Focus on Environmental Film Festivals
- Tuesday, 07 July 2009
Films play a critical role in teaching people about environmental issues. Whether they focus on a small town, a large corporation, a single person, or a threatened species, environmental films can inform people around the world.
Film festivals play an important role in the environmental movement by giving filmmakers a platform to share important stories that can have a profound impact on audiences. While many film festivals are paying attention to environmental issues, only a handful of the festivals focus exclusively on nature and the environment.
In addition to highlighting groundbreaking films, the festivals offer an opportunity for filmmakers and environmental experts to explore the issues and share their experiences and perspectives with the public. Be sure to check out one of these premier environmental film festivals in the coming year.
Blue Planet Film Festival
Where: Santa Monica, CA
When: Sept. 4-7, 2009
The Blue Planet Film Festival focuses on an animal welfare and environmental issues, featuring a broad range of films, workshops, and interactive events. The festival does not give out any awards. Be sure to check out their Official Web Selections, a collection of films that didn't quite make the final schedule.
Planet In Focus
Where: Toronto, ON, Canada
When: Oct. 21-25, 2009
Planet in Focus International Environmental Film Festival is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year with a lineup of films that "frame and explore social and ecological focal points" to promote "awareness, discussion and action." The festival is supplemented with year-round programming, including a monthly pay-what-you-can screening series, an environmental video camp for youth, a touring festival program that takes Planet in Focus across Canada and the U.S., and school programs. Planet in Focus's archives boast more than 3,000 titles from 80 countries, and the festival will be launching a satellite festival in Ottawa in June 2010.
Colorado Environmental Film Festival
Where: Golden, CO
When: Nov. 5-7, 2009
The Colorado Environmental Film Festival is a self-described "celebration of the power of film to inspire, educate, and motivate audiences." The festival features discussions with filmmakers and environmental experts, an "Expo Hall" where attendees can talk to representatives from environmental organizations, and a mentoring and filmmaking forum to inspire would-be filmmakers. While CEFF brings national and international films into focus, they also place the spotlight on local environmental filmmakers.
Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival
Where: Nevada City, CA
When: Jan. 15-17, 2010
Hosted by the South Yuba River Citizens League, the annual Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival brings together films about the environment and adventure to inform, inspire and motivate. Gearing up for its eighth season, the festival benefits the League's wild salmon recovery in California and the protection and restoration of the Yuba River. The Film Festival On Tour takes the festival across the U.S., increasing the festival's audience.
Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital
Where: Washington D.C.
When: March 16-28, 2010
As EFF enters its 18th year, the 13-day festival is expected to draw more than 25,000 viewers to its 130-plus films. The festival has seen rapid growth, with a 66 percent increase in attendance and a 30 percent increase in the number of films screened over the past five years. In addition to public screenings and discussions, the festival has also invited D.C.-area schoolchildren to a screening of an environmental film followed by a discussion, and library programs provide youth with books based on the films featured at the festival.
Where: Telluride, CO
When: May 28-31, 2010
Telluride's Mountainfilm Festival celebrates the art of film, adventure, culture and the environment in a weekend of programming that focuses on a single theme. In 2009, the festival theme was food, and in 2010 the spotlight will be on "The Extinction Crisis." The festival also features a Breakfast Talks series that melds casual presentations and a light meal. The weekend also includes a gallery walking tour, an ice cream social, a chance to chat with authors, and a closing picnic and awards ceremony.