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Earth Week Movie Fest to premiere Monday

Showings of "An Inconvenient Truth," "Who Killed the Electric Car?" and other environmentally based films are planned for five days next week around the community as part of Earth Week Movie Fest.

The Bemidji Area Climate Change Coalition designed the events to educate the public on different issues in a different way, organizer Erika Bailey-Johnson said. All events are free and open to the public.

Starting Monday, each day will feature a different film. Some showings will be accompanied by activities including presentations, discussions and question-and-answer sessions.

On Monday, "Rising Waters" will be shown at 7 p.m. with food available in the Crying Wolf Room at Bemidji State University's Hobson Memorial Union. The film, Bailey-Johnson said, demonstrates how the effect of climate change is already apparent in the Pacific Island nations. A discussion will follow the film.

At 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Headwaters Science Center, representatives from Ottertail Power and Beltrami Electric will give a presentation and hold a question-and-answer session regarding local alternative energy options. The showing of "An Inconvenient Truth," in which Al Gore discusses the causes, effects and solutions of global climate change, will follow, Bailey-Johnson said.

Several activities are planned for Wednesday at Bemidji High School, including the showing of "Who Killed the Electric Car?" The film examines the life and death of the EV1.

At the high school, people can get their tire pressure checked and tires filled for free during Air Fair between 3 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. and 7 p.m. Also, there will be a display of hybrid cars in the parking lot at 6:30 p.m. with representatives from Toyota and Honda available to answer questions. At 7 p.m., a question-and-answer session with local auto dealers and owners is planned. "Who Killed the Electric Car?" will follow.

On Thursday, Katie Haws, a nongame specialist with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, will give a presentation on local endangered species at 7 p.m. at Bemidji Middle School. The showing of "Hoot," a film about middle school students fighting to save burrowing owl habitat, will follow.

On April 20, "Fern Gully," an animated feature film regarding rain forest preservation, will be shown at 7 p.m. with popcorn at the Headwaters School of Music & the Arts.

With a variety of films, the coalition hopes to reach different audiences, Bailey-Johnson said. She added that she hopes Earth Week Movie Fest will give people more of a sense of what's happening with climate change, global warming, automobiles and endangered species.

Bailey-Johnson said the coalition formed last summer as a group of citizens who are concerned about climate change and want to impact the local community through education on climate change issues.

Last fall, the coalition held the Global Climate Change Convention in Bemidji with guests including polar explorer Will Steger.