Lineup Announced for Seventh Environmental Film Festival at Yale

Note: Yale School of the Environment (YSE) was formerly known as the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies (F&ES). News articles and events posted prior to July 1, 2020 refer to the School's name at that time.

monsoon still The documentary, “Monsoon,” explores the vast seasonal weather system that permeates and unifies the immense and varied culture of India, shaping the conditions of existence for its billion-plus inhabitants.
The seventh annual Environmental Film Festival at Yale (EFFY), a student-run event being held April 3 to 11, has selected 26 films from hundreds of submissions representing more than 30 countries.
The festival lineup, which was announced today, includes “The Chinese Mayor,” a Sundance Film Festival award-winning film that provides an intimate glimpse of one official’s attempt to transform a polluted city in the face of a national system that makes it difficult to do so; “Monsoon,” an incomparable examination of the effects of the monsoon season in India which won the Audience Choice Award at the Toronto Film Festival; and the U.S. premiere of “Umi Yama Aida,” an evocative film that illustrates the link between nature and humanity in Japanese culture.
This year, the festival has added a symposium where filmmakers, students, and faculty are invited to explore the intersection of academia and film. These workshops, held on Friday, April 3 in Kroon Hall will feature an introduction to the basics of filmmaking by Peabody Award-winning documentarian Ian Cheney and an examination of effective environmental storytelling by Emmy Award-winning executive producer Paul Lussier. The workshop will conclude with a lessons-learned presentation by David Gelber, executive producer of the Showtime television series “Years of Living Dangerously.” EFFY is also screening one of its favorite films from the 2014 festival, the Oscar-nominated animated short “The Dam Keeper,” for New Haven school students.
All events will be held at venues across Yale University and are free and open to the public.
This is really a positive group of films. There are very few films where people won’t leave with a sense of empowerment.
— Don Mosteller
“This is perhaps the strongest lineup we have ever assembled,” said Don Mosteller ’15 M.E.M., executive director of the festival. “There’s a misconception that documentary films — particularly environmental ones — can be depressing and overwhelming, but this is really a positive group of films. There are very few films where people won’t leave with a sense of empowerment.”
Other films being featured during the festival include “Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story,” an exploration of global food waste from the farm to the fridge;  “Deep Time,” an eye-opening expose of North Dakota’s oil-driven growing pains; “Black Ice,” which documents the ordeal faced by Greenpeace protesters arrested by Russian special forces for challenging Arctic drilling; “Divide in Concord,” a charming nail-biter about one octogenarian’s attempt to ban single-serve plastic bottled water in Concord, Mass.; and “The OceanMaker,” a short, animated sci-fi film about a fictional dystopian world where water is scarce and geo-engineering  is the only weapon left to quell climate change and cloud thieves.
A short film and panel discussion with the filmmakers will accompany every feature film screening. In addition to awards for best feature film, best short film and viewers’ choice, the festival will for the first time honor the best film by a student.
View the full lineup and watch trailers.

The festival is sponsored by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, HuffPost Green, the Yale Center for Business and the Environment, Connect4Climate, The Study at Yale, the Yale Student Environment Coalition, the Whitney Humanities Center, and the Yale F&ES Class of 1980 Student Project Fund.
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TheChineseMayor still “The Chinese Mayor” highlights Geng Yanbo, mayor of Datong, who is attempting to transform one of the world’s dirtiest cities — and the challenges of doing so in a system in which officials often do best by doing nothing.
– Kevin Dennehy    203 436-4842