EarthxFilm 2019: Environmentally-focused Film Festival

EarthX

 EarthxFilm, the environmentally focused film festival will take place at Fair Park and select theaters throughout Dallas, Texas on April 19-28.

Following a Kick-Off week of special screenings and events from April 19-24, Ben Masters’ THE RIVER AND THE WALL will serve as this year’s Spotlight Screening selection with a Gala Presentation at the Perot Museum on Thursday, April 25.

Among the 16 feature films, 40 shorts, 40+ immersive entertainment experiences and exhibits that shine a light on important conservation efforts, the continued adaptation necessary due to the effects of climate change, and investigation into the impact – oftentimes unexpectedly – into areas of our lives because of pollution, lack of conservation, and global warming. EarthxFilm will once again give an important platform to the filmmakers and the truth they have discovered and uncovered that reaches all of us – many times in our own backyards.

EarthxFilm will also continue its work to take a more active role in helping effect change and be a positive force in addition to introducing these films to the Dallas/Fort Worth and North Texas audiences, by handing out a number of cash prizes to the film festival’s award-winning filmmakers, to aid them in continuing their important work, help further along future projects careers of the filmmakers, and assist in the continued exhibition of these important films. Cash jury and audience prizes will total $25,000 this year.

EarthxFilm’s co-Founder/President, Michael Cain, said, “This year, we will continue to increase our footprint across Dallas, screening films, presenting virtual reality, interactive projects and environmentally-focused panels at a number of theaters and venues all over the city – beyond our wonderful hub at Fair Park during EarthX, April 26-28. These films and the filmmakers behind them deserve the largest audiences we can provide as the impact and immediacy of their subjects touch every one of us.

EarthxFilm Artistic Director David Holbrooke, said, “This year’s EarthxFilm slate clearly shows the urgency of the many crucial battles going on all over the world on the environmental landscape. However, these documentaries aren’t simply earnest attempts to advocate for a just cause but are serious, well-crafted stories that bear witness to what is happening out there on the front lines. Audiences will be motivated and inspired by the real-life heroes in these movies and will come out of the theaters ready to make their own impact.”

EarthXFilm Fest Line Up

THE RIVER AND THE WALL

The River and the Wall follows five friends on an immersive adventure through the unknown wilds of the Texas borderlands as they travel 1200 miles from El Paso to the Gulf of Mexico on horses, mountain bikes, and canoes. Inspired by the threat of new border wall construction looms ahead, and what he saw as the urgency of documenting the last remaining wilderness in Texas, Masters recruited NatGeo Explorer Filipe DeAndrade, ornithologist Heather Mackey, river guide Austin Alvarado, and conservationist Jay Kleberg to join him on a two-and-a-half-month journey down 1,200 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border where they come face-to-face with the human side of the immigration debate and enter uncharted emotional waters.

SHARKWATER EXTINCTION
Highlights include films featuring the attempt to save animals and species around the world, whose survival also has an impact far beyond that single life or the one species’ lives. David Hambridge’s KIFARU, about the effort of a small group of rangers in Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy, devoted  to caring for and protecting Sudan, the last male white rhino, along with Sudan’s daughter and granddaughter. Richard Ladkani’s SEA OF SHADOWS focuses on the fight to save the earth’s smallest whale, the vaquita, which is at the point of extinction due to the mass fishing of the totoaba (described as the “cocaine of the sea” due to the black market price for the fish’s bladder) in Mexico’s Sea of Cortez.

Rob Stewart’s SHARKWATER EXTINCTION follows the late filmmaker and activist’s continued efforts to expose the shark fin and fishing industry that continue to drive the extinction of the species. Ross Kauffman’s TIGERLAND weaves together two stories of tiger conservation – one a half century ago in India, and the second, which is taking place today in Russia’s Far East, where guardians of the last Siberian tigers risk everything to save the species.

THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM
John and Molly Chester were living in Santa Monica when they were forced to move from their apartment because their dog was making too much noise for the neighbors. What they moved to was a dream of sorts, a scratchy, tired farm less than an hour from Los Angeles. Molly was a chef with a vision of a farm that produced a wide variety of fresh, thoughtfully grown food that she could cook with. John’s background was filmmaking. And together with no real agricultural experience between the couple, they took on the arduous, multi-year task of reimagining and reworking their Apricot Lanes Farm into a robust and highly functioning biodynamic operation that stays true to their values of growing food without pesticides, poisons or any of the other mainstays of modern farming. Their story is captured in this remarkable film that educates and inspires us on how we can eat and live a different life.

