Lights. Camera. Environmental action!
The 7th annual Colorado Environmental Film Festival begins tonight at the American Mountaineering Center’s Foss Auditorium.
The opening night film, “Watershed,” was produced and narrated by Robert Redford and directed by Mark Decena. The film tells the history, and challenges faced by the Colorado River, which has been called the most dammed, diverted, and depleted river in the United States.
The festival runs through Sunday with films being shown in Foss Auditorium, as well as the CEFF Theater, which is also inside the American Mountaineering Center.
Festival Co-Director Shawna Crocker said the event was almost started in Parker years ago, but Golden won out.
”It’s just a great location for us. Restaurants, hotels, everythings in walking distance. Also, we are thrilled to have the support of the city,” Crocker said.
Over the years Crocker said the festival has grown to one of the biggest of its kind in the country. Every year, filmmakers from around the world submit their films, ranging from two-minute shorts developed in Colorado as part of the A Day Without Water contest, to full-length documentaries such as “Pad Tatra: A Green Odyssey from the Himalayas.”
“They’re actually presenting the awards for the Day Without Water films at our festival,” Crocker said.
More than 100 films were considered for inclusion in this year’s festival, while only 50 could be accepted.
Crocker said one thing that set the CEFF apart from other festivals is the accessibility of the filmmakers. She said at least 20 of the 50 films’ directors would be attending the festival, and would be available for impromptu questions after their films.
”People who make these films are so passionate, they aren’t trying to get rich, they just want people to see them,” Crocker said.
Some of those people, and film subjects, happen to be local, Crocker said.
”There’s a film about a 12-year-old boy who’s in Nederland (‘Stories of Trust: Calling for Colorado Climate Recovery’) and then we have a film about the discovery of dinosaur ridge (‘Arthur Lakes: Discovering Dinosaurs’).”
The all-volunteer CEFF organizers have scheduled the festival in conjunction with several other activities. Not one, but two environmental photo exhibits will be on display at the AMC this week, plus Rocky Mountain PBS will be premiering a new show, ‘the urban conversion’ at the festival.
Festivalgoers will also have a chance to recycle their e-waste. A local company will take any batteries or electronics in need of recycling. There will be no cost, except for $5 for TV and computer monitors. Other organizations and businesses will also be on hand, to give out information for the environmentally curious.
”We want people to step out of the theater and start engaging with some of our environmental expo presenters, and to hopefully get involved,” Crocker said.