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Annual Sustainability Film Festival Features Two Academy-Award Nominees

Gasland movie poster

Pomona College will hold its 2nd Annual Sustainability Film Festival: People | Places | Spaces, a seven film series, from February 8 through April 5. Among the films on the schedule are “Gasland” and “Waste Land,” both nominated for the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature for 2010.

All screenings, unless otherwise noted, will begin at 7 p.m. and be held in the Pomona College Smith Campus Center (Rose Hills Theatre, lower level, 170 E. Sixth St., Claremont). There is no cost to attend.

The dynamic stories, communities and places featured in this film series portray a world full of complex social and environmental circumstances and show how communities have rallied together to demand a truly sustainable, just and healthy future for all.

Feb. 8: “Green, Green Water” (2006)

Filmmaker Dawn Mikkelson traces the source of her purchased "green energy" to the displacement and injustices exacted upon indigenous communities in rural Manitoba. Do you know where your water comes from?

Feb. 24: “Gasland” (2010)

This film, which won the Sundance Special Jury Prize, explores the complex world of "fracking," drilling technology used across the United States to extract natural gas, highlighting the efforts of local communities to organize against the contamination, secrets and mysteries plaguing them because of drilling activity. Would you worry if you could light your tap water on fire? Following the screening, Josh Fox, the director/filmmaker, will participate in a question and answer session with the audience.

Feb. 28: “Waste Land” (2010)

This award-winning film explores life in the world’s largest trash city, Jardim Gramacho on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, as artist Vik Muniz photographs the community that relies on the dump's recyclable materials to make a living. During the three-year collaboration, Muniz learns more about this fragile community and its dreams for a better future. “Waste Land” received the 2010 Sundance Audience Award for Best World Cinema Documentary.

March 24: “Grassroots Rising” (2005)

NOTE: This film will be shown at 11 a.m. in the Pomona College Frank Dining Hall (260 E. Bonita Ave., Claremont), Blue Room.

Grassroots Rising explores the lives of Asian immigrant workers in Los Angeles, detailing the infamous 1995 case where Thai garment workers were forced into slave labor and sweatshop conditions in a residential neighborhood of El Monte and illuminating the experiences of restaurant and supermarket workers in Koreatown and Filipino home healthcare workers. The screening will be followed by a Q&A with Karin Mak, program coordinator for the Pomona College Asian American Resource Center.

March 28: “Bus Riders Union” (2000)

The documentary traces three years of the Los Angeles Bus Riders Union as it builds a movement fighting for sustainable and just transit in the Los Angeles area.

April 5: “Up the Yangtze” (2007) & “Red Dust” (2010) double screening

The award-winning “Up the Yangtze” follows two young adults forever changed by the Three Gorges Dam project and flooding of the Yangtze River. Join "Cindy" and "Jerry" in their quest for prosperity, and understanding in a quickly modernizing world, as they take jobs (and Americanized names) aboard a luxury cruise liner on the fast-disappearing river. The short film “Red Dust” examines the costs of China's economic development and the efforts of workers at a nickel-cadmium battery factory to organize against occupational disease and injustice.

The Sustainability Film Festival is co-sponsored by the Pomona College Sustainability Office and the Environmental Analysis Program. “With this year’s focus on environmental justice issues,” explains Bowen Close, Pomona’s sustainability coordinator, “our goals include spreading general awareness of the issues; demonstrating the personal connection to these local, national, and global problems; and connecting the environmental and social justice communities on campus.”

The Pomona Sustainability Office is also a co-sponsor of the Sustainable Claremont Dialogs, which bring together students and members of the larger community for monthly talks on a range of sustainability topics and related issues in the local area.

For further information on the film series: (909) 607-1765 or