Impact of light pollution, free film and discussion

December 27, 2011  |   |  Comments
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Honolulu skyline at night

Honolulu City Lights may be a nice song and pretty view, but they also constitute light pollution, which has serious consequences; photo taken from Tantalus by Richard Wainscoat, used with permission

Institute for Astronomy resident expert on light pollution Richard Wainscoat will join award winning filmmaker Ian Cheney for a discussion following a free premiere of The City Dark at 7 p.m January 4 in the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa Art Building Auditorium.

The feature documentary explores the consequences of lighting the night sky—from disruption of wildlife to impacts on human health to interference with astronomical research—not the least of which is raising a generation unfamiliar with the stars.

Cheney was inspired to tackle the question “Do we need the dark?” after moving to New York City from rural Maine. He interviewed scientists, philosophers, historians and lighting designers.

UH Mānoa Astronomer Jeffrey Kuhn is among those appearing in the 84-minute film, which won the Jury Prize for Best Score/Music when it opened at the 2011 South by Southwest Film Festival.

The screening and discussion are sponsored by the Institute for Astronomy, Enterprise Honolulu, the Halekūlani, Rebuild Hawaiʻi Consortium and the State of Hawaiʻi.

See the calendar listing.

About the filmmaker

Brooklyn-based documentary filmmaker Cheney is an avid astrophotographer and travels frequently to show his films, lead discussions and give talks about sustainability, agriculture and the human relationship to the natural world.

He co-created and starred in the Peabody Award-winning theatrical hit and PBS documentary King Corn (2007), directed The Greening of Southie and co-produced the Planet Green film Big River.

In 2011 Cheney and longtime collaborator Curt Ellis received the Heinz Award for their environmental advocacy.

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