“Urban Paradise” (Nov. 14, 2018)

Published: October 30th, 2018

Category: News

What will become of Miami? Filmmakers Jimmy Evans and Jack Edmondson’s “Urban Paradise” explores the realities of future sea level rise in South Florida.

Wednesday, November 14, 7 PM

Civic Media Center

433 S Main St, Gainesville, FL 32601


Experts often describe Miami, Florida, as ground zero for the effects of sea level rise. It is expected to be the first of many coastal metropolitan regions in the United States to be seriously affected by rising waters. The city’s ability to deal with the coming crisis will serve as a stark warning to residents, urban and infrastructure planners, and elected officials.

Jimmy Evans and Jack Edmondson’s documentary film Urban Paradise follows the journey of Miami resident Sam Van Leer, who has been fighting the causes and effects of sea level rise in the region with his grassroots organization, the Urban Paradise Guild, for nearly a decade. Evans and Edmondson have filmed more than 50 hours of candid footage with Van Leer and his volunteers, along with interviews with other environmental leaders and authorities like Caroline Lewis of The CLEO Institute, Dr. John Van Leer of the University of Miami Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and NBC6 chief meteorologist John Morales.

The feature-length film is based on Evans and Edmondson’s nine-minute documentary, Naturally Selected, about Van Leer and the Urban Paradise Guild, which was first screened in ICC’s 2016 student film festival “The World is Dying and We’re Filming It.” Naturally Selected was later screened at festivals across the United States and was awarded best documentary film at both the Key West Film Festival and Filmgate Miami’s “I’m Not Gonna Move To L.A.” festival. Currently, Naturally Selected is broadcast nationwide by PBS as part of its South Florida filmmaker series. Follow these links for more information about the film:

Urban Paradise is currently in production and is slated to premiere in 2019. Evans and Edmondson have started a Kickstarter campaign to fund the final stages of production and ICC is collaborating with Gainesville’s Civic Media Center to help launch the campaign. The launch event will include a screening of portions of the film and talks by Terry Harpold, founder of ICC, and the film’s directors, followed by a Skype-in Q&A with Sam Van Leer. Music from local artist Eagle Syndrome will close out the night.

Admission is free and open to the public. Donors to the Kickstarter campaign will be able to choose from several thank-you gifts, including ’zines, hats, and other Urban Paradise branded apparel. 

Check out the “Urban Paradise” Facebook event.


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