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Pulitzer Center Update June 2, 2009

Jennifer Readfearn and Gabrielle Weiss premiere films at Media Matters Film Festival 6/3


"The Next Wave," a short version of "Sun Come Up" by Jennifer Redfearn will premiere alongside Gabrielle Weiss' "Bolivia's Coca Culture" at the Media that Matters festival. Both journalists are Pulitzer grant recipients.

June 3, 2009 from 7:00 – 8:30 pm
SVA Visual Arts Theater - 333 W 23rd Street (b/t 8th & 9th Ave.)

This will be the first official public screening of the ninth annual Media That Matters Film Festival. Located in the heart of NYC's Chelsea area, the SVA Visual Arts Theater - a brand new space with incredible screening facilities - is a great venue for us to screen our newest collection to a diverse audience of Arts Engine friends, film buffs, press members, activists and the general public. Tickets can be purchased here.

Summary of "Bolivia's Coca Culture"

The coca plant, used in indigenous cultural rituals and traditional medicines, is also the main ingredient for cocaine. Bolivia is the third largest producer of coca and cocaine after Peru and Colombia. Despite pressure to cut back on coca farming, many Bolivians see few alternatives.

Read related reporting at the Pulitzer project page Coca Si, Cocaina No: Evo Morales' Coca Policy in Los Yungas, Bolivia

What the film "Sun Come Up" is about (from

Climate change is not just about penguins and polar bears. It's about communities, too. Sun Come Up follows the relocation of some of the world's first climate change refugees – the Carteret Islanders, a matrilineal community living on an island chain, 50 miles off the coast of Papua New Guinea.

The islanders share a rich tradition of music, dance, and storytelling. For centuries, they've lived on a diet of fresh fish and fruit, and without cars, electricity, or running water. Their carbon footprint leaves one of the lightest impressions on the planet. Now, however, a modern crisis has intruded upon them. Climate change is destroying this far-flung island chain. During the high tide season, the ocean floods the island. Salt water contaminates crops and fresh water wells, and inland gardens have turned to swamps, creating a breeding ground for malaria-carrying mosquitoes.

The islanders face three urgent and, potentially life threatening, problems: the islands are shrinking, the population is increasing, and access to food and water is decreasing. Now they plan to move to Bougainville, where a 10-year civil war with Papua New Guinea devastated villages and claimed 10 percent of the population. Leaving behind a peaceful existence on a remote atoll, the Carteret Islanders must adapt to an island suffering the aftershock of war.

Sun Come Up presents the human face of climate change and a people faced with the loss of a land in which their identity is rooted. It is a portrait of a community and a critical moment in history. The film raises important questions about climate change and security and how to protect the rights, dignity, and culture of people being displaced by climate change.

Read Jennifer's dispatches from the field from when she was documenting the Carteret Islanders last fall.