Greetings from St. Louis, Costa Rica, and TEDx Pittsburgh!

Whew, I just got back from St. Louis, Costa Rica, and Pittsburgh…and boy are my arms tired. 😉 It’s been a fantastic couple of weeks for the YERT film – (hey, we just won Best Feature Documentary for our international premiere at the Costa Rica International Film Festival!!). Here are some snapshots and a few things I learned while traveling.

St. Louis (11/11-13):
* Always remember your wallet when taking a road trip to St. Louis (or your Aunt Karen will never let you live it down when you get there).

* When in St. Louis’ incredible City Museum, keep track of your 3-year-old…no, really.

* Treating said 3-year-old to a celebratory ice cream cone and root beer at said museum may seem like a good idea at the time…

…it is not.

* The St. Louis International Film Festival is really cool. They’ll even take a picture of you outside their marquee.

Costa Rica (11/14-18):
* Always remember your passport when flying to Cos…don’t worry, I did actually remember my passport. 😉

* 48 hours is not nearly enough time in Montezuma, Costa Rica.

* But, if 48 hours is all you can get in Montezuma, Costa Rica…take it!

* Don’t try to cross the river to hike through the jungle to get to the big waterfall if it rained the night before because the river will look like this and you will die.

Instead, cross the river the next day when it’s calmer…

Of course, when the waterfall you’re trying to get to looks like this…

…I can understand why people might throw caution to the wind.

* Zip lines are harder to pull off as you get older.

* The Costa Rica International Film Festival is also really cool! And they dig fun environmental docs!

TEDx (11/19-20):
After a long day of travel from San Jose, Costa Rica to Farmington, PA by way of MIA and PIT, I finally rendezvoused with Mark at what can only be described as rural Pennsylvania’s answer to the Palace of Versailles for a truly remarkable experience presenting YERT highlights at Pittsburgh’s TEDx conference where we were very well received.

* Pennsylvania doesn’t have Las Vegas, but it does have Nemacolin Resort. And holy honkin’ hotel, Batman! This place is decked out!

* There is a certain inescapable irony about holding a conference focused on “power” in an enormous, sprawling hotel with giant chandeliers in every hotel room. Kind of like an environmental road trip…

* In a pinch, a hotel room bathtub can be used as a washer and an iron as a clothes dryer…for all of your wet, stinky Costa Rica “jungle clothes”…on the morning of your presentation.

* TEDx is really cool. You might even meet someone like, oh, say…C-3PO. Though he’s harder to spot without the full metal body suit.

Finally, as exciting as the traveling’s been, it’s always a joy to come back home to family.

Here’s to an even more fruitful and exciting 2012! Oh, and don’t forget to BUY YOUR YERT DVDs before the holidays – they make great gifts!

Happy Holidays!
-B (& J & M)

A Fiesta of Festivals and News from YERT











Dear YERTians,

We’re on a roll with festival acceptances and new screenings! Take a look below for details…

  • The CA Premiere of YERT at the Roxie in SF
  • Lexington, KY Premiere – TONIGHT!
  • A Fiesta of Festival Acceptances
  • Pittsburgh Premiere and Overflow Screening on Sept. 20 AND Sept. 21
  • YERT Film Screening at Mother Earth News Fair, PA
  • Join Yes! Magazine for No Impact Week
  • Host a YERT Screening!
  • Seeking Outreach Volunteers

The CA Premiere of YERT at the Roxie in SF
One of our long-standing favorite national sustainability organizations, the Bioneers, is co-hosting this event with a brand new favorite of ours, the San Francisco Green Film Festival. The whole thing will take place on Oct. 11, 2011 at the famous Roxie Theater in downtown San Francisco, and Ben will be there with bells on for Q&A and general merriment. Invite your friends to our Facebook event and don’t forget to buy your tickets here. The screening and Q&A will take place from 8:45pm to about 11:00pm at the Roxie Theater, 3117 16th St., SF, CA.

Lexington, KY Premiere Tonight!
The YERT film will be screening TONIGHT, September 14th, at 7pm in the Worsham Theater of the University of Kentucky student center: 404 South Limestone St., Lexington, KY. The screening will be followed by Q&A with Director, Ben Evans. You can find parking at 409 South Limestone.

