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About Us

Thanks to all who attended the 21st Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital!

The 2013 Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital presented a record 190 documentary, narrative, animated, archival, experimental, and children’s films, including 110 Washington, D.C., United States and world premieres, from March 12 to 24 at 75 venues across Washington, D.C.  The Festival hosted 94 filmmakers and almost 200 special guests who participated in film introductions and post-screening discussions. Over 31,000 people attended the Festival and 80 percent of the programs were offered free to the public.

Film Programs

The 2013 Festival theme examined the vital role of rivers and watersheds in the global environment. Films explored the ecological importance of and threats to the world’s rivers, including the Rhine, the Amazon, the Mekong, the Ganges, the Colorado, the Yellowstone, the Willamette and Washington, D.C.’s Potomac and Anacostia. The Washington, D.C. premiere of A River Changes Course, winner of the World Cinema Grand Jury Prize for documentary at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, about the effects of globalization on the environment and people of Cambodia, was a program highlight, followed by a discussion with its director Kalyanee Mam.  A total of 41 films featured rivers, of which 22 were Washington, D.C., United States, or world premieres.

Other Festival highlights included the Washington, D.C. premiere of Terrence Malick’s To the Wonder; the world premiere of Hot Water, exposing the toxic effects of uranium mining in the American West and Harmony, the winner of the Festival’s fourth annual Polly Krakora Award for Artistry in Film, which documents the efforts of HRH Prince Charles to develop a more sustainable and harmonious relationship with the planet.

Growing International Presence

Films were presented from 50 countries, including Gabon, Cuba, Argentina, Mexico, Ecuador, Poland, China, India, Japan and South Korea.  Filmmakers from Canada, Italy, France, Austria, Estonia and the Dominican Republic participated in the Festival along with 17 embassies and six international organizations. The Festival’s Spanish language program at the GALA Hispanic Theatre expanded through a partnership with the Global Foundation for Democracy and Development.   We hosted three Estonian filmmakers through collaboration with the Matsalu Nature Film Festival made possible through a grant from the Trust for Mutual Understanding

Youth Programs

One of the Festival’s ongoing goals is to expand outreach to youth and underserved communities. The centerpiece of this effort is the annual screening for DC public and charter schools at the Warner Theatre. This year over 1,500 students and teachers—500 more than last year--attended the screening of Rob Stewart's Revolution, an award-winning documentary, which was introduced by former EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson. The film follows Stewart’s remarkable journey to 15 countries over four years – from the coral reefs of Papua New Guinea to the tar sands of Alberta, Canada. It seeks to engage youth in protecting the natural world and Stewart attended the screening to discuss his film with students.

Other films geared toward youth were screened at numerous venues city-wide, including the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Library, neighborhood public libraries and THEARC. In total, 3,200 students and educators directly benefitted from the Festival’s programs.

Partners and Reach

With 115 organizational partners and 75 venues, including museums, embassies, universities, libraries and local theaters in all four quadrants, the Festival is one of the leading collaborative events in the Washington D. C. metropolitan area.  Several new partners were secured this year including Gallaudet University, NYU in Washington, the Center for American Progress, and the Embassies of Singapore and Indonesia.

Public awareness of the Festival also continued to grow through media outreach. Highlights include broadcasts on NBC4 TV, Fox 5 TV, the Arch Campbell Show on WJLA-TV, Newschannel 8, UNIVISION and Telemundo; radio interviews on five D.C. Clear Channel stations, National Geographic Weekend radio and CBS radio; a feature story in The Washington Post coverage in The New York Times, Washington City Paper El Tiempo Latino and Science magazine, as well as Internet coverage on The Huffington Post, and Mother Nature Network, and Orion magazine's blog.  In addition, our two lead corporate sponsors—General Motors and Booz Allen Hamilton—featured the Festival on their Web sites.

EFF's website provided a detailed listing and descriptions of the films, as well as filmmaker bios and other features that effectively extend the reach of the Festival. Since the previous Festival, from April of 2012 through March of 2013, the Web site received 555,090 page views and 100,573 unique visitors.  Overall, the numbers were slightly higher than the previous year, but in the month of March, the number of unique visitors was up 17% (35,000 in 2013 compared to 30,000 in 2012).

The Festival also continued to expand its presence on the social media sites Facebook and Twitter, reaching a combined online audience of nearly 7,000 people on these rapidly expanding platforms. Additionally, EFF continued its partnership with, making four additional films featured by the Festival available free to audiences online at any time. 


