Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sort of a homecoming for activists in film

Excerpt from-Film Festival Focuses on Activism
The second Artivist Film Festival, where Artivist equals Activist, comes to Hollywood

By Vince Hollywood
The Epoch Times June 14, 2005
"...there may be an “activist gene,” a sensitivity for the human (or animal) condition and the impact of the many oppressions of the world. It seemed to me that a great many of the participants of this Artivist were involved with animal rights. But then again, this is just the second festival of its kind, and the other areas may just need time to develop at the festival, as the word gets out that the Artivist festival exists.
And, as it turned out, the festival was not just a collection of films. Besides panel discussions on the many topics presented, various rights groups brought brochures and magazines to hand out to like-minded folks. Actor Ben Begley had his line of environment-friendly cleansing products. PETA was giving out its Vegetarian Start Guide. Vision Magazine, subtitled “Catalyst for Conscious Living,” one of the many sorts of publications one finds at the door of health food stores, was giving out samples of its “Animal Companions” issue. Let’s just say these four days were “content rich.”
The Artivist Film Festival was started last year by activists Diaky Diaz, Bettina Wolff and Chris Riedesel.
The next Artivist Film Festival is scheduled for April 2006 (www.artivist.us.) If you can make your way to the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood during that time, and you’re involved with, or concerned about the rights of many of the world’s sentient beings, the Artivist Film Festival is a good place to bring yourself up to speed on the work of people who are trying to make the world a better place for us all."
The day relating to animal activism was very powerful. Some films were warm and fuzzy like Peaceable Kingdom, which was about an animal sanctuary farm started by two people devoted to saving animals from needless slaughter. (Query note: Is any slaughter necessary?) Another film, “Earthlings,” which was narrated by Joaquim Phoenix won an Artivist Award for animal advocacy. It had to be one of the most violent films ever made, with horrific film footage of the torture and killing of animals. James Cromwell, star of such films as L.A. Confidential and Babe, was a constant presence throughout the festival. An avid animal rights advocate, Cromwell spoke to many of the issues throughout. He became a vegan in the year of the production of Babe. “I thought that, rather than eating my co-star, I should show a little discretion.” Cromwell was honored with an Artivist Award for his role in animal activism.

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