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Common Experience Project on Sustainability Fall Film Series returns for 2016

M.C. Tilton
September 1, 2016

Students interested in exploring environmental issues are in luck: the Common Experience Sustainability Film Series, hosted at the Athena Cinema, is returning for the fall semester to inspire greater environmental awareness. On selected Wednesday evenings this fall, bring a friend to watch free documentaries and discuss their impact in earth’s shifting ecosystems.

The seed for the Sustainability Film Series was planted in meetings with the Common Experience Project on Sustainability and the Kanawha Project, a faculty and student program working to expand campus-wide environmental literacy.  The film series was born in 2012 when the University College, under the direction of David Descutner, utilized the Common Experience Project to focus on sustainability.

“We want to reach all students on campus expanding their educational experience to understand the many complexities of sustainability, emphasizing the solutions as well as the challenges,” Loraine McCosker, environmental studies outreach coordinator, said. “We want to encourage a solutions-based perspective among students, so that they may have a positive impact in their professions and lifestyles.”

Following each showing, a panel discussion with the film producer or filmmaker is offered to the audience. Audience participation is encouraged. Special guests this semester include director Eve Morgenstern (Cheshire Ohio, Oct. 5) and producer Todd Walters (International Peace Parks Expeditions, Nov. 2) as well as a variety of faculty, students and community members who share in the discussion and exploration of each film.

“The project utilizes current films shown during environmental film festivals and through exhaustive research,” McCosker said. “We want to focus on as many of the aspects of sustainability as we can.”

Last year’s film series attracted more than 1300 attendees to 13 films, with even greater turnout expected this year.

The series is funded through a collaborative effort among the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, University College, Athena Cinema, Alden Library, the College of Arts and Sciences Sustainability Studies, Food Studies, and Sense of Place themes, and the OHIO Office of Sustainability.

McCosker said the support of each entity is invaluable. “Athena Cinema has done a wonderful job promoting the series, and Alden Library has been great with making the films available after they’ve been screened,” McCosker said. “We’re delighted to work with them and receive their support.”

The films will be screened for free at the Athena Cinema, located at 20 S. Court St. in Athens. Topics in this year’s film series will include in-depth analyses of species extinction, the clothing industry, ocean biodiversity, and more.

Films in the Fall 2016 series include:

Racing Extinction (September 7)
I Am Chutt Wutty, Water Woman, and A Forest Returns (September 21)
Cheshire Ohio (October 5)
The Last Ocean (October 19)
How to Let Go of The World (October 26)
International Peace Parks (November 2)
True Cost (November 16)

For full descriptions, click on the films in the Voinovich School calendar.