Dallas video race adds green focus • Irving hosts eco-film fest • North Texas star party puts spotlight on light pollution

 By Julie Thibodeaux



The Video Association of Dallas wants to inspire filmmakers to go green. The nonprofit is hosting its 12th annual 24-Hour Video Race on May 10. For the contest, amateurs to professionals spend 24 hours writing, shooting, editing and scoring a film. There are some new categories this year, including one with an environmental twist. One film crew will have prior access to a professional who works in an environmental field, such as a botanist, landscaper or farmer, to serve as a documentary subject. 

Bart Weiss, director of VAD, said many participants already turn in films that address environmental topics. He said the medium lends itself to raising consciousness. “We do think there’s a higher purpose for filmmaking,” said Weiss. “It’s a way to push the issues to the forefront.”

He added that filmmaking has not always been environmentally friendly but more people in the industry are striving to be green. “More filmmakers are trying to be conscious of the impact of their work by recycling, trying to be less wasteful.” 

As many as 80 filmmaking teams from North Texas have signed up to participate in the contest. All films will be shown at the Angelika in Dallas. Here’s one of last year's entries called the “The Power of Green” : http://www.youplusdallas.com/stories/the-power-of-green

For more info on the 24-Hour Video Race, see http://videofest.org


The city of Irving is celebrating Earth Day with cinematic blitz. The city’s second annual Eco-Film Fest will be held April 18-20 at six area venues. Fran Witte, organizer for the festival, said last year, she considered hosting a green expo with booths, but decided to try something different. That’s when she came up with idea for a green film festival.

“There are so many things going on in the Metroplex right around that week. There are plenty of opportunities to meet and greet vendors,” she said. “I just really thought we needed another option to learn about a variety of issues.” 

This year, the film fest has expanded and will include 39 movies at six locations. Witte said she selected a variety of films from the sobering “An Inconvenient Truth” to the 1973 cult classic “Soylent Green.” Topics include everything from electric cars to whales to bottled water and trash. She also chose films geared to kids, including “Over the Hedge” and “WALL-E.” 

Moviegoers can bring their own snacks to most of the venues, which include three city libraries and a high school. Food can purchased at two of the venues, iFratelli restaurant and North Lake College.

The event is free and open to the public. For complete list of films, descriptions, locations and showtimes, visit: http://www.cityofirving.org/begreen/


Next month, people are gathering at local natural areas to bring awareness to light pollution. The regional GLOBE at Night Star Party will be held May 4 at three locations, including Tandy Hills Natural Area in Fort Worth, the Fort Worth Prairie Park and the Bob Jones Nature Center in Southlake. Heather Foote, director of Prairie Keepers, a Fort Worth-based nonprofit that offers educational programs, is organizing the event. It’s part of an international citizen science campaign designed to bring awareness to light pollution’s effect on energy consumption, health and wildlife. 

During the evening, participants will make observations about star visibility and upload it to a website. Foote, a science teacher at Colleyville Middle School, said she decided to host the Star Party after seeing the Metroplex’s skies brighten year after year and hearing students say they’d never seen stars.  “They don’t believe they’re there,” she said.

According to Foote, light pollution not only robs us of our connection to the stars, but affects the natural rhythms of all living things. “There are things we can do to minimize our impact. I feel we need to call more attention to the problem.

For information, visit:

Prairie Keepers http://www.prairiekeepers.org

Bob Jones Nature Center http://www.bjnc.org 

Globe at Night http://www.globeatnight.org


Julie Thibodeaux covers environmental issues, green topics and sustainable living for Green Source DFW. Previously, she worked as an editor and writer at the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. Send your green bulletin items to Julie@greensourcedfw.org. Follow us at Facebook/GreenSourceDFW.com

Sign up for the weekly Green Source DFW Newsletter to stay up to date on everything green in North Texas, the latest news and events.