dependency on fossil fuels and the potential of biodiesel to replace gasoline. Proving their point, the cast and crew traveled from Venice, CA to Sundance in a biodiesel caravan. Director Josh Tickell’s film was even selected to open up the festival at Robert Redford’s preserve this past Wednesday. He’s hopeful for a 200-1000 screen release in theaters during the election campaign in ’08. You can check out their ‘Sundance Blog’ over on the official Fuels site. (Thanks to Earth Pledge, the film is also carbon-neutral. Interestingly enough, Oscar-Best-Picture runner There Will Be Blood also voluntarily offset their production through EP.)
Next up is FLOW: For Love of Water which documents the intense relationship between people and water, and examines the growing rate of depletion of the most precious of natural resources. From the official site,
“Armed with a thirst for survival, people around the world are fighting for their birthright; unless we instigate change, we face a world in which only those that can pay for their water will survive. FLOW: For Love of Water, is a catalyst for people everywhere: the time has come to turn the tide and we can’t wait any longer.”
On the fictional front, we have Half-Life. While some might be quick to think this is a movie version of the video game, it’s vastly different. Here’s the quick summary: “Set in the idyllic hills of northern California, Jennifer Phang’s marvelously original first feature, Half-Life, is a supernormal tale about self-absorbed and disillusioned suburbanites who live in a futuristic time of natural disasters, suffocating air quality, and accelerating global cataclysms.”
Sounds deep — but Sundance isn’t about thin films with little-to-no brain activity. Should be cool to see how these all fair against the traditional indies — but at the end of the day, we’re just happy to see more attention being paid to these topics. Look for most of these to be available to the public sometime this year.