screenings
meetings
and special events
on film
visual arts
and ecology


in June
join the prestigious
Rodos ecofilms festival
at the Greek croisette

 

 


 

 


 

ecokids 06

 


 
 

As in 2005, the students of all public and private schools of the island of Rodos will have the occasion to partecipate to the pre-festjval events of ECOFILMS, that will last from Tuesday 06 up to Thursday of 13 April 2006. 

Will be scheduled the following docs
Echoes of war, 52’, The Netherlands
• Emperor Journey 85’, France
• James, From cancer to Real Madrid, 42’, The Netherlands
• My Friend the Goldfinch,  21’, Σερβία
• Don't throw anything. 7’ (animation), Greece

For further details you can communicate with Festival Ecofilms. or with Cultural Organization of Rodos

 

 

 ECHOES OF WAR

 Director: Joop van Wijk

 Length:  52', ΟΛΛΑΝΔΙΑ 2004

is a feature length documentary with animated sequences about child survivors of wars and violent conflicts in Afghanistan, New York, Colombia and Sierra Leone. They take us into their lives and share their memories, nightmares and dreams.

 Though continents apart and without knowledge of each other these children have grief, courage and hope in common. A Colombian boy takes us down the road where his hand disappeared. In New York, two girls tell us about their father, who worked on too high a floor of the World Trade Centre. We meet a girl in Afghanistan who struggles to remember her father of whom even the pictures were burned. In Sierra Leone a family on their way to a well is attacked, leaving a girl behind who has no idea what the rebels were fighting for. A boy in the Colombian jungle dreams of becoming a doctor. A girl in a besieged city is determined to become president of her country and outlaw all weapons.

The children reveal their stories and dreams by their response to the animated tale of a little elephant who tries to find the courage to cope with the death of his father. While they identify with the plight of the little elephant we discover that they are the real heroes, far beyond the politics and rhetoric of statesmen, terrorists or soldiers.

ECHOES OF WAR is also be available in a shorter (50 minutes) version.(French, Spanish, French, German, Dutch subtitles also available)

 

Director’s Statement
Some time ago I produced a series of short documentary films - "Piece of Mind" - about projects for psycho-social care in refugee camps in post-conflict areas. The films were meant to be instruments for raising general awareness, both in the affected areas as well as in the western world.

During the making of these films I was confronted with Dr. Nancy Baron's book "A Little Elephant Finds His Courage" - beautifully illustrated by Sybil Wettasinghe from Sri Lanka.

I was immediately inspired: what a moving story! Not in the least because of its presentation which includes the 'Let's Talk' guide book inserted in the back page and which clarifies the issues raised in the story and prepares people for using it with children all over the world.
I learned that the book is actually translated in various languages and used in children's groups in Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Uganda, Mozambique and even in New York and the suburbs of LA. After taking part in a number of book reading sessions with groups of children - sometimes adults too, I was completely committed to its cause and began intensely looking for possibilities to extend its scope and impact.

Soon, the idea was developed to turn "A Little Elephant Finds His Courage" into an animation film and to try to find a way to reproduce the documentary setting in which the story finds its ultimate meaning and that had so deeply moved me.

So, here is the feature length documentary ECHOES OF WAR: A combination of documentary live-action and full animation, set in Sierra Leone, Afghanistan, Colombia and New York.

I think we have made an emotional and sometimes even dramatic movie, which we envision will not fail to touch and move large audiences - adults and children alike, directly or indirectly hit by the horror of war which - unfortunately - dominates our world today.

Joop van Wijk, Amsterdam, November 2004
 

 
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EMPERORS JOURNEY
Director:
Luc Jacquet
Length: 85'
 , France

Each winter , alone in the pitiless ice deserts of Antarctica, deep in the most inhospitable terrain on Earth, a truly remarkable journey takes place, as it has done for millenia. Emperor penguins in their thousands abandon the deep blue security of their ocean home and clamber onto the frozen land to begin their long journey to the continent's desolate interior, a region so bleak, so extreme, it supports no other life. In single file the penguins march, blinded by blizzards, buffeted by 250 k.p.h. gales. Resolute, indomitable, driven by the overpowering urge to reproduce, to assure the survival of the species.

