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Jackie Siegel in "The Queen of Versailles."

Photo courtesy of: Magnolia Pictures by Lauren Greenfield

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President Nasheed at Copenhagen Climate Summit 2009.

Photo courtesy of: "The Island President" by Lincoln Else.

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Athena Cinema hosts sustainability mini-festival


The Athena Cinema announces a special two-week "mini-festival" of films about sustainability. The series features brand new feature documentaries that consider topics from conspicuous consumption to global warming.

Kicking off the series is the highly acclaimed film, "The Queen of Versailles," the surprising entertaining rags-to-riches story that takes a sudden reversal of fortune. "The Queen of Versailles" will screen Sept. 7 -20. The film asks viewers to consider the American Dream in light of outrageous consumption, land use, entitlement and the nature of wealth.

Various shorts produced by local filmmakers and Ohio University alumni will be shows starting Sept. 14. Filmmakers include Pradeep Edussuriya, Chad Bartlett, Josh Birnbaum and Kevin Riddell for the National Network of Forest Practitioners. These short portraits and landscapes will screen prior to the feature documentaries.

Starting Sept. 14, the Sustainability mini-festival expands with three more films, including "Last Call at the Oasis," "The Island President," and "Death by China." Also screening are short films produced by area filmmakers for the National Forest Practitioners Council. These films, along with "Queen…," will screen in rotation through Sept. 20.

Peter Navarro, director of "Death by China," a film based on the book "Seeds of Destruction" that he co-wrote with Glenn Hubbard, will present and discuss his film on Sept. 17 at 7p.m. The film confronts the economic trade relationship between the U.S. and China, as well as the attendant labor, pollution and cultural ramifications.  

"The Island President" comes from the producers of "An Inconvenient Trust", "Food, Inc." and "Waiting for Superman." It presents a powerful argument for why the global water crisis will be the central issues facing the world this century. "The Island President" tells the story of recently deposed President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives, who has brought the issue of global warming to the forefront of global awareness.  

"We're really excited about this initial mini-festival of sustainability films," said Chris Iacofano, executive director of the Athena Cinema. "These two weeks build on the prior success of our earlier film series 'Let's Talk About Water,' and points to some future programming we've got in the planning stages. The richness of the theme of Sustainability is that it opens up a wide variety of topics, from environmentalism to economic and cultural vitality. It's a topic that demands and sustains wide-ranging ideas and concepts. Filmmakers around the globe have much to share on these topics and the Athena is really looking forward to bringing these films to Athens."  

The Athena Cinema is located in Athens at 20 S. Court Street. Ticket prices range from $ 4 on Tuesdays to $6.50, depending on time of screening.

For specific showtimes, and for more information about these and other Athena Cinema screenings, visit www.athenacinema.com.