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Winner of “Health and Environment Film Prize” announced: Unacceptable Levels

Paris, 26 February 2013 - “Unacceptable levels” by Ed Brown, (USA) became the winner of the first-ever film prize on health and environment at the 30th International Environmental Film Festival (FIFE) tonight

27.02.2013 |HEAL (Health & Environment Network)

“Unacceptable levels” by Ed Brown, (USA) became the winner of the first-ever film prize on health and environment at the 30th International Environmental Film Festival (FIFE), copyright: Olivier Picar

The prize was established by a partnership between FIFE, the festival organisers and the Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL).

The film addresses the theme of the chemicals that are invading our environment. The director invites his audience to put practical questions to themselves about these substances, which are potentially harmful to health – and are found in our water, food, cosmetics, toys and paints. He tries to offer the audience answers by questioning scientists and representatives of non-governmental organisations (NGOs). This leads to the conclusion that governments are not necessarily doing all they should to protect the public. Ultimately, the film encourages everyone to look more deeply into these questions for ourselves.

“This excellent film brings home in a very real way the link between our environment and our health,” says Genon Jensen, Executive Director of HEAL. “We were delighted to discover from the discussions after each of the screenings just how interested the general public is in these issues. This energy will help us in our work in Brussels where we promote environment and health by calling for primary prevention to be the number one reason for better laws.”

The five films on health and environment were selected for the competition by the festival organisers and included in the official programme of the festival which took place from 19-26 February 2013. The festival is funded by Ile de France (Greater Paris) and has attracted more than 14,000 visitors.

The four other films in the competition address human sensitivity to electromagnetic fields (“Les sacrifiés des ondes”, Jean-Yves Bilien); the destructive side-effects of carbon trading projects in poorer countries (“Carbon Rush” by Amy Miller); the losses to health and well-being from large-scale, genetically-modified agriculture in Argentina (“Pour un lopin de terre” by Maria Van Munster and Cyril Crusson); and, the threat to all aspects of health posed by losing traditional rights to land in Australia, (“Heritage fight” by Eugenie Dumont). Full details and links to trailers below.

The award of a trophy and cheque for 5,000 Euros was given to Ed Brown by Sylvie Gilman, one of the judges in this new “Health and Environment Film Prize”. (3)
The seven judges, who gave their time in a personal capacity to judging the five films, were: Sylvie Gilman, television documentary film director; Robert Barouki, a leading research scientist at Inserm, Paris; Sylvia Medina, an expert in air quality and public health; Yannick Vicaire, Reseau Environnement Sante (RES) and Nadine Lauverjat, Generations Futures representing two leading not-for-profit organisations addressing health and environment in France; Sascha Gabizon, representing Women in Europe for a Common Future (WECF) and Monika Kosinska of the European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), the largest network of non-governmental organisations working on health in Europe. (4)

Yannick Vicaire, representing the judges and HEAL member, Reseau Environnement Santé (RES) in France said: “This competition has been introduced at the right time. Health and environment is currently a booming area in film – not only among film makers but also with the public. Everyone suspects that the environment impacts their health but they are not sure how and what they can do about it. ”
“The winning film mirrors the current European and global agenda on better control of chemicals, including endocrine disrupters. We hope this film creates greater awareness in Europe - and especially in the US where chemical reform lags behind Europe,” Vicaire concludes.

HEAL at the 30th International Environmental Film Festival, 19 – 26 February 2013 , Paris, France. View the trailers here!

The Health and Environment Alliance (HEAL) is a leading European not-for-profit organisation addressing how the environment affects health in the European Union. We demonstrate how policy changes can help protect health and enhance people’s quality of life.  HEAL has over 70 member organisations, of which WECF is one, representing networks of health professionals, non-profit health insurers, patients, citizens, women,youth and environmental experts working at the international, EU, national and local level.

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