America's Wilderness, (c) Sarah Gulick
As the Environmental Film Festival opened its annual cinematic window on our world in Washington, D.C., we considered the escalating challenges faced by earth’s urban environments, now home to the majority of its people. The 2014 Festival’s focus on “Our Cities, Our Planet” celebrated the development of sustainable and resilient cities, exploring their natural and built environments as they seek to meet environmental and economic needs.
Audiences joined us this March as we presented a record 200 insightful and compelling films from 38 countries, including 115 Washington, D.C., U.S. and world premieres, with over 100 collaborating partners. A centerpiece of this year’s theme was the Sustainable DC program, spotlighting our city’s initiative to make Washington “the greenest, healthiest and most livable city in the nation.” The program included films on the city’s Capital Bikeshare program, green roofs and Clean Rivers project.
The 2014 Festival inaugurated two new awards: the Documentary Award for Environmental Advocacy, won by DamNation, a film capturing the growing momentum behind river restoration, and the Eric Moe Sustainability Film Award, recognizing the short Zambian/South African film, Amazing Grace, for its creative response to threatened forests. The fifth annual Polly Krakora Award for artistry in film went to Once Upon a Forest, a spectacular journey into the tropical rainforest, the “green lung” of our world.
Opening night featured several outstanding premieres. Watermark, filmmaker Jennifer Baichwal and photographer Edward Burtynsky’s latest collaboration, explores our relationship with our most vital resource: water. Your Inner Fish is a scientific adventure story tracing the origins of the human body with evolutionary biologist Neil Shubin. Efforts to control a different kind of fish, the invasive Asian Carp, are highlighted in Carpe Diem: A Fishy Tale.
Another notable Festival premiere was Bill Benenson’s The Hadza: The Last of the First about threats to a hunter-gatherer group in Africa’s Rift Valley, believed to be the last surviving link to the earliest humans. Mission Blue, a Washington, D.C. premiere, profiles renowned oceanographer Sylvia Earle and her mission to save our oceans. Mongolia’s stunning landscapes and traditional ways of life were showcased in a special series of three films.
This year’s Festival also presented films in collaboration with the Smithsonian-wide initiative, “Living in the Anthropocene: The Age of Humans,” examining the tangible impact of people on the planet’s ecosystems. The Last Call considers whether earth can continue to support life without permanently depleting its resources. Extreme Realities, a world premiere, explores the links between human-induced climate change, extreme weather and national security.
Thank you to all who attended our annual Festival, at one of our 65 partnering venues across Washington, and gained fresh perspectives on the natural and built environment and also considered the role of humans in the future of our cities and of our entire planet.
The Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital seeks to advance public understanding of the environment through the power of film.
Founded in 1993, the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital has become one of the world’s largest and most influential showcases of environmental film and a major collaborative cultural event in Washington, D.C. Each March the Festival presents a diverse selection of high quality environmental films, including many Washington, D.C., U.S. and World premieres. Documentaries, narratives, animations and shorts are shown, as well as archival, experimental and children’s films at venues throughout the city. Films are screened at partnering museums, embassies, libraries, universities and local theaters and are attended by large audiences. Selected to provide fresh perspectives on global environmental issues, most Festival films are accompanied by discussions with filmmakers, environmental experts and special guests, including national decision makers and thought leaders, and are free to the public. The Festival’s Web site serves as a global resource for environmental film throughout the year.
The Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Our Federal ID Number is 83-0469770.
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