14th American Conservation Film Festival opens today
The 14th annual American Conservation Film Festival opens Friday, Oct. 21 with a festive reception and two blocks of three films each and culminates with its Encore Award Winners weekend Oct. 28-30. The Festival brings together the finest conservation films and filmmakers from around the world and features discussions with scientists and educators, 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. The Green Fire Award winning film, E.O. Wilson: Of Ants and Men, tells the story of this remarkable thinker and biologist, called “a Darwin for the modern day.” Filmmaker Graham Townsley will be in attendance to accept his award and speak about the film.
Catching the Sun (Green Spark Award winner for Sustainability) follows the global race between the U.S. and China to lead the world to a cleaner energy future.
The Foreign Film Award goes to Thirty Million, a film about the impending displacement of tens of millions of people in Bangladesh as they face rising sea levels due to climate change.
For the younger set, ACFF presents an exciting and delightful film called Life Story First Steps about the challenges baby animals face in the first few days of life. This feature length film will be followed by an educational program from the Blue Ridge Wildlife Center featuring live wildlife animal ambassadors.
At four venues in and around Shepherdstown, ACFF invites its audience to explore the world through the stories, images, and people that create this offering of compelling films. Several filmmakers and subject matter experts will be present during the festival and participating in discussions following the screening of their films. Films are arranged in thoughtfully considered “blocks” to allow for maximum screening options and a diverse array of topics and film lengths.
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.
The Conservation Filmmaker Workshop is offered Oct. 22 and 23 at the National Conservation Training Center to aspiring and professional filmmakers who wish to hone their craft, exchange ideas in a creative and collaborative environment and expand their professional network with colleagues and industry leaders working in a similar genre of film production ACFF presents eight awards to outstanding festival films: the Green Fire Award for overall excellence in filmmaking; Green Spark Awards for highlighting sustainability, a conservation hero, and inspiring the next generation; International Film Award; Short Film Award; the Student Filmmaker Award, a $500 cash prize awarded to an emerging student filmmaker; and the Audience Choice Award.
All of the award-winning films will be shown on the encore weekend of the Festival, Oct. 28-30. Additionally, two first-run films targeted to young adults and offered free of charge to students will be screened that weekend.
Full festival passes, allowing entrance to all films over both festival weekends are $55; first weekend passes are $40; second weekend passes are $25; and block tickets are $10. Senior discounts are available. Students 18 & younger are admitted free to all films as space allows.