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Confluence: Earthly Films for Philadelphia

April 19-21

Confluence, Earthly Films for Philadelphia, April 19-21
Confluence, Earthly Films for Philadelphia, April 19-21

This Earth Week, the Academy of Natural Sciences debuts Confluence: Earthly Films for Philadelphia – an environmentally focused film festival in partnership with esteemed Philadelphia-area film organizations, including the BlackStar Projects, Bryn Mawr Film Institute, cinéSPEAK, the Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival, and the Philadelphia Latino Arts and Film Festival. This year’s weekend-long festival showcases a series of feature, short, and documentary films by local, national, and international filmmakers whose work raises awareness of water-related environmental justice and climate change issues across the globe. Each program will feature a panel discussion with filmmakers, scientists, and advocates, illuminating how community-driven resistance and advocacy efforts help us envision and enact alternatives to the climate crisis.

Friday, April 19

Opening Night at Cherry Street Pier (121 N. Christopher Columbus Blvd., Philadelphia, PA)
5:30-9 p.m.

Programmed by cinéSPEAK

5:30 p.m. Happy Hour with DJ Junior and Lil Dave of Eavesdrop Radio (WKDU) Guests can enjoy food and drinks specials; pay-as-you-go
7 p.m. Two films by director Bilal Motley

Trash & Burn (2024), 18 min.
This film highlights the 30-year struggle led by Zulene Mayfield in Chester, Pennsylvania, against the United States’ largest trash incinerator. This facility, processing waste from as far as Canada and Puerto Rico, has deeply affected Chester’s predominantly black community, illustrating a severe case of environmental racism.

Midnight Oil (2020)

Midnight Oil (2020), 30 min.
For nearly fifteen years, Bilal worked as a steelworker at the area’s largest oil refinery. His documentary film, Midnight Oil, draws on this experience. The film chronicles his struggle to reconcile his love and kinship for his distressed refinery brothers and sisters and his growing awareness of the surrounding communities of color, fighting for environmental justice.

Followed by a panel with director Bilal Motley, and community organizers whose work is featured in the films. The conversation will be moderated by Gabe Castro, of cinéSPEAK's Reel Impact: From Streets to Screens.

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Saturday, April 20

At the Academy of Natural Science
11 a.m.- 7 p.m.
$10 per program, $25 for all three
Drexel Dragoncard Holders: free, purchase on site

Confluence Film Fest: 3 Show Package

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11 a.m. Programmed by Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival

The Roaring of the Carabao (2023), 8:10 minutes, Directed by Angeline Marie Michael Meitzler

The Roaring of the Carabao (2023), 8:10 min
Directed by Angeline Marie Michael Meitzler
In English and Tagalog

Born in the United States, a daughter visits the Philippines, her mother’s homeland. On the night of her arrival, a volcano erupts. Mesmerized by the land’s turbulence, she wanders through the past, the present, and the hereafter by the glow of an ember. Utilizing aspects of hauntology, The Roaring of the Carabao engages with one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines, the Taal Volcano, and its ongoing activity as a specter of Filipino Americanism: silenced imaginaries never properly mourned for and visions of a future that were promised but never arrived.

Delikado (2022), 1hour, 34 min, Directed by Karl Malakunas

Delikado (2022), 1 hour, 34 min
Directed by Karl Malakunas
In English and Tagalog

Palawan appears to be an idyllic tropical island. Its powder-white beaches and lush forests have made it one of Asia’s hottest new tourist destinations. But for a tiny network of environmental crusaders and vigilantes trying to protect its spectacular natural resources, it is more akin to a battlefield. Delikado follows Bobby, Tata and Nieves, three magnetic leaders of this network, as they risk their lives in David versus Goliath-style struggles trying to stop politicians and businessmen from destroying the Philippines’ “last ecological frontier.”.

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2 p.m. Programmed by Philadelphia Latino Arts and Film Festival

InVade (2021), 15 minutes, Directed by Eunice Levis

InVade (2021), 15 min.
Directed by Eunice Levis

Dominican Ultrasonic Engineer Dr. Ramon Luna comes out of hiding when he discovers a correlation between the government’s testing of super ultrasonic powered drilling in the Pennsylvania Appalachian Mountains and low- scale earthquakes along the coastal northeast. When the government plans to move forward with a full-scale drill, Ramon’s only hope of stopping the drill is to convince an old colleague to present his evidence of the impending disaster. When that fails, all hell breaks loose and it’s up to Ramon and his 8-year-old son Rudy to warn the public and stop the drilling.

