Film Festival Aims to Inspire Environmental Change

The Pioneer Valley Transition Town Film Festival is calling for local short films that focus on building community resilience in an uncertain future. The film festival will be held on October 19th at Greenfield Community College's Sloan Theater.

The film festival, which was postponed due to last year's power outage, is one of several projects initiated by "Transition Northfield, MA". In June of 2009, 12 citizens of Northfield, with the guidance of recruiter Judy Phillips, formed Transition Northfield,  a community-based activist group that sought to raise awareness about economic instability, climate change and peak oil through fun and interactive methods.

Transition Northfield is part of a larger network; the Transition Movement, which emphasizes community-based projects to improve a given town or city by responding to global, environmental changes and crises on a local level.

Jessica Tanner of the Brattleboro Mobility Task Force learned about the Transition movement in Brattleboro and is now helping to coordinate this year's film festival in the Pioneer Valley.

"It's good publicity and a way to get people fired up," said Tanner.

Tanner is interested in bringing together community members to form transition projects, such as schools that grow vegetables right outside of the classroom, community-owned ovens, alternative energy projects, etc. Tanner expects to see similar themes in the films from this year's entrants.

"We love the idea of community members capturing these events and being able to share," said Tanner, adding that the absence of a big media engine behind the films is ultimately beneficial to the honesty and integrity of the festival. "Our hope is that people [will be] inspired," she said.

The film festival, organized in part by the transition towns of Northfield, Northampton, Greenfield, Pelham, Amherst and Wendell, is accepting submissions from residents of all ages from any town in the Pioneer Valley through September 28th. More information about the upcoming festival can be found on the Transition Northfield website.


Photo courtesy of Dougtone via Flickr. Used under Creative Commons license.