Echoes Programme

About the Project

The Aegean Film Festival has set the annual goal of bringing measurable environmental change and educating the next generations regarding climate emergency.

For this reason, we introduced the programme “Echoes” – an international summit where filmmakers, scientists, and environmentalists create and share compelling stories. Consisting of documentary screenings, Q&As, panel talks, presentations, workshops, the RTF Competition, and re-wilding activities. By assembling the knowledge, resources, and communicators in the same location, we aim to “fast-track” projects and amplify awareness about ways to make a positive impact.  

Rescript the Future Competition

Together with WaterBear Network, we have created a script competition for young storytellers, up to 24 years old, to support and discover new bold stories. This is a chance for young generations to imagine a better tomorrow by creating an inspiring short documentary script. The winning idea is produced into a short documentary with the help of WaterBear’s production team with a budget of up to €25,000. The finished film(s) premiere at the next Aegean Film Festival and get distributed to global audiences through WaterBear and a network of affiliated festivals. RTF 2024-2025 will be announced later in the year. 

Project Housekeeping

The festival is also “walking its talk,” redesigning all operations with the aim of achieving key sustainability milestones by 2024. So far, we have upcycled our old T-shirts into a new sustainable collection, turned our banners and screens into beach bags, reprinted our old tote bags, banned single-use and packaging plastic from all of our venues and connected our “Wild” parties with rewilding efforts so that every drink funds the planting of a new tree. So far in 2024, we partnered with Fourthmore to record and analyse our carbon footprint and we are investing in offsetting our travel. The next steps include replacing cars and motorbikes with bicycles, installing solar panels to power the cinemas, replacing the printing of catalogues and flyers, and switching to locally sourced vegan Greek menus for our crew and dinners.

Track Record

In 2017, we established the new environmental programme and hosted a number of seminars and screenings. We extended the advisory board including BAFTA and Emmy-winning director Nicholas Brown, as well as leading marine conservation ecologist Giuseppe Notarbartolo di Sciara. 3,000 trees were planted in Patmos after we inspired one young attendee to take action.

In 2018, the festival expanded to two islands, Patmos and Paros over 12 days and Echoes became an official addition to the programmes.

In 2019, we introduced the complete 4 day edition of Echoes, hosted at the Environmental & Cultural Park of Paros.

In 2021 the Echoes Programme received the auspices of UNESCO and established a new set of alliances with Waterbear, HHMI, the American College of Greece, Helidoni Foundation, NBC Universal, Round Square Schools, and Adobe, to launch ReScript The Future — our idea development and writing competition.

In 2022, Echoes took place on Spetses Island where we launched the Festival Alliance for the Climate.

In 2023, Echoes returned to its home island, Patmos, where we strengthened our relationship with the community and partnered with Patmos’ local groups like the Community of the Trees to work on re-wilding projects.

Echoes Panels & Events

ECHOES PANEL A: Wednesday, 24 July • 12.00 • Pernera Vegan Yard

ECHOES PANEL B: Thursday, 25 July • 13.00 • Pernera Vegan Yard

Echoes Panel: BLUE CARBON

Wednesday, 24 July • 12.00 - 14.00 • Pernera Vegan Yard

We are off track to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C, facing a future more than 2°C warmer. Solutions to halt this urgent crisis may lie in the mud and waters of our oceans and coastal habitats as blue carbon.

What are blue carbon ecosystems, and why are they crucial in fighting climate change? What role can the film industry play in this effort? Join us with experts, global and local speakers, and the BAFTA-winning director of “Blue Carbon” for a deep dive into hope and the contemporary role of blue carbon in halting the climate crisis.

Echoes Panel: WILDING

Thursday, 25 July • 13.00 - 15.00 • Pernera Vegan Yard

Humans have the capacity to extract, tame, and destroy, evident in the landscapes and living beings around us. But we also have an immense capacity to heal and care. Initiatives to restore land and water ecosystems worldwide bring great hope. What knowledge is essential to understand and promote wilding effectively? What do we mean by wild and wilding?

Join the dialogue in this Echoes panel on bringing dying landscapes back to life, with local and global speakers and the filmmakers of the documentary “Wilding.” This multidisciplinary panel will discuss the potential and challenges of wilding, featuring perspectives from filmmakers and experts.

Echoes Screenings

BLUE CARBON

Directed by Nicolas Brown

Duration: 94′
Production Year, Country: 2023 UK
Language: English
Subtitles: Greek

Told through the eyes of Grammy-nominated DJ and marine biologist, Jayda Guy – known by her DJ name Jayda G – and accompanied by a score from the Wu-Tang Clan’s RZA and featuring Seu Jorge, Blue Carbon is an environmental feature documentary that spins music, science and an appreciation for world culture into a vibrant call to action to protect the planet. Blue carbon refers to coastal habitats – like mangroves, salt marshes and sea grass – that soak up copious amounts of planet-warming carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, while protecting coastal communities from rising seas and powerful storms. The film is a clear-eyed look at what’s at stake and offers tangible solutions – and hope–to boost nature’s ability to heal itself. 

In the film, Jayda’s quest to uncover blue carbon’s potential takes her on a global adventure across six countries and five continents. Blue carbon ecosystems, as Jayda learns, have the incredible ability to protect coastal cities from storms and rising sea levels, foster biodiversity, strengthen food security, and turn down the temperature on the Earth’s thermostat. As she travels from Senegal to Colombia to Vietnam and beyond, she discovers that human development has gobbled up billions of hectares of blue carbon habitat, putting this low cost, climate-mitigating tool at risk. Along the way, she meets local leaders from communities hit hardest by climate change who are leading the charge to restore blue carbon ecosystems and protect their livelihoods. With her infectious curiosity, a passion for marine life and legions of music fans worldwide, Jayda is charting her own course to build a healthier planet and inspiring the next generation of conservationists. 

