Published on : Saturday, February 27, 2016
The Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital, the nation’s largest and longest-running environmental film festival, announces that its 2016 theme is “Parks: Protecting Wild,” and will be presented in partnership with Subaru of America. This exciting series of film programs will explore the vital role of parks and protected areas on our planet. By conserving the planet’s resources – forests, wildlife, fresh water, and clean air – protected areas are key to maintaining the globe’s ecological balance, and to connecting people to the natural world.
The Festival’s theme salutes the U.S. National Park Service’s 2016 Centennial and its stewardship of national parks. Subaru of America is contributing to that stewardship by working with the National Park Service on a zero landfill initiative designed to help significantly reduce waste in some of the nation’s most precious environments for another century and beyond.
The 24th annual Festival, March 15-26, will present 145 documentary, narrative, animated, archival and children’s films selected to provide fresh perspectives on a variety of environmental issues facing the Earth. Films from 33 countries will be screened, including more than 70 Washington, D.C., U.S. and World premieres. Screenings will include discussion with visiting filmmakers, scientists and policy makers. A major collaborative city-wide event, the Festival is hosted at 52 venues across the Washington, D.C. metro area, including museums, embassies, libraries, universities, and theaters. Most screenings are free, and an audience of 30,000 is expected.
Festival Executive Director Chris Head said, “At DCEFF, our mission is to advance the public’s understanding of the environment through the power of film. This year’s theme furthers that goal by highlighting the importance of parks and protected areas across the globe. The films in this series powerfully illustrate the need to protect the wild from environmental degradation. With their National Parks Zero Landfill Initiative, Subaru of America was the perfect partner to help us present these films, and so we’re very proud to be working with them to promote the ‘Parks: Protecting Wild’ theme.”
“Subaru and its drivers care deeply about making the world a better place, while exploring new ways to help celebrate and preserve the environment,” said Alan Bethke, vice president of marketing for Subaru of America. “We are excited to help showcase some incredible films that will help shed light on environmental issues facing our National Parks and we will continue to work tirelessly alongside the National Park Service in moving these treasures closer towards zero landfill.”
Highlights of the Festival’s parks-themed films include:
The new MacGillivray Freeman IMAX film, National Parks Adventure, salutes the U.S. National Park Service’s Centennial and explores the mountains, canyons and waters of our iconic and majestic protected places, from Yosemite and Yellowstone to the Everglades.
Oscar-nominated and Emmy Award-winning director David Vassar will present a retrospective of clips from his films exploring Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Death Valley National Parks. He will also preview scenes from his new film, Conspiracy of Extremes, advocating for the protection of pristine desert lands adjacent to Death Valley, Joshua Tree National Park, and Mojave National Preserve.
National Park Service filmmaker John Grabowska will show two of his films showcasing parks. Ribbon of Sand-North Carolina’s Outer Banks profiles a seascape and the transitory islands on the Carolina coast doomed to disappear due to climate change. Sky Island – New Mexico’s Jemez Mountains spotlights the high desert parklands of New Mexico.
An American Ascent, documenting the first African-American expedition to tackle Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley), North America’s highest peak, will be shown as a free pre-Festival event screening for D.C. middle and high school students and again during the Festival. This historic adventure challenges outdated notions of racial identity and environment and encourages everyone to get active in our parks.
Archival films of national parks from the 1930s will be shown in the program “From the Vaults: The National Park Service on Film,” including the towering Redwoods and exotic flora of Land of the Giants, the purple high country vistas of the Great Smoky Mountains, and New Mexico’s drifting White Sands.
Parks in Washington, D.C. are the subject of the film City of Trees, covering the efforts of a local nonprofit to improve city parks by planting trees while providing much-needed jobs at the height of the recession.
Recognizing that the national parks idea began in the U.S. and spread across the globe, Festival films will also encompass parks and preserves worldwide. The Festival’s Opening Night film, Sherpa, takes place in Nepal’s Sagarmatha National Park and captures the highly dangerous work of the Sherpas in summiting Everest, and a major tragedy on the mountain.