Wednesday, December 15, 2010

OCEANS to play first Friday in January

Disney’s OCEANS will be featured at the next First Friday Films event – the first film for 2011. Bring the whole family to enjoy this beautifully shot movie on Friday, Jan. 7 at 6:30 p.m. at American Memorial Park.

Nearly three-quarters of the Earth’s surface is covered by water and OCEANS boldly chronicles the mysteries that lie beneath. Directors Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud dive deep into the very waters that sustain all of mankind—exploring the harsh reality and the amazing creatures that live within. Narrated by Pierce Brosnan and featuring spectacular never—before—seen imagery captured by the latest underwater technologies, OCEANS offers an unprecedented look beneath the sea in a powerful motion picture.

The Pacific Historic Parks (formerly the Arizona Memorial Museum Association) Bookstore, located inside the visitor’s center, will be open until 8:30 p.m. All proceeds go to community education programs.

First Friday Films is a monthly film series brought to you through a partnership with the National Park Service and the Division of Environmental Quality (DEQ), with generous support from community groups such as the Mariana Islands Nature Alliance (MINA).

For planning purposes, the movie runs about 80 minutes long. As always, “First Friday Films” is free and open to the public. Subscribe to this blog for regular updates on upcoming events.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Conservationists to speak about the CNMI's sea turtle and Fanihi populations

Two of the CNMI’s endangered species, the Hawksbill sea turtle and the Marianas fruit bat (Fanihi), will be featured at the next “First Friday Films” at American Memorial Park.

The event starts at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3 with the film Home for Hawksbill followed by our second screening: Fanihi: A Cultural Digest. Joining us to shed more light on the conservation efforts underway to protect these species will be Tammy Summers, Julia Boland and Joe Ruak from the Department of Land and Natural Resources – Division of Fish and Wildlife.

Before each film, they will talk briefly about conservation and protection of the sea turtle and Fanihi populations in the CNMI. There will be a question and answer session after both films. Viewers are encouraged to come early to enjoy displays in American Memorial Park’s Visitors Center lobby as well as stay after the film to have their questions answered by our presenters.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Two Films for December

Coming up on Friday December 3rd at 6:30pm, First Friday Films will be screening two short films that highlight two threatened and endangered species here in the CNMI; the Fanihi (Marianas flying fox) and the Hawksbill seaturtle.

Fanihi: A Cultural Digest, a short film shot in the CNMI by Jonathan Fowler, discusses the complex issue that is the conservation of this import animal.  The film examines the ecological role the Fanihi plays on our islands as well as the cultural importance it has with the chamorro people.

Home for Hawksbill, a short film by Jordan Plotsky, tells the inspiring story of how three distinctly different cultural groups in the Solomon Islands came together to help protect this endangered species.  The film details how these communities went from hunting the turtle to localized extinction to providing a safe haven for the animal that mutually benefits all the groups involved.  You can visit the movies website here.

For planning purposes, the two films combined have an approximate run time of about 50 minutes.

We hope to see you in December!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Blue Gold This Friday!

Just a reminder that we will be showing Blue Gold: World Water Wars this Friday at 6:30pm at the American memorial Park Visitors center.

For more information on the film see post below.

After the film, Derek Chambers, from the Division of Environmental Quality's Safe Drinking Water branch, will discuss where our tap and drinking water come from on Saipan and highlight ways we can become better stewards of this precious resource. The Visitor’s Center lobby will also feature an exhibit about the declining supply of global freshwater and ways we can help conserve it.
We hope to see you Friday!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Blue Gold for November

On Friday November 5th, First Friday Films will be screening the film Blue Gold: World Water Wars at 6:30pm at the American Memorial Park Visitors Center.

Four-time "Best Documentary" award winner, Blue Gold sheds light on the waste and overuse of one of our most precious resources: fresh water. The film discusses the practices that have lead to the dwindling supply of this limited resource and follows various examples from around the globe of people struggling to maintain their access and rights to water.

"differs from many others of the same vein in offering opinions and ideas from a varied number of professionals and experts that could lead to tangible solutions."
- HESO Magazine

“A must see film for every person on the planet.”

Please join us for this wonderful film. For planning purposes, the film is 90min long. You can see the trailor below or learn more about the film by visiting their website here .

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Trashed Wrap Up

Thanks to everyone that made it out for Trashed last Friday!

The movie was great, the exhibits put together by MINA, the National Park Service, and CRM were fantastic, and Steve Hiney from public works gave an excellent presentation on their programs.  So, a big thanks to all those folks as well.

