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The 11th Annual Spring 2016 Film Series

An SOC Signature Series — with creator and host Chris Palmer. The event is free and open to the public – no reservations required.

Malsi Doyle & Michael Forman Theater - 2nd Floor, McKinley Building, American University
4400 Massachusetts Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20016-8017
Metro: Tenleytown/AU, shuttle bus service to AU
For more information, please contact:
Chris Palmer (202) 885-3408 or


TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 9 at 7 pm; 6:30 pm Food and Drink

Highlights from the 2016 Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital (EFF), March 15-26
EFF is the largest and longest running environmental film festival in the country and will present 140+ films to provide fresh perspectives on a wide variety of environmental issues facing the earth. The films will explore endangered wildlife, freshwater and oceans, food and agriculture, energy and resources, sustainable living, and the built environment, with a special focus on this year’s theme, “Parks: Protecting Wild”. Join Festival Interim Executive Director Chris Head and Director of Programming Brad Forderfor a sneak peek at some of the most exciting new films to be shown during the 24th annual festival.

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 23 at 7 pm; Part of SOC week; 6:30 pm Food and Drink

Reality TV, Garbage Juice and Me - Michael Cascio
How I became a successful media executive by picking up trash and watching TV. Facts, truth, and the digital revolution: The more things change, the more they become a series on Netflix. Lessons from a documentary life at A&E, NBC, Animal Planet, National Geographic . . . and cleaning up backstage at Wolf Trap.

Note: The March 19-25 events below are all part of Washington D.C.’s Environmental Film Festival.

SATURDAY, MARCH 19 at 4 pm

When Mickey Came to Town (USA, 2016, 30 min.) World Premiere.

Twenty-two years ago, Disney thought they could impose an unwanted American History theme park on the people of central Virginia. Disney thought people wanted white-washed history with rollercoasters and battle recreations. They thought people wouldn't notice their plans for a massive development project of apartments, hotels and golf courses. They thought people wouldn't notice the project's impacts on traffic, sprawl and the environment. They thought wrong. Directed by Sam Sheline. Produced by American University’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking and the Prince Charitable Trusts. Producer Sam Sheline, Director of Photography Tony Azios, Editor Adam Lee. Executive Producers: Chris Palmer, Kristin Pauly.

Panel discussion, hosted by Professor Chris Palmer, follows screening with Sam Sheline, Tony Azios, Adam Lee, and other key people behind the film.

SATURDAY, MARCH 19 at 7 pm

Reception at 6:00 p.m. with food provided by Chaia, a local “farm to taco” vegetarian restaurant.  

Farming for the Future - Enduring Traditions, Innovative Practices
This program of short films and panel discussion will illustrate how farmers and communities are expanding their farming traditions and practices and preserving farmland to meet the demands for sustainable, locally grown food while ensuring that farming remains a profitable career.

Age of the Farmer (USA, 2015, 6 min.)
As the average age of North American farmers approaches 60 years old, a new generation in the Pacific Northwest explores a future in agriculture by volunteering on organic farms. Directed by Spencer MacDonald and produced by Eva Verbeek.

Farming for the Future (USA, 2013, 7 min.)
Cliff Miller of Mount Vernon Farm in the Virginia Piedmont is trying innovative management techniques to sustain his farm for future generations. Cliff’s story is that of many farmers seeking new ways to be economically and environmentally sustainable. Directed by Aditi Desai and produced by AU’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking and the Prince Charitable Trusts.

50 Years of Farming: For Love & Vegetables
(USA, 2014, 10 min.) The story of Potomac Vegetable Farms, an organic farm in Virginia. Directed by Aditi Desai. Produced by Vanina Harel. Executive produced by AU’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking and the Prince Charitable Trusts. |

Walt (USA, 2015, 6 min.)
Organic raisin farmer Walt Shubin has dedicated the last 65 years of his life to restoring California’s San Joaquin River to its previous glory. In the midst of drought, he argues for sustainable water use. Directed and produced by Justin Clifton.

The Culture of Collards (USA, 2016, 7 min. ) World Premiere
Collard greens are more than a simple side dish. Brought to the American South with the slave trade, they represent a critical aspect of African American cultural history. A new generation of passionate farmers, culinary historians and educators work tirelessly to preserve and share this cultural heritage while promoting healthy communities. Hear their stories. Directed and produced by Aditi Desai and Vanina Harel. Executive produced by AU’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking and the Prince Charitable Trusts.

Food for Thought, Food for Life (USA, 2015, 22 min.)
Industrial agriculture takes a toll on both the health of our environment and the quality of our food. The film surveys problems with today’s agribusiness world, voicing new solutions offered by farmers, chefs, researchers, educators, and advocates. Directed and produced by Susan Rockefeller.

Panel discussion follows screenings. Host and Moderator: Chris Palmer, Director of the Center for Environmental Filmmaking, School of Communication, American University. Panelists: Film and Multimedia Producer Aditi Desai; filmmaker Vanina Harel; Chris Miller, President, Piedmont Environmental Council; and Kristin Pauly, Managing Director, Prince Charitable Trusts.

TUESDAY, MARCH 22 at 7 pm; 6:30 pm Food and Drink

An Evening with Chris Palmer - The Most Important Environmental/Conservation Films of All Time
Founder and Director, Center for Environmental Filmmaking, School of Communication, American University. Film producer Chris Palmer, building on his new book Now What, Grad? Your Path to Success After College, describes the best conservation and environmental films of all time, illustrating his remarks with compelling clips. His new book, Now What, Grad? will be available for signing following his presentation. He will also screen the winners of this year’s Eco-Comedy Video Competition, co-sponsored by AU’s Center for Environmental Filmmaking and The Nature Conservancy. Dr. Elizabeth Gray, Director of The Nature Conservancy’s MD/DC Chapter, will co-present the awards with Professor Palmer.