World Premiere of Chloe & Theo and Its Extraordinary Behind-the-Scenes Story
Connect4Climate hosted the world premiere of Chloe & Theo Wednesday night, a film demonstrating how storytelling motivates people to do extraordinary things. In the film, a homeless girl (Dakota Johnson star of 50 Shades of Grey) befriends an Inuit, who has traveled to New York City from his tiny Arctic hometown with a big message for world leaders: "My world is melting. Please help us."
Prior to the screening in the Preston Auditorium at the World Bank Headquarters in Washington, DC, an esteemed panel—including film producer Monica Ord, founder and president of Prospero Pictures Martin Katz, director of social responsibility at MTV International Julie Allen and moderator Joe Wagner from Fenton Communications—discussed the power of film and how it can truly transform society.
"Film can change people's lives and have far reaching effects on how we live," said Wagner prior to introducing the panel.
He first introduced Ord, an entrepreneur focused on critical global social and health issues, who explained that she heard Theo’s true story from a friend, who challenged her to do something about it, so she did.
Ord told the crowd of more than 200 people that Theo told her friend "a passionate story of what was happening to his people" and that "he wanted someone to come up with a famous person that could go to the Arctic and maybe bring some awareness."
Ord called Theo and asked him what she could do and he asked her to get someone to help him. So she called Richard Branson and "he cleared his entire schedule and a month later we were all in the Arctic traveling by dog sled."
Ord confessed that she had no knowledge of climate change or filmmaking, but was committed to getting this project done.
Monica Ord: "People need to feel what the people on the frontline of #climatechange are facing" #TakeOn pic.twitter.com/W4FpwMvONg
— Connect4Climate (@Connect4Climate) April 15, 2015
Wagner then asked Katz, producer of the award-winning, historical film Hotel Rwanda, to talk about "what is the essence of film that enables one to create these connections and render such powerful responses and can this be applied to the subject of climate change?" Read page 1
Katz responded by asking a few questions himself. "Can film be an agent for social change? Can the arts be an agent for social change? Can anything but the arts be an agent for social change? I can't think of how to change people's perception or behavior except for the arts. That's why governments who don't want people's behavior to be changed sensor the arts." He told a story about how Hotel Rwanda impacted people including a young man from Italy that watched the movie as a high school student and was so inspired by the film that he wanted to be a journalist to affect change in the world. Katz concluded saying, "I think that film can be a catalyst for those who can be social agents who can affect change in the world and I think that's a great thing."
Wagner next asked Allen about MTV's audience and wondered if she feels that she has "more of a chance to impact young minds and render change or is it the other way around?"
"I feel it's MTV's responsibility as a global media company to bring issues like climate change and other issues that affect young people all over the world to the forefront," Allen responded. "We play a very important role in raising awareness of these issues. But, it's very important that we do it that's appealable to the mainstream."
"We find the best way to relate to them is by producing entertaining, informative, sometime funny content that they are going to relate to and weaving messaging into that programming."
.@julie_a @MTV "It's important to do productions that are entertaining, informative content that raise awareness among young people" #TakeOn
— Connect4Climate (@Connect4Climate) April 15, 2015
Sir Richard Branson and John Paul DeJoria are executive producers of the film, which is scheduled for release in August.
I had the chance to interview Ord after the screening and I asked her what she hopes people will get out of her film. "If people will just step up and do what they can ... they can truly make a difference. They just have to go for it," she replied.
The film is a must-see that will capture your attention and pull at your heartstrings. You'll want to encourage everyone you know to see it and hopefully it will motivate you to step up and truly make a difference.
For a glimpse of the film, watch the trailer below where you get to meet Chloe, a young woman who has been searching for something to believe in. She comes face to face with an Inuit Eskimo named Theo, who was sent by his elders to send a message to humankind. Chloe and Theo inspire each other and through the help of a kind lawyer named Monica (starring Mira Sorvino), they are able to help Theo tell his story in an attempt to help his people and all of humankind.
