What: 17th Annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital
Where: 52 venues citywide
When: Today, March 11—Sunday, March 22
Why: This month, a New York Times op-ed writer expressed concern about Mother Nature and Father Greed hitting the wall, a luxury hotel brand is joining one billion globally in shutting off their lights for a full hour, and Disney will release its version of Planet Earth (to be called Earth). And with a spirit of “Yes We Can,” more then 24,000 filmmakers are proving why everyone should prick their ears to the serious issue of climate change.
Al Gore will not greet you with a green star sticker when you arrive, but you will find a higher calling following movies like “The State of the Planet’s Ocean” and “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea.” Peter O’Brien, executive director of the festival, told offManhattan he hopes the audiences will “Learn something, enjoy the experience, and be encouraged to take positive action to address the major challenges facing the environment today.”
After two and a half years at EFF, the Harvard-educated O’Brien—who uses public transportation as much as possible and shuns plastic to avoid causing potential harm to aquatic life—culled 101 international organizations to present 141 films on a vast array of subjects. In addition to the two films above, he recommends “Cuttlefish: The Brainy Bunch,” about a mysterious shape and color-shifting deep sea creature and “Marina of the Zabaleen,” which explores a community of garbage recyclers in Cairo. Go Planet!
Cost: Many shows are free, but check the schedule on the website below for details on each documentary, feature, experimental, and animated film.
Photo: Courtesy of EFF
How to get there: Amtrak has a number of lines that will get you to Washington, D.C.’s Union Square station from New York Penn Station in about three hours. Check amtrak.com for a list of schedules and fares. Once there, D.C.’s Metro will get you to all Environmental Film Festival events.
(Environmental Film Festival, 202.342.2564, dcenvironmentalfilmfestival.org)
The co-founder and editor-at-large at offMetro, Lauren is a sustainable travel specialist and freelance journalist with frequent bylines in National Geographic, Bicycling Magazine and Shape. Follow Lauren’s adventures at @laurenmati.