Arise and Sprout Film Festivals Grow Social Awareness Through Cinema 

Arise: Wednesday, May 1; Sprout: Friday-Saturday, May 3-4

Women and their connection to the earth join in Arise.

Jon Orlando

Women and their connection to the earth join in Arise.

It's easy to brush off movies as mindless escapism—it's especially easy to do when a film involves exploding robots. But sometimes films can make audiences not only feel, but think and act.

Want to get more out of film than a bucket of popcorn? Two such opportunities are heading to Boise, ready to give audiences their fill of social awareness.

Arise focuses on the connections and interactions that women around the world cultivate with planet Earth. Directed by former Boise resident Lori Joyce and narrated by actress Daryl Hannah, the film weaves together poetry, music, art and activism to highlight the relationship female farmers, human-rights advocates and peacemakers have formed with their communities, starting from the soil up.

The film was selected for eight different film festivals in 2012 and received the Spirit of Activism award at the Colorado Environmental Film Festival. It will hit Boise on Wednesday, May 1, at The Flicks. Joyce will attend the screening and be available to answer questions after the film.

10 percent of proceeds will go to Amazon Watch, a group defending indigenous cultures and the Amazon Rainforest.

Arc of Idaho also hosts an event that alludes to soil—the Sprout Film Festival, returning for its third year in Boise on Friday, May 3, and Saturday, May 4, at the Egyptian Theatre.

Sprout is a series of films related to intellectual and developmental disabilities, and is intended to promote better understanding of individuals obscured by stereotypes. This year, the festival hosts a special screening for elementary through high-school students.

A few of this year's films include Outside Inside, about a mute and autistic young man who reveals his true voice through writing about the world around him for the camera; Deedah, a documentary from the point of view of a second-grade girl whose younger brother has Down syndrome; and WYSIWYG, which consists of three excerpts featuring adults with developmental disabilities in Anjali Dance Company live performances.

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