Wednesday, March 9, 2011

DC Environmental Film Festival -- Films About Our Area

The DC Environmental Film Festival features 150 beautiful and disturbing films from around the world -- from Australia to Arabia to Argentina. But hidden among them are always films that look at nature and environment closer to home. Here are the ones we found on this year's schedule, which runs from March 15-27. Even if you can't catch all the shows, you can check out some of the trailers we found.

Kids and Nature

MOTHER NATURE’S CHILD (March 25, 6PM at THEARC, 57 min, Free). "Nature’s powerful role in children’s health and development is explored...from Vermont to Washington, D.C. The film marks a moment in time when a living generation can still recall childhoods of free play outdoors; this will not be true for most children growing up today." Followed by a discussion with the filmmaker and kids from the film.

Films about Sustainable Food in DC

A series of four short films includes two from the DC area, including a film about a guy I buy produce from every once in a while. (March 17, 7PM at the Maret School, Free) They include:

  • AMERICA'S SUSTAINABLE GARDEN "The United States Botanic Garden, at the foot of the U.S. Capitol, is a living plant museum that helps people understand that plants are not optional, but are fundamental to our society and our existence."(15 min.)
  • CORNER PLOT "Amid the tangle of commuter traffic, shopping malls and office buildings that define life inside the Capital Beltway rests a one-acre piece of farmland under the care of 89-year-old Charlie Koiner." (10 min.)

A COMMUNITY OF GARDENERS (March 25, 4PM at THEARC, 60 min, Free). "Through the voices of young people, senior citizens, immigrants, garden volunteers and educators, this documentary explores the vital role of seven D.C. urban community gardens as sources of fresh, nutritious food, outdoor classrooms, places of healing, links to immigrants’ native countries and oases of beauty and calm in inner-city neighborhoods. "

Films about Coal in West Virginia

BURNING THE FUTURE: COAL IN AMERICA (March 21, 6PM at UDC, 54 min, Free) "Faced with toxic ground water, the obliteration of 1.4 million acres of mountains, and a government that appeases industry, our heroes demonstrate a strength of purpose and character in their improbable fight to arouse the nation's help in protecting their mountains, saving their families, and preserving their way of life."

ON COAL RIVER (March 17, 7PM at American University, 80 min, Free) "Viewers embark on a gripping emotional journey into the Coal River Valley of West Virginia – a community surrounded by lush mountains and a looming toxic threat. The film follows Ed Wiley, a former coal miner, and his neighbors in a David-and-Goliath struggle for the future of their valley."

Films about the Chesapeake Bay

Four short films that explore the environmental issues facing the bay and the way of life that it has supported for decades will be shown together on March 23. (6PM at the Carnegie Institution for Science, Free)
  • THE LAST BOAT OUT  "The largest bay in the United States is dying...taking with it a way of life for the thousands of watermen whose families have made their living on the Bay for generations." (2010, 26 min.)
  • THE RUNOFF DILEMMA "Agricultural nutrient runoff represents the major pollution crisis facing the Chesapeake Bay." (2010, 30 min.)
  • WATERMEN "...a simple but powerful story of watermen’s lives." (1969, 63 min.)
  • STURGEON: EGGS TO DIE FOR  "An exploration of why the great Atlantic Sturgeon has declined in the Chesapeake Bay and beyond, and the hopes scientists have of a big comeback for the mighty fish." (2008, 30 min.)

Also look for features on Aldo Leopold and David Suzuki, films about flamingos, elephants, monkeys, and hummingbirds, animated shorts, and much much more...the full schedule is here.