Women Filmmakers Press Release

Sandy Cannon-Brown, director of Beautiful Swimmers Revisited.

Contact: Helen Strong, helen@dceff.org or 202-342-2564

Strongest Year Ever For Women Filmmakers

Environmental Film Festival Marks 24 Years in Washington, D.C.


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital, March 15-26, is the largest and longest-running environmental film festival in the country and one of the largest collaborative cultural events in Washington, D.C. The 24th annual Festival will present over 140 films selected to provide local and global perspectives on a wide variety of environmental issues facing our planet. The 2016 Festival features cinematic work from 33 countries and over 70 Washington, D.C., U.S. and World premieres. Most screenings include discussion with filmmakers, environmental experts and cultural leaders.

This year’s Festival will see the largest number of women filmmakers participating in its 24 year history with more than 60 percent of film screenings, festival-wide, made by women. Of those 88 women filmmakers, 50 of them are directors or co-directors of their films. Since 2014, EFF’s festival programming has featured nearly 250 films made by women.

On opening night, March 15, the Festival’s premiere screening and reception will celebrate its theme Parks: Protecting Wild by featuring Australian filmmaker Jennifer Peedom’s film Sherpa, which takes place in Sagarmatha National Park in Nepal and chronicles a historic moment of tragedy and resistance in which the Sherpas and their families reconsider the spiritual, economic, and personal implications of climbing – or not climbing – Mt. Everest. Discussion including Tenzin Norbu, son of Tenzin Norgey, follows screening.

Another first in 2016 will be the presentation of the 2016 William W. Warner Beautiful Swimmers Award to director Laura Dunn (The Unforeseen) for her Washington, D.C. premiere film, The Seer: A Portrait of Wendell Berry on Thursday, March 24 at 7:00 pm at the National Geographic Society.

The Festival will feature screenings of three additional outstanding female directors: Sandy Cannon-Brown for Beautiful Swimmers Revisited, Marilyn Weiner for Dispatches from the Gulf, both of which are World premieres, and Natasha Despotovic for The Value of Life (Valor Vital), a U.S. premiere which will be screening as part of the Global Foundation for Democracy and

Development Program. All three will be honored at a Women Filmmakers’ Breakfast panel discussion moderated by EFF Founder, Flo Stone on March 17 at Restaurant Nora.

Other notable films by women being shown this year are Holly Morris’s The Babushkas of Chernobyl, Laurie Anderson’s Heart of a Dog and a retrospective of Director Kelly Reichardt’s remarkable narrative features, including River of Grass, Old Joy, Night Moves, Meek’s Cutoff and Wendy and Lucy.

Local films by women at this year’s Festival include the World premiere of The Culture of Collards, which explores the African-American cultural heritage of collard greens, by D.C. filmmakers Aditi Desai and Vanina Harel; the Washington, D.C. premieres of Another Way of Living by Virginia filmmaker Rebekah Wingert-Jabi, which describes the creation of the utopian suburban town of Reston, Va.; and Written on Water, co-produced by D.C. filmmaker Kaitlin Whitman, which covers the decline of the Ogallala Aquifer in the High Plains.

The Environmental Film Festival is the leading showcase for environmental film in the United States and is presented in collaboration with over 100 local, national and global organizations. Festival films are screened at 52 venues throughout the Washington metropolitan area, including museums, embassies, libraries, universities, and local theaters in all eight wards of the city. Some 70 percent of films are free. For the complete schedule, visit the Festival website, dceff.org and find us on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Photographs are available on our website under the press section or by email from info@dceff.org.


PDF of press release is available for download here.