SJFS Screening “There Once Was an Island” January 15 at St. John School of the Arts


The affects of rising sea levels are already being felt in some parts of the world.

The St. John Film Society has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts grant and a Virgin Islands Council on the Arts grant for the 2013 season.

The grants will allow the group to present a robust season of thought-provoking, entertaining films and visiting filmmakers. Please join St. John Film Society in kicking off the season with its January 15 premiere, and stay tuned for more 2013 program details!

“There Once was an Island,” an 80-minute documentary released in 2010 and directed by Briar March, will be screened on Tuesday, January 15, at 7:30 p.m. at St. John School of the Arts.

The documentary tells the story of some the world’s first climate change refugees, a unique Pacific island community which considers leaving their homeland forever to escape life-threatening sea level rise.

“There Once Was an Island,” presents the human face of climate change, challenging audiences everywhere to consider their relationship to the earth and to their neighbors.

What if this community had to decide whether to leave its homeland forever and there was no apparent help available? 

This is the reality for the culturally unique Polynesian community of Takuu, a tiny, low-lying Pacific Ocean atoll within Papau New Guinea. As a tidal flood submerges this fishing and agricultural community they experience the devastating effects of climate change, firsthand. 

In this documentary, the three intrepid characters of Teloo, Endar, and Satty allow viewers into their lives and culture, showing the human face behind environmental crisis. 

Two scientists, oceanographer John Hunter and geomorphologist Scott Smithers, investigate the impact of climate change on communities with limited access to resources and support, while the citizens of Takuu consider whether to move to an uncertain future in Bougainville or to stay on Takuu and fight for a different, but equally uncertain, outcome.