The 27th annual Environmental Film Festival, which is the largest of its kind in the world and the longest-running one in America, is being held at several venues in Washington, D.C. through March 24.
The festival began on March 14 and has been taking place at 26 venues in and around Washington, D.C., including at the National Geographic Museum and Landmark E Street Cinema. The event celebrates the earth and inspires environmental education through the power of film. More than 100 films are presented to an attending audience of over 20,000 every March. The festival collaborates with more than 110 partners, including museums, embassies, universities, and theaters.
“While film alone cannot save the planet, the medium is a uniquely powerful force for depicting the threats to the environment and engaging audiences of all ages. Our films also offer moments of incredible beauty, touching humor, and unforgettable humanity,” wrote Christopher Head, Executive Director of the festival.
Programming director Brad Forder told WTOP that they had about 40 to 50 programs when they first started, and this year they would present more than 160 different films for screenings.
“One of the things that’s stayed the same is our unique partnership model. Many of the partners we have, including museums like Smithsonian and embassies, have been there from the beginning. One in particular was National Geographic. We’re thrilled to have them as a presenting sponsor,” said Forder.
Tickets for the 2019 Environmental Film Festival are ON SALE NOW. Check out the full schedule. Over 100 films/programs. 20+ D.C. venues. 11 Days. Premieres. Discussions & MORE. #DCEFF https://t.co/2nQdSzkhnc pic.twitter.com/3NltqzdW3x
— DCEFF (@dceff_org) February 25, 2019
More than 600 submissions were made by filmmakers from over 30 different countries. “The first thing that we want to do is to give filmmakers a platform, so we want to showcase the best environmental films out there,” said Forder.
“Secondly, we want to use those films as a springboard for conversation. Whether it’s a one-on-one with a filmmaker or a panel of experts, our hope is that people take that and that it does inspire thought and stewardship beyond the theater,” he added.
The River and the Wall (USA, 2019, 108 min), a film directed by Ben Masters, was screened on the opening night of the festival at the National Geographic Society. It follows five friends on an immersive adventure through the unknown wilds of the Texas borderlands. Other films and documentaries, including Oscar-winning documentary Free Solo, and climate change documentary The Human Element by Matthew Testa will also be showed during the festival. The event will feature “best of” series on the closing day for those who missed some movies screened before March 24.
In 2017, the festival was awarded the 2017 D.C. Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Creative Industries.