Despite Hollywood’s recent interest in environmental issues, small films with a “green” twist still struggle to find distribution. Unless you are lucky enough to catch a festival screening, most of these independent environmental films will elude even the most determined cineaste. Thankfully, Gay Hendricks and Rick Ridgeway have created Earth Cinema Circle to salvage these films from obscurity.

This bimonthly DVD club, started in October, sends its members a DVD to keep, featuring four to five environmentally-geared films, both short and feature-length. Culled from the hundreds of movies screened by the organizers of Earth Cinema Circle, the films cover a wide range of topics including conservation, wildlife and adventurous eco-travel.

Co-founder, moviemaker, author and mountaineer Ridgeway has fought for environmental issues in many different ways, but sees film as a uniquely powerful channel for environmentalists to get their message across. “Film as a medium has the power to communicate the environmental crises we all face emotionally—not just intellectually. Today, for example, I just saw timelapse photos—which become in essence film clips—of glaciers shrinking before your eyes. For the first time ever, you could see global warming. That’s the power of film.”

In addition to receiving the films, a subscription to Earth Cinema Circle directly helps environmental efforts, as the company donates one percent of sales to environmental groups through the organization One Percent for the Planet. Ridgeway, however, hopes that these DVDs will motivate people to do even more. “We want people to get involved in finding solutions—and we want our film club to show them how to do that.”

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