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Environmental Film Festival latest news:

EFF Presents Award-Winning Film SlingShot and Panel Discussion on the Global Water Crisis on 11/2

Date: October 17, 2014

Environmental Film Festival Presents Award-Winning Film SlingShot and Panel Discussion on the Global Water Crisis











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

Sneak Peek:

More information: go to

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  

EFF Co-Presents the Premiere of Mass Extinction: Life at the Brink on 10/27

Date: October 16, 2014

National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Channel, Environmental Film Festival and Tangled Bank Studios Present Premiere of Mass Extinction: Life at the Brink












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

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?

EFF Announces Four Awards with Prize Money Totaling $27,500

Date: October 8, 2014

The Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital, the nation's oldest and largest environmental film festival, announces four diverse film awards, with prize money totaling $27,500 for films to be screened at the 23rd annual Festival, March 17-29, 2015. 

For film submission information, contact the Festival's Managing Director Chris Head at


 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





  • The Documentary Award for Environmental Advocacy, established for the 2014 Festival, recognizes a film that advances understanding of the environment and inspires advocacy in response to a compelling environmental challenge. The award, accompanied by a $10,000 cash award, would be "a call to action," promoting environmental solutions at the individual, community, or policy level.  The winning film will be screened at the historic Carnegie Institution for Science on March 29, the closing night of the Festival, followed by a gala reception. The film submission deadline for this award is December 1, 2014.

  • The William W. Warner Beautiful Swimmers Award was established for the 2015 Environmental Film Festival by the Warner and Kaempfer families in honor of the late writer and naturalist William Warner, author of Beautiful Swimmers, the Pulitzer Prize-winning study of the Atlantic blue crab in the Chesapeake Bay. The award, which is accompanied by a $10,000 cash prize, recognizes a film that focuses on an individual or group of people who find happiness and fulfillment in reverence of the natural world. By following their passions, they bring attention to environmental issues and ways of life that are often threatened and inspire a deeper connection with nature. The award will be presented to the winning filmmaker at the screening of the film during the 2015 Festival. The submission deadline for this award is December 1, 2014.  

  •  The Polly Krakora Award for Artistry in Film, established in 2010 by Joseph Krakora in memory of his wife Polly, recognizes artistry in all aspects of filmmaking. The award, which comes with a cash prize of $2,500, will be presented to the winning filmmaker at the film's screening during the 2015 Festival.  The film submission deadline for this award is December 1, 2014.

  • The Eric Moe Sustainability Film Award was established for the 2014 Festival 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 a short film of 30 min. or less for its creative approach to balancing the needs of humans and nature and its inventive approach to sustainability in all its forms. The award is accompanied by a $5,000 cash award to be presented to the winning filmmaker at the film's screening at National Geographic on March 19 in the 2015 Festival. (The submission deadline for this award, which was previously announced, was September 30, 2014.) 


Please join EFF on Tuesday, September 16 at 12:00 noon for our 13th annual Benefit Luncheon at Restaurant Nora, with remarks by Lester Brown

Date: August 12, 2014

Please join EFF for our 13th annual benefit luncheon at Restaurant Nora, hosted by Nora Pouillon, restaurant founder and EFF Board Member. Lester Brown, founder and president of the Earth Policy Institute, will speak. Brown has been described by The Washington Post as “one of the world’s most influential thinkers.” Proceeds from the luncheon will support the 2015 Environmental Film Festival, March 17-29.

Date: Tuesday, September 16, 2014
Time: 12:00 noon
Location: Restaurant Nora, 2132 Florida Avenue, NW

Purchase tickets and RSVP. Seating is limited. 

Restaurant Nora represents the vision of Nora Pouillon, who is a pioneer and champion of organic, environmentally conscious cuisine. Opening its doors in 1979, the restaurant is celebrating 35 years as a leader in showcasing an organic food and sustainable lifestyle philosophy, offering organic, seasonal, local food prepared in a flavorful, balanced, healthy way.  In 1999, Restaurant Nora became the first certified organic restaurant in the country, with at least 95 percent of all ingredients supplied by certified organic farmers, growers and suppliers. 



Lester R. Brown has been described by The Washington Post as "one of the world's most influential thinkers.” He is the founder and president of the Earth Policy Institute, a nonprofit environmental research organization based in Washington, D.C. that provides a vision and a plan for achieving an environmentally sustainable economy. In 1974, he founded the Worldwatch Institute, the first research institute devoted to the analysis of global environmental issues. Brown has authored or coauthored over 50 books on global environment and resource issues, most recently his memoir Breaking New Ground: A Personal History. He is the recipient of many prizes and awards, including over twenty honorary degrees. In 2012, he was inducted into the Earth Hall of Fame Kyoto.



On August 27 EFF Presents DC Premiere of ABOVE ALL ELSE with Q&A

Date: August 11, 2014

EFF Presents the DC Premiere of Above All Else

ABOVE ALL ELSE (USA, 2014, 95 min.)

When: Wednesday, August 27, 2014, 7:00 pm

E Street Cinema (555 11th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20004) 

Purchase tickets ($10) at:

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with filmmaker John Fiege, Reverend Lennox Yearwood Jr., CEO & President of the Hip Hop Caucus, farmer and film subject Julia Trigg Crawford, and Steven Mufson, energy reporter for The Washington Post who has driven the length of the proposed pipeline.
ABOVE ALL ELSE is an intimate portrait of a group of landowners and activists in East Texas who tried to stop construction of a segment of the Keystone XL pipeline, a $7 billion dollar project slated to carry tar sands oil from Canada to refineries on the Texas Gulf Coast. Shot in the forests, pastures, and living rooms of rural East Texas, the film follows David Daniel as he rallies neighbors and environmental activists to join him in a final act of brinkmanship: a tree-top blockade of the controversial pipeline. Risking financial ruin, their personal safety, and the security of their families, these unforgettable people and their stories become an exploration of the human spirit and a window into how social change happens in America. What begins as a stand against corporate bullying becomes a rallying cry for climate protesters nationwide. Official Selection, 2014 SXSW Film Festival.

View the trailer.


"John Fiege's Above All Else chronicles not the aftermath of the petrochemical disaster but one community's attempts to stop the next before it occurs. Benefiting from a sympathetic protagonist surrounded by colorful characters, the film outshines many eco-docs in its often dramatic account of their attempt to halt progress of the controversial Keystone Pipeline. Pending decisions from the Obama administration about that project's fate make the doc especially timely..."

-John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter

© 2014 Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital


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Travel to the Environmental Film Festival in an environmentally friendly way!

Plan your trips to Festival screenings by train, bus, bike or foot by visiting GoDCGo and using their interactive map

For Metrorail and Metrobus information, consult the Metropolitan Area Transit Authority or call 202-637-7000 to reach customer information.

Visit Capital Bikeshare to learn how to use their bikes at stations across D.C. and Arlington County.


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