February 5th
February 12th
February 19th
February 26th
Screenings are held in the University of Georgia Miller Learning Center at 7:00 pm.
All films are free and open to the public.

Sponsored by Speak Out for Species in partnership with the UGA Office of Sustainability
and the Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection.
Please join us for our 13th annual film festival to explore the lives of amazing
species who share our planet and the efforts of dedicated people to protect them!

February 5, 7:00 pm
Miller Learning Center room 148

The ocean is a world of sound, not sight. In the darkness of the sea, whales and other marine life depend on sound to seek food, migrate, find mates, raise their young and defend against predators. But extremely loud man-made ocean noise is threatening this fragile world.

SONIC SEA is an Emmy-winning documentary that dives beneath the ocean's surface to uncover the devastating impact of human-produced ocean noise on whales, dolphins, porpoises, and other marine life. The film looks at what can be done to protect vulnerable ocean life from the destructive consequences of increased ocean noise pollution from commercial shipping, military sonar, and seismic testing for oil and gas exploration. The film offers solutions and hope for a quieter ocean, and underscores that the ocean’s destiny is inextricably bound to our own.

The film won Emmys in 2017 for best Nature Documentary, Best Music and Sound, and best Graphic Design and Art Direction. SONIC SEA is narrated by the Oscar-nominated actress Rachel McAdams. It features interviews with Grammy Award-winning musician, human rights and environmental activist, Sting, as well as the renowned oceanographic explorers and educators, Sylvia Earle and Jean-Michel Cousteau.

Discussion will be led by Dr. John Schacke of UGA's Odum School of Ecology who teaches a course on "The Biology and Conservation of Marine Mammals." Dr. Schacke also heads the Georgia Dolphin Ecology Program, an organization devoted to the study of common bottlenose dolphins along the central Georgia coast.

2016, 56 minutes. film website  |  Facebook event

February 12, 7:00 pm
Miller Learning Center room 148

UNLOCKING THE CAGE is a real-life legal thriller that follows animal rights lawyer Steven Wise in his unprecedented challenge to break down the legal wall that separates animals from humans. Arguing that cognitively complex animals such as chimpanzees, whales, dolphins and elephants deserve to be treated as sentient, self-aware and autonomous beings, Wise and his legal team at the Nonhuman Rights Project are making history by fighting to transform the status of a chimpanzee from a "thing" with no rights to a "person" with limited legal protections. This engaging film provides a riveting look at a lawsuit that could forever transform our legal system, and one man's lifelong quest to protect "nonhuman" animals.

In a country that grants legal "personhood" status to corporations, Wise argues, why have we denied it to some of the most cognitively complex creatures – apes, dolphins, elephants – that don’t happen to be human? In the eyes of the court, “persons” do not necessarily need to be humans. Historically, women, children, and enslaved persons were not legally acknowledged as “persons,” but instead property without any rights. Wise argues, when it comes to animals, we should be on the right side of history.

Directed by Academy Award-nominated filmmaker Chris Hegedus and Academy Award recipient D A Pennebaker, UNLOCKING THE CAGE first premiered in 2016 at the Sundance Film Festival and has been shown at dozens of international and national film festivals to high acclaim.

Discussion will be led by Lisa Milot, an Associate Professor of Law at UGA with a research area in animal welfare. She is also a Director for Athenspets, the volunteer group for Athens-Clarke County Animal Control, and designed and runs its spay/neuter and medical programs.

2016, 90 minutes. film website  |  Facebook event

February 19, 7:00 pm
Miller Learning Center room 148

CALLED TO RESCUE is a heart-warming and inspiring documentary film that showcases the lives of fortunate farm animals who have been saved from the modern animal agriculture production machine and the dedicated people who care for them at farm sanctuaries across the country. The film presents a joyful view into life on farm animal sanctuaries throughout the U.S. and highlights how caring for farm animals changed the lives of their rescuers — and the animals’ lives they are helping.

The rescued farm animals, simply by being who they are, are changing lives, lifestyles, and beliefs on both sides of the fence. The spirit of these incredibly strong animals is nothing short of inspiring and illustrates that animals are sentient beings, with families and a desire to live out their natural life free from suffering.

Although the realities of animal agriculture are discussed in detail, there is absolutely no graphic footage, which means CALLED TO RESCUE is the perfect film to bring your friends and family who have not wanted to view other related films due to hard-to-watch footage.

Discussion will be led by Dr. Janet Frick, a professor in the Psychology Department. Dr. Frick has a professional and personal interest in the psychological relationship between humans and other animals and teaches a freshman seminar on this topic. She also teaches introductory and developmental psychology classes where she leads her students in an examination of the ethical issues surrounding our use of animals, and the nature of intelligence in humans and other species. We will also be joined by special guest Kat Howkins, who runs Sweet Olive Farm Animal Rescue, a sanctuary located just outside Athens in Winterville GA.

2016, 65 minutes. film website  |  Facebook event

February 26, 7:00 pm
Miller Learning Center room 148

MEDICINE OF THE WOLF is an award-winning documentary that goes deep into the northern Minnesota landscape to wolf country to investigate the intrinsic value of perhaps the most unjustly persecuted animal on the planet. The film centers on the remarkable, world-renowned environmentalist and National Geographic photographer Jim Brandenburg, who has photographed and studied wolves in the field for 45 years. As our guide, Brandenburg provides rare glimpses into their world, conveying the beauty and intelligence of the wolf, while uncovering the misunderstandings and fear we still have of them.

Anti-wolf sentiments nearly led to the extermination of America's wolves, and just when populations are starting to bounce back, wolves are being hunted and trapped at an alarming rate in several states, placing this iconic species in jeopardy once again. Documented with stunning cinematography, MEDICINE OF THE WOLF explores the crucial roles wolves play in the ecosystem and the highly charged politics that could push the animal's population to the brink of collapse.

The documentary was honored with the Grand Jury Award at the Arizona International Film Festival, the "Best Of" Award at the Minneapolis International Film Festival, and the Audience Choice Award at the G2 Green Earth Film Festival in Venice, California.

Discussion will be led by Dr. Ron Carroll, Professor Emeritus of Ecology at the Odum School of Ecology and former Director of the Institute of Ecology, who was involved in the successful reintroduction and release of the Mexican Wolf in Arizona and New Mexico. Before reintroduction it was considered extinct in the U.S. with only remnant populations left in remote mountains of Mexico.

2015, 70 minutes. film website  |  Facebook event