Few people realize that we are in the midst of a mass extinction crisis that rivals that of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. The extinction rate has risen to more than 1000 times the pre-human rate and far outpaces the rate of evolution. Of the45,000 species evaluated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature in 2008, 17,000 faced at least a high risk of extinction in the wild. Orangutans, rhinos, tigers, bees, polar bears, chimpanzees, blue-finned tuna…the list of species in trouble is extensive with some scientists predicting that half of all species will go extinct in this century.
This extinction crisis is driven by a combination of habitat destruction, species overkill, climate change, invasive species and pollution - all results of human overpopulation. The world’s population has risen from 1.6 billion in 1900 to 7 billion today, four times in one hundred years. And, our population is predicted to double again in this century. What will be the resource demands of 15 billion people? What will be left for other species?
Evidence of human causes of extinction dates back 50,000 years ago. Perhaps mass extinction is simply a legacy of our species. Or, have we as humans evolved to the point where we can make choices in our lives to protect, save and allow room for other creatures on our planet?
Today we all have an important responsibility to future generations, which starts first with education about this extinction crisis and how we can each act to impede it. Through a series of interlocking stories, this documentary will examine this crisis, and point to solutions.
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GINA LEVY – Director & Producer
Gina Levy directs documentaries, fiction, commercials and news.
A Harvard University graduate in biology and an award-winning director, Gina was named one of “25 New Faces of Independent Film” by Filmmaker Magazine.
Her documentary Foo-Foo Dust was short-listed for an Academy Award, nominated for an IDA Documentary Achievement Award, awarded a Special Jury Prize at AFI-Silverdocs, won Best Doc Short at Los Angeles Film Festival and screened at over 30 festivals including Sundance Festival. Gina shot, edited and directed this cinema verite film, which explores drug addiction through the relationship between a crack-addicted prostitute and her junkie son living in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District.
Gina recently completed commercial documentary campaigns for marriage equality and for Children’s Bureau, a foster/adoption agency. For The New York Times, she regularly directs, shoots and edits video news segments; she just returned from Siberia where she shot and produced two pieces she is now editing for the Times.
From an early age Gina was interested in both science and art. While in high school, she worked in the Columbia University lab of Nobel Prize winner Eric Kandel and won a Westinghouse (now called Intel) Science Talent Scholarship to Harvard University. The Sixth Extinction documentary brings together her skills, interest and experience in science and filmmaking.
AMELIA GUIMARIN – Associate Producer
Amelia has a diverse background in art, writing and marketing. She isan alumnus of the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts and has written, directed and produced several short form fiction and documentary programs. Amelia also holds a degree in Anthropology and leads social media campaigns across various industries.