Community Spotlight: Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital

2017 Opening Night Event: Water & Power, directed by Marina Zenovich, followed by a post-screening discussion with producer Alex Gibney and Maryanne Culpepper, Executive Director of the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital.

2017 Opening Night Event: Water & Power, directed by Marina Zenovich, followed by a post-screening discussion with producer Alex Gibney and Maryanne Culpepper, Executive Director of the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital.

HumanitiesDC works with a number of phenomenal organizations whose projects celebrate the heritage of our communities and the potential of our youth. This month, we are proud to spotlight the work of The Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital, which celebrated its 25th anniversary this past March.

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Established in 1993, the Festival is the largest and longest-running of its kind in the United States. The 2017 Festival (#DCEFF25) ran  March 14-26, featuring 180 films and 160 speakers in 40 venues across the metro area.
Beyond the festival itself, DCEFF works year-round to host screenings, events, and educational programs. In December 2016, the Festival launched a new youth-based initiative with the help of a Who’s a Washingtonian? grant from HumanitiesDC. The funds provided by Humanities DC went toward the #DCEFF25 digital shorts competition and Youth Film Award.
Youth Media Workshop hosted by the Environmental Film Festival

Youth Media Workshop hosted by the Environmental Film Festival

The pilot program was part of the Festival’s ongoing mission to inspire stewardship of the Earth through the power of film. DC youth, between the ages of 12-18, were asked to produce films, no more than 60 seconds in length, that explored their city environment and relationship to it. During the call for submissions, local youth also had an opportunity to get unprecedented exposure to the filmmaking process and art of storytelling from local filmmakers and professionals during a Youth Media Workshop at THEARC in Southeast, DC. The event was hosted in partnership with the FBR Boys & Girls Club ExTeens and iCan interns, in addition to community partners, such as the DC CollaborativeThe General Store Inc. and One Common Unity, among others.
A total of 25 film submissions were received, which applicants uploaded and shared via social media (TwitterFacebook & Instagram). The winning film (99 CENTS) was announced on March 2, at DCEFF’s annual Youth Program at the Lincoln Theatre. Filmmakers Miles Tiller, 13, and Lucien Anderson, 13, were awarded a $1,000 cash prize and got to see their film on the big screen, ahead of the feature film NALEDI. The winning film and top picks from the competition were also shown during the 2017 Festival (as part of Student Film Showcase at American University) as well as after the Festival, on Earth Day (at Howard University).
HumanitiesDC is very proud to have worked with DCEFF on their youth initiative, as a part of our ongoing commitment to empower all young people to engage in civic life and become responsible stewards of our city’s rich heritage, history, and culture. DCEFF has plenty more programs in-store this summer, including an encore screening of SEA OF HOPE (from the 2017 Festival), which is showing June 14 at the Anacostia Community Museum. For more films, events and updates, visit DCEFF.org.
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