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Conservation Film-making - How to make films that make a difference

2017 Environmental Film Festival: 25 Years of Films for the Planet
By Helen Strong - Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital
1 March 2017

WASHINGTON, DC The Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital, the world’s premier showcase of environmental films and the largest and longest-running festival of its kind in the US, will celebrate its 25th anniversary this March. The 2017 Festival, March 14-26, will focus its lens on a planet in transition, exploring what has happened over the past 25 years and what lies ahead. The Festival will present 180+ films from 32 countries, including 64 Washington, DC, US, and World premieres. Most screenings include discussion with filmmakers, environmental experts, and cultural leaders and many are free. The complete Festival schedule is at www.dceff.org.

Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital

SPOTLIGHT: WILDLIFE

ANIMAL HOMES: NESTS (USA, 2016, 60 min.)
Bird nests come in all shapes and sizes, crafted from a diversity of materials, including grasses, leaves, mosses, and twigs, bones, mud, and spider silk. And quite a few contain man-made materials – colorful twine, bits of wire, even plastic bags. Each one is a remarkable work of art, built with just a beak! The film explores nesting grounds all over the world, where birds create homes for the all- important task of protecting their eggs and raising their young. From the PBS series, “Nature”.
Director: Ann Johnson Prum
Sat, Mar 18, 1 PM FREE Q&A
National Wildlife Visitor Center, Laurel, Md.

BORN IN CHINA (China/USA, 2017, 76 min.)
Presented with the Freer Gallery of Art – Advance Screening of New Disneynature Film
Navigating China’s vast terrain, from the frigid mountains to the heart of the bamboo forest on the wings of a red-crowned crane, this documentary follows the adventures of three animal families — the majestic panda, the savvy golden monkey, and the elusive snow leopard. Featuring stunning imagery and narration by The Office’s John Krasinski, the film showcases remarkably intimate family moments captured on lm for the first time ever.
Director: Lu Chuan
Sun, Mar 19, 1 PM FREE
National Museum of American History

BROTHERS OF THE WIND (Austria, 2016, 98 min.)
Presented with the Embassy of Austria
This is a wild drama featuring an eagle and a boy. When an eagle chick is pushed out of his nest, Lukas rescues him and cares for him in secret, finding a love denied to him at home. But when the day comes to release the bird back into the wild, will Lukas find his own release into a new life?
Directors: Gerardo Olivares and Otmar Penker
Sat, Mar 18, 10 AM $9
Avalon Theatre

COLOMBIA: WILD MAGIC (COLOMBIA MAGIA SALVAJE) (UK, 2016, 90 min.)
Presented with the Embassy of Colombia
From majestic mountain ranges with ancient glaciers, virgin jungles, open grasslands, and desert plains, to vast rivers and teeming oceans, Colombia is a country with some of the most extraordinary creatures and diverse habitats on earth. Condors circle the Andean skies, Jaguars prowl the forests, hammerhead sharks and humpback whales swim in the oceans. Birds, amphibians, mammals, reptiles, fish – some of the rarest and most spectacular wildlife anywhere on the planet can be found in Colombia.
Director: Mike Slee
Sun, Mar 19, 7 PM FREE with reservations Q&A
Carnegie Institution for Science

CONQUEST OF THE SKIES (UK, 2015, 60 min.)
A Selection from the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival
Renowned naturalist and broadcaster Sir David Attenborough investigates the evolution of flight in the natural world. Using macroscopic and high-speed filming techniques, the film captures flying mammals, reptiles, and insects, as well as birds from all over the world. Attenborough travels from Scotland to Borneo to find the extraordinary species gracing the skies.
Director: David Lee
Sat, Mar 18, 12 PM FREE Reservations requested
National Museum of Natural History

THE EAGLE HUNTRESS (UK/Mongolia/USA, 2016, 87 min.)
Among the isolated Kazakh tribe in northwest Mongolia, eagle hunting has been practiced by men only. But Aisholpan, a 13-year-old girl, aspires to be the first female in 12 generations of her family to become an eagle hunter. Her decision sparks controversy in the community; this film captures Aisholpan’s courage as she begins her training. In English and Kazakh with English subtitles.
Director: Otto Bell
Recommended ages: 11 and up. Sat, Mar 25, 11:30 AM FREE
East Building Auditorium, National Gallery of Art

GORONGOSA PARK: REBIRTH OF PARADISE Episode One: Lion Mystery (Netherlands/USA, 2015, 55 min.)
Wildlife cameraman Bob Poole joins lion scientist Paola Bouley to solve a baffling mystery: why is Gorongosa’s lion population not growing as fast as it should? After a decade of restoration efforts, there seems to be plenty of prey for the lions to eat. Poole’s first job is to help sedate a lion and put a GPS-tracking collar around its neck. By filming and tracking the lions, Poole hopes to help solve the mystery.
Director: James Byrne in person with the Ambassador of Mozambique
Mon, Mar 20, 7 PM Q&A $10
Carnegie Institution for Science

