2018 Workshop Dates:
Friday, October 12 & Saturday, October 13

We’re excited to present our 7th Conservation Filmmaker Workshop this year!  Stay tuned for the line-up of topics, instructors, and special events.

Tuition for Filmmakers – $200 | Student Filmmakers – $75;
Current ACFF Filmmakers – $75

Please Select:

2018 Conservation Filmmaker Workshop information will be coming soon! In the meantime, take a look at what we did last year to get an idea of what the workshop entails.

Join us for two days of hands-on workshops and expert seminars on the craft of conservation filmmaking. From camera gear to storytelling to distribution, our team of premier filmmakers and industry experts provide helpful insights for filmmakers and media producers of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels.

ACFF promotes the best of conservation filmmaking from around the world. The Conservation Filmmaker Workshop leverages the convergence of great films, talented filmmakers, and film industry leaders to offer a filmmaking workshop experience found nowhere else.

Our 2017 Conservation Filmmaker Workshop begins on the morning of Friday, October 13th and concludes on the afternoon of Saturday the 14th. Workshop sessions include “The Power of Film for Social Change” presented by director and producer Kelly Nyks (this year’s Green Fire Award winner for Disobedience), “Impact Video” with National Geographic’s Vanessa Serrao, “Screenwriting and Storytelling” with screenwriter and producer Khris Baxter, a session on gear and tech, an industry roundtable session, and a Filmmaker Pitch Panel session where you are invited to pitch a film project idea to industry professionals from HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, National Geographic, and Conservation Media Group. A cash prize will be awarded to the top pitch!

2017 Conservation Filmmaker Workshop Agenda

Friday, October 13 at NCTC Saturday, October 14 at NCTC & BCCHE
9:30 – 10:00     Arrival & Registration

10:00 -10:30     Welcome & Opening

10:30 – 11:45   The Power of Film for Social Change w/ Kelly Nyks, filmmaker, Disobedience

11:45 – 12:45   Lunch

12:45 – 2:00     Impact Video w/ Vanessa Serrao, National Geographic Society

2:00 – 2:15    Break

2:15 – 3:30   Filmmaking Gear & Tech Session

3:30 – 3:45   Break

3:45 – 5:00   Industry Roundtable w/ Conservation International, Conservation Media Group & Smithsonian Networks

5:00   Happy Hour & Attend Festival

9:00 -10:15     Screenwriting & Storytelling w/Khris Baxter, Screenwriter & Producer

10:15 – 10:30   Break

10:30 – 12:00   Audience Context in Filmmaking w/ HHMI Tangled Bank Studios

12:00 – 1:30   Lunch


1:30 – 3:00 Filmmaker Pitch Panel – $2,000 awarded to top pitch, sponsored by The Allemall Foundation

3:05 – 3:45 Convergence of Science & Storytelling w/Alison Barrat, filmmaker, An Ocean Mystery: The Missing Catch

*These two sessions will be open to the public with the purchase of a $7 ticket for each session. 55 seats available to general public audience members.

New this year! Thanks to a grant from The Allemall Foundation, we will be awarding the top proposal in the Workshop’s Pitch Panel $1,000 up front and another $1,000 on the completion of the film!
Get your pitches ready!

PITCH PANEL DETAILS – The Pitch Panel session will be held on the afternoon of Saturday, October 14th, in a very nice, small theater that seats about 100 people.  The session will be open to ticketed members of the public.

Panelists for this session will include Jeff Hertrick, Director of News & Documentary Digital Video at National Geographic Partners,; John Rubin, executive producer at HHMI Tangled Bank Studios; and Liz Smith, Director of the Conservation Media Group.  Each panelist will offer some brief thoughts on navigating the conservation documentary film landscape from the view of their respective positions within the industry and then we will open up the floor to you, our workshop participants, to pitch your film concepts to the panel and gain their feedback on your ideas.  If you’ve ever seen the TV show Shark Tank, you’ll understand the format and flavor we’re going for here.  And while no multi-million dollar deals will likely be cut here, this is a wonderful opportunity for you to pitch a film concept you’ve been envisioning and gain direct, real, valuable feedback from industry leaders with an eye on broadcast programming, funding and grant opportunities and film festival selection.

You will have no more than 5 minutes to make your pitch to the panel.  You are encouraged to consider visuals in support of your concept.  A successful pitch is not based solely on the idea being presented but also upon the style and approach of the presenter him/herself.   We will have the necessary projection and computer systems to facilitate your presentation.  

Please e-mail cfw@conservationfilm if you have any questions or would like to reserve your Pitch Panel slot.  

National Conservation Training Center

The ACFF Filmmaker Workshop is held at the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service’s National Conservation Training Center, just 60 miles from Washington, DC in Shepherdstown, WV. The 533-acre campus includes instructional facilities, lodging, dining, and a social lounge, as well as outdoor patios and trails for observing local wildlife.