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This Is The Film Festival To Attend If You Want To Be Eco-Friendly

Time to get woke.

Singapore may be packed with film festivals all year round but it’s probably not a stretch to say that the Singapore Eco Film Festival (SGEFF) is probably the most culturally relevant — and important — one right now.

If you’ve been thinking about becoming more environmentally-friendly but have yet to start (or perhaps you just need a good nudging), head on down to the ArtScience Museum, where the SGEFF will be presenting a total of 25 films (features, documentaries and shorts) as well as a series of workshops and talks by a diverse list of specialists.

This is the 3rd edition of SGEFF and it takes place from November 1 till 4. Considering that scientists have recently found evidence that micro plastics have finally surfaced in human waste (it was only a matter of time), you’ll want to educate yourself ASAP. Best of all, the films are being screened free of charge, so there’s really no excuse not to attend.

Here, we pick out some of the more interesting films that will be screened:

We’ve all heard of legendary primatologist Jane Goodall — she’s been considered to be the world’s foremost authority on chimpanzees since the ’60s when she first moved to Tanzania to study them. For the first time, understand the woman behind the gilded title — Jane draws from more than 100 hours of never before seen footage of Goodall’s work in the early years, and in a traditionally male-dominated field long before #MeToo and similar movements existed. Not to be missed. November 1, 7pm ArtScience Museum, free admission Plastic China
If you’re unaware, China recently made the move to stop importing recyclable trash from foreign sources — effectively shocking the global recycling industry as the country was the world’s largest importer of waste. This left recycling facilities in many countries scrambling, as this “out of sight, out of mind” mindset has long been at play — the recycling facilities are not actually able to process all of the various different forms of plastics, and the end result is usually incineration, as is the case in Singapore. Plastic China takes a more personal approach to this global problem by focusing on a single Chinese family who works in plastics recycling factory in China and how this affects their health through reptitive contact with this insidious material — even the director falls ill during the relatively short period of filming on location. November 3, 10.15 am ArtScience Museum, free admission Blue
A critically acclaimed documentary, Blue addresses the problem of pollution in the world’s oceans — an increasingly dire problem where it’s been estimated that by 2050 — well within the life spans of most people reading this — there’ll be more plastic in the sea than fish. You’ve probably come across heart-breaking footage of sea animals and birds choked to death on human-generated rubbish – it could even be something as mundane as a straw. I mean, have you seen this haunting video of a straw stuck in a sea turtle’s nose that took scientists nearly 10 minutes to extract it? But it’s not all doom and gloom: “We need to understand every choice we make has a chain reaction. So if we create less waste, don’t eat fish all the time, read the labels, reduce our carbon footprint, don’t use single use plastics — these seemingly small things can make a critical difference,” says director Karina Holden. So yes, next time you’re heading out to lunch, skip the damn straw — it’s a small step but at least it’s something. November 2, 1.30pm ArtScience Museum, free admission Poles Apart
Something perfect for the kids (and adults) — Poles Apart, a cute 12-minute animated film is about the meeting and blossoming friendship between a grizzly and polar bear — unusual in itself as in reality, the two species would never usually be in the region, but they’ve been brought together as a result of their disappearing natural habitats. Poles Apart won the BAFTA award (the British equivalent of an Oscar) for best short animated film, and Singaporean producer Low Ser En was part of the team that realised the film, so be sure to catch it to support local talent and a worthy cause. November 2, 10.35 am ArtScience Museum, free admission The Last Animals
Directed by award-winning former war photographer Kate Brooks, The Last Animals focuses on the blood-smeared trails of the global ivory trade — in other words, the unsustainable hunting of traditional African symbols such as elephants and rhinos for their teeth. During the process of filming The Last Animals, the northern white rhino species went virtually extinct — from seven individuals down to three, with no hope for reproduction — and you get to see the action for yourself. The African elephant looks set to become the next victim of human-caused extinction — within the next 20 years or earlier at current rates of hunting. So do yourself and your grandchildren a favour and avoid all forms of ivory, if possible. November 3, 4.15pm ArtScience Museum, free admission