Green Lifestyle Film Festival Makes History
The first Green Lifestyle Film Festival is history but what a historical mark it made on those who participated in the inspiring event at the James Bridges Theater at UCLA, March 13 through 15. Attendees experienced a dazzling array of keynote speakers, music, films, and even a theme song written for the festival.
Festival Founder/Organizer Dorit welcomed the attendees on the opening evening of Friday, March 13 and emphasized that food is the central issue to a green lifestyle. She introduced keynote speakers Howard Lyman, author/lecturer; Will Tuttle, author/lecturer; and Dr. Brian Clement, director of the Hippocrates Institute.
Lyman shared his cattle ranching background and his transition to a vegan diet with humor and strength. After his appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show, he was sued three times by the National Cattlemen's Beef Association and won each time. Lyman told the audience, "The National Cattlemen's Beef Association would rather see our kids die than lose their profits."
Dr. Will Tuttle is the embodiment of what it means to follow a green lifestyle. He lives in an RV to leave a very small footprint on the earth. Even his RV has solar panels. He inspires with his World Peace Diet Book, his music, articles, and lectures. The audience viewed his film as he accompanied it with an original composition on the piano. Tuttle says, "Our health is connected to the health of the earth and the health of all beings."
Dr. Clement told the audience that people come to the Hippocrates Institute in search of health cures and then discover a new life with foods that are in harmony with nature. "Healing our world with this lifestyle was once considered odd, but no longer. People are crying out for balance," he said. "One day thinking will reverse, and eating meat will be odd."
Shown that evening were trailers for all of the films with filmmakers having the opportunity to speak about their creations.
CIPES and the People provided spirited reggae music that had the audience clapping in rhythm. Kristin Hoffman followed with her "Song for the Ocean," the festival theme song. Kristin's goal is to have one million people sing her song, record their voices, and edit the music together with video footage taken of frolicking whales she experienced while at sea. The whales became her inspiration for the song.
Sunday's award ceremony and dinner concluding the festival was a celebratory event held at the Woman's Club of Hollywood on Sunday, March 15. Those at the ceremony experienced an Indonesian style rijsttafel living-food dinner catered by Jenny Ross of 118 Degrees Raw Food Cuisine in Costa Mesa. Desserts were by Ursula from Good Mood Food of Huntington Beach.
Speaking at the event were filmmakers Deborah Koons Garcia and Mike Anderson; David Crow, an expert in botanical medicine, natural health, and economic sustainability; Dr.Cathie Lippman of the Lippman Center for Optimal Health, and Kute Blackson, motivational speaker and life coach. MC for the evening was Nian Aster.
The filmmakers whose films were shown at the festival each received a Green Lifestyle Film Festival Golden Apple Award.
The Saturday schedule, beginning at 8:30 a.m., featured the screening of fifteen films:
What's Not Cookin' in Rhio's Kitchen (USA)
Energetic raw food author and teacher, Rhio, created a number of dishes that looked convincingly easy and visually inviting in the 90-minute video. Rhio tasted each of the finished dishes emitting sounds of pleasure while sampling creations like her Rainbow Super Slaw dressed with Pine Nut Yogurt, Broccoli with Chedda Sauce, and Veggie Seed Pate. Rhio, who also sings, opened the video with her own music.
Soil in Good Heart (USA)
This short segment of a longer documentary in progress by filmmaker Deborah Koons Garcia explores the soil in a number of countries and emphasizes the necessity of healthy soil in growing healthy food. Welsh Farmers Peter Segger and Ann Evans farmed organically for years and demonstrate their success in creating compost-rich soil with microorganisms that offer natural protection to plants. While scientists say organic farming doesn't work, this film proves success with old-fashioned organic practices.
In this short music video, Luminaries, a hip hop, funk, reggae, rock group share its passion for inner and world peace and a desire for caring for the environment and healthy living. In melodic rap, the eight singers and dancers, all dressed in white, sing "Be the change you want to be," and conclude with their hands in the air forming a peace sign.
What is the Truth About... Organic? (USA)
The common myths and misconceptions about organic foods and products are revealed. Five industry experts discuss the marketing behind organics that often leaves the consumer feeling powerless. With national standards frequently differing from state rules, the consumer needs to be sure seeds come from organic sources.
Everything Bad is Good (USA)
Filmmaker Len Richmond interviews survivors of cancer, AIDS and other serious illnesses, who had been given a death sentence by doctors, but healed themselves on a diet of raw and vegan foods and herbs. This is a film that recognizes the value of self-empowerment.
Homegrown Revolution (USA)
The Dervaes family has transformed their home into an urban homestead in downtown Pasadena where they grow three tons of organic food on their 1/10-acre garden. Every inch of land on their property is used to grow edible food, including their driveway, which they dug up and planted. Viewers see how beneficial insects and animals play a role in maintaining a very impressive farm that sells produce to restaurants and keeps the family of four well nourished.
