Return of the Musk Ox
Most of our screenings are enriched by discussions or Q&A sessions with visiting filmmakers, environmental experts, and other special guests. Below are just some of the over 200 filmmakers and special guests who will attend the 2013 Environmental Film Festival and make it a unique and prescient event. Please check back often as new bios are added regularly! For specific information on who will be speaking with each film and event, please refer to the film description pages.
Tewa will be discussing THE PEOPLE THE RAIN FORGOT.
Sophia Tewa is a New York-based journalist and filmmaker. She has worked with CNN and CBS and teaches online journalism at The New School. The People The Rain Forgot is her first documentary as a director and producer. She holds a Masters Degree from the City University of New York Graduate School of Journalism.
Trishkina will be discussing Selections from Matsula Nature Film Festival, Estonia.
Liina Trishkina studied comparative theory of culture in Estonian Institute of Humanities, and filmmaking in European Film College ( Denmark ) and Film School of Catalonia at Barcelona University. Currently working as a freelance director and editor of documentaries, features and TV-programmes.
Tunkel will be discussing VOICES OF TRANSITION and The Urban Community Gardening Program.
Jeff Tunkel received his education in engineering and business, holding degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Johns Hopkins University. His career has spanned energy systems, food and drug manufacturing, and Information Technology. An avid camper, hiker, and sailor from an early age, he became active in environmental and progressive causes in 2004. In 2010 be became aware of the Transition Town movement, and in January 2011 launched BeLocal Mt. Airy using the Transition Town model with the help of a small group of friends and neighbors.
BeLocal Mt. Airy is a citizen group seeking to build community, resiliency, and a strong local economy in the town of Mount Airy, MD. Their first project was a comprehensive community needs assessment which identified 5 top priorities for the town. Through the assessment, BeLocal gained support of the town government, local business leaders, and other community organizations for these priorities, which are currently being woven into the town master plan.
Jeff resides in Mount Airy with his wife, three sons, and Labrador Retriever, where he enjoys vegetable gardening, running, bicycling, and introducing youth to the majesty and serenity of being out in nature.
Turner will be discussing The Endangered Rivers Program.
Rhett Turner, President of Red Sky Productions based in Atlanta, Georgia, is a producer and director of photography who has focused on international documentaries for global television audiences since 1999. His state of the art production company has traveled to virtually every part of the world – Africa, Asia, Antarctica, Europe and South America. Turner has shot award-winning programs in high definition for the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, including Journey of a Masterpiece: Lion and Serpent, Renzo Piano: Designing a Village for the Arts and Verocchio’s David Restored. He has served as director of photography for programs that have aired on CNN and TBS, including Rwanda Gorilla, El Lobo: The Song of the Wolf and Pollinators in Peril. Turner was director of photography on the monumental PBS series narrated by Walter Cronkite, Avoiding Armageddon, and he produced as well as shot Antarctica: The Spirit of Adventure.
Varchol will be introducing The Mekong River Program.
Douglas Varchol is a SE Asian-based director, producer and writer in film and television, with more than fifteen years of professional experience.
He has created science, history and cultural programming for, among others, The Learning Channel, The History Channel, and PBS in the U.S., as well as Discovery Channel Europe and BBC World News in the U.K. Mr. Varchol has directed, produced and filmed in many countries, including Sudan, Kenya, Tanzania, Nepal, India, Ladakh, Vietnam, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Maldives, Philippines, Borneo, China, Cambodia, Indonesia, Lao PDR, and Australia. In the past four years has made six half-hour Earth Report documentaries for BBC World News, including “Perfectly Cool,” about the Chinese air con industry’s approach to phasing out ozone depleting gases; and “Heads Above Water” which looks at how coastal towns in Java and the Mekong delta are adjusting to sea level rise. His Earth Report, “Gambling On Laos,” examined biodiversity issues in northern Laos. He has just completed directing and producing “Mekong”, an hour-long documentary about hydro power development on the Mekong River in SE Asia.
Adrian Vásquez de Velasco
Vásquez de Velasco will be discussing SHARK LOVES THE AMAZON.
Adrian Vásquez de Velasco is a film director based in NYC and a graduate of NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. His work has been screened at the Warsaw Film Festival, the Palm Beach International Film Festival, the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC, and the World Sustainability Forum in Brazil. He currently works at Ticklish Subjects and Phraxos Films.
Västrik will be discussing Selections from Matsalu Nature Film Festival, Estonia.
Riho Västrik is born in August 4th, 1965. He has graduated Tartu University in history and journalism and made MA on Film Arts in Baltic Film and Media School. His big interest in mountaineering was the first reason to consider making a documentaries, beauty of mountains and human sufferings yearned of recording. Since 2003 Riho has become attracted to the Siberia and Far North. He has directed and produced films about Taimyr Peninsula, Sami reindeer herders and musk oxen.
Verdin will be discussing MY LOUISIANA LOVE.
Monique Michelle Verdin is a native daughter of southeast Louisiana. Her intimate documentation of the Mississippi River Deltas’ indigenous Houma nation exposes the complex interconnectedness of environment, economics, culture, climate and change. Her photography has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and is included in The Good Pirates of the Forgotten Bayous, Yale University Press (2008) and Nonesuch Records’ Habitat for Humanity benefit album Our New Orleans (2005). She received her bachelors degree in Mass Communication at Loyola University in New Orleans. My Louisiana Love (2012) is her first documentary film.
Vogel will be discussing FOLD, CRUMPLE, CRUSH: THE ART OF EL ANATSUI.
Susan Vogel lives in New York, grew up in Beirut, and has lived for long periods in a village in Ivory Coast, and a medieval city in Mali. She is internationally recognized as a curator and African art expert. She has published many books, and written a few, founded an art museum in New York - that survived her departure - and directed two museums. She then successfully completed two years as MFA student at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, and became a film maker.
Vogel has a PhD in art history and has held the positions of curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Founding Director of the Museum for African Art, Director of the Yale University Art Gallery, and Professor of Art History at Columbia.
About her exhibitions, the New York Times recently said, "In the 1980s and '90s [they] revolutionized the way art, any art, could be exhibited. No one else has fully picked up that challenge since." Her book, BAULE: African Art/Western Eyes, received the African Studies Association's highest honor for original research on Africa, the Herskovits Prize. Her body of work was recognized with the prestigious Leadership Award of the Arts Council of the African Studies Association.
She has five documentaries in distribution with Icarus Films through her production company, Prince Street Pictures. In African Arts, Paul Stoller reviewed her films with: “In the very best tradition of documentary filmmaking, Vogel's sensuously contoured films tell stories. . . . Given her sure hand, sharp eye, and narrative focus, I eagerly await Susan Vogel's next cultural production.”
Currently, her book EL ANATSUI: Art and Life, Prestel Publishing, is appearing October 1: she is curating an exhibition of tents from the Sahara and Arabian deserts designed by Zaha Hadid that will open at I.M. Pei’s beautiful Museum of Islamic Arts in Doha in the fall of 2014.