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Revolve film festival digs up ‘dirt’ for its November screening

by Mark Burger

The Revolve Film and Music Festival and the Weatherspoon Art Museum have teamed up to present the North Carolina premiere of the critically acclaimed environmental documentary Dirt!

The Movie at 6:30 p.m. this Thursday at the museum, which is located on the UNCG campus at Spring Garden and Tate Streets, Greensboro.

“We are all so excited to be a part of this important and informative screening, and best of all, it’s free!” said Shalini Chatterjee, the founder and artistic director of the Revolve festival, in a statement.

The film, which was directed by Bill Benenson and Gene Rosow and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, examines the importance of what lies at our feet: Dirt. Without it, the Earth’s environment and human life would never be the same.

Narrated by two-time Golden Globe Award winner Jamie Lee Curtis, the film has already reaped accolades and awards at various film festivals, winning Best Documentary at the Visions Voices Environmental Film Festival, the Green Documentary Award at the Maui Film Festival and Best Film for Our Future at the Mendocino Film Festival.

Following the screening, there will be a discussion featuring Charlie Headington, a professor of religion and ecology at UNCG who also offers courses on sustainability and gardening.

This screening is also sponsored by the self-explanatory Sustainability Film and Discussion Series at UNCG. The series was begun three years ago “to connect to our larger community and provide a forum for discussions on a local level,” explained Sarah Brooks Dorsey of the UNCG Sustainability Committee, in a statement. “We’re thrilled to host the North Carolina premiere of Dirt! The Movie, which is relevant not only to our growing local farming and agricultural community, but to the overall sustainability of our environment. We’re all on this spaceship together!” For more information about this screening and upcoming Revolve events, see revolvefestival.com. For more information about Dirt! The Movie, check out the official website: www.dirtthemovie.org.

In yet another cinematic team-up, Guilford College has paired with the 23 rd Annual Latin American Film Festival, and will present a free screening of screenwriter/editor/director Alex Rivera’s critically acclaimed, awardwinning sci-fi thriller Sleep Dealer at 7 p.m. on Friday in the Joseph Bryan Jr. Auditorium, located in the Frank Family Science Center on the Guilford College campus (5800 W. Friendly Ave., Greensboro).

Even better, this screening’s free, too! Winner of the Alfred P. Sloan Prize and the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, Sleep Dancer is set in an uncertain future, not entirely dissimilar from our present one. in which a global, highspeed computer network ties distant people and places together. The film has been compared to such sci-fi favorites as Blade Runner and The Matrix, and clearly marked Rivera as a talent to watch.

“Adventurous, ambitious and ingeniously futuristic, Sleep Dealer is a welcome surprise,” wrote Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times. “It combines visually arresting science-fiction done on a budget with a strong sense of social commentary in a way that few films attempt, let alone achieve.”

“An unusually thoughtful science-fiction film,” wrote AO Scott of The New York Times. “There is sufficient ingenuity in the film’s main ideas to hold your attention, and the political implications of the allegorical story are at once obvious and subtle. Mr. Rivera’s vision of Tijuana, in particular, is pointed and intriguing, an unsettlingly plausible extrapolation of what that city already represents.”

The cast of Sleep Dealer includes Leonor Varela, Luis Fernandez Pena, Jacob Vargas, Tenoch Huerta and Jose Concepcion Macias.

The film has also received the Amnesty International Film Prize at the Berlin International Film Festival and the Narcisse Awards as Best International Film and International Competition at the Neuchatel International Fantasy Film Festival, and an Independent Spirit Award nomination as Best First Feature.

The screening will be preceded by an introduction from Olivia Elias, assistant professor of Spanish, in which she will discuss its relevance and parallels to our own society, and will be followed by an informal discussion period.

Sleep Dealer, which is rated PG-13, is in English and Spanish (with English subtitles). For more information, see www.Guilford.edu or call 336.316.2367.

The 23rd Annual Latin American Film Festival will present screenings of more than 30 feature-length and short films throughout the state, in Greensboro, Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill. For more information about the festival, see the official website: latinfilmfestivalnc. com. The film’s official website is www. sleepdealer.com.

Vandana Shiva from the movie Dirt! The Movie (courtesy photo)

Sleep Dealer poster.

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