A Fiesta of Festival Acceptances
As you can see from the laurels at the top of this e-mail, we’re pleased to announce a bunch of new festivals that the YERT film has been accepted into. We have over 18 screenings planned around the country during the next month, possibly one near you! Check out our screenings page for more details and our calendar of events. And don’t forget to tell your friends and family to go see the YERT Film in their area! Here’s a quick reference list of events coming up through the end of October:

UPCOMING YERT SCREENINGS
(click each for details or here for full calendar)

Key:
*Mark attending for Q&A
**Ben attending for Q&A
***Mark + Ben attending for Q&A
°Mark or Ben for videochat Q&A

Pittsburgh Premiere and Overflow Screening on Sept. 20 AND Sept. 21
We’re filled to the brim with reservations for the big Pittsburgh Premiere of YERT on Sept. 20, so we’ve opened up an Overflow Screening the very next day, same time (7pm), at the Homewood Library Theater. You can still try to get a seat at the Sept. 20 event by signing up on the waiting list here, and we’ll let people in in order of their appearance on the list. Alternatively, you can go see it the next day in Homewood (just a few minutes from Chatham) and be guaranteed a seat. Wait list and Overflow Screening reservations must be made via this form. Feel free to contact Mark@yert.com if you have any questions.

YERT Film Screening at Mother Earth News Fair, PA
This is an event you won’t want to miss. The planners are expecting more than 8,000 people and it is happening right outside of Pittsburgh, PA. The Mother Earth News fair is a hands-on festival of sustainability activities, speakers, events, and one feature film screening: YERT! Twice! That’s right, we’re screening at 11:00 AM on both Saturday 9/24 and Sunday 9/25 at the Utne Reader Stage. Mark and a team of helpful volunteers will be there for the event, including a Q&A with Mark after each screening. Check out the website for the Mother Earth News Fair to see their massive calendar of events.

Host a YERT Screening!
We are working to build the team and infrastructure to enable thousands of community screenings around the world during the next couple of years, but in order to do that, we need your help! Are you involved with a community group in your area that might enjoy a screening of the YERT film? We’d love to help you make that event happen. Each of our screenings to-date have sparked the creation of several more screenings, so once we get this ball rolling it’ll grow and grow — but we need your help getting those initial sparks launched! Sign up today at our screening page.

Join Yes! Magazine for No Impact Week

Our friends and long-standing supporters at Yes! Magazine are contributing 250 current editions of their magazine for attendees at YERT’s Pittsburgh Premiere. They are also teaming up with the No Impact Project for a week-long experiment in low-impact living called No Impact Week, starting on Sept. 18! Over 30,000 people across the planet have participated in the experiment, and YERT encourages you to do the same. For more information about how to get involved, click here.

Seeking Outreach Volunteers
Our team of outreach volunteers is growing, but we still need more help! Would you like to spend a couple hours each week as an outreach volunteer? Click here to sign up and we’ll follow-up with you by e-mail and phone. We particularly need active grass-roots development in these states: PA, CA, AZ, MN, TX, GA, and IN. Sign up today!

We’re certainly feeling the wave of enthusiasm build for the YERT film, and we’ll be keeping you updated on how it all flows in these very full months to come. Don’t forget to join the conversation on Facebook, and we’ll write again soon!

Cheers,
Ben, Mark, and Julie
team@yert.com

— NEW Quotes from YERT’s Louisville Premiere —

“I haven’t been able to stop thinking about this film since I went to the premiere. And isn’t that what an excellent film is supposed to do? Buckle up and let your three guides take you on a journey of discovery, enlightenment and hope. It’s smart, funny and a must see. If you can’t find this movie near you, demand your local theaters show it. Spread the word!” – Amy Fernandez, Louisville Premiere

“It’s visionaries, like you guys and the people in your film, who will see to it that our future generations become empowered to live happily and enjoy life like no other generations have. I’m on board now, after seeing the film, even more than I’ve been because anything else other than sustainable just doesn’t seem real.” – Ronnie Hager, Louisville Premiere

“Wonderful! Couldn’t stop talking about it the next day (and the next, and the one after that…). We need inspiration like this to remind that that change IS possible.” – Noelle Tennis Gulden, Louisville Premiere”



A still from the YERT Film motion graphics. Click image to enlarge.

Pittsburgh Premiere of YERT: Sept. 20, 7pm

You are warmly invited to the Pittsburgh Premiere of the feature documentary “YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip” on Sept. 20th, 7pm at the Eddy Theater at Chatham University. The screening will be followed by Q&A with the filmmakers Mark Dixon and Ben Evans.

