Cinema Planeta, Cuernavaca's brilliant environmental film festival
I went to Mexico City yesterday for a couple of meetings and as I came over the mountains on the way there the temperature dropped to 8C. By the time I got to my meeting a couple of hours later it was still definitely chilly and I was glad of my pashmina which I had thrown in the car at the last moment. It was so cool that I really enjoyed the chilly air, it was such a lovely change to the boiling heat we’ve had recently. People were actually going around in coats and jackets, which was a bit exaggerated, but it was lovely to be in a cool temperature again. The last couple of nights in fact have been cooler and so I have been able to sleep without the fan on, and I definitely rest much better without that infernal hum disturbing me.
The heat is on its way back just in time for Easter, when all the schools will be closed and everyone heads towards the coast. Needless to say I won’t be doing that, rather just staying at home and enjoying my garden. We get just 2 days off and I am taking off a further day, to make the break just that little bit longer. Can’t wait for next week.
This weekend I will be seeing a variety of films at the Cinema Planeta film festival which is based here in Cuernavaca. It is a unique film festival, the only one of its kind here in Mexico, because its theme is the environment. This year, the 6th edition, is all about food; how climate change is affecting the world’s food supplies and how that impacts all of us. No doubt the movies will be really good. They are in a number of different cinemas around town: the Cine Morelos which is our independent arts film house and apart from the main cinema it has 2 smaller screens, plus Cinemex, which is the massive Mexican chain of cinemas, plus the Parque Ecológico in the centre of Cuernavaca, plus open air venues in all sorts of places in villages and towns round the state of Morelos. They basically invite and take the festival to wherever is necessary. The organisation is truly astonishing and most of it is done by volunteers. Needless to say Eleonora and Gustavo have very little money and depend on sponsors and government support (which this year they get, last year they didn't; the money went "missing", and we all know what that means. They had to cut the festival by half, it was so dispiriting).
The organisers Eleonora and Gustavo, who I know well, are absolutely wonderful and it is entirely due to their enthusiasm for film and their concern for the environment that we have this marvellous film festival every year, right here in Cuernavaca. You can see all the info on their website: cinemaplaneta.org.
Every year I write a column on Cinema Planeta in the paper, in my ecology column, and help to promote the event. They have conferences and exhibitions too, and they manage to bus in thousands of school children from all over the place to see the movies or take part in the seminars. This year they have had the support of Bill Pullman, the actor, who was out and about showing children how to sew vegetables and trees. Everything they do is just wonderful and I try and support them as much as I can on Facebook and Twitter, through email and by word of mouth, and every year through the efforts of a huge group of people the festival is growing in importance and impact. This year was the first time I didn’t go to the inauguration in the Jardin Borda but I wasn’t up for driving home late at night. Sad I know but never mind. Anyway, I plan to see a couple of movies tomorrow afternoon, a couple more on Saturday and probably on Sunday too. I hope to go to the closing ceremony as well. No doubt Eleonora will tell me off for not going to the inauguration… She is so sweet and so amazing that she will forgive me, I am sure.