A film festival dedicated to saving the world debuts in Sydney
Transitions Film Festival, which is part of the Sustainable Living Festival Australia, offers inspirational documentaries on people and ideas that are leading the way towards a better world.
Begun in Darwin six years ago, Transitions Film Festival this year brings world-changing films to Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Sydney. Sydney screenings are happening at the Zenith Theatre, Hayden Orpheum, Dendy Newtown and Concourse Urban Screen.
Films fall into roughly three groups: stories of innovation, stories of business, and stories of people power. Topics range from wellness to tackling climate change to immortality and the future of work and death.
Here are ten amazing things you can expect to see in just ten of the 25 features in the festival:
1 A journalist trying to get imprisoned for eating chocolate
The Chocolate Case reveals that doleful news that the production of much of the world’s chocolate involves child slavery. In the film, a Dutch journalist hires a lawyer and attempts to get imprisoned for eating a bar of chocolate. The movie culminates in the development of slavery-free chocolate bar, Tony’s Chocolonely.
2 A blind environmentalist campaigning to save Canada’s fisheries
What Lies Below shows blind professional angler Lawrence Gunther travelling across Canada to explore what local people are doing to ensure the sustainability of traditional fisheries.
3 An artist buying ‘I’m homeless’ signs from homeless people to make art
Signs of Humanity is about Willie Baronet, an artist who has been buying and collecting signs from street people since 1993. In 2014 Baronet drove across America, interviewing homeless people and purchasing their signs to create installations that raise awareness about their plight.
4 How salt water can help feed the world
There Will Be Water tackles the Sahara Forest Project, involving a saltwater-cooled greenhouse, concentrated solar power and technologies for desert revegetation. Amazing visuals are a feature of a movie demonstrating an inspiring innovation: the growing of food in the desert with desalinated water.
5 Vegans in their sixties running 366 marathons in 366 days
RAW is about Alan Murray and Janette Murray-Wakelin, Australians over 60 who ran 366 marathons (43km) in as many days, all on a raw vegan diet, with no days off. It’s all the more amazing considering Janette was given six months to live in 2001.
6 The four easy ways to reduce your risk of cancer
The C Word follows French scientist and cancer revolutionary Dr David Servan-Schreiber as well as the film’s director, describing their individual battles with cancer and the four things (exercise, nutrition, avoid toxins, manage stress) that are the ‘Pillars of Anti-Cancer’.
7 The sound of silence
In Pursuit of Silence is a meditative and visually beautiful film that takes viewers on a journey around the globe to show different meanings of silence, from a man walking across America having taken a vow of silence, to Japanese tea ceremonies, to the loudest city on the planet.
8 How ‘toxic fashion’ is screwing up our rivers
Riverblue, narrated by Jason Priestley, profiles river conservationist Mark Angelo as he uncovers how chemical waste from the fashion industry (including one famous, iconic clothing item in particular) has destroyed our waterways.
9 The majestic yet destructive world of giant freight ships
Freightened puts the spotlight on how 90 per cent of all goods used in the western world arrive on cargo ships. These vast seafaring vehicles underpin our entire way of life but their hulls conceal pollution, jail-like working conditions and corporate crime.
10 The university with one mission: save the world
The University opens the doors of Singularity University, the Silicon Valley think tank and business incubator that aims to nurture students to create companies that will positively impact the lives of over a billion people in under ten years.