A still from the festival film Rebalancing, about DC’s bikeshare program
We’ll all go green this spring when the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital—one of the world’s largest and most influential showcases of ecological film—returns to the District March 18 to 30.
For this 22nd installment of the annual event, themed “Our Cities, Our Planet,” festivities will focus on the effects of urbanization and how cities are coping with environmental issues in an age of widespread budget cuts. And you can expect an “exciting slate of film screenings, panel discussions, and events,” explains Peter O’Brien, the festival’s executive director. “We will also present two new awards for environmental advocacy and sustainability filmmaking.”
More than 160 documentary, feature, animated, archival, experimental, and children’s movies from around the globe will be on view, and most showings are free. They’ll play at more than 70 venues around Washington, including embassies, libraries, universities, local theaters, and even museums, such as the National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.
The New York City skyline glows from the vantage of a Brooklyn rooftop garden in Growing Cities
For the first time, some programming will highlight Sustainable DC—the “green” initiative launched by DC Mayor Vincent C. Gray—with an event featuring two short films and a discussion with DC government officials, including Director of the District Department of the Environment Keith Anderson. “Cities across the country—and the globe—are proving to be the engines of innovation and effective change when it comes to sustainability,” explains Gray, who points to our own town as a leader in this area.
In this spirit, locals play a prominent role in the festival, including DC filmmaker Tim Cone in his presentation of Rebalancing, which tells the story of how Capital Bikeshare and its bicycles have affected the city’s environment. Also on view is Extreme Realities, the newest episode of PBS’s Journey to Planet Earth series, produced by Emmy Award–winning DC filmmakers Marilyn and Hal Weiner and narrated by actor Matt Damon. Of special importance to DC residents, the local filmmakers consult with weather and policy experts (including Lester Brown, Carol Browner, and Paul Krugman) to examine connections between extreme weather, the changing climate, and our national security. For a complete festival schedule or to make a donation, visit dcenvironmentalfilmfest.org