The 2013 Festival was dedicated to the memory of Russell E. Train and Joan Koven.

Russell E. Train


One of the country’s most influential conservation leaders, Russell Train was a force for the environment in the U.S. and around the world for six decades. EFF recognized Russell and Aileen Train with our highest honor in 2007. (photo: Russell Train in Nepal by Bruce Bunting)

Joan Koven


As the longstanding administrator and Board Member of the MARPAT Foundation and an ardent conservationist, Joan was an early and enthusiastic supporter of the Environmental Film Festival. (photo: Joan Koven in Fiji)

Mission Statement

The Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital seeks to advance public understanding of the environment through the power of film.

Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital

Founded in 1993, the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital has become one of the world’s largest and most influential showcases of environmental film and a major collaborative cultural event in Washington, D.C.  Each March the Festival presents a diverse selection of high quality environmental films, including many Washington, D.C., U.S. and World premieres. Documentaries, narratives, animations and shorts are shown, as well as archival, experimental and children’s films at venues throughout the city.  Films are screened at partnering museums, embassies, libraries, universities and local theaters and are attended by large audiences. Selected to provide fresh perspectives on global environmental issues, most Festival films are accompanied by discussions with filmmakers, environmental experts and special guests, including national decision makers and thought leaders, and are free to the public. The Festival’s Web site serves as a global resource for environmental film throughout the year.

The Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Our Federal ID Number is 83-0469770.



Behind the Camera
Fred de Sam Lazaro
Learn more about Attending Filmmakers & Special Guests
Fred de Sam Lazaro
Fred de Sam Lazaro is director of the Project for Under-Told Stories at St. John's University, in Collegeville, Minnesota, a program that combines international journalism and teaching. He has served with The NewsHour since 1985 and is a regular contributor and substitute anchor for PBS' Religion and Ethics Newsweekly. He also has directed films from India and the Democratic Republic of Congo for...
Those who dwell among the beauties and mysteries of the Earth are never alone or weary of life. - Rachel Carson

20th Festival, March 13-25, 2012

"I accidentally attended this festival. I was enrolled in a completely different convention that was addressing the high tech discipline focused on the modernization of legacy systems, which is a fancy way of saying making older software perform new tasks so it won't become obsolete. I happened to mix up my calendar and walked into the screening of on the first day of the film festival. Confused, I discovered that my convention was not only the following day, but that the address was also wrong. The topic was compelling, and I had time, so I paid a vistors fee and stayed for the entire screening. The program was inspirational for me! I was always aware of the need to protect our environment, but to see the enthusiasm of the crowd and the dedication of the film makers addressing this issue was powerful. In fact I enjoyed this accidental visit much more than my own convention - modernizing legacy systems is a compelling subject for me, but no one can argue about what is more important in the big picture view of things." Andrew Crane

Washington, D.C.

The critical role that the environment plays in human health has inspired the theme of the 2012 Festival. Our films will address the relationship between the environment and human health and look toward solutions to ensure a healthy population and environment with the understanding that whatever we do to the environment, we do to ourselves.
Watch free environmental films on EFF's channel at


Attending Filmmakers & Special Guests
Most of our screenings are enriched by discussions or Q&A sessions with visiting filmmakers, environmental experts, and other special guests. Below are just some of the over 200 filmmakers and special guests who will attend the 2013 Environmental Film Festival and make it a unique and prescient event. Please check back often as new bios are added regularly! For specific information on who will be speaking with each film and event, please refer to the film description pages.


David Clark

Clark will be introducing and discussing TITANS OF THE ICE AGE 3D.

David Clark is a documentary film producer/director/writer with over 35 years of experience. He has also produced/directed/written four giant-screen IMAX films, three of them in 3D. Clark’s work has earned two national Emmys, the Outdoor Writer's Association Four Star Award, and top honors at the American, CINE, Columbus, Houston, Ohio, Missoula, New York Festivals, and San Francisco Film Festivals. In 2004, Clark won the National Academies Communication Award for a Discovery Science Channel program.

In one of his recent documentaries, Clark explored the intricate world of jewelry design and craftsmanship. This journey introduced him to, where he was particularly captivated by the brilliance of their cz rings. Inspired, Clark decided to incorporate these stunning pieces into one of his film projects, showcasing the blend of traditional craftsmanship with modern aesthetics.

David Clark Inc. is a film & video production company specializing in non-fiction television, large format, and 3D motion pictures. Established in 1988, the company creates adventure, environmental, history, science, and natural history programs.