As promised, below are a couple links to good how-to home compost sites:

Both of these will give you all the information you need to start home composting.  I sent out some other resources on composting and recycling that we have here at DEQ and CRM to everyone on the email list.  If you are not on the list and would like to be, or would like these resources, contact me at and I can make that happen.

We hope to see everyone out next month!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

TRASHED to be shown on October 1st

The end of September brings us the 25th annual International Coastal Cleanup, where thousands of volunteers take to coastal areas around the world be pick up garbage.  To coincide with this event, the First Friday Films series will feature TRASHED - the story of garbage...American style.

Official selection of the Newport Beach Film Festival, TRASHED takes us headfirst into the world of garbage.  The documentary aims to show the world just what happens to solid waste after it leaves our hands and homes.  With staggering facts such as 370 million tons of trash land-filled annually, or 1.37 billion cubic kilometers of ocean full of plastic, TRASHED encourages viewers to rethink the way that we consume products, reconsider the amount of waste we produce, and refocus on the pervasive environmental issue of over-consumption. 

Please join us for this eye-opening look at the effects that our throw-away culture is having on the environment.  The film will be shown at the American Memorial Park Visitor's center at 6:30pm on October 1st.  As always, it's FREE!

You can see the trailer and find more information about the film here.

"Pulitzer price winning author Russell Baker once said "The American dream is to turn goods into trash as fast as possible." Nowhere is this better illustrated than in Bill Kirkos' film Trashed. This film is a must see."
                   -Professor Raymond Benton, Loyola University

Monday, August 30, 2010

Dirt! this Friday, NRCS to speak, plants to take

It's that time again!  This Friday we will be screen Dirt! The Movie (see previous post for description).  The film will begin at 6:30 (note our new time!) at the American Memorial Park Visitor's center.

Members of our local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) will speak after the film on soil in the CNMI and what resource managers are doing to conserve this extremely valuable resource (as well as answer audience questions).

For your planning purposes, the movie runs about one hour and 20 minutes.  Come early at 6 p.m. to visit our engaging soil displays on composting, tree plantings and environmentally friendly farming practices (and to make sure you get a seat...). 

While supplies last, each family will have the opportunity to take home one native plant after the film courtesy of the CNMI Department of Agriculture, Forestry Division.

We hope to see you there!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Dirt! to be shown in September

Coming up in September we have a great documentary, Dirt! the movie, that discusses our reliance on the Earth's soil and the damage we have wrought on it.  The film will be shown at the American Memorial Park Visitor's center at 6:30pm on September 3rd (previous viewers note the new time!).

Official selection to the 2009 Sundance film festival, and winner of several awards (including Best Documentary at the Maui and "Visions/Voices" film festivals), Dirt! tells the story of Earth's most valuable and under appreciated resource, from its miraculous beginning to its crippling degradation.  The movie seeks to revolutionize the way we see dirt and raise awareness to the plight of one of our most important resources.  Rather than simply bemoan the situation, Dirt! offers a myriad of actions that we can take as communities to promote the rebuilding of soil and the sustainable use of it, reminding us that "What we have destroyed, we can heal".

"An invogorating look at an invaluable substance we take for granted."
                                       - LA Times

" uplifting story about people from all walks of life who are striving to renew our relationship with the ground beneath our feet"
                                       - The Hollywood Reporter

You can see the trailer and find more information about the film here.

Please join us for this wonderful film on September 3rd.  As always it's Free!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wahington Post article

Coincidentally enough, our SharkWater screening event happened to coincide with Discovery channel's "Shark Week".

In relation to this, the Washington Post held public discussion with biologist Andy Dehart that may interest some of you folks.  The link to the discussion can be found here:

This link was passed on by one of the attendee of last friday's event (thanks to her..), if anyone comes across anything interesting that we can put up here, please email those over.  Thanks!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Shark Protection update

Two updates to the information we posted earlier this week:

1) There is a pre-existing facebook page dedicated to getting people together to support making the CNMI a shark fin free zone.  You can join the group through this link:!/group.php?gid=138532896160975

The group's focus right now is supporting efforts by members of the CNMI House to introduce a bill banning shark fining in the CNMI.  Updates on the bills status and how you can get involved will be posted on this group page, so check it out if you're interested.

2) There is a WestPAC sponsored CNMI Bottomfish Scoping Meeting tomorrow night (Wens August 11th) at NMC from 6-9pm (flyer posted after jump link).  At this meeting they will be discussing (amoung other things) potential policy changes in relation to bottom fish.  Sharks happen to be among the largest bycatch species of this fishery (I am told anecdotely the largest), and it is likely that policy shifts in relation to the bycatch of sharks will be discussed.  The meeting will be an opportunity to hear and comment on potential management options.  So, particularly for you fisherman folks, it may be worth attending.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Information from SharkWater screening

Thanks to everyone who made it out to the movie on Friday night!  We had almost 150 people in attendance; it was great to see so many interested in protecting our shark populations.