Guided by instinct, by shadows beneath the treacherous ice, by the otherworldly radiance of the Southern Cross, they head unerringly for their traditional breeding ground where - after a ritual courtship of intricate dances and delicate manoeuvring, accompanied by a cacophony of ecstatic song - they will pair off into monogamous couples and mate.

The days grow shorter, the weather ever more bitter. The females remain long enough only to lay. Once this is accomplished, exhausted by weeks without nourishment, they begin their return journey across 200 kilometres of ice-field to the fish-filled seas. The journey is hazardous, and rapacious sea leopards a predatory threat. The male emperors are left behind to guard and hatch the precious eggs, which they cradle at all times on their claws. Subjected to -40°C temperatures and the terrible trials of the polar winter, they too face great dangers.
 

After four long months during which the males eat nothing, the eggs begin to hatch. Once they have emerged into their ghostly white new world, the chicks can survive for only 48 hours on their own food reserves. If their mothers are late returning from the ocean with food, the newly-hatched young will die.

Once the families are reunited, the roles reverse, the mothers remaining with their new young while their mates head, exhausted and starved, for the sea, and food. While the adults fish, the chicks face the ever-present threat of attack by rapacious giant petrels.

As the weather grows warmer and the ice floes finally begin to crack and melt, the adults will repeat their arduous journey countless times, marching many hundreds of kilometres over some of the most treacherous territory on Earth, until the chicks are ready to take their first faltering dive into the deep blue waters of the Antarctic ocean.

Standing proud on the ice frontier, the emperor embodies the most powerful moments of existence.

Love and solidarity combine in the heroic struggle for life.

 
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James, from cancer to Real Madrid

Director: Maarten Bax, Bas Wooldrik

Length: 42', The Netherlands 2005

 

Nine years ago, James Efmorfides was born in Athens as a child of a Greek father and a Dutch mother. James grows up as a happy, playful child. Soccer is his game.

He is enjoying it and turns into a talented young player. While at a summer camp, he injures himself. At the hospital, James is diagnosed with cancer.

Maarten Bax (sport-journalist) and Bas Wooldrik (video-editor) met at the regional broadcasting company, TV Noord-Holland and the Amsterdam television AT5. Maarten has developed a longstanding relationship with AFC Ajax and though this network, he discovered the amazing story of ‘James’. The footage shot during last year, formed the basis of the documentary ‘James’. While exploring ways to put the documentary together, Maarten joined forces with Bas Wooldrik. When presenting the footage to Bas, the two developed a comprehensive script, which led to bringing over 15 hours of video material back to this 40min documentary.
 

 
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MY FRIEND, THE GOLDFINCH

Director:  Oliver Fojkar and Dušan Čekić

Length: 21', Serbia, 2004

 

The film “My friend, the Goldfinch” is a story about the wonderful bird life and beautiful nature of Vojvodina, about the love of a boy for birds, and about the fate of the birds of Europe at the beginning of the third millennium.

This film is based on the bird smuggling scandal known as “Birds from the Balkans” affair. At the end of 2001 the smuggling of hunted protected birds into Italy from the Balkan peninsula and some parts of the Pannonian plain had come to the notice of Italian customs authorities. On the Italian border, in just one truck, Italian customs found 120,700 frozen birds. The most numerous among them were small song birds and rare species protected by law. Among the killed birds there were pipits, larks, starlings, goldfinches, wagtails, warblers, tits, nightingales, swallows, linnets and even sparrows. All those killed bird were intended to be for the Italian luxury restaurant trade where they are illegally offered at high prices.
In Serbia 275 species of birds are registered as natural rarities, and they are protected from hunting, disturbance or destruction of their habitat. So far, no one has yet been charged with offences relating to the smuggling of protected birds, which still continues.

The film was made at the Salash of the Silver leaf (Ezustfa-tanya) near the village Male Pijace and in Special Nature Reserves (Ramsar Sites): ”Lake Ludoš”, ”Slano Kopovo” and “Stari Begej - Carska bara”.

The film “My friend, the Goldfinch” won an international award «Silver Pine», as the best ecological film, given by the MEFEST - INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL OF TOURISTIC, ECOLOGICAL AND SPORT FILMS, Zlatibor 2004, Serbia and Montenegro.
 

 
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DON'T SPLIT

Director:  Ι. Ανανιάδης

Length: 7', GREECE

 

 

 

 
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