ACFF got back in the theater!! After 20 months of online film screenings only, we were so pleased to return to actual theaters with real live people for two Best of Fests in October.
On October 23, we were back at the Weinberg Center for the Arts in Frederick, Maryland for our 9th annual Best of Fest. We shared three films highlighting the wonder of plants, the relationship of humans to their natural world, and the fight for food sovereignty by indigenous people across the United States:
Clorofilia: Love and Plants, a quirky romantic comedy that combines fiction and documentary, taking us on a fun and gorgeous romp through the land and plant scapes of Argentina;
The Mushroom Hunters, a contemplative animated short written by Neil Gaiman and performed by Amanda Palmer about the intersection of science, human development, and the natural world; and
Gather, a poignant and beautiful film profiling five indigenous people and their stories of activism, relationships to the land and each other, and the connection between food and culture.
All three films were official selections of the 2021 Festival.
On October 27, we ventured to Shenandoah University in Winchester, Virginia, where we presented three films that Environmental Studies students selected from 2021 Festival selections. We are so pleased to partner with these professors and students and share these important films, for the third year in a row.
The evening began with our 2021 Audience Choice Award winner, Your Friend, Ranger Doug. Doug Follett is a 94-year-old park ranger who has been educating people and making friends at Glacier National Park for 58 years. This short film is a reflection on the changes he’s seen at the Park due to climate change and an inspiration to us all to protect the places we love.
The second film, Dear Mother Nature follows Wyn Wiley, aka Pattie Gonia, on a crusade to make people aware of the perils of plastic through fashion, fun, community, and activism. This environmental drag queen gathers scientists, non-profit leaders, and volunteers to help him spread his message of love for “Mother Natch.”
Our feature Public Trust was our 2021 Green Fire Award winner for its investigative dive into the fight for control of our precious public lands. Featuring a dogged journalist, gorgeous imagery of the most beautiful places in the country, and incredible footage and evidence of corporate and political land-grabbing, this film is a must see for all Americans.
Though our audiences may not have been as robust as pre-pandemic days, we were thrilled to be back in front of the big screen, talking with people face to masked face, and sharing stories of our natural world and the people working to protect it. We hope that 2022 brings more of these opportunities and that we see you there!