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ACFF returns tonight

By Staff | Oct 31, 2014

The American Conservation Film Festival (ACFF) has returned to Shepherdstown. Though it kicked off Thursday evening it will continue tonight, Oct 31st through Sunday, Nov. 2. The festival, which is in its eleventh year, will celebrate tonight’s spooky holiday with a block of films devoted to some of nature’s most menacing creatures, like wolves bats and wolverines.

“We even included a film in there on invasive species –Ethan Oser’s ‘Invasive,’ –that’s scary enough to me,” said ACFF board president, Jeff Feldman.

This years festival will also celebrate the 50 year anniversary of the Wilderness Act with many films dedicated to wilderness conservation and protection.

One of ACFF’s biggest draws continues to be the sheer volume of films and filmmakers on hand to lead discussions on the various subject matter featured in the festival.

In four days, 46 films will be shown.

“We have a lot of filmmakers this year,” Feldman said.

“The audience loves the opportunity to interact with the filmmakers.”

One returning filmmaker featured in this years festival is Melissa Thompson.

Thompson will attend the screening of her short films from a series called ‘Postcards from Climate Change,’ on Saturday and lead an audience discussion.

‘Postcards,’ captures stories as told by independent filmmakers from all over the country, who’ve experienced the consequences of climate change in or around their own homes.

“It’s different viewpoints discussing climate change in a fun and accessible way,” she said.

Thompson said some of the films take a humorous look at the issue, while others are more dire.

Thmposon said she hopes the ‘pet project,’ produced for Greenpeace will open some eyes.

“I hope that people will think about Climate Change as something that’s happening here and not just far way. And hopefully it will help us feel connected in finding a solution.”

More opportunities to meet and engage with filmmakers and fellow festival attendees will be held every evening after the festival. After film parties will be held at local restaurant, Domestic on Thursday and Friday and on Saturday, at the Blue Moon Cafe.

“It’s just such a cool opportunity to come together,” Feldman said.

As in years past the festival will include free family friendly films at the National Conservation Film Festival.

National Geographic explorer Mireya Mayor’s film ‘Island of the Lemurs Madagascar,’ will kick off NCTC’s screenings on Saturday at noon.

The Producer’s Campus training workshop will also once again be held as part of this year’s festival.

The 2014 festival will extend its festivities for the first time, in a move that responds to audience feedback asking for more opportunities to see films.

This year’s audience choice award winning film will be screened a week later than usual, on Sunday Nov. 9 at the Opera House.

Feldman explained that separate tickets will be sold for this event which will include an additional block of films and a special storytelling component by local teller Adam Booth.

Feldman said the festival has made a concerted effort to reach out regionally to find new festival fans.

“We’re always hoping to see audience growth,” he said.

“We’re really excited about the line up.”

Tickets for this years festival can be purchased in person at the Local Source store on German St. and at the box office at the Shepherdstown Opera House. Tickets can also be ordered online.

Find more information about tickets and the festival by visiting www.conservationfilm.org.