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Environmental Studies Sustainability Fall Film Series returns this September

Daniel Kington
August 22, 2017

Students interested in exploring environmental issues are in luck: the Environmental Studies Fall Sustainability Film Series is returning to the Athena Cinema this semester, offering free documentary screenings at 7 p.m. on selected Wednesdays to inspire greater environmental awareness and stewardship in the community.

“The film series this fall will be exceptional,” said Loraine McCosker, the environmental studies outreach coordinator with the Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs. “The series offers a variety of films that are new releases and recently shown in film festivals, on topics such as climate change, preservation of cultural and environmental resources, oceans, the cargo industry and international perspectives on environmental adaptation.”

Films in this semester’s series include:

Film screenings are paired with panel discussions — usually including at least one faculty member, one student, and one community member with expertise or involvement in the film’s topic. The panels provide an opportunity for reflection and discussion with audience members, as well. Last year, for example, the panel following a film on a Paraguayan music group that makes instruments entirely out of garbage featured a social work instructor who worked in Paraguay as a Peace Corps volunteer, a student who worked with OHIO’s Zero Waste Initiative, and the co-director of a community organization attempting to reduce waste.

“The films and panels offer an opportunity to explore environmental and sustainability issues through a global lens,” McCosker said.

More than 1,500 people attended last year’s film series events, and even more are expected to attend this year. The film series is funded by a collaboration between the Environmental Studies program at the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs with the Alden Library; Athena Cinema; OHIO College of Arts and Sciences Sustainability Studies, Wealth and Poverty and Food Studies themes; Patton College of Education; and, OHIO Office of Sustainability. The film series collaborates with 33 student groups, programs and departments as well as many regional and non-profit organizations and local businesses.

McCosker said the support of each entity is invaluable, specifically highlighting the contributions of Athena Cinema and Alden Library. “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.