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‘Irish Folk Furniture’ — Sundance-winning film comes to Pagosa Springs benefit

By Sally High
Special to The PREVIEW

Photo courtesy Sally High “Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time” will conclude the Colorado Environmental Film Festival Caravan Saturday, July 27, at 6 p.m. The Emmy-winning documentary chronicles the life of Leopold, a great American forester, environmentalist and author. All CEFF Caravan films will be shown at the historic downtown Liberty Theater.

Photo courtesy Sally High
“Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time” will conclude the Colorado Environmental Film Festival Caravan Saturday, July 27, at 6 p.m. The Emmy-winning documentary chronicles the life of Leopold, a great American forester, environmentalist and author. All CEFF Caravan films will be shown at the historic downtown Liberty Theater.

The 2013 Sundance Film Festival awarded “Irish Folk Furniture” the Short Film Jury Award for Animation.

This delightful eight-minute short tells the story of repurposing abandoned folk furniture in rural Ireland.

In Ireland, old hand-painted furniture is often associated with hard times. This computer-animated documentary follows 16 pieces of traditional folk furniture as each is repaired, refurbished and returned home. Artisan craftspeople explain their low impact work practices and the value of reusing and recycling.

The Colorado Environmental Film Festival Caravan will show “Irish Folk Furniture” and 13 other films on Friday and Saturday, July 26 and 27.

Pagosa’s Geothermal Greenhouse Partnership is bringing the Film Festival Caravan to town to raise money for the construction of an educational botanic park.

The CEFF Caravan includes receptions, discussion groups, door prizes and a juried Environmental Art Exhibit each evening at the Back Room Wine Bar.

Visit www.pagosagreen.org to see the complete Film Festival Caravan schedule and purchase two-day wristbands or tickets to single film sessions.

The 14 films are, in alphabetical order:

“A Day Without Water 1,” two minutes. Adult winner of the Colorado Water 2012 contest, paper collage.

“A Day Without Water 2,” two minutes. Youth winner of the Colorado Water 2012 contest, paper collage.

“A Grand Threat,” six minutes. Profiles the rush to mine uranium in the Grand Canyon. Features a tribal leader whose land is threatened and a park supervisor who warns against water contamination in the canyon’s fragile ecosystem.

“A Road through the Woods,” one minute. Kipling poem set to footage of forest road.

“El Agua de la Tierra,” three minutes. Spanish language. Uses incredible art to integrate facts about water, our most precious and endangered resource, encourages small changes in our daily lives.

“Fire Wars,” two hours. In the summer of 2000, forest fires raged as never before. Six million acres reduced to ash. “Fire Wars” looks at the work of the Arrowhead Hotshots, how they fight fires, the equipment they use, the role fire plays in the ecosystem of a forest, and why some firefighters and environmentalists feel it is time for a new approach to dealing with fires.

“Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time,” one hour, 12 minutes. 2012 Emmy Award for Best Historical Documentary. “Green Fire” highlights legendary environmentalist Aldo Leopold’s extraordinary career, tracing how he shaped and influenced the modern environmental movement. Leopold’s relevance today connects people and land.

“Irish Folk Furniture,” eight minutes. Sundance 2013 Short Film Jury Award for Animation – A computer-animated documentary about repurposing abandoned folk furniture in rural Ireland. Traditional craftspeople explain their low impact work practices and the value of reusing and recycling.

“Remains of a River,” 47 minutes. From the mountains of Wyoming to the lettuce fields of Mexico, past dams and reservoirs and diversion canals, through plains and canyons and the lights of Las Vegas, two kayakers hike, paddle and slog their way down the Green and Colorado Rivers to the sea. Of course, they portage the final miles across Mexican desert.

“Rooted Lands/Tierras Arraigadas,” one hour, four minutes. In recent years, speculators of the oil and natural gas industry began buying mineral leases in Mora and San Miguel Counties, New Mexico. Our neighbors to the south navigate their legal property and mineral rights to control their homes and their lands. “These are my roots … as deep as they can be.”

“The Last One,” 15 minutes. Dive into the 1,000-year flood of Colorado’s Yampa River in 2001. Explore human use, conservation and energy issues.

“Waking the Green Tiger: A Green Movement Rises in China,” one hour, 18 minutes. 2013 Best of Fest Award Colorado Environmental Film Festival and numerous international awards. Follows the peoples’ campaign to stop the damming of China’s Yangtze River and the inevitable displacement of over 3 million Chinese citizens. Using archival footage never seen outside of China, the film tells the history of Chairman Mao’s misguided efforts to conquer nature.

“Watershed: Exploring a New Ethic for a New West,” 54 minutes. 2013 Best Feature Award Colorado Environmental Film Festival and numerous international awards. Producer Robert Redford follows the Colorado River across seven U.S. and two Mexican states, exploring the river’s various uses — drinking, sanitation, recreation, energy and, most of all, agriculture. The mighty Colorado no longer flows into the ocean, but dries up in the Mexican desert.

“Wild Things,” 39 minutes. Native carnivores bring balance to ecosystems, but humans view them as a threat to livestock. The film explores decades that government trappers have killed native predators in large numbers and reexamines impacts on the environment as a result of that misguided policy.

This story was posted on July 11, 2013.