Beny, Back to the Wild
Environmental Film Festival latest news:
Silent River (USA, 2014, 25 min.), exposing how U.S. companies have used Mexico's Santiago River as their own "waste canal," has been named the winner of the Environmental Film Festival's 2015 Eric Moe Sustainability Film Award. The documentary follows a young woman and her family as they defy death threats to try to save one of the most polluted rivers in Mexico. The award, accompanied by a $5,000 cash prize, will be presented to the directors, Steve Fisher and Jason Jaacks, at the film's D.C. premiere screening on March 19 at the National Geographic Society during the 2015 Festival.
A visual storyteller who focuses on social and environmental issues, Jason is the founder of SplitFrame Media. He is a National Geographic Explorer who received an Expeditions Council Grant for his coverage of the Elwha River. Steve is an investigative journalist with a focus on cross-border, U.S.-Mexico stories who has written for National Geographic, the ABC News/Univision network, Fusion and New America Media. Both Jason and Steve are at UC Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism, Jason as a lecturer and Steve with the Investigative Reporting Program.
Established in 2013 by Julia and Richard Moe in memory of their son, Eric, to honor his strong interest in film and commitment to sustainability, the Award recognizes short films for their inventive solutions to balancing the needs of humans and nature.
In addition to the winner, two finalist films will also be shown on March 19:
* Seeding A Dream (USA, 2014, 15 min.) highlights Sheepscot General Store & Uncas Farm, a famously fertile piece of land in Maine that had produced food for centuries-and once boasted its own store. It has been revitalized into a thriving community food hub by two young farmers who continue to face financial challenges. Directed by Bridget Besaw.
* Reaching Blue: Finding Hope Beneath the Surface (Canada, 2014, 22 min.) follows a writer, an oyster farmer and an ocean scientist in the Salish Sea, who find their coastal way of life under threat and evaluate the challenges they face with the help of imagery from deep-sea submarines, advanced ocean research vessels and drone cameras. Directed by Ian Hinkle.
Event: Washington, DC Premiere of The Great Invisible (USA, 2014, 92 min.), Winner, Grand Jury Award for Documentary Feature, SXSW Film Festival. The screening will be followed by a Panel Discussion with Peabody Award-winning filmmaker Margaret Brown; Michael D. Farber, Senior Advisor to the Director, Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, U.S. Department of the Interior and Claire Douglass, Campaign Director, Climate and Energy, Oceana, moderated by Stephanie Flack, Executive Director of the Environmental Film Festival.
When: Friday, November 7, 2014, 6:30 pm
Where: West End Cinema (2301 M Street, NW)
How: For ticket information click HERE. Seating is limited for this screening. The film will also play through the next week.
Description: On April 20, 2010, communities throughout the Gulf Coast of the United States were devastated by the explosion of the Deepwater Horizon, a state-of-the-art, offshore oilrig operated by BP in the Gulf of Mexico. The blast killed 11 of 126 rig crewmembers and injured many more, setting off a fireball that was seen 35 miles away. After burning for two days, the Deepwater Horizon sank, causing the largest offshore oil spill in American history. The spill flowed unabated for almost three months, dumping hundreds of millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic ocean, shutting down the local fishing industry, polluting the fragile ecosystem, and raising serious questions about the safety of continued deep-water offshore drilling. The filmmaker traveled to small towns and major cities across Alabama, Louisiana and Texas to explore the fallout of the environmental disaster. Years later, the Southern Americans still haunted by the Deepwater Horizon explosion provide first-hand accounts of their ongoing experience, long after the story has faded from the front page. A Participant Media Production.
Event: Special screening of SlingShot (USA, 2014, 93 min.) followed by panel discussion with director and producer Paul Lazarus; Ben Grumbles, President, US Water Alliance, and Kent Hughes, founding Board Member of FIRST, the robotics STEM education group started 25 years ago by the subject of the film, Dean Kamen.
Who: Brought to you by the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital and presented at the National Museum of Natural History
When: Sunday, November 2, 3:00 to 5:30 p.m.
Where: Baird Auditorium, National Museum of Natural History, 10th St. & Constitution Ave., NW
How: FREE. Please register in advance at go.si.edu/cleanwater
Sneak Peek: http://vimeo.com/51890022
More information: go to www.slingshotdoc.com
Film Description: An indomitable genius with a provocative worldview, inventor Dean Kamen is our era’s Thomas Edison. Best known for the Segway Human Transporter, and for a host of medical devices that improve people’s lives, he is now tackling the planet’s safe water crisis that affects billions. Confronting the reality that half of all human illness comes from water-borne pathogens, Kamen has created the SlingShot, an energy-efficient machine that turns unfit water (seawater, poisoned wells, river sludge) into pure, safe water with no chemicals or filters needed. Offering an inspirational character study of the founder of the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) organization that inspires young people to pursue careers in science and technology, this multi-award-winning documentary also explores the 15-year trajectory of Kamen’s vapor compression distiller from its earliest development through recent trials in rural Ghana and beyond. Recently, Kamen has allied himself with Coca-Cola. Will Kamen’s technological know-how, combined with Coke’s global reach, be a powerful enough force to address this global challenge? Winner, Best of Fest, AFI Docs; Audience Award, Cinequest and EcoFilm Award and Best Director, Boston Film Festival.
Image: Students at the Pakro Methodist School in rural Ghana drink water from a SlingShot machine for the first time. © 2014 Moon Avenue LLC
Screening: World Premiere of Mass Extinction: Life at the Brink (USA, 2014, 60 min.) presented by National Museum of Natural History with the Smithsonian Channel, Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital, and Tangled Bank Studios, followed by:
Panel discussion moderated by Charles Poe, VP, Production, Smithsonian Channel, with Dr. Kirk Johnson, Sant Director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History, who is featured in the film; the film’s producer Sean B. Carroll, Vice President for Science Education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and Executive Producer of Tangled Bank Studios; and paleobiologist Anthony Barnosky, author of Dodging Extinction: Power, Food, Money and the Future of Life on Earth and Elizabeth Hadly, Environmental Biology Professor, Stanford University, who are both featured in the film
When: Monday, October 27, 6:45 to 8:30 p.m.
Where: National Museum of Natural History, Baird Auditorium
How: FREE. Register at go.si.edu/extinction
Film Description: It's a mystery on a global scale: five times in Earth’s past, life has been nearly extinguished, the vast majority of plants and animals annihilated in a geologic instant. What triggered these dramatic events? And what might they tell us about the fate of our world? Mass Extinction: Life at the Brink joins scientists around the globe in search of answers to two of the most dramatic extinctions: the “K/T Extinction,” which ended the age of dinosaurs, and “The Permian Extinction,” which wiped out nearly 90 percent of all Earth’s species 252 million years ago. These early mass extinctions could hold clues for what may be happening today – are we on the brink of a sixth?
2014 Documentary Award for Environmental Advocacy presented by EFF Board Members (l. to r.) Peter O'Brien and Caroline Gabel to DamNation filmmakers Ben Knight, Travis Rummel, and Matt Stoecker - (c) Bruce Guthrie