Director Biography – Peter Goetz (SOUNDING THE ALARM – AMERICA’S CLIMATE CRISIS)

Peter is a film & television director, producer, and EP with two decades of international experience creating documentary feature films. After traveling to over 80 countries, Peter is fluent in Spanish and Portuguese. He is committed to developing and producing compelling content with a purpose. Peter believes that storytellers have a distinct responsibility to bring entertaining, authentic stories to the screen. Last year, he produced HBO’s Torn Apart: Separated at the Border with Oscar-winning director Ellen Goosenberg. He also joined forces with Fisher Stevens, Mark Monroe, Sebastian Junger, and Nick Quested for a National Geographic feature documentary, Blood on the Wall, airing September 2020. Goetz gained access to the drug cartels, immigrant caravans, and courageous Mexican photo-journalists, laying their lives on the line for their story.

Goetz believes that with such a polarized news cycle, documentary films are the best medium to implement concrete, positive change. His mission is to tell stories that challenge audiences to question their perception of reality, create empathy, and empower them to take action.

Director Statement

Sounding the Alarm was the single most important body of work I’ve created in my career. Humanizing the climate crisis is now an ongoing mission I wish to dedicate my energy toward until we start to find solutions to the massive problem we all face.

Short Film: SOUNDING THE ALARM – AMERICA’S CLIMATE CRISIS, 18min., USA, Documentary

“It’s really hard being a fire family. Every day it’s getting worse.” -Brett, wife of Marin County Battalion Chief in California.

Every day, Americans who live close to the land and sea face the dangers of climate change—from a firefighter in California, to a beekeeper in Arizona, to a climate refugee losing her home in Florida. The changing climate affects our food systems, water and way of life. These American families are in the trenches sacrificing everything while facing depression, PTSD, and suicide—collateral damage of a crisis unchecked.

Award-winning filmmaker, Peter Goetz, captures America’s faces and voices, shot in 2020 leading up to the presidential election. Goetz and the Biden campaign made history, producing the first national climate spot to run during a presidential election. But this film dives deeper into the American climate crisis to explore the lives of the people who are sounding the alarm, worried about their grandchildren’s future, asking, ‘If not us, then who?”

This is a story of the resilience, perseverance, and ingenuity of the American people. Ever hopeful, they collectively take on a common enemy. As the young, Navajo solar visionary Brett Issac insists, “We’ve got to turn this train around before it’s too late.”

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Director Biography – Greg Babalas (THE VIOLIN AND ITS SHADOW)

Greg Babalas was born in 1983, in Larisa, Greece. At a very early age he discovered a VHS-C camera at home. He started to shoot short scenes on video and edit them from V.C.R. to V.C.R. In the same period, he was teaching himself photography by the use of his father’s equipment. In 2001, he enrolled on Electronic Engineering studies in Greece. These studies gave him an in-depth knowledge in technology. However, during that period, he rarely used any type of camera. After three and a half years, he decided to stop his studies and to focus on visual arts. Babalas is an award winning photographer and he has participated in thirteen photography and mixed-media exhibitions, collective and personal. He directed short films and music video clips. In 2018, he graduated from university of Sunderland, with a Bachelor of Arts with Honours Degree in Photography, Video and Digital Imaging. During his photography studies, Greg Babalas was selected to join a mentoring scheme as Director of Photography, with Oscar-winning producer David Puttnam, and additionally to his degree, he has been awarded with the Puttnam Scholars Prize. In 2019 University of Sunderland awarded him with a 70% scholarship, and in 2020, he received a Master of Arts degree in Media Production (Film and Television), with Distinction. Greg seeks to craft a unique visual language and he has an artistic approach in filmmaking.

Director Statement

May 2020

This film was the result of the director’s keen interest in the relationship between man and nature. More specifically, its theme focuses on the consequences that power plants have on residents of the area of Prolemaida in Greece, who migrate in search of a safer place to live in. Although it is a film based on real events, the story is told poetically. It is a short film that deals with the problem of the forced migration of people due to the spread of a mine, which supplies lignite to the factories responsible for the production of 70% of electricity in Greece. As the mine expands, people abandon their homeland, leaving behind their homes, their monuments, their cultural centers, their cemeteries, their lives. What is the cost of a country’s energy independence? What will happen to the earth if man disappears? The shooting lasted for a month and took place in areas of Western and Central Macedonia and Thessaly, while an area about 5,000 kilometers was covered by the crew and the actors. It was definitely a process that required the whole team’s time, endurance and adaptability. We came across with the awkwardness of an abandoned place that was constantly being transformed due to the spread of the mine, while the next moment we were looking at and working in the most pristine natural landscape, all of which are shown as part of our stage narrative. We all worked with enthusiasm for this new “journey” and I believe that the result pleases us all.

Yours,

Greg Babalas

Short Film: THE VIOLIN AND ITS SHADOW, 25min., Greece, Drama

An environmental migrant, is forced to abandon his ruined village. During his journey, he revives painful memories and encounters the widespread destruction of the ecosystem, caused by human civilization. Things he sees and people he meets, make him contemplate the meaning of death and the relationship between humanity and nature.

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ENVIRONMENTAL Festival SHORT Screenplay Reading: Spirit Of The Rain, by Jessica Sutton

Ralarta and her Grandmother are off to appease the rain spirit. Yet twists of fate will challenge Ralarta and she alone will be responsible for appeasing the spirit ,bringing in the rain, and ending the drought.

CAST LIST:

Narrator: Elizabeth Rose Morriss
Grenwa: Val Cole
Ralarta: Hannah Ehman
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HIGHLIGHTS & VIDEOS: May 2021 ENVIRONMENTAL Film Festival

Winner BEST FEATURE FILM: WE ARE CONJOLA – OUR FIRE OUR STORY

105min, Australia, Documentary
Directed by Anthony Ash Brennan

Watch the Audience FEEDBACK Video:

NYE 2019. Director and film maker Ash Brennan lost his house in the Conjola Park Bushfire which nearly killed his brother and many others who stayed to fight. From a Perth hotel room Ash saw the first image of what used to be his house in the background of a news reporter

After almost being wiped off the map, a traumatized community waited for help. But it never came. Conjola was abandoned and left for dead. Local artists then started creating. They needed to heal. It gave the community hope and solidified their journey to recovery, together. Ash hopes that this film will be part of that recovery.

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