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Anna R Lee


By Michael Swiskay

Fact: human activity is the principal contributor to global climate change. The result: nature can no longer perpetuate the sublime order that has nurtured all.

Thankfully, this understanding is at last a part of informed discourse about the future. For too long, conventional wisdom denied our slippery environmental slope. Now we can all observe its cruel impact. Already the Earth has become strained, and already we can see the environmental convulsion in a far greater chance of hurricanes, tsunamis, and extreme weather conditions. We require solutions.


The Sustainable Planet film festival is not just another clamor of doom. It is a font of ideas of what can be done to perpetuate our planet as a home for ourselves and future generations.

This festival, organized by environmental economist Pamela Peeters, builds on her work on the Our Planet TV series and as a member of the marketing team for the UNESCO Decade for Sustainable Development. First staged at Lincoln Center and later in Belgium, Jordan, and Bahrain, the festival has come to the Chelsea Art Museum, the Bohemian National Hall, and the Gabarron Foundation. It combines thought-provoking films with panels, to encourage an environmentally informed dialogue.


The 2012 New York Sustainable Planet film festival opens November 13, 2012. We shall update this page often, to bring you the latest on its address, films, and speakers.

Some of the movies that will be screened, from contributors around the world:

Switzerland: Solar Impulse, or how to fly around the world in a solar powered airplane. India: Biomass, a part of the renewables solution. United States: Plastic, a catchy video that offers some serious inspiration for what to leave behind next time you go shopping. Canada: A short film that questions several lifestyle habits. Belgium: The nation’s Ministry of Interior Affairs presents its sustainability initiatives. Ukraine: Hybrid Union, a cartoon that shows how formerly impossible partners now work together.

A selection of past screenings:

Strange Days on Planet Earth (Sea Studios Foundation, United States): Is this the greatest global change humans have ever witnessed? Where are we headed? What can we do to alter this course of events? National Geographic explores these questions.

Avanti (Belgium): The Belgian government funds an initiative to bring awareness of sustainable development to young citizens.

New Seasons Market (Arnold Creek Productions, Zucchini Architecture, United States): Socially responsible businesses and the passionate leaders who drive them. An ECO pioneer puts the principles of sustainability to work.

Waqf for Water (IUCN, Jordan): Water as a Muslim religious ideal, a common-law trust, and a critical asset).

Pratham (India): Many children in India are underprivileged. These 190 million need schooling. Pratham can provide a better future.

Climate Chaos in the South (Geert De Belder, Belgium): In this compelling feature documentary, the victims of the chaotic effects of Climate Change are sharing their experiences.

Water Drop of Life (United Nations): Every community must have water.

The Voting Project (Dirk Callebaut, Belgium): Democracy engages young adults in Keerbergen.

Urban Solutions (Maria Vaz, Brazil): Curtiba, for decades the model of city planning, is a Brazilian metropolis of almost 2 million people. This documentary is a testament to innovative approaches to public transport, recycling, affordable housing, parks, and human activity to promote sustainability.

Jordan: An Eco Adventure (Peter Greenberg, Jordan): A journey through Jordan shows how tourists are drawn to participate in its ecosystem.

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