Pandemic Forces Enviro Film Fest in D.C. to Go Virtual

A herd of elephants take a drank from the Okavango River in Botswana in the Derek and Beverly Joubert film "Okavango, River of Dreams." 2020 (Photo courtesy DCEFF)


WASHINGTON, DC, November 10, 2020 (ENS) – The largest green film festival in the world and the longest-running film fest in the United States, the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital, DCEFF, has announced its virtual fall showcase starting November 12 and running until November 18.

The original Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital was scheduled to start earlier this spring on March 9, but it was one of the first events in DC to go virtual in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Elephants drink from Botswana’s Okavango River in the Dereck and Beverly Joubert film “Okavango, River of Dreams.” 2020 (Photo courtesy DCEFF)

This fall festival will feature several of the high profile films that were not screened at the time due to the complicated changeover from in-person to online screenings. Viewers will be able to screen all films from the comfort of their homes via the DCEFF website.

“We were obviously saddened to be unable to share these films earlier this year,” said DCEFF Executive Director Christopher Head. “Even with everything else happening in the world right now, climate change is still one the most important issues facing mankind and for that reason, it’s crucial to be able to get these films out into the world.”

Each March in Washington since 1993, DCEFF presents more than 100 films to audiences throughout the city. Filmmaker and topical discussions are an integral part of these events which happen at museums, embassies, libraries, universities and local theaters throughout the city. DCEFF also presents a year-round screening series and community events.

Many of the films screening in this fall showcase are DCEFF award-winners. Highlighted films to be screened this week include:

* – Cannes Best Documentary winner “The Cordillera of Dreams,” investigates the relationship between historical memory, political trauma and geography in Chile.

* – “Flint: Who Can You Trust,” takes an unflinching look at how the water crisis in Flint, Michigan came to be and who is responsible for it.

* – “Okavango: River of Dreams,” is a new film by internationally-known Botswana-based nature photographers Dereck and Beverly Joubert that had its world premiere earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival.

“The Okavango is a special place, the diversity of life that interacts and survives by virtue of this river is spectacular. It is a depiction of the circle of life in its truest sense and it has been such an honor to be able to spend time understanding and interacting with nature in its raw, rugged and beautifully bare form,” said Dereck Joubert.

“But as a symbol of everything that is right, and precious about nature, the film is also a dire warning that if we get this wrong and destroy this jewel, we lose much more than just one more landscape, we lose a part of ourselves,” he warned.

The fall festival will feature some short films of note, such as “Uniontown,” which tells the story of a small Alabama town in a battle for environmental justice, and “Bare Existence,” a finalist for the Eric Moe Award for Best Short on Sustainability that focuses on the struggle of polar bears in the melting Arctic.

“Amid the pandemic, the wildfires across the west and one of the hottest years globally on record, this festival could not be happening at a more pivotal time,” says Head. “The upside of it being virtual is that audiences across the world are able to see the films.”

Given the state of the pandemic, DCEFF is already planning on making the 2021 festival next spring virtual as well.

The festival is one of the leading annual cultural events in Washington, D.C., winning the 2017 DC Mayor’s Award for Excellence in Creative Industries.

For more information about the festival, please visit

Copyright Environment News Service (ENS) 2020. All rights reserved.


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