Hillary Clinton celebrated Earth Day with a surprise visit to the Tribeca Film Festival, where she sat on a panel discussing Oscar-winning director Kathryn Bigelow’s VR short on elephant poaching, The Protectors: A Walk in the Ranger’s Shoes.
“Here it is Earth Day and we are marching on behalf of science,” Clinton said to the crowd. “And part of science is understanding the intricate relationships that we share with all those on this planet and in particular large mammals, like elephants.”
The Protectors, filmed in the Congo, provided a glimpse into the lives of rangers in Garamba National Park who work to protect elephants, calling to help African Parks and to end the Ivory War, as 30,000 African elephants die each year at the hands of poachers.
Shot in VR, 250 audience members experienced the film on Saturday at the film festival.
Clinton said she became engaged in what Bigelow called an “intersection between poaching and terrorism” during her time as Secretary of State under President Barack Obama.
“I’m very proud that under President Obama, the United States passed a near federal ban on the transportation and interstate trafficking of ivory in our own country,” she said, adding, “We [the Obama administration had three overriding goals – stop the killing, stop the trafficking and stop the demand…and part of that is protecting these rangers.”
Clinton, 69, tweeted that it was “a thrill to join team of Kathryn Bigelow’s The Protecters at #Tribeca2017. Let’s protect the earth & all its beauty.”
Others on the panel including co-director Imraan Ismail, EVP of Digital Product for National Geographic Rachel Webber and Chief Marketing Officer of African Parks Andrea Heydlauff.
RELATED VIDEO: Bill Nye at the March For Science: “Together We Can Save the World”
On Saturday, many cities around the world held the March for Science in honor of Earth Day.
“If the president were listening, I’d tell him ‘you got that wrong,’” Bill Nye said when he spoke at the march in Washington D.C.. “You don’t want to roll back those climate policies, for the main reason that climate change really is happening, because of humans, no matter what your colleagues and longtime associates in the fossil fuel industry may insist.”
The 61-year-old star ended his speech on a hopeful note. “With an informed, optimistic view of the future together we can, dare I say it, save the world!” he said, to the cheers of the crowd.
Questlove, who co-hosted the event, spoke out against the new presidential administration’s reliance on “alternative facts” — saying that science should belong to the masses and that making it accessible to people is now more important than ever.
“The rational scientific thought gets us out of the highest corners and to the most open, wide spaces,” he said, according to Time — before referring to President Donald Trump as “that guy over there.”
“Many people seem to be forgetting those facts and it’s been frustrating to watch as certain forces in our society try to squelch science or their refusal to believe in it or propose alternative realities and facts. Alternative facts or whatever that (bleep) is. All that works against science and we need to work for science. More than that, we need to make sure science belongs to the people.”