The Bioneers Conference — held this month in San Rafael, CA — is a leading-edge forum that presents breakthrough solutions for people and planet. This year, ITVS’s FUTURESTATES series screened at the event as part of their Moving Image Festival. Media Project Manager Aaron Leventman headed up those efforts and filed this report for BTB.
On October 9 at the Koret Auditorium at the San Francisco Public Library, the entire 11 short films of the FUTURESTATES series was screened in its entirety as part of the Bioneers Film Festival. At this year's conference, social and scientific innovators focused on solutions inspired by nature and human ingenuity. Experts including Jane Goodall and James Hansen spoke about the most important issues facing our planet today.
For the past 21 years, the annual Bioneers Conference has screened environmental and social justice themed films as part of its annual conference. For the first time, they expanded the film series to a week of public screenings in the bay area that included the entire FUTURESTATES series. A small but dedicated audience stayed for the entire three hours of 11 short films. The audience’s reaction was quite positive if not somewhat overwhelmed by watching such an amazing combination of powerful social and environmental messages in such diverse visual styles and dramatic structures.
The event was facilitated by Steve Silberman who is a frequent contributor for Wired Magazine and Shambala Sun. He was also Alan Ginsberg’s research assistant at Naropa University. Steve was joined by FUTURESTATES Series Manager Karim Ahmad. Ahmad spoke about the process for selecting filmmakers for this series, how many filmmakers are sent proposals with various parameters and then a team reviews and selects 12 from that process. The popularity of the short Plastic Bag was discussed for both its surprising humor and powerful spiritual message. The almost iconic voice of Werner Herzog was such a huge part of the film’s texture and it was interesting to hear about the production process. Ahmad was then off to attend the film shoot of the next FUTURESTATES series currently in production.
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