Palo Alto Weekly

Arts & Entertainment - March 5, 2010

Movies for the reel world

Earth Day festival seeks films on eco-friendly topics

by Rebecca Wallace

Just think: That argument you're always making against rampant consumerism would be so much cooler in claymation.

Fortunately, there's a festival for that. The city of Palo Alto is once again seeking submissions of short films for its annual Greenlight Earth Day Film Festival.

Projects must deal with issues of "environmental citizenship and show how individual actions can reduce our environmental impact," according to a festival flier. Topics could include: climate change, eco-fashion, endangered species, local policy-makers on the environment, and carbon offsets used during travel.

There are three entry categories: students in grades six through eight, students in grades nine through 12, and non-student folks. Filmmakers must live, work or attend school in Palo Alto, Stanford, East Palo Alto, Mountain View, Menlo Park, Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Atherton, Sunnyvale or San Jose.

Sometimes the best argument is a short one. Submitted films must be 10 minutes or less, although it is possible to hand in a 10-minute excerpt from a longer piece. There is no entry fee or limit on genres, so bring on the satires, animation, music videos, documentaries, sci-fi films and reality-TV pieces.

Judges for the festival are drawn from the film industry, environmental agencies and local schools.

The entry deadline is March 26, with the film festival planned for April 15. That night, the top entries in each category will be shown starting at 7 p.m. in the Cubberley Theater, 4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto. Monetary prizes will be granted to winners, and entries will be shown on cable TV and online.

For more information, go to http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/greenlight or call 650-494-8686, ext. 39.

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