Curing Cancer (USA)
Healing Cancer From Inside Out (USA)
Modern medicine's reliance on drugs, radiation, and chemotherapy are challenged in this documentary that examines the use of plant-based diets to fight cancer and other chronic diseases. Many now-cured patients speak on their survival using alternative methods to overcome cancer.
Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days (USA)
Six diabetics are able to reduce or stop taking insulin and other medications as they follow a raw vegan diet for a month. The film demonstrates that even though the diabetics found the raw food dietary regimen challenging, they each saw improvement in personal health.
A Delicate Balance - The Truth (Australia)
The disastrous effects on our health and the planet because of our meat-based diet are chronicled in this documentary that debunks the myths surrounding the production and consumption of animal products. Impressive facts and documented statistics from organizations like WHO and FAO call attention to the unsustainable Western lifestyle.
One Prayer (Karl Anthony) (USA)
In this short video songwriter Karl Anthony sings, "If I had one prayer, I'd pray for the people who hate." He urges people to love and pray for their enemies.
One Man, One Cow, One Planet (New Zealand)
The subtitle of this film is "How to Save the World." Octogenarian Peter Proctor from New Zealand shows Indian farmers how they can restore their soil and farms using biodynamic-organic methods. Proctor is creating a revolution in farming in India and literally changing attitudes and bringing hope.
The Learning Garden (USA)
Venice High School in the Los Angeles area is the scene of one of the country's most successful school and community gardens. The film features the students growing edible foods and medicinal plants and learning about the life cycle of plants. They were taught to respect the soil and the bugs that benefit the soil. Those who were at first reluctant to taste the foods grown at school eventually became inspired enthusiastic advocates.
Hummingbird (USA, filmed in Brazil)
Filmmaker Holly Mosher turns the camera lens on children of the streets of Recife, Brazil, and the efforts of local groups to rescue them from prostitution and domestic violence. Two women cared enough to provide a secure environment, loving care, and education to help these children to become reinstated into society in a positive way.
Birth Without Violence (France, Switzerland, India)
Three short films by medical pioneer Frederick Leboyer emphasize natural childbirth, massage of the newly born, soft sounds, and breathing for pregnant women. Dr. Leboyer started a revolution in the medical practice of childbirth in water.
Sunday's shorter program of seven films allowed participants to assemble at the Hollywood Woman's Club for the Gala Dinner and Award Presentation that evening. On the Sunday Program were the following films:
The Art of Living Food (USA)
Raw chef Minh and her husband Ronnie show how to create 16 simple recipes that are visually appealing, healthy and delicious. Minh, who is from Vietnam, demonstrates the use of a special kitchen tool used to slice foods and present them attractively.
Mad Cowboy (USA)
Based on Howard Lyman's book Mad Cowboy: Plain Truth from the Cattle Rancher Who Won't Eat Meat, the film tells about Lyman's personal journey that led him to veganism and his efforts to alert the public about mad cow disease.
Narrated by Joaquin Phoenix, this provocative film pulls no punches in exposing the cruelty and suffering animals endure in society's desire for food, fashion, entertainment, and scientific research
Overcoming the Food Imprint: The Origin of Our Cravings (USA)
Filmmaker Valya Boutenko shows that people ordinarily resist making dietary changes. Valya emphasizes that the foods we were given as infants play a major role in imprinting on the food choices we make in adulthood. She presents techniques that will effect positive change.
Be The Change - Living Lightly and Loving It (Canada)
Canadian filmmaker David Chernushenko demonstrates how people in his local community are living sustainably and finding the process joyful and uplifting. The film stressed that everyone can do something to make a difference by living lightly and being the change.
Return to Balance - A Climbers Journey (USA)
Rock climber Ron Kauk narrates this film that shows his dangerous climbs in Yosemite National Park amid the majestic scenery. In the film Kauk speaks with reverence for nature's beauty and says we all must take responsibility for preserving these wonders of nature.
Junk Dreams (USA)
Filmmaker Skye Borgman accompanies her father and uncle, two men in their seventies facing the challenges of weather and a malfunctioning Chinese junk, as they travel from Port Hadlock, Washington to Valdez, Alaska. In each setback the family members overcome adversity and learn the value of their most important asset--being together and experiencing a memorable journey.
The Green Lifestyle Festival billed itself as "A Film Festival about sustainable choices and responsible, joy-filled living with provocative, inspirational, solution-based films which will elevate and sustain a life of excellence for all." The three-day event more than lived up to its billing. Attendees were treated to a rich experience as they viewed a diverse group of films showing average people performing extraordinary deeds. Viewers had the first-hand opportunity to see films that have not been presented on mainstream media.
Dorit and her crew are to be commended for bringing this film festival to Los Angeles. We're all looking forward to 2010.