Arts and Entertainment

Film screening of 'Albatross' to shine light on issue of ocean plastic pollution

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — "Albatross," a film by artist Chris Jordan, will be offered as a free public screening through Penn State Centre Stage and the Penn State Sustainability Institute at noon on Friday, July 12, and 7 p.m. Tuesday, July 16, at the Penn State Downtown Theatre.

Following the Tuesday screening, a panel discussion will be held with experts who specialize in consumer behavior, the impacts of microplastics on marine environments, and the importance of local recycling efforts. Rick Lombardo, Penn State Centre Stage producing artistic director, will moderate the panel.

"Albatross" the film is a powerful visual journey into the heart of an astonishingly symbolic environmental tragedy. On one of the most remote islands on our planet, tens of thousands of baby albatrosses lie dead, their bodies filled with plastic. The story is framed in the vividly gorgeous language of state-of-the-art high-definition digital cinematography, surrounded by millions of live birds in one of the world’s most beautiful natural sanctuaries.

A primary intention of "Albatross" is to delve into feelings that people might tend to avoid. The film looks deeply into sadness, grief, beauty and love, in ways that can feel uncomfortable. According to Jordan, that is the whole intention: When we allow ourselves to feel our sadness for what is being lost in our world, then we connect with the part of ourselves that loves our world. 

Benjamin Evett, co-producer/playwright of "Albatross" the play, running in conjunction with the film from July 10-20 at the Penn State Downtown Theatre, incorporated the relevance of the issue into the script.

"A fundamental theme of the story is how our little thoughtless actions have consequences, ripples that affect the people around us, all living things, and the Earth itself, which the play sees as having a divine spirit," said Evett. "'Albatross' takes on incredibly timely issues like climate change, the cruelty of humans to each other and to life on this planet, and our need to be mindful of the effect we are having."

Some portions of the film are disturbing and not intended for younger audiences. Watch a three-minute trailer at

A screening of the film "Albatross" will be held July 12 and 16 at the Penn State Downtown Teatre in State College courtesy of Penn State Centre Stage and the Penn State Sustainability Institute. Credit: ProvidedAll Rights Reserved.

Last Updated September 20, 2019