BUENOS AIRES, April 4th, 2012 - More than 500 people participated in the four screenings of the Third Environmental Film Festival organized by the World Bank at the Recoleta Cultural Centre. With free entrance, the event took place outdoors and presented documentaries to promote reflection on how humans use the planet’s natural resources.
During four Thursdays in March, the public came to be informed and entertained on topics such as population growth, food, waste production, as well as urban and rural development, while watching documentaries that were showed for the first time in Argentina.
“Thanks to these movies, I found a new way to communicate these issues to my students and to motivate them at the same time”, says Carmen Peralta, a teacher that has been organizing screenings of the Festival’s movies at educational institutions since last year.
The film “Mother” was chosen to open the Festival on March 8th, the International Women’s Day. This movie discusses population growth and its relationship with social and environmental problems. Before the screening, the presentations of María Gabriela Hoch, from Vital Voices, and Aleandra Scafati, from Ecomujeres, brought about an interesting debate about women’s empowerment and women’s key role in consumption decisions.
On March 15th, the leading topic was responsible eating.“Planeat” was screened, a film that explores the relationship between food, health and environment. Pedro Landa, from the Argentine Movement for the Organic Production, and Diego Felix, a cook specialized in native and naturist food, gave the public tools to rethink their daily diet and to choose healthier meals.
Three World Bank experts gathered in the screenings of March 22nd. Ede Ijjász Vásquez, director of the Department of Sustainable Development for Latin America and the Caribbean, talked about sustainable cities; Renán Poveda, environmental specialist, described his experience as manager of the Solid Waste Management Project, and Verónica Raffo, Infrastructure specialist, presented the challenges around sustainable transportation. Later, the films “Waste not”, about recycling and reusing waste, and “A world of one’s own”, about current urban development, were shown.
A group of volunteers from the Recycling Charity Program of the National University of Avellaneda was enthusiastic about the documentary on waste management. “We would like to screen it at the University and that the World Bank specialists help us in developing recycling projects at community level”, says Emir Costaguta, one of the program leaders.
Several people wanted to share the environmental messages within their communities after participating in the festival. That is the case of Stella Minorini, who is thinking about organizing screenings in a gated neighborhood of 1,700 households in Buenos Aires province, and Guillermo Sánchez Landa, Secretary of Inspections and Urban Records from San Isidro, who has started to plan the event in his Municipality.
The event ended on March 29th with the presentation of Andrés Bosso, from Aves Argentinas, who highlighted the value of preserving argentine “pampas”. He presented the Grasslands Project, implemented by his NGO with a GEF donation through the World Bank. At the end, “The symphony of the soil” documentary that recently had its world premier,, and discusses agricultural practices as well as the use of fertilizers and pesticides, was released in Buenos Aires.
The Third Environmental Film Festival was supported by the National Environmental and Sustainable Development Secretary, the Environmental Protection Agency of the Buenos Aires City Environmental Ministry, Vida Silvestre Argentina Foundation, Environment and Natural Resources Foundation, Aves Argentinas, the Agronomy Faculty of Buenos Aires University and Cultra Magazine.