DC Environmental Film Festival presents virtual fall showcase

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews the Environmental Film Fest (Part 1)

The D.C. Environmental Film Festival was set to be held in March, but when the coronavirus pandemic hit, it quickly pivoted to virtual screenings for a select few films.

This week, the festival tries again with a virtual fall showcase from Nov. 12-18.

“This does feel a bit like deja vu,” Director of Programming Brad Forder told WTOP. “When the in-person festival was canceled, we were able to get about half of our lineup online, so the fall showcase [is] a way to support the films that we weren’t able to back in the spring. We’ve got a total of 50 films. We’re just looking forward to sharing this.”

The lineup kicks off with Dereck and Beverly Joubert’s “Okavango: River of Dreams.”

“The film is a poetic look at the great river Okavango in Botswana,” Forder said. “The river really is the main character in this film, but it’s beautifully shot. It’s kind of a great appreciation for nature and really showing kind of what’s at stake in terms of conservation there in Botswana. So, we’re looking forward to that one for sure.”

The slate also includes the feature documentary “Flint” by Anthony Baxter.

“It’s narrated and produced by Alec Baldwin,” Former said. “[Baxter] spent about four years on the ground in Flint, Michigan, following citizens and activists who are fighting the environmental injustice issues that continue to follow the water crisis there. … We have a great conversation lined up for that with Anthony [and] residents of Flint.”

You also don’t want to miss the documentary “Entangled” by David Abel.

“David brings a journalistic approach to all of his projects [as] a Pulitzer Prize winner who works for The Boston Globe,” Forder said. “This particular film focuses on conservation efforts for the North Atlantic right whale. … David Abel will be back and we’re glad to have him. We’ll have a live discussion as well surrounding that film.”

Finally, be sure to check out the short film “Uniontown” by Fraser Jones.

“It’s following grassroots organizers in Uniontown, Alabama, who basically are fighting industrial polluters there,” Forder said. “It’s a short, but it really is an impactful story, and Fraser does a great job of telling that story in a short period of time.”

The overall goal is two-fold, to celebrate filmmaking and environmental stewardship.

“We like to showcase the art of filmmaking,” Forder said. “The other side of it too is we like to use these films as springboards for additional conversation about these important issues … so that we can make the right decisions about the planet.”

WTOP's Jason Fraley previews the Environmental Film Fest (Part 2)

Listen to our full conversation here.

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Jason Fraley

Hailed by The Washington Post for “his savantlike ability to name every Best Picture winner in history," Jason Fraley began at WTOP as Morning Drive Writer in 2008, film critic in 2011 and Entertainment Editor in 2014, providing daily arts coverage on-air and online.

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