Environmental organization to host movie festival Saturday at Down Town Theater

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Move over, Hollywood! This weekend, Huntsville will have its very own film festival. The Environmental Student Organization at SHSU is hosting an environmental movie festival at the Downtown Theater on Saturday, April 5. The festival starts at 1 p.m., and the ESO is planning to show one full-length film and several short films which are suitable for all ages.

“Our full-length film is called ‘The Next Industrial Revolution,’ and it’s basically about a better way to produce building materials,” said ESO President Sarah Massey.

It’s not all about the movies, though. Dan Phillips of the Phoenix Commotion, an architect whose buildings are made out of recycled materials, is speaking at 5 p.m. By recycling building materials, Phillips helps keep useable resources out of landfills. According to CleanHouston.org, Phillips also helps the community by hiring only unskilled workers; after they have finished working for Phillips, they have received enough training to get jobs elsewhere for higher pay.

The Walker County Master Gardner Association, a group that promotes gardening within the community, donated plants for the ESO to sell in front of the festival.

“They’re overjoyed that there’s an environmental group here on campus,” Massey said.

The ESO has not been on campus very long, but its members have big plans for the future.

“When I first came here, there wasn’t an organization that had to do with the environment, Massey said. “I came from a place where that was just sort of routine.”

Last semester, they set out recycling bins during tailgates at sporting events. They planted a sustainable garden in front of the art department. They also held a raffle for recyclable items; the prize was a pair of concert tickets.

“We’re going to be giving away more concert tickets at the film festival, too,” Massey said. “We’ll have a raffle.”

Some future hopes include building large-scale sculptures made of trash found on campus in the campus mall.

“We want to go into the mall area, do some research on campus, see how much trash is brought in on campus in a week or so, and make that much trash into a sculpture in the mall area,” Massey said.

At this time, however, the ESO is trying to expand.

“We’re trying to build our group up really. It’s hard to do a lot with a small amount of people, but we definitely do what we can,” Massey said. “We’re just trying to let people know that we care about the community around us, and it’s easy to make it better.”