February 6th
February 13th
February 20th
February 27th
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, the Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection, and the Oconee Rivers Audubon Society.
Please join us for our 12th annual film festival to explore human relationships
with other species through films that inspire compassion and respect for animals!

February 6, 7:00 pm
Miller Learning Center room 148

Scientists predict we may lose half the species on the planet by the end of the century. They believe we have entered the sixth major extinction event in Earth’s history. Number five took out the dinosaurs. This era is called the Anthropocene, or “Age of Man,” because the evidence shows that humanity has sparked this catastrophic loss. We are the only ones who can stop it as well.

RACING EXTINCTION is an eco-thriller that examines humanity's role in mass extinction and explores solutions that inspire hope for a more sustainable future. Oscar-winning director Louie Psihoyos (The Cove) assembles a team of artists and activists on an undercover operation to expose threats to endangered species and the race to prevent extinction. This groundbreaking documentary reveals stunning, never-before seen images that change the way we see the world and bring a voice to the thousands of species teetering on the very edge of life.

Discussion will be led by Dr. Dan Everett who teaches Computer Science and Management Information Systems at UGA. His teaching interests include computer modeling of the economy and global climate, the use of information technology to enhance energy efficiency, and the economics of the transition away from fossil fuels. Dr. Everett is also a member of the Georgia Climate Change Coalition, an organization working to stop global warming.

2015, 90 minutes. film website  |  Facebook event

February 13, 7:00 pm
Miller Learning Center room 148

In ancient times, humans viewed songbirds as messengers from the gods and looked to the songs of birds to foretell the future. Today, once again, the birds have something to tell us, and the message is not a comfortable one. Birds are delivering an urgent message about Earth’s health — one that we ignore at our peril.

Songbirds are vanishing at an alarming rate. Populations of hundreds of species have dipped dramatically. THE MESSENGER explores the pressures facing songbird populations and the potential impact of bird declines on the environment. The film follows songbirds on a visually thrilling yet perilous journey through our changing world, bringing us face-to-face with a variety of human-made perils that have devastated thrushes, warblers, orioles, tanagers, grosbeaks and many other airborne music-makers. These threats include climate change, hunting, light pollution, high-rise collisions, pipelines, pesticides and loss of migratory habitats.

Already we may have lost almost half the songbirds that filled the skies fifty years ago. THE MESSENGER asks what it will mean to all of us on both a global and human level if we lose them and engages with an army of scientists, ecologists, and bird enthusiasts mobilizing in the race against time to protect songbirds.

Discussion will be led by Dr. Robert Cooper, Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Ornithology in the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. Cooper has studied birds for almost 40 years and has published over 100 scholarly articles in scientific journals. He has twice won awards from the bird conservation group Partners in Flight, an international organization that takes a science-based approach to saving at-risk bird species and their habitats. His current research includes studies of ecology and conservation of forest songbirds, beach-nesting shorebirds and secretive marsh birds of the tidal marshes of the Gulf and Atlantic coasts.

2015, 89 minutes. film website  |  Facebook event

February 20, 7:00 pm
Miller Learning Center room 148

Following a two-year undercover investigation across South America by Animal Defenders International, Bolivia became the first country in the world to ban animals in all circuses in 2009, citing widespread cruelty in that industry.

The award-winning LION ARK tells the story of one of the most ambitious and daring animal rescues of its kind. The feel-good film follows the dramatic rescue and relocation of 25 lions held captive in appalling conditions in illegal circuses in Bolivia and their inspirational journey to freedom. More action adventure than traditional documentary, LION ARK is an uplifting story of bravery and compassion that reveals how a poor but proud country said "no" to cruelty and how attitudes to animals were changed across an entire continent.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers and rescue team from Animal Defenders International, President Jan Creamer (film producer) and Vice President Tim Phillips (film director). They will be flying direct from Peru and the rescue of spectacled bear Dominga for this screening, so you can be the first to hear the inside story of ADI's latest rescue.

Winner of 11 awards, Lion Ark has been praised as “The feel-good movie of the year!” (Reel Talk), “Compelling Cinema Verité" (Hollywood Reporter), and “Five Stars, unmissable…. Born Free with balls on” (Brit Flicks).  

2015, 91 minutes. film website  |  Facebook event

February 27, 7:00 pm
Miller Learning Center room 148

A DOG NAMED GUCCI is the story of an abused puppy and the brave man who came to his rescue. But for Doug James saving Gucci was just the beginning. Together they would forge a forever bond of devotion and perseverance and work to change the non-existent animal cruelty laws in their home state of Alabama, making domestic animal abuse a felony and proving that justice is a dog's best friend.

The film also examines the bigger picture of domestic animal abuse in America, spotlighting three other dogs who, with their owners, have made an incredible impact on the laws protecting animals. Winner of the ASPCA Media Excellence Award, A DOG NAMED GUCCI is an inspiring film about how we protect those who cannot protect themselves.

“Instead of assaulting the viewer with images of abused animals, we chose to tell what is ultimately an uplifting story of one victim who went on to become a hero,” explains director Gorman Bechard.  “This is a triumphant tale. Gucci began his life as an underdog, but was a fighter and emerged a rock star.”

Discussion will be led by Debra Berger, Georgia Director for The Humane Society of the United States, the nation’s largest animal protection organization. The HSUS works in Georgia to support animal welfare legislation, fight animal cruelty in all forms, and engage citizens to promote the protection of animals. We will also be joined by an animal law attorney from Animal Law Source

2015, 84 minutes. film website  |  Facebook event