Date: Tuesday, September 20th, 2011
Time: Doors open at 6:30pm, screening from 7:00pm – 9:00pm, followed by Q&A
Location: Eddy Theater, Chatham University, 1 Woodland Road, Pittsburgh, PA

Ticket reservations are essential. Reserve tickets here: http://yertreservation.questionpro.com/

“…A deeply absorbing and often hilarious road trip…By the dramatic end of Your Environmental Road Trip, audiences will not only cheer, but feel compelled to spring to their feet to join an inspiring movement for change. If only our nationÂ’s policymakers will watch this important film and do the same.”
– Jeff Biggers, Huffington Post

YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip is an award-winning film (Audience Award – Environmental Film Festival at Yale 2011) celebrating the American spirit in the face of adversity – a unique docu-comedy profiling the courageous and creative individuals, groups, businesses and leaders of this country who are tackling the greatest environmental threats in history.

Covering 50 states in 1 year and virtually every environmental issue coast to coast with a blend of humor and depth, the film features such luminaries as Bill McKibben, Wes Jackson, Michael Bloomberg, Deepak Chopra, Janine Benyus, Will Allen, David Orr, Michael Reynolds, Joel Salatin, David Korten, and members of Congress…as well as ordinary citizens from all walks of life. It was an alternately heart-rending, mind-blowing, and gut-busting adventure – but ultimately an inspiring one.

Mark Dixon, YERT’s Co-founder and Producer, moved to Pittsburgh prior to the launch of the YERT project back in 2006. Meanwhile, YERT Co-founder and Director, Ben Evans, was a big fan of the Steel City, having starred in several productions at City Theatre on the South Side, including (conveniently enough) a one-man show in the summer of 2007. Because of strong support from the Pittsburgh environmental community and inspiration from the legacy of hometown environmental hero Rachel Carson, YERT’s adventure launched from the Rachel Carson homestead just outside of Pittsburgh on July 4, 2007, just a few days after Bill Peduto helped to make “Your Environmental Road Trip Day” official in the city of Pittsburgh. At the conclusion of the road trip, Mark, Ben & Julie (and their new baby Bailey), were joined by supporters for a homecoming party at the Rachel Carson Homestead. Following the trip, Ben returned briefly to Pittsburgh for another production at City Theatre, while Mark now lives in Pittsburgh’s Highland Park with his wife. The YERT team continues its environmental outreach through lively presentations at venues across the country, including local events at CMU, Chatham, Duquesne, Pitt, Slippery Rock University, Sustainable Monroeville, and the 3RiversBioneers.

This event is generously hosted by the Rachel Carson Institute in the School of Sustainability and the Environment at Chatham University. This event is also sponsored in part by Citizens for PennsylvaniaÂ’s Future (PennFuture) and their Black and Gold City Goes Green, Three Rivers Solar Source, and Breathe Easy, Stay Healthy campaigns.

YERT would like to thank Pittsburgh for such incredible support over the last few years. We canÂ’t wait to see you at this very special event!

Mark Dixon
Producer / co-Director

Ben Evans
Director / co-Producer

Ticket reservations are essential. Reserve tickets here: http://yertreservation.questionpro.com/

Louisville Premiere + More Good News…

Dear YERTians,

Welcome to the latest update on all things YERT! Lots of exciting news this week. Read on for details…

  • Louisville Premiere on July 28!
  • YERT is an Official Selection at Route 66 Int’l Film Festival
  • Success at deadCENTER Film Festival
  • Premiere Planning in KY, PA, CA, TX, NY, OR, WA, DC, and Europe
  • Seeking Outreach Volunteers

Louisville Premiere on July 28!
You are warmly invited to the Louisville Premiere of the feature documentary “YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip” on July 28th at 7pm (7pm is filled up! Second screening at 9:15pm) @ The Louisville Science Center. (Reserve your tickets here.) Edited and post-produced primarily in Louisville, the movie bears the marks of a variety of the city’s local talent (some of whom will be at the Louisville Premiere) including Director/co-Producer Ben Evans, YERT-mama Julie Evans, Co-producer Gill Holland, Co-editor/Co-producer Scott Irick, animation from Eric Stemen at Kertis Creative, and music from Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore among others – as well as invaluable help from a wonderful group of local donors, transcribers, and supporters. After more than four years in the making, the film will have its Louisville Premiere on July 28th at 7pm (7pm is filled up! Second screening at 9:15pm) @ The Louisville Science Center’s IMAX Theatre. The screening will be followed by a special Q&A with Ben Evans, Julie Evans, and Scott Irick – hosted by Gill Holland. Tremendous thanks to the Louisville Science Center, the Louisville Film Society, and the Green Building for so generously sponsoring this premiere and to the entire Louisville community for such incredible support over the last few years. We can’t wait to see you at this very special event!

