We are so excited to announce the return of The Forum as a featured part of our 31st Annual Environmental Film Festival. This conversation series launched at last year’s 30th Anniversary DCEFF, but this March we’re thrilled to be able present it live and in-person at Eaton DC. Click on the programs below for more info and to RSVP.
Confronting Powerful Institutions
March 18 @ 3:00 PM
There is a strong tradition in documentary filmmaking, just as there is in journalism, to hold power to account. Numerous films across the 2023 lineup are confronting powerful institutions, corporations, or governing agencies. This panel asks, what are the risks – legally, reputationally, bodily – involved in daring to speak truth to power? How might films serve as agents for positive change and shine a light on corruption or collusion through impact and engagement strategies? Can documentaries actually change the conversation? We’ll hear from filmmakers and film protagonists who dared to stand up and speak out.
Gabriela Cowperthwaite (Director, The Grab, Blackfish)
Nate Halverson (Journalist, The Center for Investigative Reporting )
Shawn Bannon (Director, The Smell of Money)
Jamie Berger (Writer/Producer, The Smell of Money)
Brigadier “Brig” Siachitema (Film Subject, The Grab)
Sarah Graddy (Senior Communications Advisor, Environmental Working Group)
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Green Space
March 18 @ 5:00 PM
A staggering number of short films in this year’s lineup explore a legacy of exclusion from nature and natural resources amongst BIPOC communities, and introduce a number of extraordinary individuals and organizations reclaiming nature for traditionally disenfranchised groups. This panel will hear from the filmmakers, organizers and activists who are connecting communities of color to outdoor spaces and building a coalition of diverse outdoor leaders.
Melody Mobley (Retired Forester, USDA Forest Service)
JR Harris (Explorer, Backpacker; Featured Subject, Born Curious)
Tyrhee Moore (Founder, Soul Trak Outdoors)
James Edward Mills (Producer, An American Ascent)
Gregory McGruder (Director, Global Special Events, National Geographic Society)
Accountability in Environmental Film: A Case Study With Working Films
March 26 @ 12:30 PM
Join the Documentary Accountability Working Group (DAWG) and Working Films for a panel discussion on ethical, non-extractive storytelling within documentary filmmaking. This panel will cover DAWG’s core values of ethical storytelling and will provide a glimpse into their Framework for Values, Ethics, and Accountability in Nonfiction Filmmaking, in particular how these issues resonate in environmental filmmaking. They will be joined by filmmakers who model and explore what accountability looks like in practice, from reflection and pre-production through the release of their film.
Hannah Hearn (DAWG member; Impact Coordinator & Fellowships Lead at Working Films)
Pat Aufderheide (DAWG member; University Professor of Communications at American University)
Rachel Lears (Director, To The End)
Alexandra Rojas (Executive Director, Justice Democrats)
Molly Kawahata (Former Obama White House Climate Advisor)
**This event has been postponed due to recent developments in Ukraine** Storytelling During Times of War: A View From Ukraine
How can filmmaking survive as a practice during times of war, precisely when the power and importance of visual storytelling is most urgently needed? When infrastructure is crumbling, how can filmmakers function and operate, get their stories out while mitigating the risks associated with filming in a warzone? Ukrainian filmmakers and festival organizers Illia Gladstein and Nadia Parfan will share their unique experiences and insights.
Presented in partnership with Trust for Mutual Understanding (TMU) and the Elva and Lawrence O’Brien Family Trust