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ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT

Environmental Film Festival Australia 2019

The returning Melbourne film festival explores the struggles and splendours of the environment across nine days and 44 films.
By Sarah Ward
October 24, 2019
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By Sarah Ward
October 24, 2019
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Sometimes, a trip to the movies is all about escapism. Sometimes, it's a thought-provoking and eye-opening experience. You won't forget the world's troubles at the Environmental Film Festival Australia, but you will find out more about them — especially as they relate to the state of this planet we all call home.

As its name makes plain, EFFA shines a spotlight on cinema that puts the environment in firmly focus. Across a lineup of 44 feature-length, short, experimental and kid-friendly films screening between Thursday, October 24 and Friday, November 1, eco-conscious cinephiles can explore the struggles and splendours of the natural world — by watching a mother and daughter's efforts to save a bee colony in Swarm Season, spending time with a polar bear and her cubs thanks to Queen Without Land, and seeing the fight against deforestation in France in The Time of Forests.

Other highlights include Grit, which delves into a catastrophic mud tsunami; This Mountain Life, about the first female duo to trek through the Coast Mountains in Canada and Alaska; and Into the Jungle, which follows the efforts to save an endangered tree kangaroo in Papua New Guinea. Fans of German filmmaker Werner Herzog are in for a double treat, with his latest documentary, the partially Australian-shot Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin, playing alongside his Oscar-nominated, Antarctica-set classic Encounters at the End of the World.

Screening at Cinema Nova, Palace Westgarth, IMAX Melbourne and Kaleide Theatre — with in-conversation sessions taking place at the State Library for those who want to hear more about EFFA's topics of interest — 2019 marks the fest's biggest year to date. That's rather timely, given the ongoing climate protests that have been taking place across the country this year. If you're keen to see more on the subject, doco The Hottest August explores different views on global warming as shared by everyday New Yorkers.

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