THE ISLANDS AND THE WHALES (UK/Denmark, 2016, 82 min.)
A Selection from the Wildscreen Festival
In their remote home in the North Atlantic, the Faroe Islanders have always relied on hunting whales and seabirds. But today they face a grave threat to this tradition, not from the controversy surrounding whaling, but from the whales themselves. They have discovered that their beloved whales are toxic, contaminated by the outside world! What once ensured their survival now endangers their children and the Faroe Islanders must make a choice between health and tradition.
Director: Mike Day
Sat, Mar 25, 12:30 PM FREE Reservations requested Q&A
National Museum of Natural History

LAST OF THE LONGNECKS (USA, 2017, 92 min.)
Presented with the American Conservation Film Festival
The iconic giraffe, the tallest animal on the planet, is on the cusp of a silent extinction: This majestic animal, a symbol of the African savannah, has declined 80% just since 2000. The film celebrates what makes these animals unique and seeks to shed light on their struggle as it follows a dedicated contingent of giraffe researchers and scientists across the globe.
Director: Ashley Scott Davison in person
Thurs, Mar 23, 7 PM Q&A $10
Carnegie Institution for Science

LIGHT ON EARTH (UK, 2016, 51 min.)
A Selection from the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival
The spectacular and magical light produced by glowworms, fireflies, and luminous plankton is known as bioluminescence - light made by living creatures. But those quite familiar glows and flashes are just a tiny, easily observed fragment of a previously unexplored, mysterious realm. With Sir David Attenborough as host, the film explores the world of living light he describes as “utterly unlike our own.”
Director: Joe Loncraine
A Terra Mater Factual Studios production in co-production with CuriosityStream.
Sat, Mar 18, 2 PM FREE Reservations requested Q&A
National Museum of Natural History

NALEDI: A BABY ELEPHANT’S TALE (USA, 2016, 90 min.)
When a baby elephant born into a rescue camp in the wilderness of Botswana is orphaned at one month of age, it’s up to the men who look after her herd to save her life. This true story captures the efforts of the keepers and the camp scientist who become tireless surrogate mothers in the struggle to save a precious elephant life.
Directors: Geoff Luck in person and Ben Bowie
Sun, Mar 26, 4 PM FREE with reservations Q&A
Carnegie Institution for Science

PLANET EARTH II: CITIES (UK, 2017, 58 min.)
Special Advance Screening
Cities are growing at a faster rate than any other habitat on Earth. They may seem an unlikely place for animals to thrive, but, for the bold, this is a world of surprising opportunity. Leopards prowl the streets of Mumbai, peregrine falcons hunt among New York’s skyscrapers and a million starlings perform spectacular aerial dances over Rome. As the architects of this environment, can we choose to build cities that create a home for both us and for wildlife?
A BBC Studios Production co-produced with BBC America
Wed, Mar 22, 7 PM $10
E Street Cinema

THE POACHERS PIPELINE (USA, 2016, 48 min.)
Al Jazeera goes undercover to investigate the illegal rhino horn trade from the hands of poachers in South Africa to consumers in Asia. Penetrating the criminal pipelines that traffic horn, from a fresh kill in Kruger National Park to a sale in Asia, the film illuminates a trade made possible by corruption and by an insatiable demand that goes to the very top of Chinese society.
Director: Jeremy Young
Fri, Mar 17, 12 PM FREE Q&A
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, Ronald Reagan Building

PRISTINE SEAS: WILD GALAPAGOS (USA, 2016, 47 min.)
Take an adventure with the National Geographic’s Pristine Seas team, an international collection of marine scientists and filmmakers, as they dive in the sub-aquatic world of the Galapagos Islands. Exploring the Islands’ wild creatures —sea lions, penguins, marine iguanas, and hammerhead sharks —they also deploy a manned submarine to plunge over a thousand feet below the surface, to areas few, if any, have ever seen.
Wed, Mar 22, 7:30 PM Q&A $10
National Geographic Society

SACRED COD (USA, 2016, 64 min.)
Off the coast of New England, a historic cod fishery has been ravaged by overfishing, climate change, and government mismanagement. However, local fishermen are skeptical of the science and object to government policies that protect the fish but leave them fighting for their livelihoods. The film examines the complex collapse of one of the world’s greatest commercial fisheries.
Directors: David Abel in person, Andy Laub, and Steve Liss
Fri, Mar 24, 6:30 PM FREE with reservations Q&A
National Museum of Natural History

