There’s an odd kind of hush all over the city about the inaugural Miami and the Beaches Environmental Film Festival (MBEFF), which kicks off tonight at the Colony Theatre, on Lincoln Road, with a program of student-produced shorts and its first feature film, Revenge of the Electric Car. The documentary features a slew of bold-face names, including Anthony Kiedis and Stephen Colbert, as well as various important figures in the electric car industry.
“I don’t think anyone knows about us,” says festival director Michael Laas. “We don’t have a history yet, and people are wondering, ‘Is this real or not?'”
Fair enough. Sometimes it seems as if Miami hosts a film festival every g’damn week. But a perusal of the MBEFF web site suggests that it is very much for real. The program comprises nine feature-length documentaries, a Wallcast at the New World Symphony, a student film competition (the aforementioned shorts series), and several parties.
An evolution of ECOMB’s Cinema Green series, the first Environmental Film Festival is an effort to awaken local people to environmental issues with local resonance. Toward that end, MBEFF has “teamed up” Miami-based non-profits with every film. Three examples:
— The Tropical Audubon Society, which is currently battling FPL’s plans to string power lines through the Everglades, is sponsoring The Pipe, a film about a remote Irish community’s fight to stop an oil company from laying down a pipe in their village