This year's crop of short films nominated for the Documentary Short Subject Academy Award includes "Redemption," about New Yorkers — many of them homeless — who subsist on "canning," collecting cans and bottles and recycling them for cash. The film, directed by Jon Alpert and Matt O'Neill, shines a spotlight on this largely invisible sector of society via interviews with canners and their family members to find out what makes them tick. The Academy Awards will be presented live on ABC Feb. 24.

Aficionados of sustainable fashion should look out for Naomie Harris ("Skyfall") at the Academy Awards arrivals. She'll be wearing the winning design in the fourth annual Red Carpet Green Dress contest, which was founded by environmental advocate Suzy Amis Cameron to promote green design. Winner Michael Badger, a Ghanaian born fashion student at Atlanta's Savannah College of Art & Design, worked on the gown's construction at Vivienne Westwood's studio in London while being mentored by the British designer. Says Harris, "I'm thrilled to be representing Red Carpet Green Dress by wearing this beautiful design to the Oscars."


The plight of endangered African elephants, imperiled by the illegal ivory trade, is spotlighted in the National Geographic Special "Battle for the Elephants," airing Feb. 27 on PBS. "If the current situation remains the status quo, we are facing the very real possibility that elephants living in the wild will go extinct in the coming decades," predicts documentary director, writer and producer John Heminway. "In Africa, wildlife conservationists, particularly in Kenya, are risking their lives to protect these animals, but they are losing the fight. The market for smuggled ivory is too lucrative for poachers to resist, and our research suggests demand for ivory in China is only going to rise."


Tune in: On the Feb. 22 episode of ABC’s “Shark Tank,” three brothers from Boise, Idaho, hope to lure the Sharks into investing in their line of eyewear made from sustainable wood.

Premiering Feb. 21, the Animal Planet special “Glory Hounds” is a salute to military working dogs that serve with the troops in Afghanistan.

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Documentary about 'canning' nominated for Academy Award
Eco at the Oscars, TV dogs, elephants and 'Sharks'.