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Photo courtesy of Julie Bergman Sender, co-producer of "Harmony."

Photo courtesy of Julie Bergman Sender, co-producer of “Harmony.”

Ojai Valley Green Coalition Hosts “Harmony” Screening

By Demitri Corbin

It’s a hot late afternoon as I make my way to 206 South Signal Street, Suite S, the offices of the Ojai Valley Green Coalition.   Through the alphabet of beauty, healing, chiropractic and travel suites, I find the staircase to Ste. S.  Opening the door as I knock I enter and pass the cases of donated wine for Sunday’s screening reception and approach the six-foot  table where Deborah Pendrey and Anca Colbert sit with their day’s work sprawled before them.  They both exhibit end-of-the-day frazzle, as do I, and quickly announce they have sparse time.

 “Deborah has a fund-raising meeting at 4,” Anca confesses.

“Everyone downtown is scrambling, it seems, so I’ll make it quick.

We begin the conversation with a question about something I’ve wanted to know as I’ve looked over the festival schedule.

DC:  The schedule says that you are, “presenting,” this documentary.  It seems that a lot of local organizations are sponsoring screenings, which is great.  Are you sponsoring this screening?

AC:  Actually, we are hosting the screening.  It is something that the festival started last year; a new segment called Focus Earth, with organizations hosting a series of ecology documentaries.  So, we do the leg work, we all do media promotions and marketing, and the Film Festival provides the staff to run the screening.  It’s a really great idea.

 DC:  And, economical too.
 DP:  People really liked last year.  “Chasing Ice” last year was a really big deal.

DC:  I see from the trailer that it premiered in 2012 at the Sundance Film Festival in London.  It’s been making the festival rounds.

AC:  Yes, it’s been shown at a couple of festivals.

DC:  Did you choose this film?

AC:  Yes, we chose it.  Because it made sense for us because of what it’s trying to put beliefs into action with education and promoting change and care of a green mission, so it was a good match for us.  And what is great about it is that Prince Charles comes as a bit of a surprise.  Most people think of him as someone with privileges and you see that he has chosen to make a difference, to walk his talk.  He heads the most generous non-profits in all of England, I believe that’s what it says in the recent Time magazine article.  What’s beautiful is that it (the film) shows him walking the earth, all the continents, making a change.

DP:  And for the film, he brings to a more global level, making it more inspiring.  It takes you out of the usual gloom & doom scenario and actually offers some solutions by stating the challenges in a different, engaging, surprising …

AC:  Yes, surprising because the perception most people have comes out in this movie that most people think that Prince Charles is disengaged, when in fact he has devoted his life to being engaged.  It shows a strong spiritual set of beliefs … if he were a politician who had to be elected, he couldn’t speak like this. You see the depth of his humanity.

DC:  Let’s talk about the panel, the distinguished panel that you spoke of before.

AC:  (laughs)  Yes, the truly distinguished panel.  Each panelist is an accomplished individual who is, I’m sorry if I’m repeating myself,  walking their talk, making a difference, showing vision and promoting change.

DP (chiming in)  John Rulac!  Nutiva!  He’s sponsoring the screening.

AC:  Yes, John, someone who is also walking his talk.  The moderator is Michael Shapiro, a combination producer, screen writer and movie maker and long time environmental and political activist.  Lori Pye, PH. D, also with an intersection of disciplines; conservationist and environmentalist, a  Jungian psychologist and the first to open a school in ecopyscology…  and Jim Churchill, the Ojai farmer and activist, famous for his Pixie tangerines. And then there’s Nicholas Deitch, an architect and civil activist.

DC:  Is he from Ojai?

AC:  Ventura.  He has helped to build low-cost housing for Ventur … the one thing I want to say is that the movie is fun, and again, filled with surprises.

DP:  Wait ’til you see the farmer from Louisiana!

They start laughing!

AC:  Yes, wait til you see-

DP:  And hear …

AC:  … the farmer from Louisiana!  He’s wonderful.  Even though the film addresses profoundly serious matters, there is a sense of levity that leaves one with a sense of hope and possibility.

DC:  Thanks, that’s good.  I will leave you to your work.

It’s 15 minutes before Deborah’s next meeting and she plunges back into her work.  Anca walks me to the door.

AC:  Please come to the reception after the movie and enjoy some wine.  It was donated by Casa Barranca.

DC:  Thanks, I’ll see you Sunday.

 Deborah Pendrey is the executive director of the Ojai Valley Green Coalition and Anca Colbert, an arts consultant and arts columnist for the Ojai Quarterly, is the events chair.