Penn State Berks celebrates Sustainability Month with Film Fest

The Penn State Berks Sustainability Team, led by Dr. Mahsa Kazempour, Associate Professor of Science Education, has a variety of activities and events scheduled in April for the college?s first annual Sustainability Month celebration. These activities and events, planned and coordinated by various faculty, staff, and students, will focus on raising awareness and encouraging personal and community action.

There will be a Sustainability Film Fest, beginning on Monday, April 4, 2016, featuring the following films:

?Groundswell Rising, Protecting Our Children?s Air And Water
Monday, April 4, 2016, 5 p.m., room 5, Luerssen Building, Free and open to the public:
Film followed by talk given by Karen Feridun, founder of Berks Gas Truth and member of the steering committee of Pennsylvania Against Fracking, question-and-answer session, and discussion.
Wednesday, April 6, 1 p.m., room 151, Franco Building (campus community): Film
Groundswell Rising, Protecting Our Children?s Air And Water, the new documentary from Emmy award-winning Resolution Pictures, captures the passion of people engaged in a ?David and Goliath? confrontation. They stand together, challenging a system that promotes profit over health. We meet mothers, fathers, scientists, doctors, farmers, and people from all sides of the political spectrum taking a hard look at energy extraction techniques not proven to be safe. With the oil and gas industry?s expansion of fracking seen as a moral issue, this provocative documentary tracks a people?s movement, a groundswell rising towards reason and sensitivity, to protect life, today and tomorrow.

?The True Cost
Tuesday, April 12, 5 p.m., room 5, Luerssen Building, Free and open to the public:
Film and panel discussion
Friday, April 15, 1 p.m., room 151, Franco Building (campus community): Film
This is a story about clothing. It?s about the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world. The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades, while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. The True Cost is a groundbreaking documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider, who really pays the price for our clothing? Filmed in countries all over the world, from the brightest runways to the darkest slums, and featuring interviews with the world?s leading influencers including Stella McCartney, Livia Firth, and Vandana Shiva, The True Cost is an unprecedented project that invites us on an eye-opening journey around the world and into the lives of the many people and places behind our clothes.

Monday, April 18, 5 p.m., room 5, Luerssen Building, Free and open to the public:
Film and panel discussion
Monday, April 25, 1 p.m., room 151, Franco Building (campus community): Film
Is access to clean drinking water a basic human right, or a commodity that should be bought and sold like any other article of commerce? Stephanie Soechtig's debut feature is an unflinching examination of the big business of bottled water. From the producers of Who Killed the Electric Car and I.O.U.S.A., this timely documentary is a behind-the-scenes look into the unregulated and unseen world of an industry that aims to privatize and sell back the one resource that ought never to become a commodity: our water. From the plastic production to the ocean in which so many of these bottles end up, this inspiring documentary trails the path of the bottled water industry and the communities which were the unwitting chips on the table. A powerful portrait of the lives affected by the bottled water industry, this revelatory film features those caught at the intersection of big business and the public's right to water.

?Just Eat It
Tuesday, April 19, 5 p.m., room 5, Luerssen Building, Free and open to the public:
Film and panel discussion
Wednesday, April 27, 1 p.m., room 151, Franco Building (campus community): Film
We all love food. As a society, we devour countless cooking shows, culinary magazines, and foodie blogs. So how could we possibly be throwing nearly 50% of it in the trash? Filmmakers and food lovers Jen and Grant dive into the issue of waste from farm, through retail, all the way to the back of their own fridge. After catching a glimpse of the billions of dollars of good food that is tossed each year in North America, they pledge to quit grocery shopping cold turkey and survive only on foods that would otherwise be thrown away. In a nation where one in 10 people is food insecure, the images they capture of squandered groceries are both shocking and strangely compelling. But as Grant?s addictive personality turns full tilt towards food rescue, the ?thrill of the find? has unexpected consequences. Featuring interviews with TED lecturer, author and activist Tristram Stuart and acclaimed author Jonathan Bloom, Just Eat It looks at our systemic obsession with expiry dates, perfect produce, and portion sizes, and reveals the core of this seemingly insignificant issue that is having devastating consequences around the globe. Just Eat It brings farmers, retailers, inspiring organizations, and consumers to the table in a cinematic story that is equal parts education and delicious entertainment.

?Racing to Zero
Wednesday, April 20, 5 p.m., room 5, Luerssen Building, Free and open to the public: Film and panel discussion
Friday, April 29, 1 p.m., room 151, Franco Building (campus community): Film
Racing To Zero is a quick-moving, upbeat documentary presenting new solutions to the global problem of waste. By simply substituting the word ?resource? for the word ?garbage,? a culture can be transformed, and a new wealth of industries can emerge. Three years ago the mayor of San Francisco pledged to achieve zero waste by 2020. Racing to Zero tracks San Francisco?s waste stream diversion tactics and presents innovative new solutions to waste. This film documents a surprising, engaging and inspiring ?race to zero.?

In addition to the Film Fest, the Berks Sustainability Team is coordinating the following events during the month of April: tours of sustainability efforts on campus including honeybee gardens, wildlife structures, and the electric vehicle and charging station; creation of waste and recycling displays; recycling activities and competitions; panel discussions and town hall meetings; student community service projects within the Environmental Science course; and a visit from the Childhood and Early Adolescent Education Department to Glenside Elementary School for Earth Day. Additional details will be announced as plans are finalized.

For more information, contact Kazempour at 610-396-6312 or via e-mail at [email protected].