ACFF features 48 films and complimentary programming
The American Conservation Film Festival is adapting to the times and sees opportunities that it never realized before in presenting its curated film
line-up entirely online. “While this pandemic has presented incredible challenges to so many people and organizations, including small non-profits like ours, it has also pushed us to come up with innovative ways to share the compelling stories about our environment that are more important than ever,” says Jennifer Lee, ACFF’s executive director.
The 18th annual festival will be presented online starting March 24 and running through March 28. All of the selected 48 films, including 5 award winners, will be available to watch during all five days of the festival. ACFF has always strived to make films and programs accessible to as many people as possible. The online virtual format increases that potential, and ACFF is going two steps further to create access for all — all films and programs will be free and all films will have closed captions.
“Working for the National Park Service has really inspired me to become a big advocate for captioning,” says ACFF board member and conservation filmmaker Sarah Gulick. “As a federal agency, we are legally required to caption all of our films, but it is also just the right thing to do. I also have a good friend and neighbor who is deaf. While COVID may keep us from watching together in person, I want to be able to share these films with everyone I know. The conservation challenges of today require all hands on deck, and the amazing stories of our natural world should be available to everyone.”
The theme for this year’s festival— Voices for a New World — speaks to the diversity of film subjects and filmmakers, the new world of virtual programming, and the importance of listening to each other and the environment to effect positive change. Film topics (searchable on the festival platform) include the standard ones like wildlife preservation, climate change, and food and agriculture while putting new and greater emphasis on environmental justice, youth perspectives, and diversity.
“Everyone wants clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, pristine lands and rivers and oceans to enjoy. I think that’s where we can all literally find common ground that serves everyone, not just a privileged few,” says Lee. Five panel discussions on the themes of environmental justice, greener farming, women leadership in conservation, the role of indigenous leaders in preserving wild lands, and youthful perspectives will also be offered, as well as interviews with filmmakers and film subjects and nightly Zoom meet-ups for audience interaction.
Registration for the festival is now open at: https://2021festival.eventive.org/welcome. Film descriptions and trailers allow people to get a sneak preview of festival offerings and start planning their viewing experience over the five days of the festival.
For regular updates, follow conservationfilmfest.org and social media channels.