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Ecofilms kicks off in Rhodes, Greece

A good film festival must take you to unexpected places and modify your usual perception of a common concept. That’s precisely what Ecofilms does in its 6th edition held this year again on the sunny Greek island of Rhodes (20-25 June 2006). Through a selection of 115 films from 39 countries, the International Films & Visual Arts Festival shows us that ecology means much more than the protection of nature. It encompasses the preservation of the place we live in, in its broadest meaning: the inner place and the outer place.

Under this perspective, ecology has to do with the preservation of our memory, as in Saba. For this touching documentary screened in Rhodes, young Israeli director Amram Jacobysource has been following his Iraqi born grandfather for 3 years. The old man shares with us what life has taught him and remembers the time when Israelis and Arabs had a common culture.

It has to do also with the preservation of the innocence of our soul, as in Echoes of War in which Dutch director Joop van Wijk shows us what we can do to our children through our wars. His unusual editing style mixes reactions of kids in different parts of the world to the same children book in order to underline the universality of an experience we tend to restrict to distant warring countries.

It has to do with our search for meaning in all this chaos, as in Dreaming by Numbers, by Anna Maria Bucchetti from the Netherlands. This funny black and white feature tells the stories of Napolitans who transform everything they see into numbers through an ancestral code called the Grimace, and who play these numbers at the lottery to find hope and meaning.

It has to do with the respect of the diversity of our culture as in The Shutka Book of Records by Aleksandar Manic from the Czech Republic, an upbeat and witty documentary that depicts quite positively a competitive gipsy community usually despised by the media.

And of course, ecology has to do with the preservation of nature, as in Greetings from Death Valley by Joanna Wright from the UK, a short detailing how Owens Lake was emptied to feed distant Los Angeles with water.

But above all, these films are the starters for hundreds of conversations around these themes as 50 of their directors are present during the whole festival to exchange their views between them and with the audience, before and after the screenings and at daily roundtables.

This diversity of viewpoints and the accessibility of the directors who shared them on screen are the signature of Ecofilms.

Olivier Delesse

Full coverage of Ecofilms 2006 on :

Ecofilms kicks off in Rhodes, Greece
Ecofilms features this year some shorts with outstanding aesthetic qualities
Ecofilms opens with Echoes of War
Ecofilms rewards the short film Eco Dharma
Ecofilms pays a tribute to Jonas Mekas
Ecofilms awards its Golden Deers

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