Eco-conscious Sundance turns deeper shade of green

Sat Jan 19, 2008 5:39pm EST
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By Jane Clark

PARK CITY, Utah (Reuters) - When former Vice President Al Gore premiered documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, he inspired not only greater awareness of global warming, but the general greening of this top movie event.

Two years later, almost everything at the key gathering for independent film backed by Robert Redford's Sundance Institute has gone eco-friendly, eco-conscious or just plain eco-crazy.

That idea is true not only for movies, such as director Josh Tickell's "Fields of Fuel" about U.S. dependency on fossil fuels and the potential of bio-diesel to replace gasoline, but for a host of marketers hawking products from environmentally friendly boots to hybrid cars.

Backers of green technologies like Tickell see nothing but upside potential to being at Sundance amid the crush of television and newspaper reporters that turn out annually for the stargazing in this mountain town east of Salt Lake City.

"Sundance is really not about 'Fields of Fuel,' per se. It is about generating awareness in the media about what is possible" to combat global warming, Tickell said.

To back up his words, Tickell enlisted non-profit group Earth Pledge, which consults with filmmakers on reducing carbon output and acquiring carbon off-sets to make their films carbon neutral. Oscar contender "There Will Be Blood" was one film that voluntarily offset its environmental damages.

Earth Pledge also is at Sundance spreading its eco-conscious word as a participant in Project Greenhouse, sponsored by automaker Lexus and its new hybrid car technology. It is just one of several "lounges" that have brought companies with eco-friendly products to the snowy streets of Park City.

GREEN STARS? WHO CARES!   Continued...

<p>A scene from director Josh Tickell's documentary "Fields of Fuel", which is in competition at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, is shown in this undated publicity photograph realeased on January 19, 2008. The film is about the rising domination of the petrochemical industry. The festival will run for 10 days with 121 feature-length films selected for competition. REUTERS/Sundance Film Festival/Handout</p>