Premiere  Q&A with Director
Tuesday, 23 July • 20.30 • Patmion Starfish Cinema 

ONCE UPON A TIME IN A
FOREST

Directed by Virpi Suutari

Genre: Documentary
Duration: 93
Production Year, Country: 2024 Finland
Language: Finnish
Subtitles: English, Greek

A cinematic ode to a group of young radicals striving to defend Finland’s forests against the vested interests of the forestry industry and the political system, demonstrating that the outcome of this Once Upon a Time story happily ever after or ecological disaster rests largely on the shoulders of young activists like Minka, Ida and their comrades.

Premiere • Conversation with the Echoes Team
Wednesday, 24 July • 23.00 • Marianna Cinema

World Premiere: CPH:DOX 2024
Awards: 
DOX:AWARD

WILDING

Directed by Dabid Alen

Duration: 75′
Production Year, Country: 2023 UK
Language: English
Subtitles: Greek

Based on Isabella Tree’s best-selling book by the same title, Wilding tells the story of a young couple that bets on nature for the future of their failing, four- hundred-year-old estate. The young couple battles entrenched tradition, and dares to place the fate of their farm in the hands of nature. Ripping down the fences, they set the land back to the wild and entrust its recovery to a motley mix of animals both tame and wild. It is the beginning of a grand experiment that will become one of the most significant rewilding experiments in Europe.

Premiere  Q&A with Producer
Thursday, 25 July • 20.30 • Patmion Starfish Cinema 

World Premiere: BFI London Film Festival 2023

ECHOES SHORTS

Friday, 26 July • 12.00 • Patmion Theater • 95'
STAY STRONG AND BE QUIET

Premiere  Drama • 2′ • France • 2024

Director: Anne Loriot
Language: French
Subtitles: English, Greek

Parents try to prepare their 6-year-old daughter for her future.

REBELS WITH CAUSE

Premiere  Documentary, Mockumentary • 14′ • UK, Netherlands • 2024

Director: Rosie Baldwin
Language: English
Subtitles: English, Greek

Guerrilla gardening is not for the faint hearted. Or at least, that’s what these two rebels tell us, as we follow them on an eye-opening journey around London – throwing seeds everywhere and anywhere, planting spider plants, and planning their ‘Big Project’. But when they finally track down the Original Guerrilla Gardeners (OGGs), and learn what guerrilla gardening really entails and how it’s helping our communities, their beliefs and friendship are put to the test. In this humorous mockumentary, we meet the people who are doing their bit to bring ‘botanarchy’ to our urban spaces.

UNWAVERING

Premiere • Wildlife Documentary • 22′ • Switzerland • 2024

Director: Chris Schmid
Language: English
Subtitles: English, Greek

Embark on a cinematic adventure through the frozen expanse of the Arctic as the fascinating story of muskoxen is unveiled. Set against a landscape painted in shades of ice and snow, the documentary explores the strength and beauty of muskoxen living in hash winter conditions. They stand as silent witnesses coming from another time. Delving into the heart of their world, the film unravels the challenges posed by the harsh environment and the extraordinary resilience of these mighty creatures.

WILD HOPE: THE FROG ARK

Theatrical Premiere • Documentary • 16′ • USA, Panama • 2024​

Director: None
Language: English
Subtitles: English, Greek

Many of the world’s most beloved frogs and amphibians are headed for extinction, but inside “The Ark” in Panama, some of those threatened species are given a fighting chance. Using innovative technology and breakthrough genetics, researchers have ignited a cadre of solutions to save these rare and cherished species. 

The Ark at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama houses hundreds of large, captive communities of frogs, some of which no longer exist in the wild. Here, scientists hope to bring these species back from the brink of extinction and solve the world’s worst wildlife pandemic: an amphibian-killing fungus known as chytrid. 

In a quarantined lab, these biologists bathe frogs in fungicide and hope to spark a viable immune response from the captive animals. Meanwhile, in the field, other researchers use artificial intelligence to listen to frog songs and identify so-called “lost frogs” that survive chytrid in the wild — any of which may hold the key to fighting the disease. Safeguarding a future for frogs isn’t easy, but these tactics in Panama have been so successful that they’re being replicated in facilities across the globe. The effort may seem monumental, but the safety and preservation of amphibians worldwide hangs in the balance.

 

TITI - IN CYCLONE'S WAKE

Documentary • 28′ • Greece • 2023

Director: Natasha Blatsiou
Language: French, Malagasi
Subtitles: English, Greek

In the wake of Cyclone Freddy, Madagascar’s east coast is in the midst of a geometrically growing food crisis. It is the sixth cyclone to to strike the east coast of the country in 14 months. Crops are not replenished, people are struggling to find their daily food, houses are destroyed, roads are flooded, communities are cut off. 

Titi, a Niger MSF nurse, travels to hard-to-reach areas to examine young children affected by severe malnutrition. The camera focuses on a race against time, aiming to get as many children as possible through Titi’s hands. As the hours pass, the narrative slips into inner musings. Her mental interlocutor is the wise elder (king) Boto Zandrini, the voice of Malagasi people who watch helplessly as the seasons change and the ancient knowledge of the ancestors becomes increasingly outdated. 

In a world that is unsettled and political governance is waning, Titi, like another Sisyphus, continues her methodical work on the front lines unswervingly.

DIRECT ACTION

Premiere  Drama • 13′ • UK • 2024

Director: Tor Kristofferson
Language: English
Subtitles: English, Greek

A teenage environmentalist leads a protest against a coal mine, setting her on a collision course with her father, the police and courts.

Echoes Presenting Sponsors

Scroll to Top