Creative Sustainability: The Footprints Film Festival 2017

Environmental film plays a major role in promoting sustainability in the digital age.

Al Gore’s 2006 An Inconvenient Truth shocked the global community with vivid depictions of melting glaciers and rising CO2 levels across the planet. It campaigned on a political level for international action. Josh Fox’s 2010 film Gaslands was a key contributor to the mobilisation of anti-fracking communities in the United States.

More recently, in Australia, the ABC’s War on Waste documentary series is making waves across the country, revealing to consumers the obscene amounts of food wasted by Aussies at all levels of production and consumption.  

The series has in part focused on cosmetic rules imposed by supermarkets on product acceptability, and has made a visible difference in the fight against waste via the online campaign aimed at supermarkets, #sizedoesntmatter. It has also educated the public about recycling, composting, and consumer choices about plastics. Indeed, in a Chippendale café recently, three businessmen were overhead buying Keep Cups, stating their reason as having seen the War on Waste.

Given the effectiveness of enviro-films in making change, it’s no wonder that the Inner West Council is so excited about their upcoming annual Footprints Film Festival. The festival is an opportunity for local filmmakers to produce a short film about their local environment. Entrants are encouraged to get creative, while having the opportunity to make real environmental change.

The first Footprints Film Festival was back in 2013, and was won by Ben Cregan for his film ‘The Fine Art of GI’nage’, which gave insight into the philosophy of surfer Dale Egan and his practice of reclaiming treasure from trash.

“I still remember the buzz of winning the first Footprints Film Competition,” Ben recalls. “It was fantastic having my film shown on a big screen with an appreciative audience, along with some other great films.”

Shortlisted films from this year’s competition will be screened in a bicycle-powered cinema tent, and the winner will be announced at the Footprints Eco-festival on Sunday 27 August 2017 at Whites Creek Valley Park, Annandale. The festival is free and open to everyone, so get on down to check out the films sure to make a local impact!

Words by Lucia Moon