2014 Year in Review – A Great One!

Download 2014 Year in Review

The 2014 festival season and year has wrapped with a successful, well-attended, and interactive four-day film festival on October 30 through November 2, with a special encore screening of the Audience Choice Award-winning film on November 9.

Thanks so much to our supporters, volunteers, filmmakers, and audience members for making 2014 a great one for ACFF!

Some festival highlights:

  • Selected from over 150 film submissions to present 46 outstanding conservation-themed films from around the country and the world, including films from Norway, the Netherlands, and Switzerland.
  • Hosted 14 visiting filmmakers and subject matter experts to discuss their films, participate in filmmaking workshops, and attend social events. Species extinction and endangerment, climate change, habitat preservation, and the Wilderness Act were among the featured topics.
  • Engaged an audience of over 3,000 in films, discussions, and social events.
  • Continued our tradition of offering films free of charge at the National Conservation Training Center, including the increasingly popular Family Programming block.
  • Collaborated with ACFF filmmaker and Shepherd University Alum Joey Diaz to create a new Promotional Trailer for the Festival.
  • Presented the Green Fire Award, ACFF’s recognition of filmmaking excellence, to Andrew Garrison of Austin, Texas for Trash Dance.
  • Presented the Broadcast Award, given to a film that has aired on a national television network, to David Mrazek and Joel Greenberg for From Billions to None.
  • Awarded the Student Filmmaker Award to We Are the Land, produced by students from Chapman University in California.
  • Hosted an Audience Choice Event on November 9 at the Opera House, with storyteller Adam Booth, a screening of The Meaning of Wild and discussion with Ed Zahniser, and encore presentation of the Audience Choice Award winning film,
  • Offered the 3rd annual Producer’s Campus Workshop, a two-day documentary filmmaking workshop, to over 20 seasoned and aspiring filmmakers featuring sessions on conservation storytelling, filmmaking gear, and industry networking and partnerships.
  • Welcomed six new festival sponsors and over 20 returning sponsors.
  • Offered filmgoers the opportunity to follow up on issues and take action with film topic-related resources posted on the “Action Opps” page of our website.

ACFF was active throughout the year as well, presenting two “Best of Fest” events, screening partnerships with other groups, and special events and projects.

  • Created our very own Roku Channel, ACFF OnDemand, providing the opportunity to view select festival films on your television all year long for the low subscription price of $2.99/month. Eleven films are presently available with more coming soon.
  • Hosted “Best of Fest” special movie screenings at the Weinberg Center in Frederick, Maryland, and the Alamo Cinema Drafthouse in Winchester, Virginia.
  • Partnered with three area organizations – Sky Truth, the Sierra Club of West Virginia, and the Shepherdstown Film Society – for special film screening events in Shepherdstown.
  • Three ACFF board members and subject matter experts led four film-based, environmentally-themed sessions of the Lifelong Learning Program at Shepherd University.
  • Co-hosted two private film preview parties in Shepherdstown, WV, and Clarke County, VA to increase outreach and exposure.
  • Held a Donor & Sponsor Appreciation Reception in Charles Town, WV, with cocktails provided by Bloomery Sweetshine.
  • Developed promotional partnerships with the Winchester Film Club, the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley, the Skyline Indie Film Fest, Freedom’s Run, and the Inn at Moler’s Crossroads.
  • Appeared or was heard on over 20 media outlets, including print newspapers, website posts and listings, WSHC &WAMU public radio, and on-line articles.

Stay tuned for upcoming events, news, and plans for 2015! 

Audience Choice Winner Screens November 9

Download Audience Choice press release with photos.

2014 Audience Choice Award Goes to “DamNation”

November 4, 2014 – The 2014 Festival weekend has wrapped, the audience has voted “DamNation” its favorite film, and ACFF will be doing a special screening event this Sunday, November 9, at 5pm at the Opera House in Shepherdstown.

“DamNation” is a compelling story about dams in America, from their ubiquitous construction over the last 200 years to more recent removal efforts. Where obsolete dams come down, rivers bound back to life, giving salmon and other fish the right to return to their spawning grounds. The extraordinary cinematography, dynamic pace and characters, and informative and entertaining content of this film brought in a record number of votes from this year’s festival audience.

This Sunday’s Audience Choice event, sponsored by The Observer newspaper, will open at 5pm with a tale or two from award-winning Appalachian storyteller Adam Booth, followed by a short film from the West Virginia Rivers Coalition. In honor of the 50th Anniversary of the Wilderness Act, ACFF will show “The Meaning of Wild,” a cinematic journey through one of the nation’s wildest landscapes, the Tongass National Forest of Alaska. Special guest and Shepherdstown local Ed Zahniser – son of the Howard Zahniser, the primary architect of the Wilderness Act – will be on hand for a discussion following the film.

The evening wraps up with an encore presentation of “DamNation.” Tickets for the event are available at the door for just $8. Popcorn, sodas, beer, and wine are available for purchase from the Opera House.

For more information on the evening’s line-up of players, look here:

DamNation – http://damnationfilm.com

Adam Booth – http://www.adam-booth.com

The Observer – http://wvobserver.com

West Virginia Rivers Coalition – http://www.wvrivers.org

The Wilderness Act – http://wilderness.org/article/wilderness-act

Howard & Ed Zahniser – http://www.wilderness.net/nwps/zahniser