COOKED: SURVIVAL BY ZIP CODE
What’s the best way to prepare for disaster? In today’s era of mega-storms, raging wildfires and record-breaking floods, that question is on the minds of many. In COOKED: SURVIVAL BY ZIP CODEa film inspired by Eric Kinenberg’s book HEAT WAVE: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago, director Judith A. Helfand carefully unpacks the topic. Helfand takes viewers on a journey from the deadly 1996 Chicago heat disaster to the extreme weather, extreme disparity and the politics of disaster that define today’s modern era, posing the question: What if a zip code was just a number, and not a life-or-death sentence?

INTO THE CANYON
When photojournalist Pete Mcbride and author Kevin Fedarko set out to hike the entire length of the Grand Canyon — a grueling 750-mile transect through some of the country’s most unforgiving terrain — they learn the hard way why only a handful of humans have pulled off the feat. It’s a tremendous challenge that entails oppressive heat, dizzying exposure, and incredible physical stamina. But the trek allows them to take on a more important mission: documenting the threats that surround one of America’s most iconic national parks.

In INTO THE CANYONthe duo venture into the fragile and otherworldly landscape, examining what’s at risk to be lost to uranium mining, large-scale development, growing helicopter traffic and more. Along the way, they battle the heat, scramble through exposed cliffs, get snowed on, nearly die once or twice and gain intimate knowledge of the canyon’s singular, magnetic, life-changing draw.

KIFARU
In Kenya’s Ol Pejeta Conservancy, rangers devote their lives to caring for and protecting Sudan, the last male white rhino, along with Sudan’s daughter and granddaughter. It’s a privilege and duty they take seriously, no matter how fruitless it can seem. “Sudan is not just another rhino. He is a perfect candidate to help people realize there is a mystic in the wild,” one ranger says. “I guess he has a feeling of what he stands for.” KIFARU follows two young recruits over their first four years on the job as they experience the heartbreak and joy of caring for animals whose fate appears sealed. “Why do we fight and plunder the world until nothing is left?” one ranger asks. “The harder question to answer is, why do we give everything to a cause that seems so hopeless?” This film, which lets viewers experience extinction in real time, helps answer that.  

SEA OF SHADOWS
Mexico’s Sea of Cortez is under attack. Thousands of nets drift down, walls of death meant to snare the totoaba — whose bladder fetches huge sums of money on the Chinese black market. But the bycatch extends to all forms of marine life, including the earth’s smallest whale, the vaquita, a rare creature endemic to the Sea of Cortez whose population has been fished to fewer than 30 individuals. Despite government shutdowns of fishing and public awareness campaigns, market forces continue to drive the activity, the lure of big payouts attracting even shadowy cartel involvement. SEA OF SHADOWS follows a riveting story of resource exploitation and institutional corruption — where casualties go beyond sea creatures — and the heroic activists and scientists staging an all-out war to save the precious vaquita before it’s too late.

THE SERENGETI RULES
Beginning in the 1960s, a handful of young scientists headed into the wilderness, driven by their insatiable curiosity about how nature works. From the Amazon jungle to Pacific tide pools and the Arctic Ocean, these scientists roamed wide and devoted themselves wholly to their work, going on to make discoveries that define how we understand the cycles, patterns, and rules of life on Earth. THE SERENGETI RULES shines a spotlight on these unsung heroes of modern ecology, assembling them to share stories of adventures, breakthroughs, and passion for nature that has never abated. What unfolds is an endearing mosaic of wonder, discovery, human ingenuity and wisdom we can all learn from.


TIGERLAND
Tigers have long been feared and revered in equal measure. They are beautiful killers, majestic creatures and myth makers — their power a thing of awe. Not long ago, they roamed vast swaths of the earth in numbers around 100,000. Today, though, their habitat is a fraction of what it was, and poachers have slain them by the thousands. Many subspecies are extinct, and the number of tigers in the wild has dwindled to fewer than 4,000.

TIGERLANDan elegiac homage to the animals, weaves together two stories of tiger conservation. The first took place first half a century ago in the jungles of India, where a young officer rallied the world to save the animals from extinction. The second is unfolding today in Russia’s Far East, where guardians of the last Siberian tigers risk everything to save the species. “For me, losing the tiger would be the loss of something divine,” says Pavel Fomenko, one of the film’s subjects. “We cannot allow it.”

TRIBES ON THE EDGE
When Céline Cousteau, filmmaker, activist and granddaughter of the legendary ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, was asked by an indigenous leader to tell the story of his people in the Amazon jungle of South America, she knew she had to help. “We are dying,” the man told her. “My people are going extinct.” Building on her family legacy of exploration and environmental filmmaking, Cousteau sets out on a quest that takes her deep into the jungle, where she bears witness to indigenous communities’ fight for survival. There, she shares rarely seen cultural traditions and ways of life that oftentimes clash with their colonial backdrop, documenting the mounting threats to their land, health, and ways of life.

