Racing Extinction Premieres in Ateneo

December 07, 2015

On 27 November, the Ateneo de Manila University community had a unique opportunity to watch the documentary film Racing Extinction by Louie Psihoyos, a 2010 Academy Award (Oscar) winner for Best Documentary Feature for The Cove. The three screenings, held at the Escaler Hall at 9:30 am, 1:00 pm, and 4:30 pm (the main screening), were brought to Ateneo by Discovery Channel through their campus partners: the Department of Biology and the Ateneo Biological Organization – eXplore. eXperience. eXcel. (BOx). Racing Extinction tackles the role of human activity in the loss of global biodiversity and the onset of a mass extinction event. It was an in-competition entry in the Sundance Film Festival early this year, but the three screenings in Ateneo were the first in any Philippine University and the only ones to be held before the worldwide premiere on Discovery Channel on 2 December.

The main screening of Racing Extinction at Escaler Hall, Ateneo de Manila University (Photo courtesy of Karen Pansacola, Perceptions Inc.)

The week of the screenings began with an Awareness Campaign that ran from 24 to 27 November at the Science Education Complex (SEC) A Foyer. Discovery Channel set up a photo wall and a timer wall that teased scenes from the upcoming film. On the 27th, Discovery set up even more exciting exhibits: a Pledge Wall from which guests could select an environmentally friendly action to commit to; a ball pool that was meant to represent whale sharks in our oceans; and a simple contest involving picking up and segregating trash while on a bamboo bicycle made by Bambike, a local socio-ecological enterprise affiliated with Gawad Kalinga. Also with their own booths were Greenpeace Philippines, one of the Discovery’s partners, and Huawei, one of the event sponsors.

Ateneo students make their pledges for the environment (Photo courtesy of Karen Pansacola, Perceptions Inc.)