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Films on water, hemp at L.A.'s Egyptian theater

December 3, 2010 |  9:34 am

ArtivistMasaiIf "An Inconvenient Truth" put environmental films on the map, the International Artivist Film Festival keeps that spirit alive. The seventh annual event, running through Saturday at L.A.'s Egyptian theater, features 45 films dedicated to raising awareness about the environment, animals and humanity, one-third of which have an environmental theme. All screenings are free.

Among the films showing Friday are "Deep Green," a documentary that offers a template on "how to get off fossil fuels and how to have a sustainable planet," said Diaky Diaz, founder of the fest. "Deep Green" journeys through nine countries, including China, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Sweden and the U.S., and speaks with experts offering solutions.

"Hempsters," narrated by Woody Harrelson with a soundtrack provided by Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson, demonstrates hemp's versatility. While hemp cannot be grown legally in the U.S., it is cultivated in about 30 other countries as a sustainable alternative to cotton and other, petroleum-based products.

"The purpose of this festival is to show people there's an interdependence between the environment, humanity and animals," said Diaz. "Sometimes when you go to an environmental film, it's like it's going on on the other side of the world. This festival really puts the environment into a personal context. It's an issue in your home, in your everyday life."

-- Susan Carpenter

Photo: An image for the film "Maasai at the Crossroads," produced by African Schools of Kenya. Credit: African Schools of Kenya