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12th American Conservation Film Festival announces 2014 schedule

By Staff | Sep 29, 2014

Forty-six films have been chosen, the schedule is set, the filmmakers are booked, and the festivities are planned for the 12th annual American Conservation Film Festival (ACFF), Oct. 30 Nov. 2, in Shepherdstown. The Festival brings together the finest conservation films from around the world. The

four days also feature discussions with filmmakers, professional workshops, family programming, and social events — all with the mission of engaging, informing and inspiring its audience through the power of film.

This year’s Festival will present films with a wide range of environmental and conservation themes. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, ACFF will feature a block of aweinspiring

wilderness-themed films, including selections from the National Park Service series “American Wilderness” and the film “Wrenched” about iconoclastic conservationist Edward Abbey. Other

highlights include a feature on Madagascar’s endangered lemurs from acclaimed primatologist and National Geographic correspondent Mireya Mayor, who will be presenting the film at the National

Conservation Training Center (NCTC) on Nov. 1 at noon. All films at NCTC, including a special block of family programming from 1:30 to 4 p.m. on that day, are free of charge.

At five venues in and around Shepherdstown, ACFF invites its audience to explore the world through the stories, images, and people that create this diverse offering of films. Several filmmakers will be present during the festival and participating in discussions following the screening of their films. Ben Raines will be on hand to talk about his film “America’s Amazon,” an enlightening voyage into Alabama’s Mobile-Tensaw Delta, the most bio-diverse area in North America. Juan Martinez and Vanessa Torres are featured in “Love in the Tetons” and will share their journey of finding each other and new perspectives in Wyoming. David Mrazek, David Blockstein, and Joel Greenberg will discuss “From Billions to None,” their film about the life and extinction of the passenger pigeon. ACFF engages its audience in issue-relevant films, some uplifting and some enraging, and encourages festival participants to deepen their understanding of these issues and take action. The “Action Opps” page of the ACFF website will offer resources that support audience members in turning inspiration into action. As well, ACFF will give 10% of its ticket sales to a charitable or civic organization related to the issues addressed in its Green Fire Award winning film in a gesture to “Pay It Forward.” P.O. Box 889 Shepherdstown, WV 25443; www.conservationfilm.org.

ACFF presents four awards to outstanding festival films: the Green Fire Award for overall excellence in filmmaking; the Broadcast Award for a film previously or scheduled to air on a national television network; the Student Filmmaker Award, a $500 cash prize awarded to an emerging student filmmaker; and the Audience Choice Award, which will be presented at a special screening event on November 9 at the Shepherdstown Opera House. Full festival passes, allowing entrance to all films and events over the four days, are $40, day passes are $20, and tickets for a specific block of films are $12. Discounts offered for seniors, students, and members of the military.

Get a sense of the Festival here: vimeo.com/99683754

Film descriptions, schedule, and ticket info here: www.conservationfilm.org.

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The American Conservation Film Festival is an annual event held in Shepherdstown, a vibrant arts community 70 miles west of Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD. ACFF features films from a diverse group of conservation filmmakers from around the world. This 501(c)(3) non-profit organization addresses conservation through the lens of film, providing a platform for education and dialogue about more sustainable ways to live. By presenting outstanding conservation films, ACFF programming promotes solutions to pressing conservation issues, respect for the world’s natural and cultural heritage, and passion for conserving our resources. Since 2003, the Festival has screened some 350 films to over 30,000 audience members, presented filmmaking workshops for aspiring documentary filmmakers,

hosted panel discussions with filmmakers, and offered free family programs with the mission of engaging, informing, and inspiring people toward better ways to live, work, and play.

The 2014 American Conservation Film Festival is sponsored by: The Campbell Foundation, Earth Touch, the Nora Roberts Foundation, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service National Conservation Training Center, West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Smithsonian Channel, Monica Larson Design, Flurie, Slick & Kinnett CPAs, GreenPath Consulting, Hobert & Kerr, P.C., Shepherd University, Shepherdstown Opera House, Sparkfire Media, Sustainable Business International, The Observer, Sarah Cohen, Eden Design, Friends of the National Conservation Training Center, HBP Inc., Jefferson County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Jefferson Security Bank, Skinner Law Firm, West Virginia Film Office, Younis Orthodontics, Blenko Glass Company and Fallon Insurance.