What is your mission?
The Colorado Environmental Film Festival is a celebration of the power of film to inspire, educate and motivate audiences!
What role does your film festival play in supporting your film’s community?
Colorado is a place known for its environment. The festival taps into this sense of identity and provides an opportunity for sharing – on the part of the artists/filmmakers – and learning – for our community that shows up each year. We provide an important opportunity for people to see films made by committed filmmakers trying to educate the public through beauty, horror, fun, challenge, unfairness, strength of individual and collective action, and hope. In many cases, our festival is the only place people can view these important and influential films.
What is something people look forward to every year at your film festival?
Our festival has a true local, friendly, down-to earth feel. People come from all over the state of Colorado to see our amazing films, chat with directors from around the country and world and to engage in unique and sometimes challenging conversations about the environment in which we live. Additionally, we have a wonderful community of volunteers who return each year to ensure the success of the festival. The annual festival is one that people look forward to each year to be inspired and challenged in their thinking!
How long has your film festival been around?
Our first festival was hosted in 2006.
How did your film festival come into being?
One of our founding members was at a meeting in Washington DC in March 2005, during the nation’s largest environmental film festival. Someone suggested she catch a film or two, and she left the screening impressed at the numbers of people who go see these important but entertaining films. She said to a stranger walking out that people in Colorado are missing a slice of the environmental education pie (the industry she works in). People who don’t attend typical environmental education workshops, hikes, tours, programs, etc. could be drawn to come to an environmental film, learn more and be forever changed by it. Back in Colorado, she started the wheels turning and we approached the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education about adding a film festival to their menu of programs. They agreed, and CEFF hosted our first several festival partnered with CAEE. After 6 years, in 2012 CEFF went off on our own and became a stand-alone Colorado non-profit organization.
What do you want audiences to take away from your film festival?
We hope that as difficult environmental issues continue to appear, it is possible to make a difference at an individual, local and global level. Our festival is all about presenting films that engage our audiences, inspire them and motivate them to become involved. Working towards solutions feels better than feeling un-empowered, overwhelmed and scared about our shared future. It is absolutely necessary for individuals to find their power to make changes for the good of all. The festival is also about perspective, understanding and accepting how many different ideas are out there and how important it is to learn from others and keep an open mind. The films may inspire you or make you angry, but all of them make our audiences ask questions and the ensuing discussions are the heart of our festival!
Anything else you’d like to tell the audience about your festival?
We hope people will take the time to join us this year! There are many ways people can support CEFF – attend a film session (or a whole day), volunteer at the festival or throughout the year, or donate to help us keep this festival going each year. We are passionate about our films and the importance of showing them to our Colorado audiences who would likely never be exposed to so many of these unique films. Thank to the Golden community for being our home for the past 10 years and we are looking forward to many more festivals. Enjoy!
Visit the Colorado Environmental Film Festival website here.
Like their Facebook page here.
The Audience Awards is film’s social network connecting audiences to films, filmmakers and film festivals. The Audience Awards hosts short film competitions where the audience chooses the best films.