Filmmakers & Special Guests to Attend 2014 American Conservation Film Festival

Fifteen filmmakers and special guests will be attending the 2014 American Conservation Film Festival this weekend, participating in post-film discussions and mingling with the crowd.  46 outstanding conservation films will be shown over four days and five venues in and around Shepherdstown from October 30th to November 2nd.

Eleven of these films will be represented by their filmmakers, film subjects, or expert speakers on the film topic, providing audience members a deeper and more personal film experience.  The filmmakers of “Passion for Pike,” Jan Inge Mevold Skoghiem and Trude Refsahl, are coming all the way from Norway!

The festival kicks off on Thursday evening, October 30, at 6:45pm at the Byrd Center for Legislative Studies (BCLS) on the Shepherd University campus. “America’s Amazon” takes us on a visually stunning tour through Alabama’s Mobile-Tensaw Delta, the most biologically diverse area in North America. Filmmaker and environmental journalist Ben Raines will discuss the evolution of this little-known ecological jackpot and the current issues putting pressure on its fragile ecosystems.

Following that at 8:15pm will be the ACFF Broadcast Award winning film, “From Billions to None,” a chronicle of how the passenger pigeon, once numbering in the billions in North America, was hunted to extinction in a matter of decades. Filmmaker David Mrazek, scientist David Blockstein and naturalist Joel Greenburg will be on hand to accept their award and answer questions.

Meanwhile, three films start rolling at the Opera House at 7pm, including “Snows of the Nile,” the story of two scientists’ expedition to Uganda’s Rwenzori Mountains where one of the world’s only equatorial glaciers is rapidly disappearing.  Photographs from a 1906 expedition demonstrate the radical change over the last 100 years. Filmmaker Nate Dappen will speak about the experience following the film.

On Halloween Friday at 7pm at BCLS, filmmaker Ethan Oser will be attending to discuss his film “Invasive” about the Northern Snakehead fish and its invasion of the Potomac River.  That film block will also feature films on the wolverine in Mongolia, Pennsylvania’s bats, and the wolves of Sun Valley, Idaho.

A full schedule of films, filmmakers, and events is on tap for Saturday, November 1, starting off at noon at the National Conservation Training Center (NCTC) withNational Geographic explorer Mireya Mayor, who discovered a new species of lemur in Madagascar and will be speaking about the film “Island of Lemurs: Madagascar.” Also at NCTC, later in the day, “Love in the Tetons” brings the audience a story of discovery and romance as well as the film’s two stars, Juan Martinez and Vanessa Torres.

Over at the Opera House, during a block of water-themed films beginning at 12:30pm, “Mapping the Blue” filmmaker Alison Barrat will take questions about her story of the largest Marine Park on Earth and the high-tech GIS system designed to map it.  Later in the day, Melissa Thompson, Senior Video Producer at Greenpeace, will discuss the film “Postcards from Climate Change: Postcard from the Rockaways” about the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy on New York’s Rockaway beach.

ACFF’s Green Fire Award winning film “Trash Dance,” the story of choreographer Allison Orr’s ambitious project to engage Austin sanitation workers in a beautiful and moving performance on an abandoned airport runway, shows at 7pm at the Opera House.  Filmmaker Andrew Garrison will be in attendance to accept his award and discuss the film.

For the full schedule of films, film descriptions, and more information, visitwww.conservationfilm.org.

Get a sense of the Festival here: http://vimeo.com/99683754
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