12th Annual Sustainability Film & Discussion Series 2017-2018

As the longest running program of its kind in the region, the UNCG Sustainability Film & Discussion Series continues to lend voice to environmental, sustainability, and climate issues affecting our community and the world. Join us each month for a new documentary film and discussion. Free.

For information on becoming a 2017-18 sponsor, contact Sarah Dorsey at sbdorsey@uncg.edu.


Where: See film descriptions below for the location of each film

When: All films begin at 6:30 pm

How: Free parking behind the Weatherspoon Art Museum

2017-18 Films: 

Sep 21 Chasing Coral, 93 mins, 2017

  • Location: Weatherspoon Art Museum
  • One of the most urgent films on the list. The sleeper of the Spring film festivals, as well as winner of an Audience Award in the U.S. Documentary category at Sundance, in Chasing Coral director Jeff Orlowski, a team of divers, and scientists team to take us on an ocean exploration to get to the bottom of massive reef die-off. This is not disaster porn. It’s a love letter to the endless frontier of the deep.

Oct 19 – The Day the Sun Fell 78 mins, 2015

  • Location School of Education Room 114
  • Swiss-Japanese filmmaker Aya Domenig, the granddaughter of a doctor on duty for the Red Cross during the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima, approaches the experience of her deceased grandfather by tracing the lives of a doctor and of former nurses who once shared the same experience. While gathering the memories and present views of these very last survivors, the nuclear disaster in Fukushima strikes and history seems to repeat itself.

November 16 – Union Time: Fighting for Workers’ Rights, 86 mins, 2016

  • Location School of Education Room 114
  • Created by our very own UNCG Media Studies faculty member, Matt Barr, and narrated by Danny Glover, Union Time: Fighting for Workers’ Rights follows the story of workers at the Smithfield Pork Processing plant in Tar Heel, North Carolina, who fought for safe, fair working conditions – and won. It goes beyond hype about unions (from both sides) to show how people standing together can break the cycle of poverty and injustice. Since the Smithfield facility opened in Tar Heel in 1992, meatpacking workers endured dangerous working conditions, intimidation, and low pay. They lived through a variety of union-busting strategies: two botched elections, increased intimidation, and efforts to divide workers by race. They waited out years of legal battles before the National Labor Relations Board. Finally, in 2008, the Tar Heel workers voted to form a union in the Tar Heel plant, in what has been called the greatest union victory of the 21st century.

Jan 18 – An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, 100 mins, 2017

  • Location: Weatherspoon Art Museum
  • Even before An Inconvenient Truth garnered two Academy Awards, including Best Documentary, the sequel was already in the offing. The intervening decade has brought a furious acceleration of climate discoveries, natural disasters, changes in the global economy and in the US political climate. How could the directors give us anything but a completely different film? Describing the sequel as “primarily a verité film,” director Bonni Cohen says, “Hopefully what comes across is his tenacity and his pursuit to combat the [climate] crisis 24 hours a day.” And his humor. Gore still uses his old chestnuts like “it’s a nature hike through the Book of Revelations,” but with his blend of optimism and dry wit, the new film feels like it has more levity than the first.

Feb 15 – Saving Sea Turtles: Preventing Extinction, 70 mins, 2017

  • Location: Sullivan Science Building Room 101
  • Narrated by renowned scientist Dr. Sylvia Earle, this feature-length independent documentary tells the larger natural history story of the world’s rarest sea turtle, the Kemp’s Ridley and how humans pushed a healthy population to the precipice of extinction and are now slowly helping it to recover.  From the beaches of Massachusetts to Mexico, Texas and Georgia, this film highlights the collaborative work that is being done to save a species from going extinct.

Mar 15 –  In Pursuit of Silence, 81 mins, 2015

  • Location Sullivan Science Building Room 101
  • In our race towards modernity, amidst all the technological innovation and the rapid growth of our cities, silence is now quickly passing into legend. Beginning with an ode to John Cage’s seminal silent composition 4’33, the sights and sounds of this film delicately interweave with silence to create a contemplative and cinematic experience that works its way through frantic minds and into the quiet spaces of hearts. As much a work of devotion as it is a documentary, In Pursuit of Silence is a meditative exploration of our relationship with silence, sound, and the impact of noise on our lives.

April 19 –  UNCG International Sustainability Shorts Competition Screening 

  • Location Greensboro Project Space
  • You are eligible for prizes if you:

    1. Create a short film about sustainability (under 10 minutes)
    2. Submit it by March 16, 2018


    All entries will be screened as part of the UNCG Sustainability Film and Discussion Series at the Greensboro Project Space on Thursday, April 19, at 6:30pm, where winners will be announced and celebrated.

    Entries must address sustainability, which UNCG defines as the “enduring interconnectedness of social equity, the environment, the economy, and aesthetics.” Judging is based on relation to sustainability as well as concept, cinematography, acting, production quality, costuming, writing, etc.

    Submit films on DVD or in screenable online format (YouTube, Vimeo) together with your name, phone number and email address, and the title and length of the film by 5pm on March 16, 2018 to Sarah Dorsey sbdorsey@uncg.edu (if you have questions, contact Sarah via email or at 336.334.5610).

    By entering the competition, entrants agree to the following: 1) Films must be original work, must not infringe on any rights of others, and must have all necessary permissions. UNCG will not be held liable for any copyright infringements. 2) To claim prizes, winners must be present (in person or via audio/video connection) at the screening. 3) Entrants will retain all ownership rights to their films. 4) UNCG reserves the right to not screen any film(s) for any reason. 5) Prizes are not negotiable or transferable. 6) The decisions of the judges are final.

Since 2006, more than 5,000 attendees have attended to view 60+ documentary films, ranging in topics from consumerism to waste, agriculture to water, and transportation to energy.  Here are some films that have been shown in the past:

11th Annual

10th Annual

9th Annual