We here at the American Conservation Film Festival are pleased to announce our Award Winning films for 2014! These films represent the best in conservation filmmaking, storytelling, and powerful messaging. We offer congratulations and gratitude to all of our filmmakers!
“We reached the old wolf in time to watch a fierce green fire dying in her eyes. I realized then, and have known ever since, that there was something new to me in those eyes—something known only to her and to the mountain. I was young then, and full of trigger-itch; I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters’ paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view.”
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac
Each year we screen a unique collection of films selected on the strength of their conservation message, storytelling, and visual impact. Among this collection are films that particularly distinguish themselves in a unique, provocative or impassioned way. The 2014 season marked the fifth year of ACFF’s Green Fire Award, bestowed upon one film that exhibits this extraordinary level of excellence in filmmaking, resonates with the spirit Leopold speaks of, and helps us look anew at our relationship with our environments.
The 2014 Green Fire Award went to Trash Dance by Andrew Garrison. This film follows choreographer, Allison Orr as she embarks on a 1-night, performance project with a group of sanitation workers from Austin, Texas. Andrew and Allison explore the beauty and grace in garbage trucks and provide us with a personal connection to the often unseen men and women who pick up our trash.
2014 marked the second year that ACFF bestowed the Broadcast Award. Films that have previously aired (or are scheduled to be aired) on a national television network are eligible for this award. Broadcast winners successfully engage a television audience with compelling conservation stories that educate, motivate and inspire viewers.
This year’s Broadcast Award goes to From Billions to None by David Mrazek. This film reveals how the passenger pigeon, once numbering in the billions in North America, was hunted to extinction in a matter of decades. 2014 is the 100 year mark for the extinction, as Martha, the last passenger pigeon in captivity died at the Cincinnati Zoo on September 1, 1914.
Our third award goes to an outstanding Student Filmmaker production. Supporting new and emerging filmmakers is a major tenet of ACFF. We actively encourage student filmmakers to submit their work for review and potential inclusion in the festival. The Student Filmmaker Award Winner receives a $500 cash prize sponsored by the Friends of NCTC. This year’s Student Award was given to We Are the Land by Drew Heskett, Lauren Lindberg and Ryan Westra. The film follows environmental activist, Pauline Matts as she stands alone to protect her native homeland – the Blackfeet Reservation of northern Montana from the potential dangers of hydraulic fracturing.
Our final award is the Audience Choice Award – the film our audience members vote as their favorite of the Festival. The 2014 Audience Choice Award winner was DamNation by Ben Knight, Travis Rummel, and Matt Stoecker. This is a beautiful, compelling, and educational journey of the history of dams in America and current efforts to remove obsolete dams to bring rivers back to life.
For more information regarding these films and the rest of the films in our 2014 line-up please be sure to check out our Archives for the 2014 Festival.
And be on the look-out for ACFF’s Best of Fest events in 2015 when these films will be shown at venues around the region!