Ticket reservations for the Louisville Premiere are essential and seats are filling quickly. Reserve your tickets here: http://yertreservations.questionpro.com/

YERT is an Official Selection at Route 66 Int’l Film Festival
We just received word that the YERT Film has become an “Official Selection” at the ultimate road-tripping film festival – the Route 66 International Film Festival in Springfield, IL. They liked the film so much that YERT will be featured in a special advance screening prior to the film festival, hosted by the Chairman of the Illinois Sierra Club, Will Reynolds. Ben will be in attendance at the screening for Q&A, on Aug. 9, 7-10pm at the Capital City Bar and Grill, 3149 S. Dirksen Parkway, Springfield, IL. If you know anybody in the area who might enjoy our special flavor of “environmental anti-depressant,” send them to the screening!

Success at deadCENTER Film Festival
YERT was extremely well received at the deadCENTER Film Fest in Oklahoma City! Over 160 people saw the film via two separate screenings, and out of 107 films, YERT was the most highly rated and most reviewed film at the entire festival. You can see for yourself here. And we’ve included some of the reviews at the bottom of this e-mail. We also had a successful “meet and greet” event during Mark’s visit to OKC, bringing together young and old, experienced and new YERTians from the area for a candid discussion about sustainability at the local level. A big THANKS to deadCENTER for being such a fun, welcoming festival! Thanks also to Elemental Coffee for hosting the gathering, and to Transition OKC, Sustainable OKC, Fresh Greens Blog, and Cimarron Group of the Sierra Club.

Premiere Planning in KY, PA, CA, TX, NY, OR, WA, DC, and Europe
We’re continuing to roll out the YERT film at premieres around the country. The Louisville premiere comes up next, and we’ll soon be announcing premiere dates for Pittsburgh, PA and California (San Francisco). We would also like to have premiere events in Portland (OR), Seattle (WA), New York (NY), Austin (TX), and Washington (DC), and an international premiere. Do you know organizations or individuals in these cities that you think would be helpful collaborators in creating a strong YERT premiere? Please encourage them to contact us ASAP at team@yert.com! And if you’d like to arrange a screening near you, wherever you are, premiere or not, you can always do that at our screening page.

Seeking Outreach Volunteers
We have two talented, connected, and dedicated interns (Angela Wiley and Laura Beck) working to plan screenings, develop a press kit, and generally boost YERT’s outreach efforts, but we need more help! Would you like to spend a couple hours each week as an outreach volunteer? Click here to sign up and we’ll follow-up with you by e-mail and phone. We particularly need active grass-roots development in these states: KY, PA, CA, TX, NY, OR, WA, DC. Sign up today!

And that’s the latest news from YERT. You can join the conversation on Facebook, and we’ll see you again soon!

Cheers,
Ben, Mark, and Julie
team@yert.com

— NEW Quotes from YERT Film Audiences —

“The Fellini trio of the climate justice movement, the YERT film crew has managed to pull off the impossible in the world of cinema–a deeply absorbing and often hilarious road trip that confronts the badlands of our nation’s spiraling descent into dirty energy darkness, only to emerge along the solar roadways and wind-swept plains into the myriad possibilities for new power and sustainable living. By the dramatic end of Your Environmental Road Trip, audiences will not only cheer, but feel compelled to spring to their feet to join an inspiring movement for change. If only our nation’s policymakers will watch this important film and do the same.” – Jeff Biggers, author, Huffington Post

“This was an exceptional documentary. It had the 3 E’s of any good documentary. It was entertaining, emotional and educational. Forget the Tea Party. Working on alternative energy sources and getting humans to work toward sustainable lifestyles, needs to be the next American Revolution.” – deadCENTER Film Fest audience member

“Wow! One of the best eco-documentaries I’ve seen. Loaded with information. Why havn’t I heard of the revolutionary, forward thinking people in this film before? A real eye opener; not just to the environmental issues but to the popular media and their inability to bring this information to the masses. Great movie!” – deadCENTER Film Fest audience member”



Q&A featuring Mark with Lance McDaniel, Executive Director of the deadCENTER Film Fest.

YERT feature film – KY Premiere – July 28, 7pm @ Louisville Science Center!

YERT Film Poster for Louisville
The YERT Film poster is an homage to films that have undoubtedly influenced many environmental documentaries: Charlie’s Angels and The Ten Commandments . Conceived/designed by Ben Evans and created by local Louisville graphic artist Kyle Ware.

