• Cheri Newcomb

STRAWS, the movie!

STRAWS, the recently produced, 30 minute documentary charts the history of straws, and continues to present day issues that surround our current culture's obsession of single use conveniences. Used once and tossed, billions of plastic straws wind up in landfills and streets finding their way to oceans. A viral video of a sea turtle with a plastic straw in its nose has now sparked anti-straw campaigns globally. Actor/Director Tim Robbins narrates the history and story of STRAWS, and marine researchers, citizen activists, and business owners discuss how it's possible to make a sea of change, one straw at a time.

Linda Booker tells us more about her work before her latest film. “STRAWS” is the fourth film project I've produced and directed following up “Bringing It Home” a film I produced and co-directed to tell the history and benefits of industrial hemp, a non-psychoactive beneficial plant for the environment and human health. I’m proud “Bringing It Home” was able to play a role in policy change for hemp growing in some U.S. states again."

"The idea for STRAWS came from Steve Shor, Film Producer and Film Festival Programmer who I’ve worked with at Sonoma International Film Festival. Steve has a history of support for environmental documentaries and I was embarrassed it never occurred to me that something as small as plastic straws could be such a huge contributor to plastic litter and what we now know is a major threat to waterways, oceans and marine life. Eliminating plastic straws is a tangible and simple change people and businesses can make that can help make a difference for a problem that can seem vast and overwhelming."

"No matter what the topic, I have found my film project's impact is directly attributed to the people I’ve interviewed who are sharing their knowledge and stories. Jackie Nunez, founder of the Last Plastic Straw is based in Santa Cruz and has been leading the charge on this issue since 2011. In Costa Rica we met the turtle researchers who extracted the plastic straw from the turtle's nose and inspired kids like Max Machum in Costa Rica to start their own community campaigns. Their passion and dedication to reduce plastic use is inspiring. Dr. Wallace J Nichols also motivates us to "get in the water" and as we tap into our own memories and love for oceans, lakes and waterways we'll protect it more. Other interviewees like Sarah Mae Nelson of Monterey Bay Aquarium, Dr. Jenna Jambeck and Drifters Project Artist Pam Longobardi illustrate the reality that there's too much plastic where it doesn't belong, but there is hope".

"My thanks to Actor/Director Tim Robbins for his support and contributing voice over for segments in STRAWS. I'm also very grateful to the small group of my production collaborators: cinematographer Blaire Johnson, sound professionals, musicians, editors and animators whose support and talents, make it all happen. And my deepest appreciation to all the kickstarter supporters who helped us raise the money for production funds this past July. "

STRAWS is premiering next month in California at the Sonoma International Film Festival (March 29 - April 2nd). The Southwest U. S. Premiere of STRAWS is at the ILLUMINATE Film Festival in Sedona, Arizona (May 32 - June 4). Some of the first feedback from festivals and film peers is encouraging to Booker,

~"your film is informative, captivating and encourages a call to action" ~

~"the programming team absolutely loves this inspiring and awakening short"~

STRAWS will be available for community screenings and educational use later in 2017. "I hope STRAWS can reach audiences and especially youth who not only find it entertaining, as I have tried to make it be, but are inspired to stop using plastic straws." concludes Linda.

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