Changing attitudes through film is at the heart of Reel Earth Environmental Film Festival, and will wow audiences again with a selection of the most recent, thought-provoking and award-winning environmental films, both homegrown and from around the globe.

This is the third year Palmerston North has screened the festival films.

Film festival director Dr Lisa Ferguson says an "incredibly committed volunteer group" ran the festival before the Palmerston North City Environmental Trust adopted it in 2016 which now continues to screen the annual festival films.

Ferguson says there's an impressive line-up of presenters attending each film screening, including film-makers and scientists, ready to engage and inspire positive action.

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"The hot topics of plastic pollution and climate action will be upfront and personal, nestled alongside artful and experiential films that are a delight for the senses."

Reel Earth Environmental Film Festival is New Zealand's only film festival focusing specifically on nature and the environment and opened on May 24 with The River is Me film about the Whanganui River,

The festival films screen to June 7.

The issues will be confronting but Reel Earth aims to both educate and empower, highlighting how the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals can help move everyone towards a sustainable future.

Reel Earth also hosts the annual Reel Earth Short Film competition providing budding and experienced film-makers the opportunity to showcase their skills and winners will be announced during the festival.

A 2018 winner was Charlie Higginson with his documentary Education by Example on the work of the Wildlife Foxton Trust.

Charlie says the 2017 festival inspired him to make his award-winning film.

"I was heavily inspired at the 2017 prize-giving by the vibrancy of young film makers coming together to make films that really matter."

Ferguson says highlights to come would be the outdoor screening of Whale Rider on Saturday in The Square on June 1, weather permitting.

NZ film makers David White will be supporting his film Meat at the Globe Theatre on May 31 and Reece Baker with his film Finders Eaters, also at the Globe Theatre on June 3.

Reel Earth is run by the Palmerston North City Environmental Trust (PNCET) in partnership with the PNCC, Chamber of Commerce, Rangitāne, Te Manawa Museum and Massey University, as well as tertiary providers, schools, environmental/conservation community groups and regional council.

+For films and screening venues and times: www.reelearth.org.nz