“…A deeply absorbing and often hilarious road trip… By the dramatic end of Your Environmental Road Trip, audiences will not only cheer, but feel compelled to spring to their feet to join an inspiring movement for change. If only our nation’s policymakers will watch this important film and do the same.”
– Jeff Biggers, Huffington Post

RESERVE YOUR LOUISVILLE PREMIERE TICKETS HERE
(One night only and seating is limited, so get your tickets early.)

YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip is an award-winning film (Audience Award – Environmental Film Festival at Yale 2011) celebrating the American spirit in the face of adversity – a unique docu-comedy profiling the courageous and creative individuals, groups, businesses and leaders of this country who are tackling the greatest environmental threats in history.

RESERVE YOUR LOUISVILLE PREMIERE TICKETS HERE

(One night only and seating is limited, so get your tickets early.)

Covering 50 states in 1 year and virtually every environmental issue coast to coast with a blend of humor and depth – from the heroes on the front lines fighting mountaintop removal in Appalachia to the iconic Kansan “solving the 10,000 yr-old problem of agriculture”; from an eccentric 92-year old cave-man in the wilds of Idaho to the inventor of futuristic Solar Roadways; from New Mexico’s utopian Earthships to Alaska’s melting ice cellars – we shot 600 hours of footage and interviewed nearly 1000 people including such luminaries as Bill McKibben, Wes Jackson, Michael Bloomberg, Deepak Chopra, Janine Benyus, Will Allen, David Orr, Michael Reynolds, Joel Salatin, David Korten, and members of Congress…as well as ordinary citizens from all walks of life.

To better understand the environmental challenges before us, Mark, Julie, and I also decided to put ourselves through a series of outrageous challenges on the trip, like never turning on an incandescent light bulb, radically reducing our water usage by any means necessary, and, above all, attempting to generate zero waste by keeping all of our garbage (and recyclables) in the car with us for the entire year. Little did we know that in the middle of the trip, an unexpected turn of events would instantly and dramatically change life for all of us and push the entire project to the brink. It was an alternately heart-rending, mind-blowing, and gut-busting adventure – but ultimately, we hope, an inspiring one.

Crafting the film has been as challenging as surviving the trip itself. Edited and post-produced primarily in Louisville, the movie bears the marks of a variety of the city’s local talent (in addition to Ben and Julie…and frequent visitor Mark) including co-producer Gill Holland, co-editor/co-producer Scott Irick, animation from Eric Stemen at Kertis Creative, and music from Ben Sollee and Daniel Martin Moore among others – as well as invaluable help from a wonderful group of local donors, transcribers, and supporters. After more than four years in the making, the film will have its Louisville Premiere (generously sponsored by both the Louisville Science Center and the Louisville Film Society) on July 28th at 7pm @ The Louisville Science Center. A Q&A with the filmmakers will follow.

RESERVE YOUR LOUISVILLE PREMIERE TICKETS HERE

(One night only and seating is limited, so get your tickets early.)

Tremendous thanks to Louisville for such incredible support over the last few years. We can’t wait to see you at this very special event!

Ben Evans
DIRECTOR / co-Producer

Uplifting feedback from the YERT Premiere

Dear YERTians,

After the YERT feature film premiere at EFFY, we received a whole lot of wonderful, supportive feedback about the film. I wanted to take a moment to share one of our favorites with you today:

Hey YERT Team!

I literally left the world premiere of your brilliant film at the Yale Environmental Film Fest and I did not get a chance to listen to you guys answer questions because we had to leave right after, unfortunately. At my high school, I am a member of GRAC = Grass Roots Action Club and tonight some of the members came out to see your film, and we were absolutely blown away. First, may I say that the music that was chosen for the film was perfect, so perfect, in fact, that I wanted to buy the soundtrack to your film right after it was over. On a more relative note, your film truly opened my eyes even further about really making a difference and “the best investment you can make is in the community.” That line was really one of the most impacting themes of the film. I do not want to bore you with repetitive words like “amazing” or “wonderful” (though this film deserves it) because I am sure that you probably have so many more emails to look through, so I just want to end on a good note by saying that your commitment to this full year project really made a difference in peopleÂ’s lives. I know that I and the GRAC members walked away even more knowledgeable about the world around us and how we can keep it safe. Brilliant work guys really…and lastly, in the middle of the film I turned to my friend sitting beside me and said “This deserves an Academy Award.”
Absolutely amazing work, you deserve all the praise!

Thank You,
Jessica Teixeira
West Haven High School