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Fish exposed to endocrine-disrupting compounds pass on health problems to future generations, including deformities, reduced survival, and reproductive problems, according to a new study.
Low Levels Lead to Generational Impacts<p>Researchers exposed inland silverside fish to bifenthrin, levonorgestrel, ethinylestradiol, and trenbolone to levels currently found in waterways.</p><p>"Our concentrations were actually on the low end" of what is found in the wild, DeCourten said, adding that it was low amounts of chemicals in parts per trillion.</p><p>Bifenthrin is a pesticide; levonorgestrel and ethinylestradiol are synthetic hormones used in birth controls; and trenbolone is a synthetic steroid often given to cattle to bulk them up.</p><p>Such endocrine-disruptors have already been linked to a variety of health problems in directly exposed fish including altered growth, reduced survival, lowered egg production, skewed sex ratios, and negative impacts to immune systems. But what remains less clear is how the exposure may impact future generations.</p><p>For their study, DeCourten and colleagues started the exposure when the fish were embryos and continued it for 21 days.</p><p>They then tracked effects on the exposed fish, and the next two generations.</p>
Inherited Problems<p>DeCourten said the altered DNA methylation is one of the plausible ways that future generations would experience health impacts from previous generations' exposure. Hormone-disrupting compounds have been shown to impact DNA methylation, which is an important marker of how an organism will develop.</p><p>"Methyl groups are added to specific sites on the genome, [the exposure] is not changing the genome itself, but rather how the genome is expressed," she said. "And that can be inherited throughout generations."</p><p>In addition, Brander said there are essentially different "tags" that exist on DNA molecules, which tell genes how to turn on and off. She said the exposure to different compounds may be "influencing which methyl tags get taken on or off as you proceed through generations."</p><p>The researchers said the study should prompt future toxics testing to consider impacts on future generations.</p><p>"The results … throw a wrench in the current approach to regulating chemicals, where it's often short-term testing looking at simple things like growth, survival, and maybe gene expression," Brander said.</p><p>"These findings are telling us we really at least need to consider" the next two generations, she added.</p>
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By Laura Beil
Consumers have long turned to vitamins and herbs to try to protect themselves from disease. This pandemic is no different — especially with headlines that scream "This supplement could save you from coronavirus."
Vitamin D<p><strong>What it is: </strong>Called "the sunshine vitamin" because the body makes it naturally in the presence of ultraviolet light, <a href="https://www.sciencenews.org/article/vitamin-d-supplements-lose-luster" target="_blank">Vitamin D is one of the most heavily studied</a> supplements (<em>SN: 1/27/19</em>). <a href="https://health.gov/our-work/food-nutrition/2015-2020-dietary-guidelines/guidelines/appendix-12/" target="_blank">Certain foods</a>, including fish and fortified milk products, are also high in the vitamin.</p><p><strong>Why it might help: </strong>Vitamin D is a hormone building block that helps strengthen the immune system.</p><p><strong>How it works for other infections:</strong> In 2017, the <em>British Medical Journal</em> published a meta-analysis that suggested a daily vitamin D supplement <a href="https://www.bmj.com/content/356/bmj.i6583" target="_blank">might help prevent respiratory infections</a>, particularly in people who are deficient in the vitamin.</p><p>But one key word here is <em>deficient. </em>That risk is highest during dark winters at high latitudes and among people with more color in their skin (melanin, a pigment that's higher in darker skin, inhibits the production of vitamin D).</p><p>"If you have enough vitamin D in your body, the evidence doesn't stack up to say that giving you more will make a real difference," says Susan Lanham-New, head of the Nutritional Sciences Department at the University of Surrey in England.</p><p>And taking too much can create new health problems, stressing certain internal organs and leading to a dangerously high calcium buildup in the blood. The recommended daily allowance for adults is 600 to 800 International Units per day, and the upper limit is considered to be 4,000 IUs per day.</p><p><strong>What we know about Vitamin D and COVID-19:</strong> Few studies have looked directly at whether vitamin D makes a difference in COVID.</p>
