Filmmakers hope to reconnect people with nature

January 03, 2011|By RICHARD F. BELISLE |
  • Robert Even Owens, left, of Martinsburg, W.Va., and Audra Haddock Martenot, an adjunct professor at Hagerstown Community College, teamed up to produce the half-hour "One With Life" film. The independent film will debut at this year's American Conservation Film Festival at the National Conservation Training Center in Shepherdstown, W.Va.
By Richard F. Belisle/Staff Writer

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. — Many of today’s children are losing their connection with nature, said Audra Haddock Martenot, co-producer of “One With Life,” an independent film debuting at this year’s American Conservation Film Festival at the National Conservation Training Center.

“They want to be wherever there are electric plugs,” said Martenot, who teaches art and graphic design as an adjunct professor at Hagerstown Community College.

“When these children grow up, they won’t want to preserve nature because they won’t have a connection with it, won’t know about why it’s important. This is why we’re doing this film,” she said.

Martenot teamed up with Robert Even Owens of Martinsburg, W.Va., to produce the half-hour “One With Life” film. Owens, an award-winning filmmaker with six Telly Awards to his credit, owns Eagle Rock Productions on Bamboo Lane.

He made “When Eagles Dream” for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Cameras installed in the nest of a pair of breeding eagles in a sycamore tree at NCTC follow their daily lives and that of their eaglet.

Owens produces three to five films a year related to conservation issues, mostly for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. He currently is involved in a new film on the 70th anniversary of Mount Rushmore. It’s slated to be shown on the National Geographic television channel, he said.

According to Martenot, “One With Life” is an intimate look at a growing, worldwide movement that emphasizes the need for people to connect with nature.

“The emphasis is on the importance of engaging and encouraging children to explore the great outdoors,” she said.

The health of children is a growing issue today.

“The idea is to encourage them to get back to nature and away from the television, to go outside to play. There is a nature deficit in children,” Martenot said.

The film is another way to try to make people aware of the importance of nature, she said.

“We can’t exist without it and it can’t exist without us,” she said.

An inscription on the back cover of Owens’ “When Eagles Dream” reads: “Our hope is to educate and inspire people of all ages to become closer with our natural world and embark on their own journey with nature.”

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