Green on the Screens

56 venues host thought-provoking films

From sustainable food culture to colony collapse disorder to school lunches, the vital connection between food and the environment is a major theme of the 18th annual Environmental Film Festival, to be held March 16-28.

Film buffs and environmentally aware citizens will have the opportunity to see 155 documentary, feature, animated, archival, experimental, and children’s films selected to provide fresh, thought-provoking perspectives on environmental issues facing our planet.

The festival takes place at 56 venues throughout the city, including museums, embassies, libraries, universities and local theaters -- and most of the screenings are free.

Local Highlights

The Green House: Design It. Build It. Live It., is a documentary that chronicles the building and design of the first carbon-neutral house in the D.C. area. A discussion with the filmmakers, builder, and designers featured in the film follows the screening on Wednesday, March 17, 7:00 p.m. at E Street Cinema.

Who Killed Crassostrea Virginica: The Fall and Rise of Chesapeake Bay Oysters documents the decline of a Chesapeake Bay oyster fishery devastated by the economy of traditional tidewater communities in Maryland and Virginia. This documentary re-evaluates the usual suspects -- overfishing, pollution, disease, and mismanagement -- in light of fresh findings from science labs, the bottom of the Bay, and long-forgotten historical archives. Sunday March 21, 1:30 at the Carnegie Institution for Science.

Lunch is a short documentary that takes a close look at the nation’s school-food programs through the meals offered by Balitmore’s public schools. The filmmaker not only highlights the links between food and academics and between the current food system and political decisions, but also focuses on initiatives aimed at giving our children healthier lunches in school. Monday March 22 at 7 p.m., American University, Center for Environmental Filmmaking & Earth Day Network.

Global Highlights

The D.C. premiere of GasLand, an award-winner from the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, will screen on the festival’s opening night with filmmaker Josh Fox in attendance. A special sneak preview of Turtle: The Incredible Journey traces the extraordinary lifetime journey of the loggerhead turtle as it navigates the globe. The D.C. premiere of Colony documents the crisis of colony collapse disorder within the beekeeping community.

What’s On Your Plate? focuses on food sources and Fresh on the growth of a sustainable food culture in America, while Seed Hunter spotlights the search for seed genes able to withstand global warming. Dirt! The Movie and Soil in Good Heart highlight the key role of topsoil in creating nourishing food.

The Music Tree, which explores the future of the threatened brazilwood tree, a vital in the manufacturing of fine violin bows since the age of Mozart, will receive the Festival’s first annual Polly Krakora Award for artistry in film at its D.C. premiere with Brazilian filmmaker Otavio Juliano.

The Environmental Film Festival has become the leading showcase for environmental films in the United States. There will be cinematic work from 31 countries and 66 D.C., U.S. and world premieres. Fifty-six filmmakers and 94 special guests will discuss their work at the festival.

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