Fairfield Environmental Film Festival kicks off May 5

The Fairfield Environmental Film Festival will premiere on Thursday, May 5 and run until Saturday, May 7, at Sacred Heart University’s Martire Business and Communications Center, 5151 Park Avenue, Fairfield.

Sponsored by Fairfield Earth Day Committee, Bigelow Tea, and Sacred Heart’s Film and Television Master’s Program, the event will feature documentary films exploring a variety of environmental subjects — from water and air quality to energy issues and the importance of diversity in species, to the history of environmentalism. Filmed around the world, they address global issues, yet all turn the conversation back to how each person can make a difference locally.

Justin Liberman, co program director of Sacred Heart’s FTMA notes “I believe strongly in the mission of the Fairfield Environmental Film Festival and am excited to partner with them and share these important films and issues. Here at FTMA we encourage our students to tell important stories passionately and I think these films represent just that. Film is a universal way to communicate complex ideas and we are proud to participate in this exhibition.”

The screening of each film will be followed by panel discussions with experts, local business leaders, environmental advocacy groups, state and local officials, faith leaders and community groups. Some that will be attending will be The Connecticut Green Bank, The CT League of Conservation Voters, Sierra Club, CT Audubon, The Fairfield County Interfaith Alliance on Climate Change, and Fairfield student organization Objective 350. State Representatives Cristin McCarthy Vahey of Fairfield and Jonathan Steinberg of Westport will be panelists.

McCarthy Vahey, who will be attending Saturday afternoon’s screening Trashed is looking forward to the festival. “I’m thrilled to participate in an event that raises awareness about such an important issue — the stewardship of the environment. Through its film selections this festival raises awareness of a broad range of environmental issues. We have a responsibility to preserve the Earth for future generations, and this starts the conversation about what each of us can do.” Also sitting on the Trashed Panel will be Albert P’an, COO of Norwalk’s Yumi Eco Solutions, a local company creating products that are biodegradable, compostable, renewable.

Fairfield’s First Selectman Mike Tetreau will be moderating Friday night’s panel discussion of This Changes Everything. ”I’m happy that this is taking place in Fairfield,” said Tetreau. “I think it’s great that so many different stakeholders are involved in this program. Anything we can do to raise awareness of the significant and growing environmental issues that are impacting our town, our state and our world is very important. “

Cindi Bigelow, president & CEO of Bigelow Tea, sponsor of the festival, agrees. “It all begins by raising awareness of the issues that confront us, and working every day to create solutions that make a difference.” Bigelow is one of Fairfield’s most sustainable companies, and Bigelow notes, “while our primary focus has always been on delivering a fine, flavorful cup of tea, behind the scenes we have installed solar panels that offset 15% of our energy usage and implemented composting and recycling procedures that have made Bigelow Tea a Zero Waste to Landfill company. For three generations, the Bigelow family has lived by the motto, “Do the right thing and good things will follow.”

The FEFF schedule is as follows:

  • The Wisdom to Survive Thursday, May 5, at 6 p.m. (Opening night reception)
  • This Changes Everything Friday, May 6, at 7 p.m.
  • Trashed Saturday, May 7, at 3 p.m.
  • A Fierce Green Fire, Saturday, May 7, at 6 p.m.

All screenings are free and open to the public.

For more information and to preview films go to fairfieldearthday.wordpress.com/film-festival/

The Wisdom to Survive kicks off the Fairfield Environmental Film Festival.

The Wisdom to Survive kicks off the Fairfield Environmental Film Festival.

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