Family & Community at the American Conservation Film Festival

The American Conservation Film Festival is pleased to present two blocks of films at its upcoming festival specifically targeted to a family audience and community interests.  The festival opens Thursday evening, October 30, and runs through Sunday, November 2nd at five venues in and around Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

The Family Film Block begins at 1:30pm on November 1 at the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC), where all films are free of charge.  Six short films will be presented at the NCTC Family Theater on topics ranging from dinosaurs to alternative nature-based education to frogs.  The block kicks off with “Search for the Big Seven” which follows five youngsters and their guide on an adventure in the Addo Elephant National Park in South Africa where they encounter magnificent beasts close-up and learn first-hand the value of protecting wildlife and their habitat.

Dinosaurs are the highlight of a short film from the National Park Service, taking us on a journey through time as a student paleontologist explores the landscape and fossils of the Petrified Forest National Wilderness Area.

“School’s Out” features a school in Switzerland for children ages 4 to 7 where the forest is their classroom.  The film follows the children, educators, and parents through one school year and looks at an educational structure that embraces environment and exploration.

If amphibians are your thing, you’ll enjoy the amazing frogs featured in “Crazy Monster Frog.”  From venomous predators to flying acrobats, this 46-minute film from Earth Touch gives us a greater understanding and appreciation of these unusual creatures.

A recent addition to the festival line up and one sure to appeal to people of all ages is “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar,” a moving and beautiful chronicle of Madagascar’s endangered lemurs.  Acclaimed primatologist and National Geographic explorer Mireya Mayor will lead a discussion following the film, which shows at noon on November 1 at NCTC’s Byrd Auditorium.

ACFF’s Community Interest Block kicks off at noon on November 2 at the Byrd Center for Legislative Studies on the campus of Shepherd University with “Ticked Off: The Mystery of Lyme Disease.” This powerful documentary investigates the controversies around the disease and provides essential information on testing, misdiagnosis, treatment, and prevention.

Then we move to the garden and grocery store with “The New Green Giants,” an investigation of the explosion of the organic food movement and how corporations like Stonyfield Farms, Eden Foods, and Earthbound are managing in the marketplace.  The block concludes in Hailey, Idaho, where the small city initiated seven community projects to demonstrate sensible ways to reduce greenhouse gases in “The Hailey Community Climate Challenge.”

For the full schedule of films, film descriptions, and more information, visit

Get a sense of the Festival here:

About ACFF
The American Conservation Film Festival is an annual event held in Shepherdstown, WV, a vibrant arts community 70 miles west of Washington, DC and Baltimore, MD. ACFF features films from a diverse group of conservation filmmakers from around the world.
This 501(c)(3) non-profit organization addresses conservation through the lens of film, providing a platform for education and dialogue about more sustainable ways to live.  By presenting outstanding conservation films, ACFF programming promotes solutions to pressing conservation issues, respect for the world’s natural and cultural heritage, and passion for conserving our resources.  Since 2003, the Festival has screened some 350 films to over 30,000 audience members, presented filmmaking workshops for aspiring documentary filmmakers, hosted panel discussions with filmmakers, and offered free family programs with the mission of engaging, informing, and inspiring people toward better ways to live, work, and play.

2014 ACFF Sponsors
The 2014 American Conservation Film Festival is sponsored by: The Campbell Foundation, Earth Touch, the Nora Roberts Foundation, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service National Conservation Training Center, West Virginia Division of Culture and History, Smithsonian Channel, Monica Larson Design, Flurie, Slick & Kinnett CPAs, GreenPath Consulting, Hobert & Kerr, P.C., Shepherd University, Shepherdstown Opera House, Sparkfire Media, Sustainable Business International, The Observer, Sarah Cohen, Eden Design, Friends of the National Conservation Training Center, HBP Inc., Jefferson County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Jefferson Security Bank, Skinner Law Firm, West Virginia Film Office, Younis Orthodontics, Blenko Glass Company, and Fallon Insurance