Tag Archives: St. John Film Society

St. John Environments: Mangroves

St. John Virgin Islands Environment: mangroves
Red Mangrove

The term mangrove loosely describes those tropical trees or shrubs that are specially adapted to grow in salty, wet and muddy environments, such as the shallow waters of calm bays, the periphery of salt ponds, and within marshes and wetlands that are exposed to flooding and salt water intrusion.

red mangrove seedling
Red Mangrove Seedling

white mangrove leaf and flower
White Mangrove Leaf and Flower

white mangrove salt glands
White Mangrove Salt Glands

Red Mangrove
The red mangrove proliferates along the shorelines of shallow calm bays, both on the muddy shore and in the water itself. The red is the classic mangrove characterized by its numerous arch-shaped roots that start at the base of the tree and arch out and down into the water and mud. It also has distinctive seeds that at maturity look something like foot-long red pencils, which emerge prominently from the center of the mangrove’s leaf clusters.

Black Mangrove
The black mangrove, Avicennia germinans, is easily identified by little sticks, called pneumatophores, coming out of the mud around its trunk. These are actually part of the black mangrove’s roots and serve two purposes. Most importantly, they act like snorkels bringing fresh air to the majority of the root that exists in the oxygen-depleted environment underwater and underground. Secondly, the pneumatophores help to anchor the black mangrove to its tenuous foundation of loose mud. The red mangrove’s lenticles and the black’s pneumatophores are extremely sensitive to greasy contaminants, which can clog up the openings. They are, therefore, at particular risk from oil spills.

The black mangrove is less tolerant of salt than is the red and cannot live its entire life in salt water. It is, therefore, usually found behind the red mangrove or on the shore side of salt ponds or marshes. Like the red, this mangrove excludes salt at the roots, but at a 90% efficiency instead of the 99% capability of the red. The salt that enters the black mangrove tissues is excreted by salt glands on the upper surface of the leaves. If you hold a black mangrove leaf up to the sunlight, you will see the salt crystals on the leaf.

White Mangrove
The white mangrove, Laguncularia racemosa, is the least salt-tolerant of the three mangrove varieties and cannot withstand prolonged periods in flooded conditions. For this reason white mangroves are usually found on drier land than are its red and black cousins. On St. John white mangroves are particularly plentiful around the edge of salt ponds and along guts where they open to the sea.

The white mangrove, like the black, excretes salt from its leaves. It does so through salt glands that occur in pairs on the stem just below each leaf. These glands look like two raised bumps and provide a good way to identify the white mangrove…. read more about mangroves

St. John Events

St. John Film presents a very special evening you won’t want to miss!
TONIGHT – TUESDAY, JAN 7, 2014 – St John School of the Arts in Cruz Bay 7:30 pm

Please join us for a selection of short, painfully funny films from the early Women’s Liberation Movement.

EARLY WOMEN’S LIB FILMS – Julia Reichert: Visiting Filmmaker will help place these archival films in context.

st john film societyGrowing Up Female Jim Klein, Julia Reichert | 1971 | USA | 50 min
Widely recognized as the first feature film to come out of the modern women’s movement, Julia Reichert’s landmark documentary “Growing Up Female” follows six girls and six women living in Middle America and gives voice to their powerlessness over imposing institutional forces. Recently inducted into the National Film Registry.

Make Out Geri Ashur, Andrea Eagan | 1970 | USA | 5 min.
“Make Out” shows a young couple making out in a car while a voice over reveals the young woman’s real thoughts about what is happening.

Up Against the Wall Miss America Newsreel Group | 1968 | USA | 8 min.
A now-historical film about the disruption of the Miss America pageant of 1968, with raps, guerrilla theater, and original songs.

Anything You Want to Be Liane Brandon | 1971 | USA | 8 min.
A teenager’s humorous collision with sex-role stereotypes.

