Zakynthos festival to show 20 documentaries on environment

Environmental protection is a cultural matter and culture functions as a vehicle that conveys information regarding the environment to the wider public. This, more or less, is the basic principle behind Film and the Environment, a three-day festival between Friday and Sunday to be held on the Ionian island of Zakynthos. The event, to be held for the first time, is being co-organized by the island’s National Coastal Park – an area that was designed for the protection of the region’s indigenous sea turtle and its natural habitat – and the Environment, Public Works and Town Planning Ministry. Speaking at a press conference ahead of the event, the ministry’s deputy, Ilias Evthymiopoulos, explained that the objective was to develop the festival into one that included competitive and commercial sections. A total of 20 documentaries, all focusing on environmental matters, will be projected. Besides the films, the festival will also be highlighted by the presentation – for the first time in Europe – of a pioneering, state-of-the-art camera that can be fixed to animal bodies. It was designed by National Geographic. Moreover, Discovery Channel, a satellite TV channel that broadcasts documentaries only, will hold a workshop on the final day. It organizes seminars for professional documentary producers on a regular basis. Local film director Lukia Rikaki, who compiled the films to be screened, pointed out several documentaries as especially worthy. They included Hyperbomb by Russian director Igor Romanovski, on atomic bomb construction; A Day Under the Sun, a Croatian production whose sound and picture is purely the result of nature; Creativity, by an Argentinean activist, Anna Zanonti; and a new film by Jan Van der Berg, which will make its world premier at the festival. The Italian director Franco Piavoli’s Blue Planet, which won an award at the Venice Film Festival, will open the three-day event. Its producer, Silvano Aggosti, will be present. Three Greek environmental activists will be awarded for their efforts. Besides foreign productions, the festival will also feature films by local directors Stavros Ioannou, Angeliki Contis, Lydia Carras, Giorgos Costopoulos, Stelios Haralambopoulos, Yiannis Lambrou, and Lucas Kuchtin. Interestingly, part of the concert hall’s agenda will also be linked with proceedings at the Thessaloniki’s International Film Festival. Music to the screening of Fritz Lang’s silent movie classic Metropolis, for example, will be performed live by a symphonic orchestra. As part of its Christmas season festivities, the concert hall will offer younger audiences four evenings of Lilipoupoli, a live performance based on the legendary radio program for youngsters aired on state radio during the late 1970s. The shows have been scheduled for December 19, 20, 22, and 23.

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