UNAFF Screening, Panel... and Award!

Last week, Worse Than Poop! won the Grand Jury Award for Best Short Film at the United Nations Association Film Festival. We are so honored!

 Vanessa and Elliot take home the Grand Jury Prize for Best Short Film at the 2015 UNAFF.

Vanessa and Elliot take home the Grand Jury Prize for Best Short Film at the 2015 UNAFF.

Held for the past 18 years at Stanford University, the UNAFF seeks to draw attention to the UN's Millenium Development Goals and, going forward, the UN's new Sustainable Development Goals

 Elliot answers a question from the audience at the 2015 UNAFF.

Elliot answers a question from the audience at the 2015 UNAFF.

Our film was scheduled on the last day of the festival, in a section addressing climate change. The other films included DamNation and Antarctic Edge, and afterwards Elliot and I sat on a panel and answered audience questions with filmmakers Matt Stoeker and Dena Seidel.

 

Screening at CMS Vatavaran

 Elliot and Naveen head into the 2015 CMS Vatavaran Festival at the New Delhi Convention Centre

Elliot and Naveen head into the 2015 CMS Vatavaran Festival at the New Delhi Convention Centre

CMS India is a non-profit think tank that runs the annual CMS Vatavaran Festival. They invited us to India to screen Worse Than Poop! at the festival, which was held in the New Delhi Convention Centre. We were put up a block away at the YMCA Tourist Hotel.

India is 11.5 time zones away from California - about as far away as you can get. As long as we spent time outside, we were ok - but on the day of our screening we spent most of our time inside darkened rooms watching movies. I don't recommend this approach to getting over jet-lag, or to enjoying an otherwise lovely film festival. 

Other than the terrible jet-lag, we had a great time. The film was well received, and Elliot is getting very good at public speaking. (We even avoided getting Delhi-belly!) 

 

 Trying to stay warm in the super-chilly screening room at CMS Vatavaran

Trying to stay warm in the super-chilly screening room at CMS Vatavaran

 Elliot answers a question at the CMS Vatavaran screening of Worse Than Poop!

Elliot answers a question at the CMS Vatavaran screening of Worse Than Poop!

Next Stop: India

Elliot and I leave Wednesday morning for New Delhi, where Worse Than Poop! will be screening as part of the CMS Vatavaran Festival

It's particularly exciting to be heading to India this week, as the Indian government just released the exciting news of its climate pledges in advance of the COP21 summit. India, the third-largest emitter of CO2, has promised to produce 40% of its energy from renewables, and to reduce its carbon intensity by a third, by 2030.  Which is *really* good news for the planet - and for the people of India.

Since our flights to India will generate approximately 34,000 pounds of CO2, I am looking for an organization working on renewable energy projects in India that can provide an offset. (I will be paying double the rate published by TerraPass). If you know of an organization we should consider, please let me know!

I've wanted to go to India for many, many years, and I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to do this with Elliot. But I have to admit to being somewhat apprehensive, as there is a phrase that comes up with alarming regularity whenever I speak with someone who has been to India. They tell me that India is "an assault on the senses," and that we will "almost certainly get Delhi belly" (i.e. stomach upset due to any one of a number of probable causes). Maybe it's because I'm a mom - or maybe I'm just getting old - but the thought of being assaulted and getting sick has put something of a damper on my enthusiasm. 

However, an Indian friend will be traveling with us, which is very reassuring. And Elliot is excited at the prospect of seeing elephants and monkeys, and riding the Delhi subway. Keep an eye on our Facebook page, where I will be posting photos from our adventures while we are in India. I'll also post more here once we return.

 

Film festivals galore...

The festival season is heating up. Worse Than Poop! is an official selection at eight film festivals, on every continent except Australia/Oceania, and is under consideration by several more. The next screening will be in New Delhi, at the CMS Vatavaran Environmental Festival - and Elliot and I are going to be there!

Last night I participated in a televised group interview with Jasmina Bojic of the United Nations Association Film Festival and three other participating filmmakers. (My segment on the show starts about 18 minutes in.)

UNA Forum, hosted by Jasmina Bojic, Film Critic/UNAFF Festival Director (seated at right) with (l to r): ADAM SCHELLENBERG/Far From Home ABBY GINZBERG/Soft Vengeance, CHRISTOPHER BEAVER/Racing to Zero, VANESSA WARHEIT/Worse Than Poop! 

Worse Than Poop! will be screening on closing night of the 2015 UNAFF, October 25, and I will be participating in a panel discussion afterwards on climate change. Elliot will also be there to answer questions. 

Also scheduled for October is a screening at Planet in Focus in Toronto. So I made up some movie posters! This is what they look like: