The inaugural Blue Planet Film Fest, an animal welfare/environmental film festival and forum, will be held in Santa Monica over Labor day weekend, Friday through Monday, September 4th through 7th.

The mission of the nonprofit festival is to screen films that raise mainstream awareness about some of the most important issues of our time — saving the earth and ending the suffering of animals at human hands, a festival spokesperson said. Blue Planet festival organizers say they aim to “do for environmental films what Sundance did for indie films, branding a genre and creating a staple for the average filmgoer.”

The fest’s complex is made up of the combined theater spaces of the Santa Monica Playhouse at 1211 Fourth St. and the Santa Monica Bay Women’s Club directly across the street at 1210 Fourth St.

Tickets for general admission are $6.50 each, while student and seniors tickets are $5.50.

The festival will be instituting as many green practices as possible:

ï $1 of each ticket sold will be donated to the cause of that film;

ï Blue Planet has partnered with the green ticketing service In Ticketing ( to have non-tree produced tickets made of hemp, flax and recycled ticket stock; and

ï InTicketing will be planting a tree for every ticket sold at Blue Planet.

“Our goal is to revolutionize the film festival dynamic and have the audience participate to affect change with their dollars and actions,” said Mira Tweti, the festival’s executive director.

“Blue Planet will be more than an entertaining weekend. We’re going to provide both a visual and visceral experience with interactive, hands-on events, on- and off-site, to connect attendees at an emotional level, and motivate them to action, on a wide range of issues related to animal welfare, wildlife, environmental issues, ecology, conservation, sustainable living/non-sustainable living, globalization, climate change, factory farming/

agriculture issues, water and land.”

The four days of themed films and events will be as follows:

ANIMAL DAY (opening day, Friday, September 3rd) features films on animal issues and two live afternoon events with pelicans and parrots;

WATER DAY (Saturday, September 5th) addresses issues from the mountains to the sea, drinking water shortages and drought. Films will trace drinking water from its source to taps and how runoff and pollution affect the oceans and the wildlife found there;

LAND DAY (Sunday, September 6th) will highlight films about eco-sustainable and unsustainable land use, urban farmers growing edible and drought resistant gardens in the inner city (three of the films take place in LA) and audience participation workshops with the farmers featured in the films;

FUTURE DAY (Monday, September 7th) will feature films throughout the evening that offer solutions for what we can do, individually and collectively, to turn our environmental crisis around. There will also be films on global warming and other issues.

Schedule information and ticket sales, or at the Women’s Club box office beginning Thursday, September 3rd.