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“KISS THE GROUND” Zoom Panel Discussion with Drawdown East End



Eco programs at SAC are sponsored by Dorothy and Michael Reilly.

This Zoom panel discussion is a follow up to the October 4 screening of KISS THE GROUND. Panelists include Edwina von Gal, Chris Gobler, Deborah Aller, and Mimi Edelman, and Laurie and Bill Benenson, KISS THE GROUND Executive Producer and Producer, respectively. The panel will be moderated by Mary Morgan, co-founder of Drawdown East End.

If you were unable to attend the 10/4 screening but want to join the Zoom, you can watch the film ahead of time on Netflix. Click HERE.

Edwina Von Gal is an author and founder of the PRFCT Earth Project promoting lawns and landscapes for the health of people, pets, and the planet.

Chris Gobler is the Chair of Coastal Ecology + Conservation, and School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences Professor, Stony Brook University.

Deborah Aller is an Agricultural Stewardship Specialist Soil Scientist at Cornell Cooperative Extension, with regenerative agriculture focus.

Mimi Edelman is a biodynamic farmer, founder of Westchester Growers Alliance and co-chair of the Slow Foods New England Ark of Taste committee.

Bill Benenson (Producers) has been making films for over fifty years, beginning with his award-winning documentaries Diamond Rivers, The Marginal Way, and Dirt! The Movie, all shown on PBS over the past 35 years. He has produced or executive produced numerous Feature films including Boulevard Nights (Library of Congress) The Lightship (Special Venice Film Festival Award) and Mister Johnson (Royal Command Performance for Queen Elizbeth.) He has also been an Executive Producer on the internationally acclaimed Beasts of No Nation, Honey Boy and Harriet. His most recent documentaries, as a producer or Executive producer have been Fantastic Fungi, showing on Amazon Prime, Cracked Up shown on Netflix and also Kiss The Ground, just launched also on Netflix.

Laurie Benenson (Executive Producer) began her career as a journalist, founding Movieline Magazine in1985 and serving as its editor-in-chief for 6 six years. She then went on to write for the New York Times Arts & Leisure section for five years as a West Coast correspondent on film and television.

An ardent environmentalist, Laurie serves on the board of TreePeople  and is Chairman of the Board of the Amazon Conservation Team, which works to protect the Amazonian Rainforest. She is a member of the Leadership Council of the Natural Resources Defense Council, and is a strong supporter of Rainforest Action Network, Conservation International, the Union of Concerned Scientists,  Defenders of Wildlife, The Oceanic Society, and Bioneers.

In 2009 she served as Executive producer and writer, with Linda Post, on the acclaimed documentary Dirt! The Movie, directed by her husband Bill Benenson and his partner Gene Rosow. She was a producer on the documentary The Hadza: Last of the First, and on their newest documentary The Lost City of the Monkey God, both directed by Bill. She is also an Executive Producer of three other films: Fantastic Fungi, Cracked Up, and Kiss the Ground. She is Creative Consultant on the upcoming ten-part series on astrology and consciousness, Changing of the Gods: Planetary and Human Revolutions, where Bill is an Executive producer too.

For nearly three decades, Bill and Laurie have been managing directors of the Francis & Benjamin Benenson Foundation, founded by Bill’s father, Charles B. Benenson. The foundation began with an emphasis on granting scholarships to inner-city minority students.

Since then, Bill and Laurie have also steered their efforts and donations toward gun control, native indigenous rights and the especially on the environment—working ardently for climate change.

Bill and Laurie are active supporter of the Natural Resources Defense Council, Everytown for Gun Safety, TreePeople, Conservation International, the Rainforest Action Network, the Union of Concerned Scientists, Bioneers and The Oceanic Society.

Narrated and featuring Woody Harrelson, Kiss the Ground is an inspiring and groundbreaking film that reveals the first viable solution to our climate crisis.

Kiss the Ground (2020 | 94 min.) reveals that, by regenerating the world’s soils, we can completely and rapidly stabilize Earth’s climate, restore lost ecosystems and create abundant food supplies. Using compelling graphics and visuals, along with striking NASA and NOAA footage, the film artfully illustrates how, by drawing down atmospheric carbon, soil is the missing piece of the climate puzzle.

This movie is positioned to catalyze a movement to accomplish the impossible – to solve humanity’s greatest challenge, to balance the climate and secure our species future.


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EARTH – Artists as Activists

Saturday Apr 17 - Sunday Jul 11

Curated by Amy Kirwin Program Partners include Drawdown East End, Peconic Land Trust, South Fork Natural History Museum, Oceana and the Peter Matthiessen Center. This timely exhibition features artists who use their talents to focus on environmental conservation and activism, whether through fine art, science, photography, film, music, prose or other forms of artistic expression. The vision for eARTh is to use art to creatively confront the alarming state of our precious planet and its inhabitants in a way that all can understand and appreciate. The intention of eARTh is to ask questions and inspire action. What can you do to make a difference? Artists include Roisin Bateman, Kristian Brevik, Scott Bluedorn, Megan Chaskey, Erica Cirino, Rossa Cole, Janet Culbertson, Thomas Deininger, Alejandro Duran, Jim Gingerich, Mamoun Friedrich Grosvenor, John Haigney, Kara Hoblin, Michael Light, Pamela Longobardi, Christa Maiwald, Tucker Marder, Janine Martel, Steve Miller, Patricia Paladines, Aurora Robson, Cindy Pease Roe, Lauren Ruiz, Jonathan Shlafer, Anne Sherwood Pundyk, Anne Seelbach, Kathryn Szoka, and Diane Tuft, plus a special project by the members of the South Fork Natural History Museum’s Young Environmentalists program. Image: Alejandro Duran; Vena, 2011