Dutch Weed Burger, anyone? The DC Environmental Film Festival is underway!

by Melissa Thompson

March 19, 2014

(Photo above: Derrick Evans fromCome Hell or High Water: the Battle for Turkey Creek, photo by Andrew Whitehurst)

If you love the environment and you love movies, then you are probably in heaven right now. TheDC Environmental Film Festivalkicked off today.

12 days. A record 200 films. From 38 countries. Most of the screenings are free. The only downer is choosing which ones to see.

To help you sift through it, here are my selections: what films I’ve seen and would see again, what films I’m dying to see, what films are Greenpeace-related, and what films are showing during in the middle of the day so you can catch them on your lunch break.

The ones I’d definitely see again

Backyardis hands down the best film I’ve seen on fracking. Made by student filmmaker Deia Schlosberg (also a graphic designer, and you can tell), this visually beautiful film tells the stories of people in four different states who have been affected by fracking. Bring your hankie.

Tinyis a short film about “living small.” It profiles “tiny housers,” people who live in houses under 300 sf. It’s a first time film by Christopher Smith and Merete Mueller. The lessons they learn from each other while building their own house, as well as from the characters they meet along the way, offer tremendous insights into the way we are living and just what defines home.

The films I’m dying to see…

Come Hell or High Water: the Battle for Turkey Creek“follows the inspiring, painful journey” of Derrick Evans, who takes on corporate power and government agencies to protect his community. Once settled by former slaves, Turkey Creek has since been bulldozed by developers, flooded by Katrina, and poisoned by BP. The film will be on PBS in late April if you miss the DC screening.

Shored Upcalls itself “a convincing call for action along our coasts.” It travels from NC to NJ to show how coastal residents feel about climate change in the wake of storms that have devastated their communities.

GMO OMGisone father’s journey to find out more about his kids’ food. It takes him to Haiti, Paris, Norway and the lobby of Monsanto. Executive produced by Elizabeth Kucinich.

A2-B-C– mothers of children who are developing health problems in the wake of the Fukushima disaster take matters – and radiation monitoring – into their own hands, to find out what’s going on with their kids.

Some films with familiar faces…Mission Blueis the first feature documentary to be made about “living legend” ocean defender Sylvia Earle.Extreme Realitiesfeatures our own Phil Radford (not to mention narration by Matt Damon). AndAngel Azulfeatures some faces you might recognize – though they’re not exactly human. Hint: they starred in Greenpeace underwater actions in Cancun in 2010.

There’s also a new track in this year’s fest featuring regional films. Check out theSustainable DCscreening,Fishing the Anacostia, and a series of shorts aboutthe Chesapeake.

Finally here’s an assortment of films that are showing during the lunch hour! I’ll be checking outOur Power,Portrait of an Urban BeeKeeper,Power to the Pedals,Heart of Iron: Mining in the Congo Basin Rainforest,and one more that just seems too good to miss:Dutch Weed Burger.

See you at the movies!

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