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Thanks to all who attended the 21st Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital!

At the Environmental Film Festival’s 21st year in Washington, we considered the vital role of earth’s rivers in human survival and their vulnerability in the changing global environment. Audiences joined us in March as our Festival, presented in collaboration with 75 partnering venues across the Washington area, screened a record 190 diverse and arresting films from 50 countries. This year’s Festival featured 110 Washington, D.C., United States and world premieres; 196 filmmakers and environmentalists enlivened our screenings with their perspectives and knowledge.

Featured among the Festival’s opening night films was the world premiere of Hot Water, exposing the toxic effects of uranium mining in the American West with Dennis Kucinich, who is featured in the film, and filmmakers Elizabeth Kucinich and Lizabeth Rogers. The Washington, D.C. premiere of acclaimed director Terrence Malick’s latest film, To the Wonder, an exploration of love set against the majesty of nature, was a Festival highlight, along with Canadian filmmaker and environmental activist Rob Stewart’s new film, Revolution, empowering youth to save the natural world and humanity itself!

The zany documentary, Lunarcy!, another Washington, D.C. premiere, looks at people who are obsessed with the moon. Jessica Woodworth’s latest feature, The Fifth Season, is a haunting, poetic meditation on nature in revolt against humans. The Festival’s closing film, The Fruit Hunters, examines another obsession – those who scour the world searching for exotic fruits.

Films heralding the upcoming Smithsonian exhibition, “Earth Matters: Land as Material and Metaphor in the Arts of Africa,” profile Jane Goodall and explore the struggles of farmers, fishermen, lions and bonobos in Africa today. Classic films shot by John Huston in Africa address themes that are still relevant today.

Notable among our river films, Lost Rivers investigates the hidden river networks beneath major cities. A series of films following the Rhine River from its source in Switzerland to its delta in the Netherlands highlighted this storied river’s natural, cultural and economic value. Amazon Gold and A Journey to the Source of the Lena reveal devastation and wonders along two major rivers on opposite sides of the world. Where the Yellowstone Goes embarks on a trip down the longest free-flowing river in the United States, while Rock the Boat follows a controversial kayaking trip on the cemented-in Los Angeles River that led to its protection under the Clean Water Act.

Not Yet Begun to Fight shows how rivers can offer outlets for human healing and revitalization while Willamette Futures provides a creative plan for how to restore Oregon’s largest river. Potomac: The River Runs Through Us points out just how close our connection is to the local river that is the source of our drinking water. The Anacostia was celebrated through a series of “Riverstories” about people engaging with the river.

Thank you to all who engaged in our annual salute to film and the environment. The environment, our life support system, is all around us and rivers are a major part of it. Lifelines to people around the world and sacred to many, rivers, as our films suggest, run through us all.


The 2013 Festival was dedicated to the memory of Russell E. Train and Joan Koven.

Russell E. Train


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)

Joan Koven


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)

Mission Statement

The Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital seeks to advance public understanding of the environment through the power of film.

Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital

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 info@envirofilmfest.org.


