02/12/09 • "At What Cost?" Offical Selection of Sedona International Film Festival

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At What Cost? has been chosen as an official selection for the Sedona International Film Festival. The film documents the demise of a 100-year-old pecan grove in the heart of Austin, which was cut down to make room for condominiums. The film takes the form of a fictional obituary for one of the trees cut down.

"The challenge in this type of story telling is to make it accessible to people on both sides of a contentious issue," says film creator Tom Suhler. "This film deals with conflict between the public good of urban forest preservation and private property rights. I think the film reaches both audiences."

At What Cost? will make it's theatrical world premiere when it opens for the Academy Award Nominated feature, "The Garden" on the opening day of the festival. The Sedona Film Festival is a week-long showcase of internationally recognized movies, directors and producers. The increasingly popular festival, now in its 15th year, attracts sell-out crowds of movie fans and a growing list of producers, directors, screenwriters and actors from around the globe.

Several months after the initial web release of the film, Austin held its first Urban Forest Summit. A diverse group of city staff, neighborhood leaders, developers and others gathered to examine urban canopy issues and identify potential action items.

At What Cost? has an accompanying website, www.atwhatcostthemovie.com. It was devised to accommodate some of the research that didn't fit the format of the film itself. In addition to being able to see the film, there's a tree survey that shows what the site looked like before and after the clear-cutting and there's a link to the site plan that was filed with the city. There's also a page where others can share their thoughts on the clear-cutting and its long-term implications.