Grizzly Man

103 min.
German director Werner Herzog accepted the unusual task of editing 100 hours of astonishing footage and interviews made by a man who had since died of a grizzly attack. Herzog emerged with this fascinating one-of-a-kind film. Grizzly Manis the haunting story of Timothy Treadwell, a desperate believer in the romantic ideal of Nature as innocent and kind. Treadwell lectured and fought for the preservation of grizzlies before he died in October 2003 – killed by a grizzly in Alaska’s Katmai National Park. To his credit, Herzog treats Treadwell as a fellow filmmaker and finds a compelling aesthetic in the footage. This Discovery Channel-Lion’s Gate collaboration was made for the big screen.

Here’s My Question: Where Does My Garbage Go?

26 min.
This is a fun film that teaches kids (K-5), as well as their parents, about waste and recycling. Directed by Ellen Hovde & Muffie Meyer with drawings by New Yorker cartoonist Ed Koren, Where Does My Garbage Go? is a great adventure about the process of collecting and dealing with trash. Songs are provided by the writers at Sesame Street. Plenty to keep young viewers interested.

In the Blood

90 min.
The ACFF selection committee selected In the Blood as an interesting counterpoint to Kalahari Family. This controversial film follows the hunting education, in Africa, of a young American boy. The film raises hunting to the level of a religion—a rite of passage. Filmmaker George Butler documents an African expedition that retraces the 1908 safari of Theodore Roosevelt. Butler places his own son at the center of what becomes a lesson in “ancestral heritage.”; As animals are stalked and taken down, we learn that the role of an active hunting culture as key to wildlife conservation. Viewers should be prepared to hear the drumbeat: Man’s desire to hunt is “In the Blood.”

Leave No Trace: Appalachian Trail and The Only Water We Will Have

[Student Films]
These films will be presented by their producers, all regional students: Leave No Traceis a film about low-impact hiking and camping by Tara Roberts, of Shepherd University. The Only Water We Will Ever Have, by Christophile Konstas, Mindy Hirsch, and Sarah Eckles, of American University’s Center for Environmental Film-Making.

March of the Penguins

80 min.
This summer’s National Geographic-supported hit documentary follows thousands of emperor penguins as they embark on their annual journey across the pitiless “desert”; of Antarctic ice. Images of the penguins’ annual struggle to bear and raise chicks stay with you. “My goal is to dig from the ice a story which has never seen the light of day, for want of a teller,”; says director Luc Jacquet.  “There has never been a generation of men to witness and shape it, to pass it down. They remain strangers.”

Mountain Memories: An Appalachian Sense of Place

34 min.
Wildlife photographer Jim Clark imparts a sense of rural Appalachia’s natural beauty by combining profound patience and attention to detail, nurtured by a lifetime in the mountains of West Virginia. Clarke shares his work and his mountain upbringing in this brief film by Ray and Judy Schmitt (Real Earth Productions), who are guests of ACFF ’05. The film contains about 125 stunning images that Clarke made in the Allegheny Highlands, as he offers an interesting narrative about his career and his approach to photography.

National Bison Range: Keeping Our Bison Heritage Alive

14 min.
The National Bison Range is a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service introduction to the wildlife conservation area created by Theodore Roosevelt in 1908 to bring the threatened buffalo back from extinction. The American bison is the undisputed star of this show—great, shaggy creatures of prehistory that once roamed the American West in the millions. Audiences young and old can enjoy the sight of the majestic herds of bison that blanket Western hillsides, fulfilling the goals of the refuge, as well as the mission of the Fish & Wildlife Service: conserving wildlife to benefit all Americans.

Oil on Ice

59 min.
Winner of a 2004 Pare Lorentz Award, Oil on Iceis a vivid, compelling and comprehensive documentary about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. The film examines the battle over oil development in a stunning place, featuring fascinating wildlife that has adapted to this environment, as well as the people — the Gwich’in Athabascan Indians and Inupiat Eskimos — who rely on the wildlife for subsistence. The film links the fate of the refuge to other issues that, at first glance, may seem unrelated.

Oil and Water: Reflections on Nature, Madness and Psyche

26 min.
Oil and Water explores the relationship between humans and the natural world. Shot in Prince William Sound, Alaska, during the course of 20 years, the film is an introspective chronicle of loss within the destruction of pristine wilderness. Filmmaker Corwin Fergus uses the tragedy of the Exxon Valdez oil spill to examine how wilderness is critical habitat not just for animals, but for the human psyche — and how thousands of years of cultural history have led us away from this once most obvious of truths. Oil and Wateris an experimental film, attempting to sway the heart in a way that cannot be done by reason and science. Mr. Fergus and editor Daniel Hammill are guests of ACFF ’05.

Proteus: A Nineteenth Century Vision

60 min.
Premiering at Sundance in 2004, Proteus embarks upon a historic journey into the depths of the sea — while exploring the intersection of science and art. For 19th-century explorers, the world beneath the oceans was like the 20th-century promise of “outer space.”;Proteususes the undersea world as the locus for a meditation on the troubled intersection of scientific and artistic vision. The film animates rare artworks from obscure collections, the legends of Faust and Coleridge’s Ancient Marinerand binds them together with the laying of the transatlantic telegraphic cable and other scientific discovery. The central figure of the film is biologist and artist Ernst Haeckel (1834-1919), who formed a mystical vision of seeming irreconcilables: science and art, materialism and religion, rationality and passion.