Festival Educates and Unites Communities with Environment

wse_imageThe Wild & Scenic Film Festival Creates Eco-Awareness 

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival makes its way to Boston this year to inspire and unite communities to benefit the environment. Hosted by “e” inc. on March 25-26, the festival consists of several educational events.

On Friday at the Benjamin Franklin Institute of Technology, attendees can enjoy a panel on the future of energy, moderated by WBUR’s Robin Young. Panelists include Howard Herzog of MIT; Namrita Kapur of the Environmental Defense Fund; David Cash, the Under Secretary of the Environmental Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs; and Alexander Taft, the National Grid Climate Officer. 

Saturday’s festivities, held at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, begin with a screening of 14 different short films for $10 and in the evening, people can buy tickets to Carbon Nation, a progressive documentary about solutions to today’s environmental problems. After the film, viewers can sample foods from many local eateries.

Dr. Ricky Stern founded “e” inc. in 2002 and has been expanding the organization that now uses the Wild & Scenic Film Festival as a fundraiser for their nonprofit program.

“The money goes to children, youth [and] the institutions that are involved in our nonprofit,” Stern said. “It is all about education projection and this event is a way of raising money for that work.

“We have quite a few programs; a lot of afterschool programming. It’s under the umbrella of what we call outreach programs. Most of them are shorter and longer-term residencies; we want our presence to be felt.”

Although the festival initially focused solely on the clean river movement in California, many environmental nonprofits have hosted the film festival in an effort to raise money for their organizations. These festivals are “designed to inspire” people across the United States to make a difference in their community as “e” inc. intends to do with their educational programs.

“Planet protectors is our afterschool program,” Stern said. “They cycle through the kids in 12 week blocks; the goal for us is to teach science. They also get a half-hour of civics every week and at the end they create a project. They change their own footprint, their school’s footprint.”

Other “e” inc. programs include day school, summer workshops and teen programs. For tickets and more information about the film festival and how to get involved check out “e” inc.’s website. 

~Aditi Pai

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