Climate Connections: We’re all in this together

The Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital─the largest and longest-running film festival focusing on environmental issues in the country─presents more than 160 films at venues throughout Washington, D.C., March 17-March 29.

With a special focus on “Climate Connections” the 2015 festival features cinematic works from 31 countries, including 96 that will have their international, national or local premieres during the festival.

Most screenings include discussion with filmmakers, environmental experts and cultural leaders, including environmentalist Jean-Michel Cousteau, climate scientist Joe Romm,
actress Kristin Davis, and Tommy Wells, director of the District Department of the Environment.

The 2015 Festival inaugurates a new award: the William W. Warner Beautiful Swimmers Award, established in honor of William Warner, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Beautiful Swimmers, a study of the crabs and watermen on the Chesapeake Bay. This new prize was awarded to documentarian George Butler’s new film, Tiger Tiger, which spotlights the endangered Royal Bengal Tiger.

The Festival’s Documentary Award for Environmental Advocacy goes to Academy Award-winner Louie Psihoyos’ latest film, Racing Extinction, an urgent call to action to stop the global mass extinction of animal species before it’s too late. Canadian filmmaker Sturla Gunnarsson’s Monsoon, exploring the vital importance of the annual rains that fall on India, is the winner of The Polly Krakora Award for Artistry in Film. The Eric Moe Sustainability Film Award is given to Silent River, about efforts to clean up Mexico’s polluted Santiago River by the investigative reporter-filmmaker team of Steve Fisher and Jason Jaacks. All of the award-winning films will have their Washington, D.C., premieres during the festival.

Oscar-winning French director Luc Jacquet (March of the Penguins) will present a retrospective of his films, including a Work-in-Progress, Ice & Sky, about French glaciologist Claude Lorius’ 60-year study of climate change in the glaciers of Antarctic. The Washington, D.C. premiere of Penguin Counters by local filmmakers Harriet and Peter Getzels explores how penguins in the Antarctic are dealing with climate change and the implications for humans.

The Washington, D.C. premiere of Project Ice by local filmmaker William Kleinert examines the impact of diminishing Great Lakes ice on the heartland.

Filmmaker James Redford will show clips from his forthcoming film, Happening, telling positive stories about renewable energy solutions across the country. Director Jon Bowermaster will show a rough cut of his Work-in-Progress, Dear President Obama, Americans Against Fracking in One Voice, an appeal to elected officials to re-consider the consequences of hydraulic fracturing. The Burden highlights how the military is leading the fight for clean energy.

Opening night features the Washington, D.C. premiere of Bikes Vs. Cars, a Swedish film documenting the struggle of bicyclists in a society dominated by cars. On a similar topic, the U.S. premiere of the Dutch film, Bye Bye Car, explores the future of transportation. A special Festival Spotlight program presents the Washington, D.C. premiere of Planetary, a stunning visual portrait of our planet, followed by a multi-media Planetary Experience and celebration of the “Earth Hour,” a global show of support for earth’s ecosystem and climate.

The groundbreaking documentary, Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret, argues that animal agriculture is the most destructive industry on the planet. Seeds of Time explores efforts to protect the world’s food supply by saving the one resource we cannot live without: our seeds.

Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story exposes the appalling waste in our food system.  The Anacostia River: Making Connections about restoring D.C.’s Anacostia River and Green Roofs: Riversmart Rooftops are among short films telling local conservation stories, along with films about the Chesapeake Bay and farming in Virginia and Maryland. Short films on local topics will also be shown in collaboration with the inaugural Montgomery County GreenFest.

Films are screened at over 55 venues throughout the Washington metropolitan area, including museums, embassies, libraries, universities and local theaters. Most programs are free . For the complete schedule, visit the Festival website and find the festival on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

Posted: 16 March 2015
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