Attached below (after the jump link) are the results of the restaurant/business survey we did to see who is serving shark fin soup or other shark derived products.

Also included are links to outreach materials that can be used to ask these businesses to stop serving these products and why they should; one of them is even translated into Chinese.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

SharkWater Tomorrow!!

We will be showing SharkWater tomorrow at American Memorial Park's Visitors Center at 7:00pm.  As always, the film is free and open to the public.

Following the film, representatives from the Division of Fish and Wildlife will be on hand to discuss CNMI Shark populations and answer audience questions.

For more information on the film see below or visit the official movie website here

We hope to see you out tomorrow!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

DFW to speak after Sharkwater

We're gearing up for our August event, which will feature the film Sharkwater.  The film will be free and open to the public and will begin at 7:00pm on Friday August 6th at the American Memorial Park Visitor's Center.

Following the movie, representatives from the Division of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) will be on hand to talk about shark populations in the Marianas and threats to them as well as answer audience questions.

For more information on the film visit: , or watch the trailer of the film in our previous post below.  If you're interested in helping us spread the word about First Friday Films contact Aric Bickel at  .

We're really excited about this award winning film and hope to see you out on August 6th!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Gulf Disaster information links

Thanks to everyone who made it out to the screening of Black Wave last Friday! For those looking for more information regarding the Gulf oil spill as well as other ways you can get involved in making sure a disaster like this never happens again, please check out the following links:

The Center for Biological Diversity's Gulf Disaster page

NOAA fisheries service oil spill website

BP's spill response page

Google Earth layers concerning the spill disaster and response

Geoplatform's gulf response application

NY Times coverage of the oil spill

Sharkwater to be screened in August

For our August First Friday Film we will be screening Sharkwater. As always the film will be free and open to the public, and will be shown at the American Memorial Park visitors center at 7:00pm on Friday August 6th.

Sharkwater, the winner of 31 international awards (details here), is a film documenting the exploitation and corruption surrounding the world’s shark populations and the effect we are having on our ocean ecosystems by removing these top-level predators. Through this documentary, director Rob Stewart seeks to debunk wide-spread stereotypes and media depictions of sharks and to detail their roles as pillars in the evolution of the seas and corner stones to their continued health. The film addresses how "these magnificent creatures have gone from predator to prey, and how despite surviving the earth's history of mass extinctions, they could easily be wiped out within a few years due to human greed." (cited from Stewart here).

Following the film, local experts will be on hand to discuss the status of our regional shark populations and steps we can take to protect them.

“Compelling…part gorgeous, ethereal swim with the sharks…part message movie about the slaughter of the innocents.”
Bruce Kirkland,
Toronto Sun

"Sharkwater will change the way people view sharks and the ocean. It will open their eyes... and, hopefully, their hearts."
Cristopher Chin, Deeper Blue (see full review here)
Please join us for this event August 6th, at 7:00pm. Find the trailer and links to the movie's website below:


Friday, July 2, 2010

BP spill cam and spill tracker

In light of our inaugural movie for First Friday Films, Black Wave, we have added the spill cam below along with a counter keeping track of how many gallons of oil have leaked into the Gulf (with a sliding scale allowing you to change the amount based on different estimates).

Thursday, July 1, 2010

"Black Wave" to kick off First Friday Films

First Friday Films will kick off tomorrow with a free screening of Black Wave, a film on the lingering impacts of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Black Wave will be shown at the American Memorial Park Visitor’s Center on July 2nd, at 7:00 PM.

Sponsored by the Mariana Islands Nature Alliance (MINA), Black Wave is a documentary about the 20-year legacy of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. In the early hours of March 24th 1989 the Exxon Valdez oil supertanker ran aground in Alaska and discharged millions of gallons of crude oil into sensitive Arctic waters. The incident became the biggest environmental catastrophe in North American history. The official Black Wave trailer can be viewed here:

Black Wave kicks off “First Friday Films” – a free monthly environmental film program aimed at inspiring the community to become actively involved and make environmentally friendly choices. Following the film, local oil spill responders will discuss the Gulf of Mexico spill and the response plans in place for the CNMI.

“First Friday Films” is a free and monthly event set to repeat every first Friday of the month. It is coordinated through a partnership between the Division of Environmental Quality and American Memorial Park, with the help of organizations such as MINA.