ACFF 2021 Events & Accomplishments

While the Covid-19 pandemic continued to hamper our ability to gather in person in 2021, ACFF remained active and committed to our mission of sharing exceptional conservation films and programs with our audiences, most offered free of charge.

Your Friend, Ranger Doug

2021 ACFF Audience Choice Award Winner Your Friend, Ranger Doug

Annual Festival Online – March 24-28, 2021

Using the Eventive festival platform, we converted the film festival to a completely online event that included:

  • 48 conservation-focused feature and short films.
  • Six ACFF Award winners, including Public Trust (Green Fire Award); Kiss the Ground (Green Spark Award); Where I Belong (Short Film Award); In Your Palm (Student Film Award); Women on a Mission – Poachers to Peacekeepers (Super Short Award); Your Friend, Ranger Doug (Audience Choice Award)
  • Eight recorded discussions with a variety of filmmakers, film subjects, conservationists, youth, and members of the Deaf community.  

Topics included:

  • Female Leadership in Conservation;
  • Environmental Discrimination & Justice;
  • Greener Farming – The New Old Frontier;
  • The Critical Role of First Nations Leaders in Preserving Wild Lands;
  • Youthful Perspectives – Priorities & Garnering Power;
  • Deaf Perspectives of Public Trust film;
  • Discussion with Hal Herring of Public Trust;
  • Discussion with Stuffed filmmaker Erin Derham and taxidermist Allis Markham.

Also of note:

  • All offerings of the festival were free. 
  • All films were offered with Closed Captioning and all conversations were offered with Closed Captioning and ASL translation, in a partnership with CorpsThat.
  • According to analytics, we expanded viewership of films by almost 100% and people viewed from 30 countries!

Hidden Rivers

2021 ACFF Official Selection Hidden Rivers of Appalachia

Online and in-person events with partners:

  • Jefferson Arts Council – May (online)
    featuring: Anthropocene: The Human Epoch; Wild_Life: Resurrection Island; Your Friend, Ranger Doug
  • West Virginia Master Naturalists  – August at Canaan Valley State Park (in person)
    featuring: Hidden Rivers of Southern Appalachia
  • Best of Fest – October at Weinberg Center in Frederick, MD (in person)
    featuring: Gather, Chlorofilia, The Mushroom Hunters
  • Best of Fest – October at Shenandoah University in Winchester, VA (in person)
    featuring Public Trust, Dear Mother Nature, Your Friend, Ranger DougStudents from the Environmental Studies department watched the 2021 festival films and selected these films for a free screening at the University.
Where I Belong

2021 ACFF Short Film Award Winner Where I Belong

Film Curations presented online (thematic selections from the 2021 Festival)

  • Mighty Women Films (for Mother’s Day) – featuring Women Who Inspire; Where I Belong; Where Life Begins; This Land; Women in Fire; Women on a Mission – Poachers to Peacekeepers; Our Gorongosa; Breaking Their Silence: Women on the Frontlines of the Poaching War
  • Dive Into World Ocean Week (June) – featuring Artifishal; Stories from the Blue: Million Waves Project; Spawning Hope; Coral Lights
  • Fall Watchlist (October) – featuring Animal Detectives; Chasing Ghosts; Nature’s Fear Factor; Octopus Making Contact; Canyon Song; Greta

Next Gen Capture Conservation Contest

4th annual contest inviting youth 18 and under to submit a short video about what nature and the environment means to them. We received 16 submissions from ages 6 to 17, from Maryland, West Virginia, California, and South Africa, and awarded three $100 prizes in three age groups and a best overall $250 prize to Mabaeni Mkwani (Free State, South Africa) for The Return of Kgodumodumo.

Watch the entries»

ACFF Considered

ACFF Considered

In June, we invited ACFF stakeholders to two Zoom conversations addressing engaging youth and supporting filmmakers. Robust discussions helped us plan future events and the 2022 Festival.