Watch Elliot knock it out of the park in our interview at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival's Media Lounge
We started and ended last week with youth screenings. On Monday, we drove to San Rafael, where the Mill Valley Film Festival's Environmental Youth Forum was screening Worse Than Poop!
On Friday, we attended a screening as part of Los Altos High School's annual "History Week" - which had an environmental theme this year.
As you might imagine, the elementary and middle school audience on Monday was a bit more engaged than the high school students - most of whom agreed that the film was most appropriate for a k-8 audience. Still, when I asked the high school students if they thought it might be appropriate for 9th and 10th graders, a few shyly raised their hands. And the parent volunteer who introduced us (a middle-aged surgeon) spared no effort in finding scatological references for his introduction ("I think you'll find it's a moving experience", etc.).... Proof, yet again, that you're never too old for poop jokes.
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!
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!)
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.
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.)
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: