2021 ACFF Festival Dates

A Mid-Year Update from ACFF

May 2020

Greetings Friends,

We are thinking of you, our audience members, filmmakers, sponsors, and organizational partners, and hope that you are maintaining hope, strength, and wellness. We miss you!

We want to update you on what the American Conservation Film Festival is doing this year, particularly in this time of a global pandemic. We are all adjusting to this unprecedented time and ACFF is acting quickly and creatively to continue to fulfill our mission of engaging, informing, and inspiring people through conservation films and programs.

We thought we’d put together a little Q and A to sum up:

In this moment of urgent humanitarian need, why is ACFF still relevant and important?

This pandemic keeping us all at home is an unintended, global experiment with scientific implications that we can learn from for years to come. Fascinating data is being collected on land, in the oceans and from space. Now more than ever, we need writers and filmmakers to convert scientific data into compelling stories that will move people to positive societal shifts.  These important revelations cannot go unshared.

ACFF hears and answers the call to bring these works of discovery to you.

When will the next Festival be held?

Our next full festival is planned for March 24-28, 2021. The decision to transition from fall to spring was made back in December.  Through sheer serendipity, we now have time to plan and adapt to previously unforeseen conditions. Fortunately, ACFF will not be competing with other local events that are being rescheduled for this fall.

With theaters shuttered, what is ACFF doing to adapt to fulfill its mission?

In lieu of a festival this year, we had 12 special screening events planned around the WV-MD-VA region. While we will always prefer the shared experience of a live screening, we are adapting many of these events to an online platform.

So what events and programs Does ACFF have planned for the months ahead?

As we move through this time of uncertainty, we hope to be able to safely gather together this fall. However, we are also adapting some planned events to an online platform and are frequently partnering with filmmakers and film distributors to offer new releases online. We will remain responsive to current conditions and health concerns and adapt accordingly.

We are currently accepting submissions to our Next Gen Capture Conservation Contest for youth ages 5 to 18. It’s a fun, safe way for kids to use this time for creativity, exploration, and advocacy!

And film submissions for our 2021 Festival open on May 15. As always, we are eager to see what these essential storytellers have been working on. We have two esteemed selection teams, comprised of filmmakers, scientists, students, artists, and festival fans who watch and review submissions for 6 months to choose the most compelling stories to share with you.

See the full list of upcoming events»

What value has ACFF delivered over the last 17 years?

  • Presented over 600 films in multiple venues in the tri-state area.
  • Welcomed over 10,000 audience members to the festival and special events.
  • Recruited dozens of filmmakers and conservation experts to share their experience and knowledge with audience members.
  • Supported over 25 student filmmakers through cash awards, travel and lodging stipends, and workshop tuition.
  • Formed partnerships with multiple community, environmental, and arts organizations to offer screenings and programs.
  • Engaged hundreds of youth with family films, contests, and interactive programs.
  • Provided instruction to nearly 200 emerging and seasoned filmmakers.

How can I help ensure ACFF continues to survive and thrive?

Let us hear from you. Write a check or donate online. Share our news and plans. Join us for online and live screenings. Funding is always a challenge, especially for needs that may not seem so urgent in a time when so many people, organizations, and businesses are struggling. But, it is without question that stories and actions that illuminate the challenges and solutions for the welfare of the earth and all its inhabitants are more important than ever before.

Thank you so much for your support. We wish you good health, renewed commitment to those things that matter most to you, and a bright and prosperous future. And as always, we welcome your feedback.

Take care,
The ACFF Team

ACFF Staff