CIFF Partners with Unity College for Environmental Film Series
Unity, Maine – February 1, 2013 – It was a match made in documentary film heaven. For years the Camden International Film Festival (CIFF) had been screening environmental documentaries. Separately, Unity College had delved into environmental filmmaking, building a multi-media lab on campus and offering documentary filmmaking courses.
Now, CIFF and Unity College have joined in partnership to offer a documentary film series that will reach across the Northeast.
The series features both critically acclaimed environmental documentaries and a strong Unity College connection, with Unity College President Stephen Mulkey, an internationally recognized scientist and leader in the climate change mitigation movement, speaking and greeting guests at each event. A special focus will be to welcome Unity College alumni and parents and to present information about Unity College, which in December became the first college in the United States to divest from investments in fossil fuels.
“Partnering with CIFF has allowed Unity College to express its support and commitment to the environment through cinema,” said Melik Khoury, Senior Vice President for External Affairs. “The films screened in this series embody Unity College’s commitment to thinking locally and acting globally, viewing all enterprises through the lens of sustainability.”
Khoury sees the film series not only as the beginning of a close association with CIFF, but the affirmation of the environmental concern and commitment to sustainability seen among alumni, students, parents of Unity College students, and the College community. Involving the general public is an added bonus.
“Nothing is more important to Unity College than its students, environmental mission, and its vibrant community of engaged alumni,” Khoury stated. “Creating opportunities like this film series that bring the entire community together while involving the general public is ideal.”
Officials from CIFF and Unity College are finalizing the complete schedule, which will be announced in full during the month of February.
The first film in the series, Betting the Farm, the documentary about Maine-based organic milk cooperative MOOMilk, entitled, was screened on January 14 at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, Massachusetts. At the event, CIFF Founder and Director Ben Fowlie introduced Mulkey, who welcomed Unity alumni, parents, and the general public. He also spoke passionately about Unity’s mission, focus on sustainability science as the “what’s next” for 21st century ecological problem solving, and the pressing need to address climate change.
The second event in the series of CIFF and College sponsored documentaries, a screening of the climate change documentary film Chasing Ice, took place on January 25 in Portland, Maine at the SPACE Gallery. It highlighted Unity’s commitment to the issues of environment, sustainability science and combatting climate-change.
“The partnership between Unity College, the Camden International Film Festival, and Space Gallery was an excellent fit for showcasing the documentary film Chasing Ice to Portland area audiences,” said Fowlie. "We're very excited about the possibilities of providing more great nonfiction works to audiences, and the opportunities for year round collaborations that our CIFF Selects touring series allows."
For all involved, the series is a good opportunity to network, spread the word about climate change and Unity College, and to celebrate the growing genre of environmental films.
“Unity College alumni are working in the field on the pressing environmental issues of our time,” said Debora Noone, Unity College Alumni and Parent Relations Coordinator. “Having these types of events is a good opportunity to gather Unity alumni together and bring the College community and its environmental focus to the general public.”
Unity College is a private college in rural Maine that provides dedicated, engaged students with a liberal arts education which emphasizes the environment and natural resources. Unity College graduates are prepared to be environmental stewards, effective leaders, and responsible citizens through active learning experiences within a supportive community.