The 4th Annual South African Eco Film Festival aims to explore how changes are affecting the planet, and how personal change can affect that world for the better.

The festival returns to Cape Town with the theme "Change is here". Festival co-ordinator Dougie Dudgeon said challenging, intriguing and creative film content from South Africa and across the world would be showcased, highlighting issues that affect all citizens, while introducing participants, film-makers and audience members to sustainable living choices and lifestyle changes that can be made today.

Dudgeon said many of the films would be solution-oriented. “We want to engage with people. We want to create awareness about what is really happening and what we can do at an individual level to help. Sometimes these problems can seem so vast we feel we cannot make a difference,” he said.

With Cape Town experiencing a drought and dwindling water resources, the festival would speak directly to these issues.

Films such as the award-winning Normal Is Over will be shown.

Directed by investigative TV-journalist Renée Scheltema, it chronicles the way humans have inadvertently imperilled our planet: species extinction, climate change, the depletion of critical natural resources, and industrial control of our food production. Our economic and financial system connects these issues, Scheltema said.

The film offers changes and solutions, which could be implemented immediately. From practical everyday fixes to rethinking the overarching myths of our time, it is intended to challenge viewers on many different levels and offers hope, she said.

Scheltema said it took five years to make the film, which investigates a variety of solutions to reverse global decline.

As well as the main programme at Cape Town's much-loved independent cinema, the Labia Theatre, there will be sneak previews at the Simon’s Town Museum from March 13 to 17, and the Peninsula Preview at the Masque Theatre on March 16.

The festival is supported by leading Western Cape eco-friendly business partners, Ballo, Reliance and Hemporium. There will be audience Q&As, guest speakers and more.

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