One generation from now most people in the U.S. will have spent more time in the virtual world than in nature.
I had the good fortune of screening the eye opening PLAY AGAIN locally with my own kids, and meet the passionate filmmaker Meg Merrill. Her film makes a case, against a backdrop of contemporary teen life, about how more time in front of screens than in natural spaces bodes troubling outcomes individually and for our society. Here is more:
PLAY AGAIN is an award-winning documentary, directed by Tonje Hessen Schei, produced by Meg Merrill, and edited by David Bee with music from Icelandic band Sigur Ros and singer Kimya Dawson.
New media technologies have improved our lives in countless ways. Information now appears with a click. Overseas friends are part of our daily lives. And even grandma loves Wii. But what are we missing when we are behind screens? And how will this impact our children, our society, and eventually, our planet? At a time when children play more behind screens than outside.
The film explores the changing balance between the virtual and natural worlds. Is our connection to nature disappearing down the digital rabbit hole? This moving and humorous documentary follows six teenagers who, like the “average American child,” spend five to fifteen hours a day behind screens.
PLAY AGAIN unplugs these teens and takes them on their first wilderness adventure – no electricity, no cell phone coverage, no virtual reality. Through the voices of children and leading experts including journalist Richard Louv, sociologist Juliet Schor, environmental writer Bill McKibben, educators Diane Levin and Nancy Carlsson-Paige, neuroscientist Gary Small, parks advocate Charles Jordan, and geneticist David Suzuki.
PLAY AGAIN investigates the consequences of a childhood removed from nature and encourages action for a sustainable future. For more information please visit www.playagainfilm.com and “like” their facebook page! PLAY AGAIN in Los Angeles Pan African Film Festival Monday 2/21 at 12 Noon Culver Plaza Theaters (9919 Washington Blvd., across from Sony Studios) *Q & A with producer Meg Merrill and lead youth, Kristin and Paige Moreland! **Additional screening at the PAFF Student Fest on 2/23 (Time TBA) 2010 AWARDS BEST OF FEST, Colorado Environmental Film Festival BEST EDUCATIONAL FILM, Ekofilm in Prague JURY MENTION for Best Documentary, FICMA in Barcelona UPCOMING FESTIVALS To find or organize a screening in your area visit www.playagainfilm.com.
Rue Mapp is the founder of Outdoor Afro, a community that reconnects African-Americans with natural spaces and one another through recreational activities such as camping, hiking, biking, fishing, gardening, skiing — and more! Outdoor Afro uses social media to create interest communities, events, and to partner with regional and national organizations that support diverse participation in the Great Outdoors.
Cheryl Contee aka "Jill Tubman", Baratunde Thurston aka "Jack Turner", rikyrah, Leutisha Stills aka "The Christian Progressive Liberal", B-Serious, Casey Gane-McCalla, Jonathan Pitts-Wiley aka "Marcus Toussaint," Fredric Mitchell
Special Contributors: James Rucker, Rinku Sen, Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins, Adam Luna, Kamala Harris
Technical Contributor: Brandon Sheats