Star-Bulletin Features

Friday, June 15, 2001

Environmental group
wins Maui film prize

By Tim Ryan

WAILEA, MAUI >> The environmental group The Earth Communications Office is the Maui Film Festival's Silversword Award winner.

The Santa Monica, Calif.-based group, founded 10 years ago, uses the skills of its prominent entertainment industry members for public service campaigns designed to educate and inspire people around the world to take action to protect the planet.

ECO's Board of Directors include leaders in film, television, music, advertising, like actors Ed Begley Jr., Pierce Brosnan, Cindy Crawford,

James Cromwell, Woody Harrelson and Sharon Lawrence; producers Ron Howard, Brian Grazer and Debra Hill; and musicians Bob Weir and Toni Childs.

Festival director Barry Rivers will present the the event's most prestigious award tonight to ECO board of directors member Peter Ryer at the Maui Arts & Cultural Center prior to showing the film "Song of Tibet."

ECO consults with and educates studios, advertising agencies and other communica- tions-based businesses on how to operate their facilities in a more environmentally friendly manner.

The organization helped to eliminate the use of the rain-forest wood Lauan in

movie and television set construction and to stop the wasteful packaging of the CD longbox used by record companies.

The company also created the first environmental CD music inserts which included earth-friendly tips in releases by Barbra Streisand, Olivia Newton-John, Belinda Carlisle, Quincy Jones and others.

ECO was founded by Bonnie Reiss, a former entertainment industry attorney.

Director Tim Burton was last year's Silversword winner.

The Maui Film Festival continues through Sunday.

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