DCEFF 26: Stories from the Frontlines

The Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital returns March 15 – 25, 2018

In Washington DC, Paris, Sydney and cities around the world millions are marching to protect our planet and its fragile ecosystems. Rangers in Kenya, Mozambique and Nepal are putting their lives on the line every day to save endangered species.  Protestors are risking harsh conditions and arrest to thwart pipelines, deforestation and other environmental threats.

In 2018, DCEFF will honor these environmental heroes with ‘Stories From the Frontlines’. Whether it is wildlife conservation, habitat protection, clean drinking water or clean air, our films and speakers will reflect the action and the passion of those who are working on the battlelines to protect and preserve the environment for us and for future generations.

Our 26th annual film festival is going to be our biggest and best ever. This March, we’ll present 100+ films to audiences of more than 30,000. We hope to see you there.



THE LAST ANIMALS: DIR Kate Brooks. USA/UK. The Last Animals is a story about an extraordinary group of people who go to incredible lengths to save the planet’s last animals. The documentary follows the conservationists, scientists and activists battling poachers and transnational trafficking syndicates to protect elephants and rhinos from extinction. D.C. Premiere.



THE GAME CHANGERS: DIR Louie Psihoyos. USA. 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 discovers permanently changes his relationship with food and his definition of true strength. D.C. Premiere.



CHASING THE THUNDER :DIR Mark Benjamin and Marc Levin. USA. A thrilling high seas adventure feature documentary where two marine conservation captains from Sea Shepherd go on a hundred day chase of the illegal poacher and pirate fishing vessel, the Thunder. D.C. Premiere.

JANE: DIR Brett Morgen. USA. Drawing from over 100 hours of never-before seen footage tucked away in the National Geographic Society, 50 years of archival footage tells the story of Jane Goodall, a woman whose chimpanzee research challenged the male-dominated scientific consensus of her time and revolutionized our understanding of the natural world. Set to a rich orchestral score from legendary composer Philip Glass, the film offers an unprecedented, intimate portrait of a trailblazer who defied the odds to become one of the world’s most admired conservationists.

POINT OF NO RETURN: DIR Noel Dockstader and Quinn Kanaly. USA. Two Swiss pilots’ journey to make an historic attempt to circumnavigate the globe in an airplane fueled exclusively by sunlight to prove the potential of clean technology and inspire hearts and minds. Technical failures, unplanned landings, and stormy weather put the entire mission in jeopardy and drain their team’s spirits. A remarkable psychological drama unfolds, as they face gut-wrenching decisions and grapple with fear, conflict, and the unknown. D.C. Premiere.

MARCH OF THE PENGUINS 2: THE FINAL STEP : DIR Luc Jacquet. France. After two months of shooting in unique conditions in Antarctica last winter, Luc Jacquet returns with a new film shot mostly in 4K, with unseen submarine and drone shots. This new story sees a young penguin about to embark on his first journey, following the mysterious call that compels every penguin, when winter falls, to set out for an unknown destination. U.S. Premiere.



CHASING CORAL: THE VR EXPERIENCE: DIR Jeff Orlowski. USA. This adventurous underwater VR experience follows Zackery Rago, a passionate scuba diver and researcher, as he documented the unprecedented 2016 coral bleaching event at Lizard Island on the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia. An insightful exploration that accompanies Jeff Orlowski’s feature film of the same name (Audience Award: U.S. Documentary, Sundance Film Festival, 2017), about the quest of a group of filmmakers and ocean scientists to capture visual evidence of our changing oceans.

THE PROTECTORS: WALK IN THE RANGER’S SHOES: DIR Kathryn Bigelow and Imraan Ismail. USA. From National Geographic Documentary Films, The Protectors: Walk in the Ranger’s Shoes chronicles a day in the life of a ranger in Garamba National Park. These rangers often are the last line of defense in a race against extinction, at the hands of poachers slaughtering elephants for their ivory tusks. This VR experience allows viewers to confront some harrowing imagery that will help them understand exactly why these heroes risk their lives.



Check out the full schedule here.