World tour of Environmental film festivals

Summary

All around the world, more than ten film festivals about environmental issues are held every year. In Paris, the latest edition of France’s Festival International du Film d’Environnement (FIFE) was devoted to climate change and COP21 issues. Documentaries, short animations and archive films about the natural world and green lifestyles were screened. All these events aimed to help raise awareness of environmental issues.

05Mar.
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The FIFE took place in Paris in the beginning of February 2015. 101 films and 20 documentaries on the environment were screened. Ten months before the COP21 conference, this festival garnered nine awards and three special mentions. The FIFE focused on several themes – the USA, climate change, people power, wildlife, health and environment, the city and access to water – and was totally free.

This year the Danish documentary ‘Good Things Await’ won the Grand Jury Prize. The movie, directed by Phie Ambo, tells the gripping story of Niels Stokholm, one of the most idealistic farmers in Denmark. He runs a biodynamic farm with his wife, Rita, and from their farm, Thorshøjgaard, they distribute products to some of the world’s top restaurants. But not everyone approves of Thorshøjgaard and their holistic methods. Authorities and bureaucracy threaten to close down the farm.

Film director Phie Ambo follows their struggle to ensure that they are not the last to farm the way they do, but some of the first. Watch the trailer here and here. Martin Provost, the President of the Jury, said of the film: ‘It was a natural choice, unanimously adopted. It’s a hopeful movie’. The Special Jury’s Prize was awarded jointly to two films: ‘Varvilla’ by Valerio Gnesini and ‘Bidonville: architectures de la ville future’ by Jean-Nicolas Orhon. You can watch the trailers for ‘Varvilla’ here and ‘Bidonville’ here.

Several film festivals dedicated to environmental themes all around the world

One of the most interesting environmental festivals in the USA is the San Francisco Green Film Festival. Its mission is ‘to educate and connect communities through forward-thinking programmes of environmental films and discussions’. First held in March 2011, the San Francisco Green Film Festival will take place this year from 28 May – 3 June, in San Francisco (USA).

All environmental issues are covered.

Last year, ‘DamNation’ by Matt Stoecker won the Best Feature Award in San Francisco and the Audience Award in Telluride Mountainfilm (a festival about America’s environmental issues). In ‘DamNation’ (watch the trailer here), the film director Matt Stoecker wanted to ‘tell a positive, inspirational story about what was happening. We wanted to show the destructive power of dams but also, when you remove a dam, how quickly watersheds and fisheries come back to life, how resilient nature is’.

In Washington DC, the Environmental Film Festival promotes numerous films, especially documentaries about nature.

In Australia, the Byron Bay International Film Festival promotes environmental films and hands out a Best Environmental Film Award every year. The festival programme’s structure and content focus on all fields of economic, industrial and human activities, stressing the need for sustainable development to be a continuous process. The festival programme is first and foremost educational. In Washington DC, the Environmental Film Festival promotes numerous films, especially documentaries about nature.

Environmental Films have thus become an international trend and aim to support the numerous climate changes that need to be addressed.In connection with the COP21 planned for next November, raising awareness on those issues might be one of the keys to the conference success.

Photos © ChameleonsEye / shutterstock