WILDLAND
As the climate heats up, wildfires are becoming more and more part of our every day, especially in California where WILDLAND is set. Filmmaker Alex Jablonski wanted to understand a different aspect of this challenge by getting to know the men and women on the frontlines of wildland fire. He found a private firefighting unit and embedded with them, training and learning himself as he discovered a set of fascinating characters who were dealing with their own struggles beyond the fire. WILDLAND deftly tells their stories with an aesthetic and sensitivity that is exceptional. It’s a serious filmmaking achievement.

WONDERS OF THE SEA – 3D
When Jean-Michel Cousteau was a young diver exploring the wonders of the ocean with his father, the legendary ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau, his father said something he’d never forget. “He told me, ‘people protect what they love,’” the younger Cousteau recounts. Those words inspired him to devote his own life to continuing his father’s mission: educating the world about the miracles of the sea so they too will protect its vast, fragile and crucial resources. In WONDERS OF THE SEA, Jean-Michel does just that, leading his children Celine and Fabian on a journey from Fiji to the Bahamas to discover the beautiful, strange and vital world beneath the sea. Along the way, they find blooming coral creatures, hulking turtles, elaborately patterned fish, miniscule swimmers, spindly ocean spiders, and intimidating hammerhead sharks. “If you protect the ocean,” Jean-Michel says, “you protect yourself and future generations.”

ABOUT EarthxFilm
EarthxFilm showcases films and emerging media that explore conservation, climate change, and the environment while honoring the heroes working to protect our planet. Our mission is to turn awareness into action, through art and media. We achieve our goals by partnering with top environmental, film and entertainment organizations across the globe. EarthxFilm presents year-round programs culminating in a 9-day festival, April 19 – 28, 2019. www.EarthXfilm.org

ABOUT EarthX (formerly Earth Day Texas)
EarthX promotes environmental awareness by curating an atmosphere for conscious business, nonpartisan collaboration and community-driven sustainable solutions. Attendees can also enjoy outdoor experiences, live music, environmentally-themed films and art exhibits, food pavilions, family activities and more. In 2018, the event drew 137,000 attendees, 800 exhibitors and more than 250 speakers. For more information, visit www.EarthX.org.

Scarborough Faire: A Weekend of Pageantry, Celebration and a Whole Lot of Fun!

Scarborough Faire Knight-Charging-into-Battle

Scarborough Renaissance Festival begins its 39th season on April 6, 2019 with a variety of exciting new shows, extraordinary new artisans and an enhanced sense of celebration and pageantry.

Scarborough Faire
Waxahachie, Texas
April 6 – May 27, 2019
Saturdays, Sundays, & Memorial Day Monday

There are new shows featuring jugglers, acrobats, comedians, Irish music, escape artists, a Fairy Court, Renaissance combat competitions, a Scottish Knighting ceremony and even a dragon slayer! New Artisans include offerings of pottery, brass rubbings, pet treats & accessories, hearth & home products, leather works, Renaissance & Steampunk costumes and even a larger than life-sized Grand Labyrinth game! It will be full of pageantry, celebration and a whole lot of fun!

We have some amazing new performers and incredibly talented artisans joining Scarborough for our 39th season and we can’t wait for everyone to come out and see them” says Coy Sevier, General Manager. “Our performing company has also been rehearsing since early February and have really stepped up their game, so you don’t want to miss it! We invite everyone to come Step Back in Time for the Time of their Lives at Scarborough Renaissance Festival® starting on April 6th!

Scarborough Renaissance Festival® is interactive fun for everyone, 16th Century Style that will run every Saturday & Sunday (and Memorial Day Monday) for eight consecutive weekends April 6 through May 27, 2019. Visitors will enjoy full combat armored jousting, Birds of Prey exhibitions, the Mermaid Lagoon, Renaissance Combat competitions, Knighting ceremonies, a 150+ member performing company and 25+ stages of interactive and unique entertainment. You will also discover exquisite one-of-a-kind treasures at the 200+ shoppes and amazing artisan demonstrations along with Renaissance rides, games of skill and so much more.

Scarborough Faire Artisan’s Showcase

Each successive weekend has a different theme that includes:
Artisan’s Showcase (April 13 – 14)
Celtic Weekend/ Easter Celebration (April 20 – 21)
Royal Ale Festival & Spring Celebration (April 27 – 28)
Deaf Day (April 27)
Legends of the Seas (May 4 – 5)
Celebrating Chivalry & Mother’s Day Brunch (May 11 – 12)
Live the Fantasy (May 18 – 19)
The Last Huzzah (May 25 – 27)

Scarborough Faire Beer-Tasting-Event
Scarborough Faire Beer-Tasting-Event

Each weekend also has a variety of special events.  Scarborough Renaissance Festival offers “Food Fit for a King” that is a step above the traditional “festival food”. You and your family can feast on our famous giant roasted turkey legs (over 20 tons are consumed each season), Scottish Eggs, the largest food-on-a-stick selection in Texas, or try some of the daily special creations at our very own Pasta Palace and Scarborough Bakery. Our full-service restaurant & bar, the Rose & Crown Inn, offers a full-service dining experience with daily specials and signature items like Shepherd’s Pie, Bangers & Mash, meat pies and Muffulettas. 