Julia Reichert was nominated three times for the Academy Award for her documentary work and is winner of the Primetime Emmy Award. She has directed both documentary and fiction features. Her films have screened in major film festivals worldwide, including Sundance, New York, Telluride, Cannes and Rotterdam. Her first five documentaries were all broadcast on national PBS. GROWING UP FEMALE, which was her student project at Antioch College, was recently named to the National Film Registry. Her films have screened theatrically around the U.S., playing in over 100 cities, and internationally in theaters and television in dozens of countries. She is a proud co-founder of the distribution co-op, New Day Films, a founder of the Independent Feature Project, a professor of film production at Wright State University, a mom and a grandma.

Visit our website: www.stjohnfilm.com to find a list of recommended independent films that we purchased for the Elaine Sprauve Public Library on St. John. We recommend you check out a related film entitled “BODY TYPED”, a series of 3 short films about women’s body image.

St. John Virgin Islands Weather

Scattered showers, mainly before noon. Mostly sunny, with a high near 81. East wind around 21 mph. Chance of precipitation is 40%. New precipitation amounts of less than a tenth of an inch possible.

St. John News

AT&T surges past 500 market mark with 26 new LTE rollouts
7 Jan 2014

US mobile giant AT&T Mobility has extended its nationwide LTE network to 26 new markets, raising its total number of markets served to more than 500. Alongside the likes of Battle Creek (Michigan), Hannibal (Missouri), Poughkeepsie (New York), Lebanon (Pennsylvania) and Walla Walla (Washington), coverage has also been extended to St John in the US Virgin Islands (USVI).

TeleGeography notes that, while AT&T is now able to match rival Verizon in terms of 4G markets served, it lacks the same level of population coverage, reflecting the market leader’s willingness to reach outside of a city to cover its surrounding areas. AT&T purports to cover around 270 million people with its networks, while Verizon covers around 301 million US citizens.

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St. John Film Society Press Release

daughtersofthedust4St. John Film Society Resumes 2013 Season on November 5 with Daughters of the Dust

St. John Film Society (SJFS) resumes the 2013 season at 7:30pm on November 5 at St. John School of the Arts in Cruz Bay with the epic dramatic feature film Daughters of the Dust, written, produced, and directed by Julie Dash.

Daughters of the Dust is a milestone independent film – the first feature film by an African-American woman to receive widespread theatrical distribution in the U.S., the film received the prestigious Sundance award for Excellence in Cinematography.

“Not only visually stunning, this film particularly resonates with us [SJFS Programming Committee] as an island tale and a tale of the deep impact migration to the mainland has on a culture – themes that the territory has experienced firsthand,” said Michelle Ward, who heads up membership and publicity efforts for the society. “It is a courageous and original story the likes of which we have never seen before and won’t easily forget.”

Off the coast of Georgia and South Carolina, The Sea Islands were the Ellis Islands of the transatlantic slave trade, the dropping-off point for the forced immigration of millions of West Africans. The heat, insects, and threat of yellow fever made the islands inhospitable to white settlement yet it is here, isolated in a swampy environment adjacent to an untamed coastline that the Gullah community – descendants of West African slaves who worked the indigo, rice, and cotton plantations — thrives, steeped in ancient Yoruba tradition.

Daughters of the Dust is set on a summer day in 1902, fifty years after emancipation, and a farewell picnic is underway on the beach where the Peazants of Ibo Landing, in their Sunday best, are gathered for a feast of shrimp gumbo, fresh clams, yellow corn, and johnnycake.  On this eve of the family’s planned migration from their insulated paradise to a modern, industrialized North, tensions are high. The young women of the family, romantic in long white dresses, move as languidly as clouds while a photographer records them for posterity.  The family performs West African rituals as elders fear once the Peazants have dispersed throughout the North, their culture may not survive.

Evoking a griot’s oral narrative set to film, or an impressionist portrait, Dash effectively serves up a visually appealing moment in African-American history. Tales of flying Africans, water-walking Ibo, Islamic and Native American culture are skillfully woven in small snatches throughout the film alongside turn-of-the century tableaus.  Daughters of the Dust is a languidly-paced film that frequently stops in its tracks simply to contemplate the wild beauty of a semi-tropical paradise drenched in sea mist and strewn with palms.

