Trash took center stage this weekend as several environmentally-minded student films premiered in Embarcadero Hall alongside art pieces constructed of recycled party waste.
The festival, organized in order to highlight the presence of party waste abandoned on local beaches, featured an art exhibit and four films. The night of student work was presented by the Carsey-Wolf Center for Film, Television and New Media as part of its GreenScreen Environmental Media Project, a program intended to fund students making films with a green focus.
Each of the four films were written and directed by UCSB film students. One work, entitled “Mira Verde,” focused on the red cups abandoned in the wake of Isla Vista parties. Another film – an animated work entitled “We’re Trashed” – centered on the impact of trash on wildlife. The films were complimented by sets made of recycled materials.
According to Evan Koehne, a fourth-year film and media studies major and writer-producer of “We’re Trashed,” the event sought to offer entertainment that was pro-environment in both execution and content.
“[The films are] part of just promoting the art of reusing materials to make artwork,” Koehne said. “One of the concepts behind making our animated film was to create a movie out of trash and to reuse items that are found to make a… movie that is acting on what it preaches.”
One trash artist at the screening was proudly displaying a makeshift wind chime she had made from beer bottles and rope scraps.
According to Constance Penley, the co-director of the Carsey-Wolf Center, the showcase marked the culmination of nearly a year of work for students in the GreenScreen Project.
The project provides undergraduate film students with funding and professional mentors so that they can produce their own films. Students began planning their films when they signed onto the program last spring and started to work on them over the summer.
Penley said the GreenScreen project brings an interdisciplinary approach to filmmaking that makes the program unique.
“One of our main areas of programming that we’ve created is the Environmental Media Initiative,” Penley said. “That emerged from us just recognizing that there are no other UC campuses, and, in fact, no other campuses anywhere that have such exceptional strengths in media and communications studies on the one hand and environmental science on the other.”
Now in its second year, the GreenScreen Project was originally created by Nicole Starosielski, a graduate student studying at the Carsey-Wolf Center. Starosielski said she wanted to provide undergraduate students with an opportunity to produce films about the environment and decided to seek funding for the project.