Thursday, January 27, 2011

SEA PULSE films delivered positive messages!

On January 22, Macdonald Productions and Dance 4 Oceans presented Sea Pulse films, a film festival style setting event at the Electric Lodge in Venice.

The event started with "Heart of the Ocean" and "The World Ocean-Trashed" filmed by a marine videographer, Bill Macdonald to summarize the marine debris issue to start the program.

Bill documented the research of Captain Charles Moore, founder of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation. Captain Moore was a special guest speaker who talked about the impact of plastic pollution in the ocean. At the Q&A, he answered the common questions that I get often such as "What about recycling?" or "What about biodegradable plastic?" Our society is always inventing new ways to fix the problems. We come up with something new, which could be a new problem. It may be better than the old problem at this moment, but is still a problem. Somebody invents biodegradable plastic. It's better than non-biodegradable plastic. However, it still clogs the drainages and kills animals because it does not degrade fast enough. We also collect recyclable plastic to recreate something else. However we spend lots of money to ship it to China (or other undeveloped countries) for cheap labor and the workers in the recycling process are literally living in plastic debris, inhaling or ingesting its toxins. We have to change our life style with plastic from the basic instead of the acute treatments.

SEA PULSE films also introduced some of local activists. In the film "Watershed Steward", Lenny Arkinstall, a wetlands steward, is documented removing tons of plastic trash from the San Gabriel River, Los Cerritos Wetlands and Alamitos Bay. He was a land developer. He was driving a luxury car and was one of the first people in California to have a cell phone. Lenny gave up that life style and started to volunteer to clean the wetlands by installing floating litter traps by hand. He and his dog in his little dinghy went out there and gather trash into the traps with a long stick. Los Cerritos Wetland Steward became an educational program for young and old, now, and they do monthly cleanups and restoration activities.

Team Marine was a group of eco-minded young activists from Santa Monica High School, lead by a marine biology teacher, Benjamin Kay. Among of their numerous accomplishments, Team Marine's latest contribution to public is a ban on single-use plastic bags in Santa Monica, which has just passed on Jan 25. By supporting Heal the Bay, the students appeared with plastic costumes and spoke out at the court. SEA PULSE showed their film, "The 10 R’s", which is a solutions program, produced, directed and staring Team Marine. The local spotlight continued with "The Majestic Plastic Bag", a ‘mockumentary’ by Heal the Bay introduced by a new generation of watershed activist Zack Gold who is a co-president of Heal the Bay Surfrider Club and a son of the president of Heal the Bay.

Lastly, I introduced a film of Dance 4 Oceans, "Whales die, Zombies Dance". The film described what zombies do in protest as whales are suffering from ingesting plastic debris. The film was followed by Plastic Trash Zombie dance. Of course, the zombies stole the show! Little future activists and all other dance enthusiasts lit the depressed audience's faces. SEA PULSE films ended with positive feeling so that we can all change our thinking after walking out the theatre.

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