Brad Forder is currently the Director of Programmer for the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital. He has worked as the director of photography for various documentary projects – including the upcoming film Painted City– and has served as a videographer at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. He holds a BA in Asian Studies from Furman University and an MA in International Journalism from Cardiff University.
DCEFF: What has it been like since the 2016 Festival wrapped?
Brad Forder: Since we wrapped DCEFF 2016, we have definitely been staying busy with year-round events.
Last month, we co-presented three film programs around Earth Day on April 22nd: two screenings of Mark Decena’s Not Without Us, in partnership with FilmFest DC; William Kleinert’s Project Ice at National Institutes of Health; and a series of farming shorts with Howard University’s Office of Sustainability.
We also partnered with Montgomery County Green Fest, on April 30, to screen a film from the 2016 Festival, E. O. Wilson: Of Ants and Men.
We are excited about the upcoming programming we have planned, as well. We’ll be presenting more environmental films throughout the year, many of which will be premiering for the first time in D.C. These year-round screenings will be announced on the website and promoted on our social media channels.
DCEFF: You have also been traveling – talk about the festivals that you attended in April.
BF: One part of the job that I thoroughly enjoy is the opportunity to attend other festivals. Aside from researching relevant films for DCEFF, it is a great opportunity to brainstorm with other festival organizers and compare notes. This spring I have been able to attend FullFrame Documentary Festival in Durham, North Carolina and Tribeca Film Festival in New York. Both had a good number of environmental films that we look forward to potentially screening during the year or at DCEFF 2017.
It’s also an added bonus to run into DCEFF alumni. At FullFrame I saw Lance and Brandon Kramer of Meridian Hill Pictures here in D.C. Their film City of Trees continues to have a strong festival run and they recently had their U.S. television premiere on America Reframed. While I was in New York for Tribeca, Josh Fox had his New York theatrical premiere of How to Let Go of the World. Josh’s film, which was the recipient of our Documentary Award for Environmental Advocacy, was a perfect way to close DCEFF this year and it’s wonderful to see the impact that the film continues to have across the country. They have plans to screen the film in 100 different places around the world that are considered to be “Hot Spots” for fossil fuel infrastructure.
DCEFF: What sets DCEFF apart from other festivals that you’ve attended?
BF: As the largest environmental film festival in the country, DCEFF screened over 150 films this year, and hosted more than 270 filmmakers and special guests. In addition, we screened at 55+ different locations throughout the Washington, D.C. area – it’s this number that I believe sets us apart. Flo Stone founded the Festival as a collaborative model 24 years ago and we continue to work with Washington’s leading non-profit organizations, museums, embassies, universities, and theaters to advance the public’s understanding of the environment and inspire action through film. This year, we partnered with over 100 organizations around D.C. We take pride in the many partnerships that we have developed over the years, and are excited about strengthening those relationships and building new ones, as we look toward our 25th Anniversary Festival.
DCEFF: Speaking of the 25th Festival, when will you open submissions for the 2017 Festival and what are you looking out for, as far as topic, audience and impact?
BF: Last year we received over 1400 submissions – including features, shorts, documentaries and narratives. We will begin our next call for submissions this summer. So, anyone interested in submitting a film to DCEFF 2017 should keep a lookout on our website, around June, to find out more about the submission process and the 2017 Festival theme.
As always, submissions are free – anyone can submit to be a part of our 2017 lineup. Films will be reviewed by our programming team throughout the year and selection announcements will be made in January 2017.