Ward concludes “I have to agree with the critic who said ‘Daughters of the Dust is truly a cinematic feast for the eyes, and one that has to be savored slowly, taking sips from it as if it were a bottle of some elegant vintage wine.’ This will undoubtedly be the one film in the 2013 SJFS season that you do not want to miss.”  The suggested donation is $5.00.

Daughters of the Dust
DATE: Tuesday, November 5, 2013
TIME: 7:30pm
PLACE: St. John School of the Arts, Cruz Bay
$5 suggested donation

For more information contact Michelle Ward at 340- 201-2407

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Night Blooming Cerius

pitaya flower
Night Blooming Cerius ready to flower

It’s that time of the year again. My battle with the Thrushies (and other harversters) over who will get the ripe fruit of the night blooming cerius begins. It will take daily visits to the area and see who will be the “early bird.” Read more about the night blooming cerius.

St. John Film Society Press Release

Presented by St. John Film Society
Directed by Kevin Macdonald, 144 minutes, Documentary, 2012
Wednesday, July 17/ 7:30 pm
Cases by the Sea, Coral Bay

St. John Film Society Presents: Marley A feature-length documentary about the life, music, and legacy of Bob Marley, this exhaustive, even-handed portrait of reggae’s greatest star offers electrifying concert footage and fascinating insights. Made with the support of the Marley family, this definitive life story of musician, revolutionary, and legend — from early days to international super-stardom– features rare footage, incredible performances, and revelatory interviews with the people that knew him best.

Whether you are a reggae aficionado who has already seen and heard everything there is about Marley or whether you know nothing about the musical genre of reggae but would like an introduction, you won’t be disappointed by the latest documentary – it even touches on the unique and unparalleled social and political impact Marley had, and continues to have today!




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St. John Film Society Press Release: Bag It

Bag It
St. John Film Society Presents:
Directed by Susan Beraza – 78 minutes, documentary
7:30 pm / St. John School of the Arts, Cruz Bay

Bag It follows “everyman” Jeb Berrier as he tries to make sense of our dependence on plastic bags. When Jeb discovers that he and his partner are expecting a child, his plastic odyssey becomes a truly personal one. How can they protect their baby from the health dangers associated with plastics? Jeb looks beyond single-use disposable plastics and discovers that virtually everything in modern society – from baby bottles, to sports equipment, to dental sealants, to personal care products – is either made with plastic or contains potentially harmful chemical additives used in the plastic-making process.

The average American uses about 500 plastic bags each year, for about twelve minutes each. This single-use mentality has led to the formation of a floating island of plastic debris in the Pacific Ocean more than twice the size of Texas.  The film explores these issues and identifies how our daily reliance on plastic threatens not only waterways and marine life, but human health, too.

Featuring interviews with scientists and experts from around the world, Bag It is a first-person documentary in the style of Michael Moore, asking how we can incorporate healthy, more environmentally friendly practices into our lives, our cultures, and our communities.

Find out more about Bag It

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St. John Trails: Rustenberg

St. John Virgin Islands Trails: Rustenberg
Rustenberg Horsemill Wall
Rustenberg Trail Map

Estate Rustenberg Ruins
For those of you who would like to experience a St. John Off the Beaten Track experience, but would rather not exert themselves too much, a visit to the Rustenberg ruins would be an ideal choice. It’s a short walk along a level trail shaded by aromatic bay rum trees. The ruins are extensive and beautiful in their natural surroundings.

To get there, park across from the Cinnamon Bay trailhead on Centerline Road and walk up the road west, towards Cruz Bay, where you should find the trailhead, which may be more or less obvious depending on climatic conditions. Another alternative is to enter the forest about 50 yards or so and walk uphill until you reach the trail on the ridge and go left on the trail until you get to the ruins.

See more Rustenberg photos

St. John Film Society Press Release

Queen of the Sun

What the Bees are Telling Us
Directed by Taggart Siegel:  83 minutes,  Documentary

Free Film, Presented by the St. John Film Societey

Tomorrow, Tuesday, May 1, 2012, 7:30 pm
St. John School of the Arts, Cruz Bay

This full length feature documentary is a a profound, alternative look at the global bee crisis. Taking us on a journey through the catastrophic disappearance of bees and the mysterious world of the beehive, this engaging and ultimately uplifting film weaves an unusual and dramatic story of the heartfelt struggles of beekeepers, scientists and philosophers including Michael Pollan, Gunther Hauk and Vandana Shiva.

This film takes us on a pilgrimage around the world, 10,000 years of beekeeping is unveiled, highlighting how our historic and sacred relationship with bees has been lost due to highly mechanized industrial practices. The film goes on to reveal both the problems and the solutions in renewing a culture in balance with nature.

Join Mr. Smalls and other St. John bee keepers and learn about these wonderful insects that provide us with sweet honey and more.

Read more about the film on the website: http://www.queenofthesun.com

St. John Live Music Schedule Monday 4/30

High Tide – Mikey P- 8:00 – 11:00 – 714-6169
La Tapa – Samba Combo – 6:30 – 9:30 – 693-8141
Maho Bay Camp – Open Mic with Lauren – 6:30
Ocean Grill – Chris Carsel – 6:30 – 9:00 – 693-3304

Weekly Schedule

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St. John Film Society Press Release



TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 1, 2011 at 7:30 PM, St. John School of the Arts, Cruz Bay
St. John Film Society launches its ‘On Screen/In Person’ screening series with a lively 55 minute documentary directed by Klaus Schneyder and produced by Angela Viscido, which celebrates the incredible art form of making music using only the human body. The evening is sure to arouse the Beatboxer in all of us, and especially in Virgin Islands musicians looking to perfect their personal style of the ‘Human Beatbox’.

Beatboxing started as part of the Hip Hop movement in the late 1970’s stemming from the hardship of poverty and lack of instruments.  A pioneer was inspired to imitate drum rhythms and musical instruments with his mouth – his brilliance creating the term ‘Human Beatbox’. Hip Hop artists picked up on the approach which is now a global
phenomenon fueled in part from the sharing of Beatboxing knowledge and styles via websites and internet tutorials.

The film documents the history and evolution of this incredible art form starting with its genesis within Hip Hop culture and its use in various musical fields in countries across the world.  Four generations later, Beatboxing has become a multilingual, diverse and technically complex form of expression.  The documentary features artists from New York, California, Florida, Spain, Netherlands, United Kingdom, Belgium, Canada, Austria and Germany, who demonstrate their amazing techniques.

Our post film discussion will be led by Producer Angela Viscido, who will provide personal insight into the documentary filming, the people in it and the future of Beatboxing as a legitimate, sustainable musical format.


All screenings take place at the St. John School of the Arts in Cruz Bay, 7:30 pm.

For more information about upcoming films, St. John Film Society or to become a Film Society member visit: http://www.stjohnfilm.com

*On Screen/In Person is made possible by Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Regional Touring Program and the Virgin Island Council of the Arts. St. John Community Foundation is our fiscal sponsor.

The mission of St. John Film is to inspire a positive appreciation for the history, culture and environment of our US Virgin Islands by establishing a free monthly film series open to and for the benefit of our local community.  We present independent films that celebrate the human spirit with a focus on the Caribbean.

Media Contact:  Kathy Guidi

St. John Film Society www.stjohnfilm.com
Please respond to this email address: *stjviff@gmail.com*
Contact phone: *340-201-9919*

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St. John Film Society Press Release: Free Swim


Free Movie Night: FREE SWIM Tuesday, October 11, 2011 at 7:30 PM, St. John School of the Arts, Cruz Bay.

