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The Independent Critic

 2012 Heartland Film Festival: A-Z Reviews, Vol. 6 
Carbon for Water (22 Mins., Doc Short)
Carbon for Water (22 Mins., Doc Short)

Directed by: Evan Abramson, Carmen  Elsa Lopez; Written by: Carmen Elsa Lopez; OFFICIAL WEBSITE

If the Heartland Film Festival had an award for short docs, there's a pretty good chance that Carbon for Water would be in the running. This 22-minute doc co-directed by Evan Abramson and Carmen Elsa Lopez examines an innovative solution to the life-threatening problem of water purification in a western province of Kenya. In this area, safe drinking water is scarce and the wood fuel to boil water for purification is expense.

However, an innovative company has financed the distribution and maintenance of 900,000 water filters in the Western Province. The awesome catch? They are funded by carbon credits that will also help to reduce the use of wood fuel and, as a result, deforestation decreases.

Win. Win. Win.

Carbon for Water has been especially popular on the environmental fest circuit (and, yes, there is such a thing!) where it has picked up multiple prizes at Planet in Focus Environmental Film Festival, Reel Earth Environmental Film Festival, Santa Cruz Film Festival and others.

The film itself is fairly straightforward as docs go, but Abramson and Lopez have constructed a solidly entertaining doc that really drives home the point, once again, of just how easy the solution can be when we are willing to put our hearts, minds and wallets into action.

Cross Court (5 Mins., Narrative Short)
Cross Court (5 Mins., Narrative Short)

Starring: Kim Estes, Collins Key; Written and Directed by: Raffy Cortina; OFFICIAL WEBSITE

Inspired by the 2010 incident in which umpire Jim Joyce blew a major call in a major league baseball game, Cross Court is an entertaining five-minute short film that follows a referee who makes a controversial call and then has to walk the 84 feet across the court.

Those who remember the Joyce call will remember it as a rather luminous episode in sports, an incident in which the athlete who was robbed, Armando Galaragga, forgives the ump in question and the ump, in turn, humbly acknowledges his mistake and its impact.

In a mere five minutes, writer/director manages to bring back those feelings we felt during that incident and bring them to life in this terrific little short that will likely resonate with anyone ever involved in sports (especially youth sports, I'd say).

© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic