ASU Origins Project film screenings focus on climate

April 20, 2017

The Origins Project at Arizona State University will screen two new climate-inspired films and then engage in conversations with leading filmmakers and leading climate experts on April 28 and 29, at Gammage Auditorium on the Tempe campus. The films to be screened are “Before the Flood” and “Salt and Fire.”

“Climate change is inextricably linked to questions of water, from sea level rise to the availability of fresh water,” said Lawrence Krauss, director of the Origins Project. “What better way to introduce these problems than to screen two films by legendary directors that explore these issues in very different ways and then discuss the films with a world-renowned expert on climate issues, and allow audiences to ask questions provoked by the films. It will be an amazing weekend. “  poster for "Before the Flood" event “Before the Flood," a new documentary film featuring Leonardo DiCaprio will air at 7 p.m., April 28. Download Full Image

“Before the Flood,” a new documentary film featuring Leonardo DiCaprio will air at 7 p.m. April 28. The film also has contributions by several scientists and researchers around the world who talk about the reality of climate change as they witness its effects first hand. After the screening, Krauss will sit down with Fisher Stevens, director of "Before the Food," to talk about the issues raised in the film and answer audience questions.

A new feature film called “Salt and Fire,” which was directed by Werner Herzog, will air at 7 p.m. April 29. "Salt and Fire" is about a scientist who blames the head of a large company for an ecological disaster in South America. After the screening, Kraus will be joined by Herzog, who has been a creative force in film making for the past 40 years, and Jeffrey Sachs, a professor of economics, leader in sustainable development and senior UN advisor. The three of them will talk about issues raised in the film, how to plan for the best future of Earth and take questions from the audience.

“Living in the Southwest people may not be as concerned about sea level rise, but availability of fresh water is going to affect people from developing nations to the first world,” Krauss added. “Climate change is going to impact everyone on Earth one way or another. Fortune favors the prepared mind, which is why the Origins Project is exploring origins of the future as we think about how to mediate or head off these impacts.”

Tickets for the film screenings and discussions can be purchased for individual nights or as a package for both nights. Prices range from $7.50 for individual films to $52 for the package. They can be found on line through and at the ASU Gammage Box Office, (480) 965-3434. ASU students can obtain free tickets (two tickets per student ID to be picked up the Gammage box office) for each of these events.

Associate Director, Media Relations & Strategic Communications


ASU forensics team wins 3rd national title in 4 years; senior wins impromptu speaking championship

April 21, 2017

It was a strong weekend for Sun Devils at the National Forensics Association Nationals last weekend: Arizona State University senior Kohinoor Singh Gill placed first in the Impromptu Speaking competition, and an ASU team won first place in the President's Division II Sweepstakes contest.

The team featured Gill, junior Abbey Toye and sophomore Sachin Kumar. It was the forensics team's third national title in four years. ASU forensics champions ASU junior Abbey Toye, senior Kohinoor Gill center) and sophomore Sachin Kumar won first place in the President's Division II Sweepstakes contest at last weekend's National Forensics Association Nationals. Photo by Adam Symonds Download Full Image

Gill bested 175 other competitors over seven rounds of competition to claim the Impromptu title. He also placed third in Extemporaneous Speaking (151 entries), tied for seventh in Informative Speaking (146 entries) and tied for 13th in Rhetorical Criticism (105 entries). Finally, he competed in two events that did not reach elimination rounds: Duo Interpretation and After Dinner Speaking.All told, his performances in six separate events earned him 10th place out of more than 504 students competing at the tournament.

Toye qualified three events to the tournament: Prose Interpretation, Persuasion and Dramatic Interpretation. She qualified her Prose Interpretation to the Octafinal round, finishing tied for 25th (198 entries).

Kumar rounded out the three-person team at NFA, having qualified five events to the tournament: Duo Interpretation (with Gill), Informative, Impromptu, Extemporaneous and After Dinner Speaking. While none of these performances qualified Kumar for the elimination rounds, they were good enough to earn him 93rd place overall.

Finally, the team placed 12th in the Overall Sweepstakes award, quite the feat for a team of just three students. While the President’s Division II Sweepstakes Award earned by the team marks the highest overall quality performance from a team with less than 25 speech entries at the tournament, in the Overall Sweepstakes division there is no cap on entries. In this division, ASU’s 14 events were competing for cumulative scores with schools that had hundreds of speech entries. 

NFA Nationals is hosted each year by the National Forensics Association. The tournament lasted five days, with rounds beginning April 13 and ending April 17. This year’s tournament was held at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and 102 colleges and universities competed.

Written by Adam Symonds, ASU Forensics Team director