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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Cinema Verde Film Festival aims to raise awareness of social, environmental issues

A 13-year-old’s short film about a homeless family will kick off the third annual Cinema Verde Film Festival today.

The eight-day festival aims to promote awareness of social and environmental issues through films and events.

Events will include screenings, fairs and a thrift-store fashion show. The festival begins Feb. 24 and lasts through March 2.

Trish Riley, festival co-founder and director, said the festival’s goal is to bring another element to Gainesville’s environmental community.

Friday’s reception costs $25 for the public and is located at Villa East, 301 N Main St. It will showcase artwork and play student films. Those who attend will be able to judge the films, one of which was written and directed by Tara-Nicole Azarian, 13, of Charlotte, N.C.

Azarian’s film, “Cardboard,” is about a family who finds itself homeless with no shelter from the winter weather except scraps of cardboard.

She said she wanted to focus her film on human experiences, particularly those of children, because she feels they are often overlooked.

“Some people think ‘save the trees’ or ‘save the whales,’ but they don’t really think, ‘Save the people,’” she said. “We end up with millions of kids that are homeless, and I think that needs to change.”

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