On Saturday, March 23 at 1:30pm, The EcoFocus Film Festival is screening "The Lost Bird Project" , documenting an innovative, moving and humorous art project to commemorate five extinct North American bird species, at Ciné in downtown Athens. The filmmaker (Deborah Dickson) and artist (Todd McGrain) will be joining us via Skype for a Q&A after the film.
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Gone and nearly forgotten, the Labrador Duck, Great Auk, Heath Hen, Carolina Parakeet and Passenger Pigeon have left a hole in the American landscape and in our collective memory. Moved by their stories, sculptor Todd McGrain set out to bring their vanished forms back into the world by permanently placing his elegant, evocative bronze memorials at the location of each bird’s demise. “These birds are not commonly known and they ought to be, because forgetting is another kind of extinction,” McGrain said. “It’s such a thorough erasing.” The film tells the story of how these birds came to meet their fates and the journey that leads McGrain from the swamps of Florida, the final roosting ground of the Carolina Parakeet, to a tiny island off the coast of Newfoundland, where some of the last Great Auks made their nests and where the local townspeople still mourn their absence 150 years later. The Lost Bird Project is a film about public art, extinction and memory. It is an elegy to five extinct North American birds and a thoughtful, moving, sometimes humorous look at the artist and his mission.