DALE BELL and HARRY WILAND, producers of the documentary GROWING GREENER SCHOOLS which will air on PBS stations in the month of April.
Across the country -- from elite neighborhoods to inner cities - a green school-based curriculum leads to increased test scores and more proficient learning. Students benefit from from more exposure to natural day lighting, fresh lunches or an eco-friendly school campus. Where the transformation has taken place, the results, are profound, especially in the face of a national consensus that our public schools are failing.
DALE BELL and HARRY WILAND, co-founders of the Media & Policy Center, are veteran film makers who, between them, have won an Academy Award (for Woodstock), five Emmys, one Peabody, two Christophers and two Cine Golden Eagles. They are both Ashoka Fellows, recognized as social entrepreneurs who use media effectively and creatively to inspire citizen action.
PHILLIPE DIAZ is writer director of a new documentary THE END OF POVERTY that exposes the roots of the south’s poverty first in colonialism and then in the policies of the World Bank, IMF and the WTO.
The film features: Nobel prize winners in economics Amartya Sen and Joseph Stiglitz; expert authors Susan George, Eric Toussaint, John Perkins, Chalmers Johnson, government ministers such as Bolivia’s Vice President Alvaro Garcia Linera, and leaders of social movements in Bolivia, Brazil, Venezuela, Kenya and Tanzania.
THE END OF POVERTY’s opening line by narrator Martin Sheen: “Why, in a world of so much wealth, do we still have so much poverty, where billions of people live on less than one dollar a day?” According to writer-director PHILLIPE DIAZ, the ultimate goal of the film is to change the dialogue around the poverty debate from "poverty is a shame," to "poverty exists for a reason."
Born in Paris France, PHILIPPE DIAZ studied Philosophy at the Sorbonne in Paris, and began his film career as a director in 1980. He produced a number of features both in France and the US, and in 2003, with a consortium of partners he created Cinema Libre Studio, to provide an alternative structure for intelligent, independent films. His directorial debut, THE EMPIRE IN AFRICA won the Grand Jury Award for Best Documentary Feature at Slamdance 2006.
According to Diaz, “The end of greed on Wall Street will not end poverty in the world. The problem is much deeper than that; it is centuries old. Our economic system since colonial times requires cheap labor and cheap resources from the global South to succeed and to finance our lifestyle in the North. Without changing that we will never alleviate poverty.“
Growing up amongst the oil refineries in Louisiana, JOSH TICKELL experienced the impacts of dirty oil processing at a young age. After watching members of his family suffer from pollution-related cancers, Tickell began a lifelong quest to find sustainable, clean energy sources.
In 1997, TICKELL set out on the road with a biodiesel powered "Veggie Van" and a video camera and began filming what would eventually become known as FUEL, the 2008 Sundance Audience Award winning documentary film that investigates the possible replacement of fossil fuels with renewable energy.
Over the course of his 11 year journey, TICKELL traveled the world
going to over 25 countries, authored two books, founded a nonprofit organization, and jumpstarted America's biodiesel movement.
"Fuel" is a vital, superbly assembled documentary that presents an insightful overview of America's troubled
relationship with oil and how alternative and sustainable energies can reduce our country's -- and the world's -- addictive dependence on fossil fuels.
The film's structure is built around director-narrator Josh Tickell's personal journey of enlightenment, which started in childhood after moving with his family from idyllic Australia to murkier Louisiana, where he came to realize the oil-rich environment was being ravaged by the omnipotent petrochemical industry.
Later, as a young adult, he spent 11 years crossing the country in his vegetable oil-powered "Veggie Van," promoting biofuels and compiling footage for what would become this impressively comprehensive film.
The events of Sept. 11 and Hurricane Katrina factor in both visually and thematically, providing provocative anchors for the movie's indictment of what Tickell believes is the Big Oil-cozy, ecologically indifferent Bush administration. Johnny O'Hara's WGA Award-nominated script doesn't dwell on muckraking, however; it's more focused on broadly inspiring viewers than preaching to the converted.
Interviews with a wide range of environmentalists, policy makers and educators, along with such "green" celebrities as Woody Harrelson, Sheryl Crow and Larry Hagman offer serious fuel for thought -- as well as for action. Smartly animated interstitials, memorable archival material and a lively soundtrack round out the fast-paced proceedings.