  • Peter O’Brien, Executive Director, Email ( more )Peter O’Brien has been the Executive Director of the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital since 2008.  He is responsible for multiple aspects of the Festival, including fundraising and development, program organization, and film review and selection.  His professional experience prior to EFF includes work as a production assistant for an independent documentary filmmaker.  He holds an M.A. in International Relations from Johns Hopkins University, and a B.A. in English from Harvard.
  • Christopher Head, Managing Director, Email ( more )Christopher Head has been Managing Director of the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital since 2008. He participates in all levels of programming the Festival, including researching and selecting films and negotiating the rights to screen films. He also negotiates with various speakers, including filmmakers and environmental experts so they may attend screenings for introductions and question and answer sessions. He also coordinates with venue partners to select dates, venues, and films to screen as co-presentations, in addition to securing venues where EFF is the sole presenter. He maintains all the Festival’s bookkeeping and helps with general office management and hiring. Before joining EFF in 2007, Christopher worked as a Production Assistant for Story House Productions in Washington, D.C. He graduated from American University with a B.A. in Film & Media Arts.
  • Jessie Brinkley, Director of Development, Email
  • Helen Strong, Public Affairs Director, Email ( more )Helen is a public relations consultant in the Washington, D.C. area. For the past ten years she has worked as a publicist for the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital. From 1984 to 1990 she wrote and consulted for the World Wildlife Fund and prior to that she served as Public Relations Officer for the Smithsonian Institution’s Resident Associate Program from 1976 to 1982. Helen holds an M.S. degree from Boston University’s School of Public Communications and a B.A. from Smith College.
  • Georgina Owen, Associate Director, Email ( more )Georgina has worked with the Festival program since 1995, selecting films, editing the printed schedule and contacting participating organizations to plan and develop their programs. A life-long Washingtonian, she has worked in the arts and antiques business and has been actively involved with community organizations including Jubilee Jobs and the Georgetown Ministry Center. She also operates a clothing and accessory design business.
  • Mark Epstein, Director of Strategic Initiatives, Email
  • E. William Stetson III, Director of External Affairs, Email ( more )
    Bill Stetson, Director of External Affairs, is a film producer, as well as an environmental and political adviser. His 2002 AIDS documentary,  A Closer Walk, aired on PBS in both 2003 and 2006. Bill has advised several regional film festivals, including White River Indie Films in Vermont. In 1996, he establishing the Vermont Film Commission, for which he served as founding president and still advises. Last April, he was appointed by the White House as a member of the President’s Advisory Committee on the Arts (PACA). Bill has served on several media and environmental boards, including the founding board of the Center for the Environment at Harvard University, where he received a bachelor’s degree and subsequently studied at the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
  • Maribel Guevara, Program Associate, Email ( more )Maribel joined the Festival in 2005. She works on all aspects of programming for the Festival, including researching, screening and selecting films, working with filmmakers with an special focus on children and Latin American films. Maribel works very closely with D.C. public and charter schools to bring students to various programs. She also reaches out to the Hispanic media and community. Maribel helps with the arrangements for the visiting filmmakers and special guests. She studied Tourism in her native Ecuador.
  • Arjumand Hamid, Program Associate, Email
  • Alayna Buckner, Development Associate, Email
  • Nina Testa, Program Assistant, Email
  • Hae On Park, Festival Intern, Email
  • Flo Stone, President & Founder, Email ( more )
    Flo Stone is President & Founder of the annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital, which she started in 1993.  Previously she worked on public programming for the American Museum of Natural History in New York City for 15 years.  There she initiated the Margaret Mead Film Festival and served as its Co-Chair from 1977-84.  She directed West Side Day, an annual community festival at the Museum from 1970-1976. In 1986, Flo was Film Chair for the Smithsonian’s National Forum on Biodiversity and that same year she established the Earthwatch Film Awards for documentaries, presented annually at National Geographic through 2009.

    Flo authored filmographies for the US Festival of Indonesia (1990) and the Ocean Planet exhibit at the National Museum of Natural History (1995).  She has served on film juries in Washington DC, as well as in Missoula, Montana and Telluride, Colorado. Internationally, she has been on juries at the Green Festival in Korea, FICA in Brazil, Cinemambiente in Italy, and CineEco in Portugal and the SunChild International Environmental Festival in Armenia. She has been a member of  the Advisory Committee of the Margaret Mead Film Festival since 1992, was an evaluator for Art on Film 1995-98, and chaired juries for American Film & Video Festival 1986-1992. She is a graduate of Vassar College and has a Certificate in Arts Administration from Harvard.  

Board of Directors

  • Caroline Gabel, Chair
  • Gary Rahl, Vice Chair
  • Susan Vitka, Vice Chair
  • Dan M. Martin, Treasurer
  • Anita Herrick, Secretary
  • Flo Stone, President & Founder
  • Bruce D. Brown
  • Adriana Casas
  • Marion Guggenheim
  • Annie Kaempfer
  • John Lewis
  • Josie Merck
  • Dane Nichols
  • Liz Norton
  • Nora Pouillon
  • Roger D. Stone
  • Max Williamson
  • Catherine Wyler
  • Charles Lord, Chair Emeritus
  • Joan D. Murray, Trustee Emerita

Advisory Committee

  • Nelse Greenway, Chair
  • Katie Carpenter
  • Celia Crawford
  • Harriett Crosby
  • Alice Day
  • Lincoln Day
  • Anne Emmet
  • Mark Epstein
  • Grace Guggenheim
  • Amy King
  • Gay Lord
  • Mary McCracken
  • Tim McEnery
  • Greg McGruder
  • Helen McNeill
  • Sally Meadows
  • Chris Palmer
  • Peggy Parsons
  • Susan Rappaport
  • Deborah Rothberg
  • Edith Schafer
  • Ev Shorey
  • Joan Shorey
  • Georgiana Warner

“Nothing could be more important than the potential educational value of environmental film.” – David Suzuki

© 2013 Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital

Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital