“Renewal documents that religious zeal can be yoked to change as well as conservatism, that differing faiths can speak to each other, and that, really, good works are faith these days. Above all, the film spreads the good news that we’re just getting started.” ..-The Boston Globe
Directed by Marty Ostrow
The first feature-length documentary to capture the vitality of America’s religious-environmental movement. Offering a profound message of hope, in eight stories, Renewal shows people inspired by their diverse spirital and religious convictions, being called to re-examine what it means to be human and how we live on this planet. The film presents eight individual stories of Americans around the nation in different faith traditions, who are working to become better stewards of the environment.
• Evangelicals standing up against the devastation of mountaintop removal in Appalachia. • GreenFaith, an interfaith organization in New Jersey that helps houses of worship take the first steps to ‘go green.’ • An innovative childhood education program that helps Jewish kids discover the deep bond between their spiritual tradition and the earth. • Muslims in Chicago, supporting the sustainable organic raising of chickens and meat. • Buddhists in San Francisco, working to persuade major magazines to publish on recycled paper. • Hispanics, Anglos and Native Americans in Albuquerque, uzsing religious ritual to organize their community to protect land and water. • People of faith and scientists in Mississippi, coming together to confront decades of industrial-induced health problems, made worse since Hurricane Katrina. • And finally, one nationwide program, Interfaith Power and Light, working with religious organizations to confront global warming.
THE FILMMAKER: Marty Ostrow has been a producer, writer and director for public, commercial and cable television for more than 25 years. His award-winning films include the acclaimed 90-minute documentary America and the Holocaust: Deceit and Indifference, for the PBS series The American Experience. In addition to history, Marty has made many films about science for NOVA, PBS’s Discover the World of Science, and the Discovery Channel. He was the producer of two hours in the ground-breaking documentary series Race to Save the Planet, the first large-scale PBS effort to bring environmental issues to national consciousness. Marty’s work is known for the intimate portrait style he brings to his subjects. His public television films about the arts have earned him three Emmy Awards. Marty’s films have been seen in festivals around the world.