EC at the Fifth International Movie in the Countryside Festival

The Earth Charter values and principles were incorporated at the Fifth International Movie in the Countryside Festival from February 27th to April 23rd in Chiapas. This year, the festival’s main purpose was to promote dialogue between the Mexican rural communities and short film producers to help show productions of young talent in communities with no access to movies. 

With the 2012 theme,“Stories for a better world”, the festival supported short film production exploring themes such as water, climate change, biodiversity, and human rights. The call for films was open to national and international producers.  

At the festival, SEMARNAT (The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources) delivered workshops titled “Earth Charter for Children” and “Youth and the Earth Charter” in Cahoacán and Coatán, two communities of Tapachula, Chiapas, The workshops dealt with the following topics:

I. What is the Earth Charter? History, consultation process, world launch, presence in Mexico, success stories of Earth Charter projects in rural and indigenous communities. Advances of the Earth Charter in the planet. 

II. The EC and Youth.  Internalization of the EC values and principles in the daily life of the family, the school and the community.

III.  EC implementation.  Perceptual diagnosis in two levels: personal and collective.   Intervention proposal. 
IV. Promotion strategies and EC fomentation from youth to youth.   EC Youth network through the EC International Secretariat in Costa Rica. 

The dynamics of the workshops was participatory; diverse techniques were used such as the puppet theater, music, set design, and other activities. A process of reflection-action-reflection was carried out with the environmental equation method through Art and the Earth Charter.  Activities indoors and outdoors were carried out during the workshop. The purpose was to give youth tools to be EC multipliers in their communities. According to Cardiela Amezcua, responsible for these workshops, youngsters from these indigenous communities will contact the EC Youth Network organized by the EC Secretariat in Costa Rica. The idea is to encourage reflection for the first time, with a playful and imaginative approach, on the values and principles of the Earth Charter among these communities in Chiapas.

At the end, the youngsters who organized the Fifth International Movie in the Countryside Festival will edit one or two videos or short films and promote them in different festivals. In 2010, from three short films produced in the surroundings of the Pátzcuaro Lake with indigenous children from communities in Michoacán, one of them was granted the Prize to the “Best animated short film” at the Environmental Film Summit celebrated at the UNFCCC COP in Cancún.

The prize-winning short film, “Las aventuras de Monochoa” (The Adventures of Monochoa), available at this link: www.youtube.com/cinecampofest competed with 35 other films from Spain, Saudi Arabia, England, Panama, Belize, China, Colombia, USA, Philippines, France,  Guatemala, Mexico, Singapore and New Zealand.  All of them were broadcast at the Poliforum de la Villa Climática in Cancun. 

It has also been screened at national and international festivals such as the “Vancouver Latin American Film Festival”, “Memory Festival” and “DOCS DF”, among others. SEMARNAT and the National Fund for the Culture and the Arts (FONCA) sponsored the project. Esmeralda Loyde, Cultural Advisor of the Social Participation and Transparency Coordination Unit of SEMARNAT, was in charge of this activity.