Zinc<p><strong>What it is: </strong>Zinc, a mineral found in cells all over the body, is found naturally in certain meats, beans and oysters.</p><p><strong>Why it might help: </strong>It plays several supportive roles in the immune system, which is why zinc lozenges are always hot sellers in cold and flu season. Zinc also helps with cell division and growth.</p><p><strong>How it works for other infections: </strong><a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6457799/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Studies of using zinc for colds</a> — which are frequently caused by coronaviruses — suggest that using a supplement right after symptoms start might make them go away quicker. That said, a clinical trial from researchers in Finland and the United Kingdom, published in January in <em>BMJ Open</em> <a href="https://bmjopen.bmj.com/content/10/1/e031662" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">did not find any value for zinc lozenges</a> for the treatment of colds. Some researchers have theorized that inconsistencies in data for colds may be explained by varying amounts of zinc released in different lozenges.</p><p><strong>What we know about zinc and COVID-19:</strong> The mineral is promising enough that it was added to some early studies of hydroxychloroquine, a drug tested early in the pandemic. (Studies have since shown that <a href="https://www.sciencenews.org/article/covid-19-coronavirus-hydroxychloroquine-no-evidence-treatment" target="_blank">hydroxychloroquine can't prevent or treat COVID-19</a> (<em>SN: 8/2/20</em>).)</p>
Vitamin C<p><strong>What it is: </strong>Also called L-ascorbic acid, vitamin C has a long list of roles in the body. It's found naturally in fruits and vegetables, especially citrus, peppers and tomatoes.</p><p><strong>Why it might help:</strong> It's a potent antioxidant that's important for a healthy immune system and preventing inflammation.</p><p><strong>How it works for other infections: </strong>Thomas cautions that the data on vitamin C are often contradictory. One review from Chinese researchers, published in February in the <em>Journal of Medical Virolog</em>y, looked at <a href="https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1002/jmv.25707" target="_blank">what is already known about vitamin C</a> and other supplements that might have a role in COVID-19 treatment. Among other encouraging signs, human studies find a lower incidence of pneumonia among people taking vitamin C, "suggesting that vitamin C might prevent the susceptibility to lower respiratory tract infections under certain conditions."</p><p>But for preventing colds, a 2013 Cochrane review of 29 studies <a href="https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD000980.pub4/full" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">didn't support the idea</a> that vitamin C supplements could help in the general population. However, the authors wrote, given that vitamin C is cheap and safe, "it may be worthwhile for common cold patients to test on an individual basis whether therapeutic vitamin C is beneficial."</p><p><strong>What we know about Vitamin C and COVID-19: </strong>About a dozen studies are under way or planned to examine whether vitamin C added to coronavirus treatment helps with symptoms or survival, including Thomas' study at the Cleveland Clinic.</p><p>In a review published online in July in <em>Nutrition</em>, researchers from KU Leuven in Belgium concluded that the <a href="https://www.cochranelibrary.com/cdsr/doi/10.1002/14651858.CD000980.pub4/full" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">vitamin may help prevent infection</a> and tamp down the dangerous inflammatory reaction that can cause severe symptoms, based on what is known about how the nutrient works in the body.</p><p>Melissa Badowski, a pharmacist who specializes in viral infections at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy and colleague Sarah Michienzi published an extensive look at all supplements that might be useful in the coronavirus epidemic. There's <a href="https://www.drugsincontext.com/can-vitamins-and-or-supplements-provide-hope-against-coronavirus/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">still not enough evidence to know whether they are helpful</a>, the pair concluded in July in <em>Drugs in Context</em>. "It's not really clear if it's going to benefit patients," Badowski says.</p><p>And while supplements are generally safe, she adds that nothing is risk free. The best way to avoid infection, she says, is still to follow the advice of epidemiologists and public health experts: "Wash your hands, wear a mask, stay six feet apart."</p>
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