Updated: Mar 24, 2021
The fifth annual Singapore Eco Film Festival returns this year virtually from 14 to 22 November with an aim to foster more collaboration, raise awareness and ignite a public passion towards protecting our environment. The festival, powered by volunteers and free to all, aims to inform, inspire and energize our current and next generation of eco thinkers and doers, by showcasing 10 films on 14 November and having a one-night only opening film on 19 November marking festival activities from 20 to 22 November. Jacqui Hocking, executive director and co-founder of the Singapore Eco Film Festival, says the theme of the Singapore Eco Film Festival this year is RE(GENERATION): How we can collectively work together to create a regenerative culture in our social and natural systems. She says when we realise everything is interconnected, we explore ways to move from a space of ego to eco to create an inclusive system and thriving planet for us and future generations. “The festival brings together eco organizations, storytellers and artists to celebrate the efforts of environmental groups locally and internationally and to accelerate the changes needed to secure a safe and sustainable future. With everything that’s happened in 2020, from climate disasters to COVID-19, there has never been a more important time to accelerate solutions for a more regenerative and sustainable future,” she says. According to Hocking, it will include a line-up of panels, question and answer sessions with filmmakers and storytelling sessions. She says this year’s festival is symbolic of the resilience of the eco community, as volunteers have gone above and beyond to create a line-up of breathtaking films and inspiring activities proving that this generation is ready to take action to conserve the planet. Elizabeth Lazan, Singaporean-LA based actress, producer, host and eco advocate, is the first Eco Ambassador of the festival, assisting in the programme curation and hosting the opening night. She brings her philosophy of eco mindfulness to the programme focusing on the intersection of eco advocacy and socially engaged work to moderate the Sustainable Fashion and Climate Anxiety panels. The recently launched Kiss The Ground, a Netflix film, highlighting the importance of regenerating the world’s soils to completely and rapidly stabilise Earth’s climate and restore lost ecosystems, will headline the festival on opening night. Josh Tickell, filmmaker of Kiss the Ground, says Singapore’s vertical and rooftop garden programme is an exciting example for other cities to look toward as the world moves into this new era of regeneration. The program will feature Riverblue, an award-winning documentary, which follows Mark Angelo, an international conservationist, as he spans the globe to infiltrate the fashion sector, one of the world’s most pollutive industries. It will also include Fair Traders, presented in partnership with the Embassy of Switzerland in Singapore, which showcases three determined entrepreneurs who operate ethically to reconcile profit and morals. His Excellency Fabrice Filliez, ambassador of Switzerland to Singapore, says the Singapore Eco Film Festival raises awareness and engages the community on environmental challenges faced globally. He says the theme of RE(GENERATION) is relevant for governments to take notice of, for industries to adhere to and for individuals to make changes. Another film in the programme is Cao-vit Gibbon’s Ark, which follows the survival story of an mysterious ape, is the world’s first documentary of this species, under the strict protection from both Chinese and Vietnamese governments. Piscis Ludicrous/ Transfixed Gaze_Lygophilia, a video essay by Robertina Šebjanič, an artist, will also feature, immersing us in the world of the axolotl, also known as the walking fish, a species disappearing in the wild as their natural habitat is being destroyed while they are being propagated for scientific exploitation of their regenerative abilities.
“Taking the festival online this year brings the opportunity to connect our audience to filmmakers, conservationists and innovators from all over the world. The panels and other activities are designed to engage participants on serious issues in an accessible way. SGEFF is not just for nature lovers, climate and environmental activists but for anyone who wants to re-imagine a way to live and heal ourselves, our communities and our environment,” says Adeline Seah, director and co-founder of the festival.