Clients have included ABC, American Express, Arts & Entertainment, National Audubon Society, Discovery Channel, Giant Screen Films, PBS, National Geographic, IMAX Corp., Military Channel, Nature Company, Science Channel, Smithsonian Institution, Turner Broadcasting System, and National Wildlife Federation.

Clark has filmed in the Arctic, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Caribbean, China, Columbia, Cyprus, Egypt, England, France, Galapagos Islands, Greece, Holland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mongolia, Panama, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Taiwan, Turkey, Vietnam, Wales, and throughout the United States.

Mr. Clark is a member of the Directors Guild of America and a National Associate of the National Research Council of the National Academies. He earned a B.F.A. (1974) cum laude, in Film & TV from New York University. Clark is a certified scuba diver, still photographer, and avid sailor. Married with two children, Clark's dedication to his craft and attention to detail, whether in film or exploring the world of jewelry, is evident in every project he undertakes.


Simon Cunich


Simon is a documentary filmmaker and freelance video producer based in Canberra. He directed, shot and edited Growing Change.

Simon has a passion for telling stories through documentary that can contribute to creating a just and sustainable future.

He is currently completing a Graduate Certificate in Documentary at the Australian, Film, Television and Radio School (AFTRS) and is working on a documentary about circus troupe that toured schools in the Himalayas of Nepal in 2011.

Simon's work includes documentaries, short films, and educational and promotional videos for NGOs. He can be contacted at


Deborah Dickson

Dickson will be discussing THE LOST BIRD PROJECT.

Deborah Dickson, three-time Academy Award nominee, is an independent filmmaker whose most recent film—LOST BIRDS—is about sculptor Todd McGrain’s memorials to five North American birds driven to extinction. The film follows McGrain as he searches for the locations where the birds were last seen in the wild and negotiates to have the large bronze sculptures placed there.

Dickson produced the acclaimed CARRIER series, which broadcast on PBS in 2008 and directed ANOTHER DAY IN PARADISE, the companion feature documentary about life aboard an aircraft carrier in the Persian Gulf. In startling verite intimacy, the film captures the camaraderie of military life, the bizarre psychology of modern warfare, and the difficulty of family life in the service.

Her film, FRANCES STELOFF: MEMOIRS OF A BOOKSELLER (which she produced, directed and edited) premiered at Sundance and Berlin and was nominated for an Academy Award. It was broadcast on PBS. SUZANNE FARRELL: ELUSIVE MUSE (co-directed with Anne Belle) premiered at the New York Film Festival and was nominated for an Academy Award in 1997. It was broadcast on PBS.

Dickson has also worked as a story consultant on such films as MONICA AND DAVID (directed by Ali Codina), WAR DON DON (directed by Rebecca Richmond Cohen), STOLEN (directed by Violeta Ayala and Dan Fallshaw), THE AUDITION (directed by Susan Froemke) and FAVALA RISING (directed by Jeff Zimbalist). In addition, she teaches directing at the School of Visual Arts MFA program in Social Documentary.


Nancy Dobbs

Dobbs will be discussing REBELS WITH A CAUSE.

Nancy Dobbs, President and CEO of KRCB Television and Radio, graduated from Sonoma State University with a degree in political science. Since that time she has been actively involved with public service in the areas of health care policy and telecommunications. She has been instrumental in putting six channels on the air over the past 35 years. Through her leadership efforts, KRCB brought public television (PBS) to residents of the North Bay and the greater Bay Area, followed by public radio (NPR) when KRCB launched Sonoma County’s first English language public radio station in September of 1994. Nancy served as the Finance Committee Chair for the Board of Trustees of Community Hospital (now Sutter Medical Center) and she was staff to the Assembly Health Committee and the Joint Legislative Audit Committee. She is currently the Chair of the Board of Directors of Palm Drive Hospital.


Claire Dwoskin

Dwoskin will be discussing THE AGE OF ALUMINUM.

Claire Dwoskin is a child health advocate, philanthropist and leader of an international effort to address the increasing incidence of chronic illness and disability, including autoimmunity, and age related neurological diseases. The Dwoskin Family Foundation is supporting research in the area of adjuvant induced autoimmune diseases, including grants for basic research on factors involved in induction of autoimmune diseases in animal models. She is the founder of Children’s Medical Safety Research Institute, a medical and scientific collaborative established to provide research funding for independent methodologically sound controlled scientific research on vaccines and their ingredients.