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Return of the Musk Ox

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Press Contact

Helen Strong, Public Affairs Director
(202) 342-2564



Here members of the press can access EFF press releases, download stills from select 2014 Festival films, and read biographies of filmmakers and other special guests who will attend the 2014 Festival. Information will be added on a regular basis up to and through the Festival.

Help us stay green and e-mail if you'd like a 2014 Festival Electronic Press Kit (EPK).


2014 Press (links will be added throughout March):

The Washington Post - Going Out Guide

The Washington Post - Health & Science

National Geographic News Watch on DamNation

Comcast (Video - Interview with EFF Founder Flo Stone)

DCist - Launch Party

El Tiempo Latino

WJLA TV (Video - Interview with EFF Founder Flo Stone)

Washington Diplomat

Clear Channel (Radio - Interview with EFF Founder Flo Stone)

The Northwest Current (PDF)


Comcast Newsmakers - (Video - Interview with EFF Founder Flo Stone)


The Star Democrat

Festival DC (Come Hell or High Water)

Festival DC (Angel Azul)

Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting (Video of EFF panel)

2014 EFF General Press Release

Date: February 26, 2014


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Attending Filmakers & Special Guests

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Leah Mahan

Leah Mahan

Mahan will be discussing Come or Hell or Highwater: The Battle for Turkey Creek.

Leah Mahan is an independent documentary filmmaker whose work has been nominated by the Directors Guild of America for Outstanding Directorial Achievement. She has been a fellow at the Sundance Institute Documentary Editing and Story Lab and the Producers Institute for New Media Technologies. Leah’s film Sweet Old Song (2002) was featured on the PBS series P.O.V. and was selected by film critic Roger Ebert to be screened at his Overlooked Film Festival (“Ebertfest”). The film tells the story of Howard “Louie Bluie” Armstrong, an old-time string band musician who undertakes a bittersweet journey with the woman he loves. In 2013 she completed Come Hell or High Water: The Battle for Turkey Creek, about a group of determined Mississippians who struggle to save their endangered Gulf Coast community in the face of rampant development, industrial pollution and disaster. She worked with Gulf Coast NGOs to develop a related community journalism project titled BRIDGE THE GULF. Leah began her career as a research assistant for filmmaker Henry Hampton on the groundbreaking PBS series on the civil rights movement Eyes on the Prize. A sequel to her first film, Holding Ground: The Rebirth of Dudley Street (1996), was completed in 2013. The films tell the story of a vibrant community organization that transforms a devastated Boston neighborhood through grassroots organizing. Leah’s work has been supported by the Sundance Institute Documentary Fund, Independent Television Service, Ford Foundation and W.K. Kellogg Foundation. She holds a BA in anthropology from Cornell University and an MFA in Cinema from San Francisco State University. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and their two children.

Gingger Shankar

Gingger Shankar

Shankar will be performing and discussing Himalaya Song.

An accomplished artist, composer and performer, Gingger Shankar is the only female in the world that has mastered the 10- string Double Violin. She debuted at Carnegie Hall as a soprano in Osvaldo Golijov’s opera “Ainadamar”. The multi-talented powerhouse transitioned from opera to rock, Gingger then toured with the Smashing Pumpkins as a special guest on their 20th Anniversary tour. In 2011 she was chosen as one of Filmmaker Magazine’s ‘25 New Faces to Watch,’ as well as becoming a member of the Advisory Board for the Sundance Film Festival. In addition to being the artist and co-composer behind the poignant score of Mel Gibson’s blockbuster “Passion of the Christ,” Gingger’s music can be heard in Mike Nichol’s film, “Charlie Wilson’s War.” Her film ‘Monsoon Shootout’ premiered at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival. She most recently guested on the new Katy Perry single ‘Legendary Lover’ due out later this year. She is currently working on her new record.

Douglas Kass

Douglas Kass

Kass will be discussing Emptying the Skies

Douglas Kass is an Adjunct Professor of Filmmaking and Film Studies at Elon University in the United States of America. He has a Master of Arts degree from the University of Southern California School of Cinema-Television and a Bachelor of Arts degree with High Honors in Film/Art from Wesleyan University, where he also received the prestigious Frank Capra Award. Emptying the Skies is Mr. Kass’ first feature-length film. His previous work includes several shorts – subjects including the documentary Behind the Walls of S-21, a devastating recollection of life and death at the notorious S-21 Prison during the Khmer Rouge era in Cambodia. This film includes rare interviews with survivors and the prison’s most notorious executioner.  Behind the Walls of S-21 was funded by the United Nations and distributed by The Documentation Center of Cambodia on Independent Networks though out Asia.

Lisa Scafuro

Lisa Scafuro

Scafuro will be discussing The Vision of Paolo Soleri: Prophet in the Desert.

The founder of Mona Lisa Film Productions was raised in Saddle River, NJ.  As a teenager, Scafuro attended The Art Students League of New York, and Ridgewood School of Photography.  She received a BS degree in Design Sciences from the College of Architecture at Arizona State University. Prior to her film making debut, Scafuro began an architectural career in Philadelphia with The Kling Partnership and Ballinger Architects working with such clients as First Pennsylvania Bank and Dupont. Eventually, she returned to NYC to specialize in hospital design and construction, collaborating on projects for New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center and Columbia University/Presbyterian Medical Center. After seventeen years in architecture and construction fields, Scafuro moved west to Arizona to pursue her passion for writing and ultimately film making.  Her friendship with Soleri also began at this time.  Inspired by Soleri's life's work, the idea to produce the film "The Vision Of Paolo Soleri," initially began in 1998 when Scafuro met Ken Burns at Taliesin for his unveiling of his documentary, Frank Lloyd Wright." Eventually encouraged by Burns, several years of research and delays later, the self funded project has finally come to fruition.  Throughout the film's production...the process, the individuals involved, both on camera and off.....have been a challenging, fascinating, and an inspiring journey. Over the course of her friendship with Soleri, she established ongoing communications with leaders in government, media, academia, and business, to bring to light, Soleri's contributions to society; culminating in pursuing the City of Scottsdale, Az in a street renaming "Via Soleri" for his 85th birthday and Soleri receiving the Cooper Hewitt's 2006 National Lifetime Achievement Award.

Film Stills

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High-resolution film stills for use by the press.
Stills must be credited appropriately if used.

© 2014 Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital


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