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Earth Day Film Festival

The Environmental History Initiative held our inaugural Earth Day Film Festival on April 18th and 19th of 2024 to coincide with the broader Ohio State University Earth Day Celebration. 
woman sitting on ground, a wildfire and man standing and looking at icy cliff
The 2024 film lineup was chosen due to their outstanding examination of inescapable environmental influences. Each subject of these three films—coal, wildfire, and climate change—are experienced differently depending on who you are and where you live. However, each one produces ripple effects that spread far from their sites of extraction or production and, gradually, ensnare all of humanity. However, this does not mean we are inevitably doomed to suffer their detrimental impacts. Rather, each of these films shows us where we have been, where things stand now, and how to work our way out of these conundrums. By doing so, these films provide hope for a better tomorrow—perhaps the greatest asset we have amidst the climate crisis that we find ourselves within today.
King Coal debuted in 2023 and was directed by Elaine Sheldon. King Coal is a meditation on the complex history and future of the coal industry, the communities it has shaped, and the myths it has created. A spectacularly beautiful and deeply moving immersion into Central Appalachia where coal is not just a resource, but a way of life. The film was introduced by Joseph Campbell, Senior Lecturer in the School of Environment and Natural Resources.
Elemental: Reimagine Wildfire debuted in 2022 and was directed by Trip Jennings. Elemental includes the voices of climate experts, Indigenous people, and fire survivors. The film asks us to reimagine our relationship with wildfire as we prepare for an increasingly hotter future. Elemental was introduced by Greg Guess, the assistant chief of the Ohio Division of Forestry. 
Canary debuted in 2023 and was directed by Alex Rivest and Daniel O’Malley. Canary tells the story of Doctor Lonnie Thompson's life work as it evolves from seeking out Earth's history contained in glaciers atop the tallest mountains in the world into a salvage mission to recover priceless historical records before they disappear forever. The film was introduced by Lonnie Thompson, Distinguished University Professor in the School of Earth Sciences, and Ellen Mosley-Thompson, Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Geography.
Stay tuned for more information on the 2025 EHI Earth Day Film Festival lineup and showtimes!