Guest blog by Adam Leipzig, CEO of Entertainment Media Partners and former President of National Geographic Films.
With the 23rd installment of the Environmental Film Festival now under way, I’m again excited by the lineup of films that organizers will screen. It’s an eclectic mix of over 150 environmentally-themed movies that will do what the medium does best – display its power to inform, inspire and incite.
These attributes often drove my passion for the projects we were making at National Geographic Films, where I served as President from 2003 to 2010. When there is a cause behind the film being made, there is an extra impetus that makes it more meaningful. It tends to push filmmakers to the furthest lengths to tell their stories in the best way possible. I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that making movies that make a difference is what we should all strive for.
Still image from Landfill Harmonic. Image courtesy of filmmakers.
Be it a feature, a short, a doc or a narrative, there are over 150 films at his year’s EFF that can and will make a difference. Not just for the filmmakers and the crews involved in their production, but also for the audiences that will see them at over 40 venues in and around Washington, D.C.
As EFF Executive Director Stephanie Flack, recently wrote in Cultural Weekly:
“Film has the ability to capture people’s hearts and minds and engage them in matters of vital importance to current and future generations.”
She’s right of course, and I encourage you all to truly become engaged … to incite action in your daily lives. Action that can make a difference and help fight the battle to reverse the perilous and fragile state of our global environment.
Can you make a difference? Yes! For any number of reasons, some of us will be able to do more than others, but all of us can do something. I ask that you not only commit to support the fine films and filmmakers involved in this year’s EFF, but to also commit to exploring some of the simple things you can do right now to give your environment a helping hand.
Penguin Counters. Image Credit: Harriet Getzels
My friends at the EFF have even made it easy for us. They’ve put together a great list of 10 Things You Can Do to Combat Climate Change. Here are the basics,andbe sure to visit the web page dedicated to this campaign, where you will find more details in a fun and informative format:
- Produce less trash
- Ride a bike
- Spare the pig
- Plant a garden
- Choose renewable energy
- Turn off the lights
- Share a shower
- Watch an environmental-themed film
- Join an environmental organization
- Speak out
Can all of us do all 10? I’ll be honest; I don’t do all 10 myself yet. However, we can all do at least a few, and strive to do more, which means we all can make a difference.
Adam Leipzig is the CEO of Entertainment Media Partners and the Publisher/Managing Editor of the popular online magazine Cultural Weekly. He is the former President of National Geographic Films and a past Senior VP at Walt Disney Pictures. He is also the author of Inside Track for Independent Filmmakers: Get Your Move Made, Get Your Movie seen, and is on faculty at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business.