Dream Team Directors Daniel Lir and Bayou Bennett with Actor Matthew Modine and Ora! Fest Film Festival Art Director Silvia Bizio (Ernesto S. Ruscio/Getty Images for Field & Cove)
LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA, USA, June 19, 2023/EINPresswire.com/ — Top Hollywood talents such as Oscar Winners and Nominees Helen Mirren (“The Queen”), Marisa Tomei (“My Cousin Vinny”, “Spiderman”) Matt Dillon (“Drugstore Cowboy”, “Rumblefish”), Matthew Modine (“Stranger Things”), Alfe Woodard (“Passionfish”, “Star Trek”), Director Terry Gilliam (“Monty Python”, “Brazil”, “The Fisher King”) gathered together at the Ora! Film Festival in Puglia, Italy to confront issues of environmental sustainability, social justice and to spearhead a vision for a new Hollywood.
Amongst their Hollywood heroes, husband and wife, Writer/Director team Bayou Bennett and Daniel Lir who recently collaborated with Oscar nominee Mark Ruffalo and Oscar Winner Jane Fonda, to bring to light the dangers of urban fracking and its poisonous impact on South LA’s low income populations, premiered their latest film “Connection” at Ora! Fest starring Berite Labelle.
The film, depicting harsh environmental challenges in Africa, India, Pakistan and Hong Kong as well as the United States, inspired and moved audiences with the film’s powerful visuals and message of how one’s individual daily actions and choices they are confronted with regarding the environment have global impact.
The young couple were encouraged with a “well done” by lead environmentalist at Ora! Fest, Matthew Modine (Stranger Things), for their cinematic expression which tackles critically important environmental topics.
Ora! Fest Artistic Director, Silvia Bizio said” I am also very proud of the leitmotif of the festival, the short video Matthew Modine produced with Ora! Fest, “Heaven on Earth”, and of the festival theme inspired short by Daniel Lir and Bayou Bennett, ‘Connection.’ We are ready to bring Hollywood and world cinema and their love for the environment and social justice to Puglia for the years to come!”
Movie sets in Hollywood have been notorious for environmental waste but Ora! Fest celebs aim to change this paradigm. According to the LA Times, “big movies can generate 225 tons of scrap metal, nearly 50 tons of construction and set debris, and 72 tons of food waste.” And according to Producers Guild of America Green Report, Film studios spend on average $11,175 on plastic water bottles alone during a 60-day shoot.”
“Connection” on the other hand was produced following green protocols. No use of single use plastics, no heavy packaging in catering, no generators with polluting fuels but instead utilizing ride-sharing, compostable materials, on set recycling as well as ensuring group responsibility resulting in no negative environmental impact on filming locations such as the pristine coves of Laguna Beach, CA.
As Matthew Modine shared at the festival, ocean health is critical to the very oxygen we breathe as human beings. Polluting our oceans is literally choking ourselves.
“Connection” shows the relatable journey of an ambitious and self- interested female CEO played by Berite Labelle, who comes to shockingly realize the intimate interplay between herself and the ocean, plant and animal ecosystems as well as global cultures.
As Director Daniel Lir relates: “We were pleasantly surprised to discover environmental improvements in the course of making “Connection”. In creating the Indian sweatshop scenes, which were shot in actual factories, we were happy to discover that no child labor is present today in Southern India as well as no dangerously harmful chemical dyes. We do have a great deal of progress to make with poverty however. Also in Ghana, Africa where we shot, several locations in the capital city of Accra had been documented by Greenpeace for their massive plastic and trash pollution. But during the filming of “Connection” these spots where observed to have been greatly cleaned up.”
So despite huge challenges, the world is positively changing. Matthew Modine was able to change the film industry standard by showing that screenplays could be printed double-sided therefore saving millions of trees and millions of dollars simultaneously. Speaking of trees, Helen Mirren and Marisa Tomei were both at Ora! Fest to raise support and awareness regarding the epidemic of thousands of dying Olive Trees in the Puglia region of Italy.
As Director Bayou Bennett says “It’s a matter of simply changing habits and getting people to come to a new sense of awareness of their own personal impact. Me choosing to use an aluminum water container I carry with me as opposed to a single use plastic bottle multiplied by millions and billions on Earth doing the same will dramatically help the future of our dear Planet and home-Earth”.
As we learn from “Connection”, Ora! Fest Artistic Director Silvia Bizio, Ora! President Giovanni De Blasio and top celebrities at Ora! Fest, there is no doubt that we change Hollywood’s model of mass environmental waste and in its place create entertainment and inspiration following green protocols.
ABOUT ACTRESS BERITE LABELLE
International Model and Actress, Berite Labelle has covered multiple international editions of Vogue, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar and Marie Claire. Learn more at www.beritelabelle.com
ABOUT DREAM TEAM DIRECTORS
Bayou Bennett and Daniel Lir, known as Dream Team Directors have collaborated on uplifting projects with the likes of Mark Ruffalo, Bella Hadid, Juliette Lewis, Lea Michele, Coldplay, Michelle Pfeiffer, Norman Reedus and more. Their 2019 short film, Tombstone Pillow, has drawn widespread acclaim and won 33 awards. Learn more at www.dreamteamdirectors.com
Connection Movie Trailer