2018 Award Winners

Shared Earth Foundation Award for Advocacy

Established for the 2014 Festival, this award recognizes a film that inspires advocacy in response to a compelling environmental challenge. The award includes a $10,000 cash prize.


Photo: Courtesy of Sundance Institute.


Executive Produced by James Cameron, The Game Changers tells the story of James Wilks —elite special forces trainer and winner of The Ultimate Fighter —as he travels the world on a quest for the truth behind the world’s most dangerous myth: that meat is necessary for protein, strength and optimal health. Meeting elite athletes, special ops soldiers, visionary scientists, cultural icons, and everyday heroes, what James Wilks discovers permanently changes his relationship with food and his definition of true strength.


DIRECTOR: Louie Psihoyos

(USA, 2018, 88 min.)

Read more about this award here.



William W. Warner Beautiful Swimmers Award

Established by the Warner/Kaempfer family for the 2015 Festival in memory of William W. Warner, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “Beautiful Swimmers,” a study of the crabs and watermen of the Chesapeake Bay, this award recognizes a film that reflects a spirit of reverence for the natural world. The award includes a $10,000 cash prize.


Winner: SILAS

Liberian activist, Silas Siakor is a tireless crusader, fighting to crush corruption and environmental destruction in the country he loves. Silas is a global tale that warns of the power of politics and celebrates the power of individuals to fight back. One man’s battle gains momentum and emboldens communities to raise their fists and smartphones, seize control of their lands and protect their environment. It is a new generation of resistance.


DIRECTOR: Anjali Nayar and Hawa Essuman

(Canada/Kenya/South Africa, 2017, 80 min.)

Read more about this award here.



Eric Moe Award for Best Short on Sustainability

Founded in 2013 by Julia and Richard Moe in memory of their son, Eric, to honor his strong interest in film and commitment to sustainability, this award recognizes a short film that best captures efforts to balance the needs of humans and nature. The award includes a $5,000 cash prize.



Water Warriors is the story of a community’s successful fight against the oil and natural gas industry in New Brunswick, Canada, A multicultural group of unlikely warriors set up a series of road blockades, sometimes on fire, preventing exploration. After months of resistance, their efforts not only halted drilling; they elected a new government and won an indefinite moratorium on fracking in the province.


DIRECTOR: Michael Premo

(USA/Canada, 2017, 22 min.)

Read more about this award here.



The Polly Krakora Award For Artistry in Film

Established in 2010 by Joseph Krakora in memory of his wife Polly Krakora, a member of the DCEFF Advisory Council, the Polly Krakora Award for Artistry in Film recognizes artistic achievement, craftsmanship, and cinematography in an environmental film. The award includes a $5,000 cash prize.


Winner: FIVE SEASONS: The Gardens of Piet Oudolf

Piet Oudolf is the most influential landscape designer of the last 50 years. The film is a wandering journey, visiting many of his iconic works, including his garden in Holland, the Highline in New York, and the great public works in Chicago, the UK, as well as far-flung sources of inspiration, from German industrial parks to the thick woods of Pennsylvania and a Texas wildflower explosion Piet now refers to as his masterpiece — the 7,000 square meters public garden for the art gallery Hauser & Wirth Somerset.


DIRECTOR: Thomas Piper

(USA, 2017, 75 min.)

Read more about this award here.