SEASONS (LES SAISONS) (France, 2015, 95 min.)
Winner, Polly Krakora Award for Artistry in Film
Presented in Partnership with the Embassy of France
Capturing exceptional footage of the wild, diverse, and wonderful animal life in Europe’s forests, now under threat from climate change and human civilization.
Directors: Jacques Perrin in person and Jacques Cluzaud
Sun, Mar 26, 7 PM $10
Carnegie Institution for Science

SIXTEEN LEGS (Australia, 2016, 101 min.)
A Selection from Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival
Giant prehistoric spiders the size of dinner plates try to find love in the dark. With the approach of the next period of global mass extinction, a message of hope comes from an unlikely hero: a creature, often reviled, that has survived previous mass extinctions and climatic change in a magical ecosystem hidden beneath one of the world’s last great wildernesses in Tasmania. With spectacular imagery and a dark-fantasy twist, this is a real-world “Charlotte’s Web,” featuring master story-teller Neil Gaiman.
Directors: Niall Doran and Justin Smith in person
Sat, Mar 18, 4:15 PM FREE Reservations requested Q&A
National Museum of Natural History

VAMIZI: CRADLE OF CORAL (Sweden, 2016, 52 min.)
The magnificent coral reefs of Vamizi, off the coast of Mozambique, are a unique breeding ground for whales, dolphins, turtles, and sharks. They are also the only place in East Africa where “mass spawning,” the ability to help corals reproduce, has been observed. However, this fragile realm is under threat. Featuring stunning imagery from renowned National Geographic photographer Mattias Klum, the film follows scientists from around the world who fight to stop the damage before it starts.
Director: Mattias Klum
Sat, Mar 25, 5:30 PM FREE Reservations requested Q&A
National Museum of Natural History

WILD CITY: URBAN WILD (Singapore, 2015, 45 min.)
Explore the wild side of Singapore, a tropical paradise that became a city, whose 5.4 million people make it one of the most densely populated nations on earth. From otters in Marina Bay to the troop of macaques in the city’s Bukit Timah Nature Reserve, this film showcases the city’s diverse and colorful animal life.

Shown with

WILD CITY: ISLANDS (Singapore, 2015, 45 min.)
Singapore’s coasts and islands are home to an array of fascinating creatures, such as the rare tiger tail seahorse, the yellow watchman goby, the pistol shrimp and the very rare Neptune’s Cup Sponge.
Both films: Narrated by David Attenborough.
Producer: Beach House Pictures for Channel News Asia
Wed, Mar 22, 7 PM FREE with reservations
Embassy of the Republic of Singapore

CONSERVATION I: ENDANGERED CREATURES (SHORTS)

RED WOLF REVIVAL (USA, 2016, 24 min.)
A historic recovery effort in Eastern North Carolina, highlights the struggle to reintroduce one of the rarest animals on earth.
Director: Roshan Patel

PRONGHORN REVIVAL (USA, 2015, 6 min.)
Texan wildlife biologists fight for the future by transporting 100 antelope to a new area in an attempt to revive an iconic species.
Director: Ben Masters

FIX AND RELEASE (Canada, 2017, 16 min.)
A small turtle trauma centre in Peterborough Ontario Canada fights to even the odds for survival that freshwater turtles face in a modern world. This visually beautiful film shows turtles in a way that few have seen before.
Director: Scott Dobson

IN SEARCH OF TZOTZ (USA, 2016, 9 min.)
Deep in the Mayan forest of southern Mexico live two species of large carnivorous bats. Join the search for these rare and elusive creatures.
Director: Jason Jaacks
Sat, Mar 18, 12 PM FREE with reservations Q&A
Carnegie Institution for Science

SPOTLIGHT ON BIRD CONSERVATION

A SEABIRD’S STORY (USA, 2016, 2 min.)
An orphaned seabird gets a second chance after being rescued by scientists.
Director: Aditi Desai in person

BIRDS OF MAY (USA, 2016, 28 min.)
Against the scenic backdrop of the Delaware Bay, an oyster farming boom threatens to push the rufa red knot closer to extinction.
Director: Jared Flesher in person

MAPPING MIGRATION (USA, 2016, 4 min.)
Using light level geolocators, researchers examine the journeys of Golden-winged and Cerulean Warblers.
Director: Aditi Desai in person

Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital


SURVIVING THE WILD: CATS AND BIRDS
(USA, 2016, 8 min.)
Cats may be cute and cuddly, but their impact outdoors on native wildlife is another story.
Director: Aditi Desai in person
Sat, Mar 18, 11 AM FREE with reservations Q&A
National Wildlife Visitor Center

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For the complete schedule, visit the Festival website, www.dceff.org and find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital

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