Thursday, March 11, 2010

DC International and Environmental Film Festivals


March is turning out to be a very exciting month in DC for International and Environmental film buffs. We have three great film series in town that overlap. RWUL, the Global Film Initiative, and the Letelier Theatre got a head start, kicking off Global Lens 2010: Passport to a New World of Cinema" in late February with two films from Africa.  National Geographic, All Roads Film Project, launched its Women Hold Up Half the Sky series on the 4th of March (see Rachel's post on the movement that inspired this series).  The 18th annual Environmental Film Festival begins on March 16th and runs at different venues throughout the city until the 28th of March.  While it is important to support these film festivals, I did a little research into how filmmakers get their films into these festivals that highlight greater global cultural and environmental understanding.

I caught up briefly with Rebekah Frimpong, the Founder of RWUL at the opening film of Global Lens 2010.   RWUL's mission is "We Motivate, Create, Live, Love, Build, Network, Start, Focus, Mentor, Serve, Communicate," sounds like a great place to work.  Operating out of Richmond, Virginia since 2007, RWUL supports independent film culture by sponsoring filmmakers but also values community by educating audiences about the diverse issues in films.  For the Global Lens 2010 series, they will be hosting spoken word, traditional Indian dancers and panel discussions about Iran in the media and great tapas from various countries.  All following a movie of that respective country.  In the interview below you can hear what other exciting projects RWUL is involved in.

National Geographic, All Roads Film Project is currently accepting film submission to their full film festival (September 2010) until April 30th for documentary films that provide a "platform for indigenous and underrepresented minority-culture storytellers from around the world." They also provide Seed Grants to Film-makers, watch the YouTube Video below to show you how to go about applying.

The Global Film Initiative receives grant applications from Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and Oceania and provides 10-20 filmmakers up to $10,000 in grants twice a year for films that encourage "authentic self-representation."  The Environmental Film Festival doesn't have a formal film submission process.  It is recommended that you submit a synopsis and screener of the film in late summer or early autumn.  This year the Environmental Film Festival has a feature on their website where film-makers can upload Green Short Films for all visitors to see, making it easy for a budding green film-maker to get some free advertising. 

The Floating Cities green short film submitted by the European Environment Agency submitted the film below exploring the engineering and technology to build flood proof homes in the Netherlands.  It would be fascinating to combine traditional and indigenous building practices with some of this new technology and apply it to many of the communities around the world struggling with climate change adaptation.

The last film, 2501 Migrants: A Journey, by Yolanda Cruz in the Women Hold Up Half the Sky Series is powerful.  It is about an artist that spends 6 years documenting through sculpture the 2501 people that have migrated from his town in Oaxaca, Mexico.  See the trailer below.

If you take a moment to look at the programs, I promise you, more than one of these independent films will peak your interest, so schedule some time to support independent film and while you are there, you just may begin to ", live, love, build..." through film yourself.

Global Lens 2010 (10 Films)
February 27th-March 26th, 2010
$8 per screening, w/special discounts for students & senior citizens. 

March 4th -April 7th, 2010

56 Venues 
March 16th -28th, 2010