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Group Slates Free ‘Before The Flood’ Movie Screening And Q&A With Environmental Experts

Published: February 26, 2017

Members of a local advocacy group have scheduled a free film screening of Before The Flood, featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, at Edmond Town Hall for Sunday, March 5, starting at 1 pm. A question and answer session with two local environmental experts is also planned for the event.

The environmental subcommittee of Newtown Forward, a local advocacy group with a number of efforts, and the Newtown High School Environmental and Forestry clubs are working together to host the screening.

Newtown Forward environmental subcommittee President Vanessa Villamil said Before The Flood is well thought out and persuasive, with facts laid out in an unemotional manner.

“I believe climate change is the biggest threat to our children right now,” said Ms Villamil, who is also the mother of one of the students who plans to help hold the event, “and I feel like more work needs to be done on a local and statewide level in order to give our children a chance.”

Posters for the film screening have been distributed around town ahead of the event. The NHS clubs will be holding a bake sale at the screening to raise money for their groups, according to Ms Villamil.

Western Connecticut State University professor Mitch Wagener and Newtown Sustainable Energy Commission Chair Kathy Quinn will speak at the event. Ms Villamil said Mr Wagener is passionate and informed on climate change.

“I think people will really appreciate what he has to say,” said Ms Villamil.

Newtown, Ms Villamil added, is doing amazing things to fight climate change, and she said it will be powerful for residents to hear what Ms Quinn has to say about those efforts.

“I’m sure there is more that we could be doing and I’m sure [Ms Quinn] will help us know if there is more we can do to help move that along,” said Ms Villamil.

Newtown Forward is made up of several groups that advocate for diversity and unity, political action, and youth outreach, along with the climate change group. Lynn Hungaski, a member of the environmental subcommittee, said Newtown Forward came up with its name “because we really just want to be moving forward.”

The environmental subcommittee came up with the idea of the film screening to help people become more aware of “what is going on,” said Ms Hungaski.

“It’s really a very chilling movie, and it is also very well done,” said Ms Hungaski, adding that the movie was produced by Martin Scorsese.

Ms Hungaski said the subcommittee is hoping the film screening will be the first in a series of events to help spread information.

“Our aim is to educate the public and to get people in action, because there is a lot we can do as individuals,” said Ms Hungaski.

Things individuals can do, Ms Hungaski shared, include recycling as much as possible, composting food, using Newtown’s composting service, and choosing green energy sources from local energy companies. Before The Flood shares information on all of those topics, she added.

“We are each small in number,” said Ms Hungaski, “but we are mighty in heart. If we band together we can do something about it.”

The Newtown Forward environmental subcommittee is also planning to release an anonymous survey for residents to report what they are doing and what they think about climate change.

Sponsors for future film screenings and events, Ms Hungaski said, are also being sought. Sponsors will have their logos placed on future posters and coming attraction trailers at Edmond Town Hall for the events.

“I live in Newtown. I love this town, and I want to see this town, our state, our country, and our planet continue to be healthy for our children and our children’s children,” said Ms Hungaski, adding this is a scary time and people need to realize how imminent the danger is of not acting.

For more information about the film screening or about getting involved with Newtown Forward’s environmental subcommittee e-mail nf.environmentalgroup@gmail.com. People interested in learning more about Newtown Forward can e-mail newtownforward@gmail.com.

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