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Free Community Film ("2040") & Earth Day Art Contest

On Sunday, April 23rd at 1pm, in celebration of Earth Day weekend, the Chatham, Ghent, and Austerlitz Climate Smart Communities along with Zero Waste Columbia have teamed up to present the film "2040," free to audiences of all ages at the Crandell Theatre in Chatham.

The event will feature an Earth Day art contest for kids of all ages. Kids can bring a drawing or painting that addresses the question "What can we do to build a better future for our planet?", which is posed to children in interviews throughout the film. Prizes will be given in four age categories following the film sponsored by a generous gift from the Columbia land Conservancy.

Jill Berman, member of Zero Waste Columbia initially conceived of the idea to show 2040 locally when she saw the director Damon Gameau speak at the virtual 2022 Drawdown festival featuring Paul Hawken, whose book Drawdown: The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reduce Global Warming inspired the creation of the film. "I felt so excited as a result of seeing a film that shows how people and the earth could be thriving in 2040 if we just implemented all the things we already know how to do and are capable of doing."

The movie asks in an inspirational tone, "What might the future look like if we implemented all the climate solutions we have available to us today?" Gameau produced the film in an effort to change the way we talk about climate change, citing that the biggest risk in addressing it can be a daunting sense of helplessness. But the film poses the idea that there is still much to be hopeful about and take action on. From empowering women and girls, to regenerative agriculture, to sea kelp permaculture, the film explores the diverse ways communities across the globe are working to reduce their impact and prepare for a different future.

Filmmaker Damon Gameau tells this story through the lens of his four year-old daughter, Velvet, and envisions how her world might change as she grows up if the actions explored in the film were implemented on a broader scale. The film is also interspersed with interviews with children and their own hopes for the future. Because the subject of climate change can be so overwhelming and even scary, talking to children and youth about the future they will inherit can be difficult for parents. 2040 offers a hopeful re-frame to begin the conversation.

The Climate Smart Communities Task Forces of Ghent, Chatham and Austerlitz invite kids of all ages and welcome local youth to get involved through the art contest or volunteering at the event. The Climate Task Forces give thanks to the Crandell Theatre, Berkshire Bank, and the Columbia land Conservancy for their support in helping to bring this film to our local audience. To get involved, email Ghent Task Force Coordinator Kathryn Beilke at .

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