On May 16, 2016 started the International Film Festival Ekotopfilm – Envirofilm. Committed to the tradition, showcasing valuable documentaries and guests. It was a special year. We welcomed an extraordinary personality from the field of conservation – Dr. Jane Goodall – “lady of the jungle”, spending 55 years in the forest among wild chimpanzees. Goodall has studied this amazing species in their element, showing the world how like us they truly are. Dr. Jane Goodall visits Slovakia for the first time to raise public awareness on global issues and messages in the field of sustainable development.
It was a great honor for the festival organizers to welcome such a an outstanding personality in Bratislava. Goodall holds a Ph.D. in ethology, is a Dame of the British Empire and a UN Messenger of peace, traveling the world to inspire millions and give hope when all seems lost. Ekotopfilm – Envirofilm 2016 was held in May 16 – 20, 2016 in Bratislava Hotel Tatra**** and Banska Bystrica Europa SC, Cinemax. The festival screened over 100 amazing documentaries and presented a rich accompanying program. Visitors enjoyed more than 100 documentaries and rich accompanying program, such as presentations, discussions, workshops or market.
Dr Jane Goodall, DBE, UN Messenger of Peace (credit: Jane Goodall Institute)
She is hope both for animals and people
Three decades ago Dr. Goodall decided to leave the forests of Gombe she so loved and devote her time as an activist for chimpanzees and the planet. Since that time in 1986, Goodall has not been in more than one place for three weeks and still travels nearly 300 days each year, inspiring so many and bringing hope to younger generations. Goodall was born in Bournemouth, England, however, Tanzania became her second homeland. It was in Gombe where her journey started all those years ago. She does makes it back to Gombe twice each year, but only for a short period of time.
Jane Goodall’s work and commitment has inspired many celebrity followers, like Angelina Jolie, who admires Jane – “She was always an inspiration to me. I had been aware of her many many years before because I read her books and when I physically met her it really meant a lot. When I was a little girl, I wanted to be Jane Goodall. I still want to be Jane Goodall!“, says Angelina Jolie.
Dr. Goodall keeps insisting on her audience to be aware of our personal responsibility and ability to make a difference. For – “Every individual matters. Every individual has a role to play. Every individual makes a difference.“, she says. For her personally, it meant to help the chimpanzees. “I was impressed by the world of the chimpanzees and decided to help them. We have to live in harmony with each other and with nature, too. The old saying goes we don’t inherit the planet from our parents, we borrow it from our children, but we’re not borrowing it, we are stealing it. We have to change it. My mission is to give people hope. Especially young people because when they lose it, there will not be any hope left.“, says Jane Goodall. “If conservation had rock stars, Jane Goodall would be Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Elvis all wrapped up into one.”- From Jane’s Journey.
Nearly 40 years ago, Dr. Jane Goodall established the Jane Goodall Institute to support her work at Gombe and raise awareness for the chimpanzees. Today, the institute operates in 30 countries, all supporting the mission of Dr. Goodall’s efforts. In 1991, Dr. Goodall and 12 Tanzanian students founded the institute’s global environmental and humanitarian youth program, Roots & Shoots. The focus of the program is to empower young people around the world to get involved to create practical solutions for big challenges in their communities and abroad. By doing projects to help people, animals and the environment, these young people improve issues in their local communities and learn to live in peace and harmony with each other and with the natural world. Today, Roots & Shoots is in more than 130 countries with hundreds of thousands of groups engaged in projects to help their local communities. And we are excited try introduce these methods into schools in Slovakia to refresh education with green activities.
„Roots&Shoots helps people all over the world to feel rewarded and proud of their deeds. It helps to get rid of fear and worries. To say what you feel and by simple things make a difference to your world.“. According Jane’s words the program stands for more than nature conservation itself. The name Roots&Shoots hints the analogy between natural processes and human life.
Dr Jane Goodall with members of the Roots&Shoots in Salzburg, Austria (credit: Robert Ratzer)
Climate change, recycling and the ecology of being
What films could the visitors of the festival enjoy? The festival resonated with themes such as climate change and the associated global warming, glaciers recess. We looked closely at the personal relationship of man and nature, and the very planet Earth. We observed the path of evolution, on the one hand the development of new species, on the other hand, the threat of extinction of endangered species. We did not avoid the issue of waste management and recycling as well. We entered into our conscience and disscused the consumer lifestyle, excessive consumption, unethical and unsustainable terms of food or fashion industry. We enjoyed aerial photos from remote corners of the world, approached the human body and headed towards the microscopic safari. We showed the latest technological solutions and procedures that help us move forward to sustainability, change customary processes for the benefit of a better, greener tomorrow.
“Here we are, the most intellectual creature to have ever walked the earth, so how is it that we are destroying our only home?”
– Jane Goodall –