St. John Film Society will open its fall 2011 film series with a free screening of the award winning documentary FREE SWIM, a 50 minute documentary directed by Jennifer Galvin.

The film is about the paradox of Caribbean coastal people not knowing how to swim. Taking place on the island of Eleuthera in the Bahamas we follow a group of kids as they overcome their fears, and reconnect with their environment by learning to swim in open waters. With fresh memories of a friend drowning and the conflicts of growing tourism, for these kids it’s not just about floating, but gaining new skills for their future.

In the U.S. about 60% of ethnically diverse children are unable to swim and African-American children drown at three times the rate of Caucasian children. FREE SWIM uses the topic of learning to swim as a way to explore more complicated aspects of life on Eleuthera, such as influences on community function by the media, drowning, tourism, overfishing, and education. The story thread is woven with footage of children learning to swim in their backyard sea. Underwater footage shows the challenges of learning to breathe in a new environment and the powers of discovering a beautiful, new world.

The post film discussion will discuss St. John programs that teach our youth how to swim. Featured guests include Dean Doeling, “Using Sport for Social Change” and the ‘Just Swim’ event and Laurel Brannick, champion of the VI National Park ‘Learn to Swim’ program.

The challenges of learning to swim on St. John are similar to those on Eleuthera and of interest to parents, visitors and everyone who enjoys our ocean waters as a playground.

St. John Weather Update
Plenty of thunderstorms with some cloud to ground lightning throughout last night associated with a low pressure system. At 6:30 this morning it’s partly cloudy and breezy. TS Ophelia is expected to effect our weather on Sunday.

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St. John Happenings

St. John Virgin Islands Photo of the Day

Caneel Hill Tower, St John Virgin IslandsCaneel Hill Viewing Tower
Caneel Hill Trail
St. John Virgin Islands

St. John Virgin Islands Press Release

St. John Film Society

Free Movie Night
February 22, 7:30 pm
St. John School of the Arts, Cruz Bay

TAKING ROOT: The Vision of Wangari Maathai
by Lisa Merton and Alan Dater (80 min) 2008
The filmmakers will be present for questions and answers after the screening.

This award-winning documentary tells the dramatic story of Kenyan Nobel Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai whose simple act of planting trees grew into a nationwide movement to safeguard the environment, protect human rights and defend democracy – a movement for which this charismatic woman became an iconic inspiration.

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Press Release: St. John Film Society Presents Reef Fest Film Night


Please join us tomorrow night, April 22, at The Marketplace in Cruz Bay for REEF FEST FILM NIGHT, featuring three different short films about protecting life in our Virgin Islands waters:

a work in progress by Steve Simonsen

SEAS OF CHANGE: Spawning Aggregations in the Virgin Islands
by Tim Kelly and Perry Picker

presented by Karl Pytlik and Jessica Hornbeck

St. John Film is proud to partner with the National Park, the University of the Virgin Islands, and Friends of the Park to celebrate Earth Day and Reef Fest 2010.

Please visit  www.stjohnfilm.com, for more information about this special film night and other Reef Fest events.

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St. John Film Society Press Release: The Agronomist

Press Release: St. John Film Society

St. John Film Society: AgronomistHello Film Lovers!

Please join us this Thursday night at The Marketplace in Cruz Bay for a FREE FILM about the late Haitian radio broadcaster, Jean Léopold Dominique. In this important documentary by director Jonathan Demme, Dominique is remembered as a human rights activist, freedom fighter and national hero.

Today, almost ten years after his still-unsolved assassination, Dominique continues to inspire the battle for liberty and democracy in Haiti.

For more information visit www.stjohnfilm.com

7:00 PM
Third Floor Courtyard

Donations will be accepted at the film on behalf of Haiti Community Support a Virgin Islands non profit organization. Learn about their heroic mission at: www.haitisupport.org

As always, the Film is Free!

Come early for better seating. Bring a seat cushion for comfort.

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