Visitors 21 and over can partake in our custom blended Scarborough Mead, beer, wine and other adult beverages at one of the 12 pubs and taverns. For those with a more discerning palate, there are also daily wine and beer tasting events. Tastings require a separate ticket that can be purchased in advance at SRFestival.com or at the Festival (on festival days). Seating is limited and the tasting events regularly sell out, so it is recommended that you purchase your tickets in advance.

New Entertainment at this year’s Scarbourgh Faire

Juan-Miguel Scarborough Faire

The entertainment at this year’s Scarborough Renaissance Festival offers many exciting new additions along with favorites:

  • Captain Sir Francis Drake – A privateer and patriot home on leave who will raise glasses, melt lasses and leave knees weak in his wake!
  • Clash of Champions – Fighters from all over the world battle to win the title of Champion
  • Dr. Judas Lynch & Ms. Magnolia Strange – Catch the fantastical narratives and death-defying stunts of this crew of escape artists (May 4 – 27 only)
  • Drone – Stomp your feet to tunes played on a different style of bagpipe
  • Harmless Danger Juggling Show – A comedy juggling show with serious consequences
  • Kamikaze Fireflies – A madcap show that combines acrobatic thrills, sandwich making feet, non-stop laughter & more (featuring a former member of the Flaming Idiots)
  • Kris Colt – Black Rose – A modern bard with a lyrical style performing songs of both original and ancient origin (April 20 – 28 only)
  • Notes of Accord – From high born to low, all meet on the festive field of Music
  • Pictus – A unique take on primal drums and Highland bagpipes (April 20 – 21 only)
  • Pride of Ireland – Bringing the mirth and magic of the Emerald Isle through songs, jokes and banter (April 27 – May 27 only)
  • Randal Piper – Come witness a glimpse into the musical mind of chaos (April 6 – 21 only)
  • Scottish Knighting Ceremony – Margaret, Queen of Scotland and the Isles knights young guests
  • Sir Guy & The Dragon – The heroic hero, Sir Guy of Warwick, tells a heroic tale of heroism in which he heroically almost slays a dragon (May 11 – 27 only)
  • Syndicate Academy of Sword – Learn how to wield a sword! This hands-on experience teaches Spanish style techniques and how to use weapons of the Renaissance
  • The Beggar Queen – The queen of the people (or so she believes) wandering the lanes telling tales of the village and bringing smiles to all
  • The Gwendolyn Show – Part Trunk show, part audience participation and all funny
  • The Scarborough Tournament – Thrill to fighting, excitement, and feats of Daring-Do by the finest fighters of the village
Get your tickets for Scarborough Faire: www.srfestival.com/ticket-information

The Stoneleigh’s Ode to a Garden Party

Pink Party

Photo by Jens Theeß on Unsplash

Raise a glass to the Pink Party, The Stoneleigh Hotel’s ode to an outdoor garden soiree where guests can paint and sip, play and rosé all day. Dress in your garden party best – pink preferred, of course! – for little luxuries and social pampering.

Starring rosé and frosé wines and signature cocktails, the premiere installment of the Pink Party will feature a Paint and Sip station, Kate Weiser Chocolates pop-up, delicious bites from Executive Chef Wade Burch of Perle on Maple, and a live DJ, among other surprises.

The Pink Party will be held on Saturday, March 30, 11 AM to 4 PM, in the courtyard of The Stoneleigh (2927 Maple Avenue, Dallas, TX 75201).

Tickets are $75 for 21+ and can be purchased on
Eventbrite: https://stoneleighpinkparty.eventbrite.com.

Stay and play all day and all night with the Pink Party Room Package including access for two to the Pink Party on March 30, one-night stay, and an enchanting breakfast for two at Perle on Maple. Use promo code “PINK” when reserving. Reservations and pricing are available online at www.lemeridiendallasstoneleigh.com and by calling (214) 871- 7111.

About Le Méridien Dallas, The Stoneleigh

Le Méridien Dallas, The Stoneleigh, is a historic luxury boutique hotel offering 176 guest rooms (including 73 suites), nine meeting spaces, restaurant and bar, outdoor pool, numerous amenities, and impeccable service.

Located in the vibrant Uptown neighborhood of Dallas (2927 Maple Avenue, Dallas, TX 75201), The Stoneleigh is just minutes from the Arts District, downtown Dallas, Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center, and Dallas Love Field Airport. 
For more information, visit www.lemeridiendallasstoneleigh.com.