Save the Earth with the power of visual images!
“STOP! Global Warming Competition,” established with the “Challenge 25 Campaign,” was re-born as the “Save the Earth! Competition”in 2013. This year, we have selected 11 films out of the 144 submitted shorts from around the globe. The J-WAVE Award endorsed by J-WAVE, Tokyo’s #1 FM radio station, will be awarded to a “Save the Earth! Competition” winner by J-me Cinema Circle jury.
Best Short Award
Winner : Marleen van der Werf
Once Upon a Tree
Marleen van der Werf/Netherlands/14:40/Documentary/2014
Sitting in her favorite oak tree, 11-year-old Filine encounters little wonders in the natural world around her. She observes the beauty and dramas of life in and around a tree most people are not even aware of. As trees fall down in the forest, Filine starts to fear that one day she will lose her special oak tree.
About the film
Filine, the leading character of the documentary. This film is all about her. By following her, she gave me the opportunity to look at the natural world through her eyes and discover a new perspective.
Winning the Save the Earth! competition was such a surprise and such an honour. We are so happy and proud that the message of the film “Once Upon a Tree” is recognised so well in Japan. Thank you very much.
Winner : Emily Driscoll
BRILLIANT DARKNESS: HOTARU IN THE NIGHT
‘Brilliant Darkness: Hotaru in the Night’ explores the importance of darkness, and the erosion of it, through the study and preservation of firefly habitats in Japan and the US. The film, presented by the Zoological Lighting Institute, features artists and scientists working to understand firefly flash patterns and live among wildlife in urban settings.
About the film
The highlight of ‘Brilliant Darkness: Hotaru in the Night” is watching the magnificent Genji fireflies display their light patterns just after sunset in June, above a river in Kyushu, Japan. Another highlight is learning how people on different continents work to understand and protect fireflies from artificial light pollution, which interferes with their flash communications- Marc Branham and James Lloyd study firefly behavior and evolution in the US, The Zoological Lighting Institute promotes wildlife-sensitive lighting globally, Rei Ohara photographs firefly displays around Japan, and Dr, Ohba works with communities to restore firefly populations in Japan. In particular, Dr. Ohba at the OHBA Firefly Institute in Yokosuka City recreated conditions of the original landscape – a biotope- to see if they fireflies would return. They did and to preserve their habitat, he is developing lights that allow visitors to see and walk through the biotope without disturbing firefly flash patterns – or “languages of light”.
Thank you to the Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia for presenting ‘Brilliant Darkness: Hotaru in the Night’ with the J-wave audience award. It is an honor to receive the award and have the Japan premiere of ‘Brilliant Darkness’ at the Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia, particularly during firefly season and two years after we filmed the spectacular fireflies in Kyushu. The film was made to celebrate the appreciation of fireflies worldwide, thanks to The Zoological Lighting Institute, a non-profit that supports photobiology research and wildlife sensitive lighting. In Japan we followed photographer Rei Ohara, scientist Dr. Ohba, and citizens of Fukui, who are each protecting the magical insects in their own way – through art, research and even shielding lights that interfere with firefly languages of light. The film features scientists on different continents – Japan and the United States – who are working to understand firefly languages and how to live among wildlife in urban settings. It also shows how people with different expertise can protect the environment in their own way. Because nature is not static – rivers, wildlife and even the continents move – we wanted to look at fireflies and efforts to understand and save them in different parts of the world. Preserving ecosystems and biodiversity is a global effort that will make for a healthy planet that supports people. It’s exciting for the film to be included in the Save the Earth Category at the Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia, a festival that celebrates such an impressive variety and genres of short films. Thank you very much to the Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia, all the staff and volunteers, the jury, and audiences who watch short films.