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Conference in 10th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival :Approaching Nature

All the speakers of the conference "Approaching Nature: Natural Farming and Reforestation", stressed the personal responsibility everyone has to fight to change the world. The conference took place on Tuesday, March 11, in Warehouse 1, at the port, in the context of the 10th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival.

Dimitri Eipides, Artistic Director of the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival opened the conference. He noted: "I am happy that once again we have the opportunity to organize an event with social relevance, particularly significant, both as regards the recent catastrophic fires that happened in our area, and the ignorance of citizens on basic issues of ecology and the environment. I welcome you, and give the floor to the speakers, who are able and knowledgeable people on this particular subject."

The screening of a video by Lucas Kouhtin followed, on the subject of Natural Farming and the ways that this is applied on the farm of the former agronomist, farmer from Edessa and specialist in natural farming methods Panayiotis Manikis. There was also a segment from the speech that Indian activist Vandana Shiva had given during the 8th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival,

"The Natural Farming Center, together with 200 volunteers, many of them foreign, is making an effort to reforest burnt areas in Greece, at no cost, using only seeds and clay soil. Nature takes care of the rest", Mr. Manikis explained. He has put natural farming into practice at his farm for over 20 years. "We met with indifference in all the fire stricken areas. Local society is waiting for foreign subsidies. But the solution is to be found in our own hands. We can make the earth into a garden of Eden. The action of killing a tree is not that far removed from that of killing people," Mr. Manikis added.
Then Yannis Pazaras, a specialist in genetically engineered products, stressed: "According to the European survey, 90% of Greeks are against genetic engineering. But this doesn't mean anything. How many of us, entering a super market, look at the label to see what's inside the product? Labeling is not the answer either, because only a small percentage checks before buying a product. The result is that foods containing genetically engineered ingredients find their way from the shelf to our plate", noted Mr. Pazaras.

"Film people must make films about our planet, which is in danger. We are all part of the problem and its solution", said Suzanne Chisholm, director of the film Saving Luna, which is included in the Habitat section, about a lonely Orca whale. "Whether it is about a species becoming extinct or genetically engineered food, we all have a responsibility to make it a story for cinema. With its screening we will make the audience think, so they can make changes. Human life is not the only thing that is wonderful and important, we must recognize the value of every species and show the proper respect," noted Ms Chisholm.


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About Thessaloniki

Mcmahon Vanessa

Vanessa McMahon Covered the 13th and 14th, and 16th edition.
Catherine Esway has covered the 12th edition of Thessaloniki Documentary Festival
Cécile Rittweger covered the  11th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival

Christine Marik's reported from 49th Thessaloniki International Film Festival
Past coverage from the 10th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival by Bruno Chatelin.

Through its tributes, it focuses both on discovering filmmakers with a unique cinematic point of view, and on the internationally recognized for their contribution to documentary.

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