Nos Tenemos (We Still Here), 54 minutes, Directed by Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi

Nos Tenemos (We Still Here), 54 min.
Directed by Eli Jacobs-Fantauzzi

We Still Here/Nos Tenemos introduces the incredible youth of Comerío, Puerto Rico navigating the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, a disaster that brought an unprecedented level of devastation to an island already in an economic and political crisis. In the lush mountains in the center of Puerto Rico, 24-year-old Mariangelie Ortiz leads a group of young residents who never thought they would become the leaders of their community, nonetheless find themselves traveling to Washington D.C. to protest in the halls of Congress. Follow them in this coming-of-age story to find their power and begin creating a sustainable future for themselves and their community.

Followed by a panel with director Eunice Levis. More details TBD.

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5 p.m. Programmed by BlackStar Projects

Water Warriors (2017), 22 minutes, Directed by Michael Premo

Water Warriors (2017), 22 min.
Directed by Michael Premo

Texas-based SWN Resources arrived in New Brunswick, Canada to explore for natural gas. The region is known for its forestry, farming and fishing industries, which are both commercial and small-scale subsistence operations that rural communities depend on. In response, a multicultural group of unlikely warriors–including members of the Mi’kmaq Elsipogtog First Nation, French-speaking Acadians and white, English-speaking families–set up a series of road blockades, preventing exploration. After months of resistance, their efforts not only halted drilling, they elected a new government and won an indefinite moratorium on fracking in the province.

Vaka (2019), 29 min, Director. Kelly Moneymaker

Vaka (2019), 23 min
Directed by Kelly Moneymaker

Vaka is a short documentary about the energy and resilience of the Tokelauan people as they weave their customary-wisdom regarding the environment with modern eco-technologies to respond to climate change. Tokelau was the first nation to aim for 100% of its electricity to be generated from solar as a result of the New Zealand funded Tokelau Renewable Energy Project in 2012. Their coral island atolls contribute a minimal amount of global greenhouse gas emissions, yet they are the first to be impacted by climate change.

Freedom Hill (2022), 29 min. Directed by Resita Cox

Freedom Hill (2022), 29 min.
Directed by Resita Cox

Princeville sits atop swampy land along the Tar River in North Carolina. In the 1800s this land was disregarded and deemed uninhabitable by white people. After the Civil War, this indifference left it available for freed Africans to settle. Before its incorporation, residents called it ‘Freedom Hill,’ gradually establishing a self-sufficient town. Resting along the floodplain of the river, Princeville residents are no strangers to adversity. The historical town has been inundated with flooding over the centuries. Freedom Hill is a documentary that explores the environmental racism that is washing away the town of 2,000 through the lens of Marquetta Dickens, a Princeville native who recently moved back to help save her hometown and whose grandmother casted the historic vote in ‘99’ as mayor against the federal and state government’s recommendation to simply move the town elsewhere.

Followed by a conversation with Freedom Hill director Resita Cox.

Learn more about Freedom Hill with our interview with Resita Cox on the Academy Blog.

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Sunday, April 21

1pm My Neighbor Totoro, Dir. Miyazaki, 1988, 1hr 26 min, This screening will feature the English language dub from 2006.

1 p.m. My Neighbor Totoro, Dir. Miyazaki, 1988, 1 hour 26 min.

At Byrn Mawr Film Institute

Celebrate Earth Day weekend with Hayao Miyazaki’s wise and wondrous animated classic! In the woods surrounding their new home in the country, two sisters encounter a giant-but-gentle forest creature named Totoro who leads them on a series of extraordinary adventures that teach them an appreciation of the natural world. Stick around after the show for a presentation by the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University! This screening will feature the English language dub from 2006.

Followed by a plant-based Show and Tell with Academy's Chelsea Smith, Collections Manager for Botany.

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Presented by, The Academy of Natural Sciences, Blackstar, Bryn Mawr Film Institute, Cine Speak, LAtino Arts & Film Festival, Philadelphia Asian American Film Festival