America's Wilderness, (c) Sarah Gulick
The 2013 Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital presented a record 190 documentary, narrative, animated, archival, experimental, and children’s films, including 110 Washington, D.C., United States and world premieres, from March 12 to 24 at 75 venues across Washington, D.C. The Festival hosted 94 filmmakers and almost 200 special guests who participated in film introductions and post-screening discussions. Over 31,000 people attended the Festival and 80 percent of the programs were offered free to the public.
The 2013 Festival theme examined the vital role of rivers and watersheds in the global environment. Films explored the ecological importance of and threats to the world’s rivers, including the Rhine, the Amazon, the Mekong, the Ganges, the Colorado, the Yellowstone, the Willamette and Washington, D.C.’s Potomac and Anacostia. The Washington, D.C. premiere of A River Changes Course, winner of the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize for documentary at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, about the effects of globalization on the environment and people of Cambodia, was a program highlight, followed by a discussion with its director Kalyanee Mam. A total of 41 films featured rivers, of which 22 were Washington, D.C., United States, or world premieres.
Other Festival highlights included the Washington, D.C. premiere of Terrence Malick’s To the Wonder; the world premiere of Hot Water, exposing the toxic effects of uranium mining in the American West and Harmony, the winner of the Festival’s fourth annual Polly Krakora Award for Artistry in Film, which documents the efforts of HRH Prince Charles to develop a more sustainable and harmonious relationship with the planet.
Growing International Presence
Films were presented from 50 countries, including Gabon, Cuba, Argentina, Mexico, Ecuador, Poland, China, India, Japan and South Korea. Filmmakers from Canada, Italy, France, Austria, Estonia and the Dominican Republic participated in the Festival along with 17 embassies and six international organizations. The Festival’s Spanish language program at the GALA Hispanic Theatre expanded through a partnership with the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development. We hosted three Estonian filmmakers through collaboration with the Matsalu Nature Film Festival made possible through a grant from the Trust for Mutual Understanding .
One of the Festival’s ongoing goals is to expand outreach to youth and underserved communities. The centerpiece of this effort is the annual screening for DC public and charter schools at the Warner Theatre. This year over 1,500 students and teachers—500 more than last year--attended the screening of Rob Stewart's Revolution, an award-winning documentary, which was introduced by former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. The film follows Stewart’s remarkable journey to 15 countries over four years – from the coral reefs of Papua New Guinea to the tar sands of Alberta, Canada. It seeks to engage youth in protecting the natural world and Stewart attended the screening to discuss his film with students.
Other films geared toward youth were screened at numerous venues city-wide, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, neighborhood public libraries and THEARC. In total, 3,200 students and educators directly benefitted from the Festival’s programs.
Partners and Reach
With 115 organizational partners and 75 venues, including museums, embassies, universities, libraries and local theaters in all four quadrants, the Festival is one of the leading collaborative events in the Washington D. C. metropolitan area. Several new partners were secured this year including Gallaudet University, NYU in Washington, the Center for American Progress, and the Embassies of Singapore and Indonesia.
Public awareness of the Festival also continued to grow through media outreach. Highlights include broadcasts on NBC4 TV, Fox 5 TV, the Arch Campbell Show on WJLA-TV, Newschannel 8, UNIVISION and Telemundo; radio interviews on five D.C. Clear Channel stations, National Geographic Weekend radio and CBS radio; a feature story in The Washington Post coverage in The New York Times, Washington City Paper El Tiempo Latino and Science magazine, as well as Internet coverage on The Huffington Post, grist.org and Mother Nature Network, and Orion magazine's blog. In addition, our two lead corporate sponsors—General Motors and Booz Allen Hamilton—featured the Festival on their Web sites.
EFF's website provided a detailed listing and descriptions of the films, as well as filmmaker bios and other features that effectively extend the reach of the Festival. Since the previous Festival, from April of 2012 through March of 2013, the Web site received 555,090 page views and 100,573 unique visitors. Overall, the numbers were slightly higher than the previous year, but in the month of March, the number of unique visitors was up 17% (35,000 in 2013 compared to 30,000 in 2012).
The Festival also continued to expand its presence on the social media sites Facebook and Twitter, reaching a combined online audience of nearly 7,000 people on these rapidly expanding platforms. Additionally, EFF continued its partnership with SnagFilms.com, making four additional films featured by the Festival available free to audiences online at any time.
One of the country’s most influential conservation leaders, Russell Train was a force for the environment in the U.S. and around the world for six decades. EFF recognized Russell and Aileen Train with our highest honor in 2007. (photo: Russell Train in Nepal by Bruce Bunting)
As the longstanding administrator and Board Member of the MARPAT Foundation and an ardent conservationist, Joan was an early and enthusiastic supporter of the Environmental Film Festival. (photo: Joan Koven in Fiji)
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.
For general inquiries, please e-mail email@example.com.
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