Oil refinery smoke stacks turn the skies above into a churning gray mass. Next comes an ominous overhead view of a massive hurricane whirling toward disaster. Bulldozers then chug past fallen trees while plowing through the remains of a forest scraped bare.

The camera cuts away to an earnest-looking young man, his face fixed in a grim expression.

“Being sustainable is not just a thing to do,” the man on the screen says. “Being unsustainable isn’t just unfortunate. It is an existential threat to our species. We actually need to do something about it, or we’re gone.”

The above scenes notwithstanding, this 2018 documentary carries an upbeat and hopeful message. Come see for yourself this Saturday at the Ritz Theater in Brunswick when the 2020 Green Screen Environmental Film Festival features the film, “Living the Change: Inspiring Stories For A Sustainable Future.”

The balance of this 85-minute documentary by New Zealand filmmakers Jordan Osmond and Antoinette Wilson features folks who are finding grassroots solutions to the myriad environmental challenges facing us in the 21st century. The film’s encouraging tone is the main reason it was chosen to lead this year’s film festival, said Katie Smith, president of Green Screen of Coastal Georgia. The doors open at 1:45 p.m. and the event includes two additional short films, a panel discussion, refreshments, raffles and door prizes.

The film festival is free, but the organizers would appreciate a $5 donation.

“Because of the film’s tone of having a positive outlook and a message of hope, we felt like that would be important at this time, when there are a lot of heavy environmental issues surrounding us,” Smith said. “It is a film focusing on positivity and showing ways that sustainability can be achieved.”

“’Living The Change,’ which features environmental and sustainability success stories from around he world, begins at 3:15 p.m. The two short films begin showing at 2:15 p.m. ‘A Ghost in the Making: Searching for the Rusty Patched Bumblebee,’ spotlights the plight of this North American pollinator, which is the first bee to be placed on the U.S. Endangered Species list. Keeping the Golden Isles Beautiful is a short film “highlighting efforts to help protect Georgia’s natural resources,” Smith said.

Refreshments and mingling during an eco fair featuring local environmental organizations will precede the feature film. Folks can bring their own coffee cups for locally-brew java and pick up some vegetable seeds.

A 30-minute discussion panel featuring local environmental leaders Karen Giavingo, Rick and Sharon Hendry, Jennifer Zamudio, Ashby Worley and Ted Dinnard will follow the feature film. The event concludes with a raffle drawing, tickets for which range from $2 to $10.

“We feel like we have a really good lineup for this year’s film fest,” Smith said. “We invite you all to come out and join us.”

For more information, go to http://www.greenscenega.org.

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