Southwestern has been awarded a $2,340 grant from the City of Georgetown Arts & Culture Board to continue the university’s Georgetown Green Film Series. The 2020–2021 Arts & Culture Grants were awarded to art, music, theatre, dance, and cultural heritage events and programs that enrich the local community by bringing cultural and artistic values and artifacts to the area. The goal of the grant program is to help Georgetown achieve its goals of attracting tourists and becoming a nationally recognized arts destination by 2030.

The funding will enable Southwestern University to continue its Georgetown Green Film Series. The Office of Sustainability established the series last year to bring awareness to the environmental crisis through the visual arts. Specifically, the university presents films with an environmental focus for free to the Georgetown and neighboring communities. In addition to the film screening, a panel of experts is invited to lead a discussion with the audience about the topic at hand. This year, the Office of Sustainability is broadening its film selections to cover other sustainability topics, such as well-being and social justice.

“We’re so incredibly grateful to the entire Arts & Culture Board for this award,” says SU Sustainability Coordinator Veronica Johnson. “Last year, we had about 700 attendees total at our three on-campus screenings, many of which were coming from outside of Georgetown. Not wanting COVID-19 to kill our momentum, we decided to virtually host six films this year. We hope by keeping the film series active through the pandemic, the program will have a greater cultural tourism impact on the city when we resume in-person screenings.”

This year’s series of films will include several documentaries. “One of my favorite quotes comes from director Simon Kilmurry: ‘Documentary film is a form that allows us to walk in another’s shoes, to build a sense of shared humanity, that gives voice to the marginalized and the scorned, that strives to hold those in power to account.’ I hope the films this year will do just that and inspire viewers to strive for a sustainable and just future for all,” Johnson shares.

The films slated for this fall are the following: 

  • September 10, 2020: The Story of Plastic. This 2019 film focuses on the extensive environmental damage and human-rights abuses that occur throughout the lifecycle of plastic. Uncovering the history of plastic and following its production process from beginning to end, the filmmakers reveal how plastic affects human health and explore the efficacy of plastic recycling. The panelists will include representatives from the Austin Resource Recovery, the Citizen’s Climate Lobby, Environment Texas, and the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling.
  • October 15, 2020: The Condor & The Eagle. Directed by Clement Guerra and Sophie Guerra, this 2019 film sheds light on climate justice. Journeying from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, and the oil fields of Texas to the Ecuadorian Amazon, the filmmakers tell the story of the collective struggle of the Indigenous peoples of North and South America in their fight to preserve their communities and to protect the Earth from climate change. The panel will feature two activists from the film: Bryan Parras, cofounder of the Texas Environmental Justice Advocacy Service, and Yudith Nieto, a youth climate activist from the Manchester community in Houston.
  • November 12, 2020: The Game Changers is a 2018 documentary about human health, athletic performance, and the environmental impacts of eating meat. Showcasing elite athletes, special-ops soldiers, and visionary scientists, the film aims to inform audiences about the benefits and consequences of how people eat and live, giving special focus to the kinds of protein sources that can improve both the human diet and current land-use practices. The panelists will be announced at a later date.

The Georgetown Green Film Series will be held virtually and is free to attend.