This upcoming Earth Day, director Kyle Ruddick’s new documentary, One Day on Earth, will premiere in 160 countries across the globe in what he calls the first-ever worldwide film event. Lucky for us, Santa Barbara is scheduled for a showing as well, in Metro 4 Theatre, where after the show viewers in attendance will be treated to a special Q&A session with S.B. filmmakers, artists, and musicians who contributed to the film.
In 2008, during the opening-night performance of the World Festival of Sacred Music, artists from different regions of the world came together on stage as one, creating a beautiful fusion of music never heard before. Listening to them play that night, Ruddick left inspired and set off to create for cinema what those artists did that night for music. Not long after, Ruddick founded the One Day on Earth project, which he and executive producer Brandon Litman designed as a worldwide media event in which thousands would film a 24-hour glimpse into their lives, all on the same day.
Using the video-sharing Web site Vimeo, Ruddick, a USC grad and former Santa Barbara City College student, created a shared public archive where anyone eager to contribute could upload their footage, be recognized for their work, and communicate with other participants across the globe. The vision was to create “the world’s montage,” as Ruddick called it: a video time capsule depicting a single day in the diversely beautiful and perilous life of the human species. The result is a gripping weave of spliced-together scenes shot on the same day by thousands from all over the globe.
Joining Ruddick at this Sunday’s Santa Barbara screening will be Taymar Pixley, the owner and director of Pixley Flix Productions; Rey Villalobos, House of Wolves frontman and a longtime staple in the S.B. music scene; Kevin Contreras, host and creator of the PBS series Building Green; Ethan Turpin, S.B. filmmaker and founder of Bright Eye Cinema; and Molly Hahn, an area illustrator and children’s book author.
Pixley, along with Contreras and Turpin, joined thousands of other filmmakers, both amateur and professional, to help gather the snippets and vignettes that would become the film, which they then uploaded for Ruddick’s team to edit. For her story Pixley captured love; she filmed a warm, intimate moment with her husband-to-be, Max, where the two discuss what it means to be a part of One Day on Earth. The clip has the authentic, sincere touch of a homemade movie.
Contreras, with his camera submerged underwater, filmed the graceful, dance-like movements of the Watsu Waterdance — a gentle, nurturing therapy practiced in body-temperature water using different stretches and cradling postures. After building an impressive sundial, Turpin set out to document the story of the sun and its hour-by-hour shift alongside the Earth’s rotation.
Proudly contributing tracks from his debut album, Fold in the Wind, Villalobos joins Grammy-winning artists Paul Simon and Tinariwen, as well as Fela Kuti, Sigur Rós, and DJ Cut Chemist, on the documentary’s exceptional soundtrack. His featured song “50’s” blends piano with a lightly strumming acoustic guitar that meshes well alongside his delicate vocals. Meanwhile, Hahn worked on the backend of the project, creating charming and engaging illustrations for One Day on Earth’s educational materials. These, given to the classrooms of students enthusiastic to contribute their own film creations, foster a sense of community and respect that forms part of the project’s mission.
Using Tugg.com, a new motion-picture distribution platform that works like a Groupon for movies, Ruddick has managed to organize screenings for One Day on Earth all over the world, all of which take place this Earth Day. To learn more, visit onedayonearth.org.
One Day on Earth premieres at Metropolitan Theatres’ Metro 4 location (618 State St.) on Sunday, April 22, at 7 p.m. A Q&A with the filmmakers will follow the screening. To reserve a ticket, visit onedayonearth.org/santabarbara.