Our experience as an invitee to FIFE, the French International Festival of the Environment, was a delightful one. Everything was arranged beautifully from the moment of arrival. The screenings were held in a charming little theater near the Place Clichy. Rebecca de Pas and Clement Pignon arranged our first Media conference the day after arrival, held in the bar/restaurant above the theaters. The questions were excellent and showed serious interest in the subject matter of the film.
The first screening on Saturday was to a sold out house and very well received—the Q + As went on for over an hour! Luckily drinks and snacks were always available for the filmmakers in the lobby, much needed after the long, intense presentations. The lobby was a great place to network with other international filmmakers and enthusiasts.
Unfortunately, on the last day of the festival, I was laid up in bed with a knee spasm. Kindly, the FiFE team was able to arrange the Q+A for me via Skype, and I was able to answer questions and discuss the film from my residence near Place Clichy.
We opened the film with photographs depicting the river of garbage in and around Beirut, where the garbage had not been picked up for 8 months creating a major health issue for the residents of the city. We shared this atrocity with filmgoers to demonstrate the reality of pending disease and horror facing the people of Beirut, and the potential atrocities the world may face in the future if we don’t apply alternative solutions to dealing with “garbage”. This is a real crisis of Mad Max proportions, not just a fictional bad dream of the future, and the story is ongoing. For more information and news about this ongoing crisis, search “Beirut Garbage Crisis” in Google.
We would like acknowledge Myriam Gast Loup who organized the festival of 90 some films without a hitch with vital help from Emmanuel Otayek, who directed the coordination and programming for features outside of competition. We would also like to thank Emilia Rodière and Juliette Naiditch for their help and direction during the Festival, and particularly Jean Francois.
Also Myriam kindly let us know that Racing To Zero was FIFE’s choice to be sent to WE LOVE GREEN, a French environmental festival focusing on music and art, held this June 4th and 5th in Paris, France.