Rhinos, religion and gold rushes are just a few of the film topics at the Seventh Annual Cinema Verde International Environmental Film and Arts Festival.
The four-day event will run from Feb. 11 to Feb. 14 and feature screenings, live music and art. Film screenings will take place at the Hippodrome State Theatre, Sababa and Omi’s Playa Azul.
The fair will be held Sunday on the Sun Center Plaza. Trish Riley, the festival’s director and an environmental journalist, said the fair will include music, vendors and artists painting live for an auction at the end of the festival.
Ticket prices include $25 for a day pass and $10 for one film, but that pass will also include several films with shorter time lengths, she said. On Sunday, the festival will sell armbands for $10, which will give attendees deals on passion fruit mojitos and food at the two restaurants showing films.
Riley said she co-founded the event to bring interesting environmental films to the Gainesville community, and this year’s festival includes films ranging from fun to informative.
“Z Nail Gang” is a film that details the events of a town rising up against a corporate mining giant and will be shown Feb. 12, according to the festival’s event page.
“Kaziranga,” another film that will be shown Feb. 12, depicts the battle between poachers and conservationists over endangered Indian rhinos.
Some of the festival’s film directors are set to attend the event, including Elam Stoltzfus, the director of “Coastal Dune Lakes: Jewels of Florida’s Emerald Coast.”
The film shows what Floridian organizations are doing to save the endangered wildlife and will be shown Feb. 11, according to the event page. The showing will include an informal discussion after each film, Riley said.
“I’m sharing this information because I’ve dedicated 20 years to learning about it,” she said. “And I know how important it is.”
Riley said religious organizations tend to veer to the political Right when it comes to the environment. However, in recent years, these groups have become more aware of environmental issues.
Sam Kauffmann, a director and Boston University professor of film and television, said he hopes his film shows a change in thinking within conservative groups.
The film “Evangelicals For Climate Action” follows three evangelicals committed to the environment, including a student, reverend and college professor, he said.
“It gives one hope that we really can tackle this problem,” Kauffmann said.
The film will be screened Feb. 14, along with other international films from places such as Japan, Africa, Iran and Germany, according to the festival’s event page.
Will Vaughn, 29, will be one of the artists painting Sunday for the auction at the end of the festival. He said his art is based in nature and impressionistic in style, and he aims to share what he feels when he interacts with nature.
“The goal is to be able to take that feeling of connectedness and put it on the canvas,” he said.
Riley said she welcomes everyone from the educational and environmental communities to attend. She said she hopes people who do not rate the environment as a top priority will come to see what the festival is about.
“We are just trying to bring people together so that change can move forward,” she said.