Beneath Paradise

12 Minutes
Filmmaker: Darlien Morales

Beneath Paradise Poster

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The island of Culebra, located off the coast of Puerto Rico, is one of the richest ecosystems in the Caribbean. Abundant mangroves, coral reefs and world-renowned beaches, like Flamenco Beach, attract tourists from all over. Today, active munitions from WW2 pose a threat to people, wildlife, and the environment. Activists, fishermen, professors, and military personnel aim to prevent further irreparable damage to Culebra’s coral reefs.

Screens on Sunday, October 23 during Block 8, which begins at 3:30 pm at Reynolds Hall on the Shepherd University Campus.

How to Change the World

Filmmaker: Jerry Rothwell

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Click Image For Trailer!

In 1971, a group of friends sail into a nuclear test zone and their protest captures the world’s imagination, giving birth to Greenpeace and defining the modern green movement. Media savvy from the beginning, these pioneers captured their activist adventures on 16mm film. From this vivid archive and narration by Robert Hunter, an early guiding force of the organization, Jerry Rothwell has created a thrilling, sometimes terrifying film. When youthful energy comes up against the complexities of a growing organization, and idealism meets compromise, the group finds that their battle to save the planet forces them also to fight each other. This film is also a vibrant, moving reflection on the struggle to balance the political and the personal.

Screens on Friday, October 21 during BLOCK 1, which begins at 6:00 pm at the Byrd Center for Legislative Studies on the Shepherd University Campus.  Encore screening on Saturday, October 29 during BLOCK 12, which begins at 5:00 pm at the Frank Center on the Shepherd University Campus.

Life Story – First Steps

59 Minutes
Filmmakers: Tom Hugh-Jones,Rupert Barrington

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Vulnerable, naïve, and determined, some young animals face their biggest challenges in the first few days of life. Barnacle geese goslings take a leap of faith, falling tens of meters, just for their first meal. A tiny, young long-eared jerboa faces the daunting nighttime world of the Gobi desert completely alone. And at just 2 months old, a humpback calf embarks on a migration halfway around the world. In infancy, every challenge is a new one. How a creature fares at the very beginning of its life is the foundation upon which their future success depends. 

Screens on Saturday, October 22 during BLOCK 3, which begins at noon at the National Conservation Training Center.

As part of ACFF’s Youth an Family Programming, this film will be followed by a live animal presentation by Blue Ridge Wildlife Center!

Racing Extinction

95 Minutes
Filmmaker: Louie Psihoyos

racingextinction_05_photo_credit_oceanic_preservation_society (1)

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Oscar-winning director Louie Psihoyos (The Cove) assembles a team of artists and activists on an undercover operation to expose the hidden world of endangered species and the race to protect them against mass extinction. Spanning the globe to infiltrate the world’s most dangerous black markets and using high tech tactics to document the link between carbon emissions and species extinction, Racing Extinction reveals stunning, never-before seen images that truly change the way we see the world.

Screens on Friday, October 21 during BLOCK 2, which begins at 6:30 pm at Reynolds Hall on the Shepherd University Campus.

Sonic Sea

63 Minutes
Filmmakers: Michelle Dougherty and Daniel Hinerfeld

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Click Image for Trailer!

In the darkness of the sea, whales depend on sound to mate, find food, migrate, raise their young and defend against predators. Over the last century, however, human activity has radically transformed the ocean’s delicate acoustic habitat, challenging the ability of whales and other marine life to prosper and survive. Sonic Sea offers solutions and hope for a quieter ocean and underscores that the ocean’s destiny is inextricably bound with our own.

Screens on Saturday, October 22 during BLOCK 5, which begins at 6:00 pm at the Byrd Center for Legislative Studies on the Shepherd University Campus.


4 min

Filmmaker: Lily Williams

What happens if sharks disappear? FINconceivable is an animated short that explores the important role sharks play in our world and what could happen if the ocean’s fiercest predators ceased to exist.

1:30 pm on Saturday at the NCTC Family Theater – Block 4


Legends of the Deep: The Giant Squid

52 min

Filmmakers: Yasuhiro Koyama, Hiromichi Iwasaki

The giant squid are the largest squid in the world, yet they have never been seen alive in the deep sea. After 100 dives totaling 400 hours, this film crew, along with some scientific experts, finally succeeded in capturing footage of a giant squid in its natural, deep-ocean habitat. Narrated by David Attenborough.

2:30 pm on Saturday at the NCTC Family Theater – Block 6


Legends of the Deep: Giant Squid

Life on Wallace’s Line

US Premiere

20 min

Filmmakers: Nick and Cheryl Dean

Wallacea is the biographical designation for a group of mainly Indonesian islands. One of the areas of the world with the widest range of endemic biodiversity, it remains virtually unknown to most people. This short film highlights the region’s biodiversity and the efforts of a few individuals to protect this fragile ecosystem and its inhabitants.

2:50 pm on Saturday at the Opera House – Block 5


Life on the Life 5


86 min
Filmmaker: Rob Stewart
Produced by Gus Van Sant, Revolution follows Rob Stewart, director of the documentary Sharkwater, through 15 countries – from the coral reefs in Papua, New Guinea and deforestation in Madagascar to the largest and most destructive environmental project in history in Alberta, Canada, he reveals that all of our actions are interconnected and that environmental degradation, species loss, ocean acidification, pollution and food/water scarcity are reducing the Earth’s ability to house humans.

8:05 pm on Sunday at the Opera House – Block 15