Press Release

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Renewal is the first feature-length documentary film to capture the vitality and diversity of today’s religious-environmental activists. From within their Christian, Jewish, Buddhist and  Muslim traditions, Americans are becoming caretakers of the Earth. With great courage, these  women and men are re-examining what it means to be human and how we live on this planet.  Their stories of combating global warming and the devastation of mountaintop removal, of promoting food security, environmental justice, recycling, land preservation, and of teaching love and respect for life on Earth are the heart of Renewal.

  • Bill McKibben states, “The religious environmental movement is potentially key to dealing with the greatest problem humans have ever faced, and it has never been captured with more breadth and force than in Renewal. I hope this movie is screened in church basements and synagogue social halls across the country, and that it moves many more people of faith off the fence and into action.”
  • Bill Moyers concurs, “I watched this film with admiration and hope millions of others will have the chance to see it.  You will be stirred to discover people of different faiths who are engaged in an exhilarating stewardship of the earth that offers our best chance to yet save creation.”
  • Thomas Berry reflects, “Renewal offers a comprehensive overview of what different religions are doing about the awesome devastation of Earth’s life systems now taking place.  The filmmakers’ vision of the problem and understanding of viable solutions show rare depth of perception and are matched only by their sense of the urgency of action if we are to realize our hopes for the future.”
  • Mary Evelyn Tucker & John Grim (Forum on Religion and Ecology, Yale University) affirm, “Here we witness the inspiration of religious ideas in practice for the healing of the Earth. Such a film is invaluable for religious leaders and laity alike. Moreover, it will renew those working on behalf of future generations.”
  • The Boston Globe writes, “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.”

While the 90-minute film is designed for screenings and broadcast, each of its stories can also stand alone, making them excellent succinct vehicles for discussion in the classroom and by activist groups, religious and secular. The eight stories in Renewal are:
A Crime Against Creation: Evangelicals bear witness to mountaintop removal and the destruction of Appalachia  (11:20 min.)
Going Green: GreenFaith in New Jersey helps congregations take the first steps to environmental action  (14:20 min)
Food for Faith: Muslim tradition and charity forge bonds between urban communities and sustainable farms in Illinois  (14:50 min)
Ancient Roots: The Teva Learning Center and Adamah in Connecticut bring environmental education together with Jewish tradition  (17:30 min) 
Compassion in Action: Green Sangha, a Buddhist community in northern California, leads a campaign to save trees  (11:10 min) 
Eco-Justice: The Holy Spirit inspires a battle against industrial contamination in small-town Mississippi  (11:30 min)
Sacred Celebration: Catholics and Native Americans embrace religious ritual in a struggle to protect New Mexico’s land and water   (9:30 min)
Interfaith Power and Light:
Across America people of all faiths mount a religious response to global warming  (9:25 min)
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Renewal is designed for use by clergy, congregations, teachers, theologians, community activists, environmentalists, students and families: anyone who understands the essential spiritual bond that humans hold with the earth. And everyone who is committed to building a sustainable future.
The film is part of a dynamic community engagement campaign whose goal is to help advance the religious-environmental movement and to promote change.

  • In honor of World Environment Day 2008, Renewal was screened at the United Nations
  • Renewal is featured in Humane Society of the United States’, the nation’s largest and most effective animal protection organization, “All Creatures Great and Small Campaign.”
  • Voted “Best of Fest” at the Hazel Wolf Environmental Film Festival, Seattle, WA.
  • Screened by over 1200 Interfaith Power and Light-affiliated congregations, in 29 states.
  • Renewal is the centerpiece of a campaign to enhance seminary education for a sustainable future developed by Auburn Media, Auburn Seminary.
  • Showcased as a workshop at Bioneers by the Bay, a conference dedicated to visionary and practical solutions for restoring the Earth and its inhabitants.
  • An official selection of the Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival and National Tour, the largest environmental film festival in the United States, a festival for activists by activists.

For more information about Renewal and its community engagement campaign, or to order a DVD, please visit:
Renewal was produced by Emmy Award winning documentary filmmakers Marty Ostrow and Terry Kay Rockefeller. 
Fine Cut Productions, LLC
195 Hamilton Street
Cambridge, MA 02139

Copyright © The Renewal Project.