Monday, March 12, 2012

Local highlights at the Environmental Film Festival

Spooled Up
Photo credit: davefancher
This year is the 20th anniversary of the DC Environmental Film Festival, from March 13 to 25. Films from all over the world will highlight the amazing beauty of our planet and the forces that threaten it.

As I've done for the past few years, I'll highlight a few picks here that have a local bent:
March 20 at 6:30, Carnegie Institution for Science: Two films on the Potomac River

EXPEDITION BLUE PLANET (Clips). "Alexandra Cousteau, Founder and President of Blue Legacy International and a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, traveled across North America on “Expedition Blue Planet,” a 17,000-mile journey investigating water issues “in the backyard” of the world’s largest consumer economy. Alexandra and her team used everything from the underwater gear invented by her grandfather, to the latest in satellite technology and live social media to explore some of the great water treasures, investigate issues of water conservation and hear stories of people from all walks of life who are working to solve the global water crisis. She will show footage of the Potomac River from the expedition and discuss the role of film, social media and live engagement in environmental advocacy."

POTOMAC: AMERICAN REFLECTIONS (57 min.). "Everyone knows the Potomac as the river that flows past Washington, D.C. But what do we know about the river beyond our capital city? This film follows the 382-mile course of the Potomac from its origins at a small spring in West Virginia, through old coal town communities, past solitary nomads and bargemen’s children who grew up on the C&O Canal to mountain farms, survivors of the Piscataway Indian tribe and finally to the 12-mile wide river of ships that meets the Chesapeake Bay."

March 21 at 7 PM, American University: Films by local students

THE CAPITAL BUZZ (15 min.) Out of sight of local authorities and neighbors, amateur beekeepers are working hard to propagate bees all across Washington, D.C.
ALIENS AMONG US (15 min.) A satirical film about alien invaders in the Galapagos Islands.
TALKING TRASH IN BALTIMORE (5 min.) This film focuses on young inner city students as they learn how their habits can improve the health of the Baltimore Harbor and by consequence the Chesapeake and surrounding areas.
MICROBREWERIES, MAXIMUM SUSTAINABILITY (3 min.) An examination of small craft beer companies illustrates an increased commitment to newer sustainable practices.
FROM FRYER TO FUEL (4 min.) In search of energy alternatives, the filmmakers visit the Green Light Biofuels Company in Maryland where vegetable oil is converted into biofuel.
COFFEE IN CRISIS (4 min.) Learn how climate change is affecting the business of a local coffee company and bringing climate change right down to your coffee cup!

March 24 at 9:30 AM, Patuxent Wildlife Refuge: A film on Patuxent NWR (and two others)

THE HISTORY OF PATUXENT: AMERICA'S CONSERVATION STORY (27 min.). "Come learn the history of the only designated National Wildlife Refuge dedicated solely to habitat research. Located in the backyard of the nation’s capital between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore, Md., it was established by executive order in 1936 by President Franklin Roosevelt, who declared that wildlife research is the “barometer for climate change.” As one of 540 such refuges throughout the U.S., Patuxent’s focus is mainly on bird research, but it also played an important early role in establishing the link between DDT and its ill effects on local earthworms and birds. The film reminds us that, regardless of decades of change, Patuxent’s mission of conserving and protecting the nation’s wildlife and habitat through research and wildlife management techniques has remained virtually unchanged.