Anne D. “Andy” Burt believes her passion for environment activism comes from her Dutch maiden name, Updike.
Burt premiered her most recent film, “Down to Earth, Climate Justice Stories,” at the Friends Meeting House in Damariscotta on May 3.
Interviewed from her solar home in Edgecomb, Burt said she was inspired to take on climate justice issues after the premature birth of her grandchild. The fragility of the baby mirrored what she saw in the earth’s delicate climate. At the time she had been recently hired by the Maine Council of Churches to develop educational programming around climate change issues.
“As the crisis around climate has grown, so has my activism,” she said.
Burt is no stranger to political causes. A 1967 graduate of Vassar College, she worked for the Eugene McCarthy presidential campaign. She did draft counseling during the Vietnam War.
When her husband, Stephen Burt, took up a Quaker ministry in Indiana, she worked with Central American refugees traveling north toward Canada on a modern-day underground railway. She was inspired by the way conservative Hoosiers empathized and helped the escapees when they understood the hardships they had suffered.
“How do you motivate people to take action?” said Burt, who concluded the film with that conduit.
A year ago she approached filmmaker Charlie Hudson of Arrowsic.
Together they recorded interviews with Maine and some out-of-state activists who have stepped forward on a variety of issues on the subject of climate justice. Included are interviews with activists demonstrating against the Keystone XL pipeline and efforts to preserve the water quality of the Penobscot River.
The hour-long presentation is condensed from 20 hours of taping.
Burt credits Hudson with bringing together the diverse video segments so that it appears as part of a single “conversation.” Kyle Morgan of Portland composed the film’s musical score.
Burt believes there may several paths for people to view and spread the message of the film. Public television, public access television, film festivals, and direct DVD sales are some of the options, she said.