1998 ice storm documentary produced in Potsdam selected for environmental film festival in Florida
Thursday, March 1, 2018 - 5:39 pm

POTSDAM -- A documentary produced in Potsdam that reconstructs the 1998 ice storm was recently screened as an official selection for the 2018 Cinema Verde International Environmental Film Festival in Gainesville, Fla.

The film, “Resilience,” focused on the storm that destroyed power grids across northern New York, Quebec, and northern New England. The movie goes on to explore an effort twenty years later to build a new kind of grid, a microgrid, designed to withstand future disasters.

The film is a project by Clarkson University professor Stephen Farina.

Based in part on Farina’s book "The Grid and the Village" (Yale UP, 2001), the documentary also features current microgrid research headed by Clarkson electrical engineering professor Thomas Ortmeyer.

The film opens by posing this question: “In an age when the world's power grids are vulnerable to war, terrorist attack, and an increasing rate of extreme weather events, how can communities stay safe in the face of such dangers?”

Reconstructing the ’98 ice storm and then telling today’s story about the potential of new innovative power grids is a way to illustrate both the dangers and potential solutions to these problems.

“Having this film find an audience has been gratifying,” said Farina. “For me, it brings to a close a story that started 20 years ago.”

The film fit within the Cinema Verde Film Festival’s mission which is to provide “environmental education to the public through film, arts, and workshops and to increase public awareness of environmental practices that enhance public health and improve quality of life in urban, suburban and rural settings.”

In its ninth year, the festival screened its films in theaters adjacent to the University of Florida campus in Gainesville on Feb. 9 and 10.