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The 13th Annual Fall 2017 Film Series

An SOC Signature Series — created and hosted by 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

Or visit

New Events Fall 2017!

Stay tuned for a new line-up this fall! This spring we had an excellent list of guests and films, check out some highlights below:

Jim Toomey with characters from his comic strip

Tuesday, September 26, 2017 at 7 pm

Reception at 6:30 pm with refreshments

Drawing Inspiration with Cartoonist Jim Toomey

Nationally syndicated cartoonist Jim Toomey, who has been drawing the newspaper comic strip "Sherman's Lagoon" for almost two decades, uses live drawing to demonstrate how he weaves an environmental message into his work, and how he has taken what he has learned in "old media" and applied it to creating short films and animations for an online audience.

David Royle

Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at 7 pm

Reception at 6:30 pm with refreshments

Smithsonian Channel with David Royle - It's Brighter Here

At a time when most television channels have gone the reality route, the Smithsonian Channel has emerged as the source of some of the most exciting factual programming. Emmy award winning producer, David Royle, head of programming and production, tells how Smithsonian Channel launched as an HD, and now 4K, channel that embraces new digital platforms, and creates some of today's most wondrous and innovative natural history programs. From the largest aerial filming project in television history, to the world's largest snake and the award-winning film about a young woman who swims with sharks, the presentation will combine amazing visual moments with the inside story of creating a new channel that combines entertainment with integrity and credibility.

Birds and People that Inspire Conservation Storytelling with Aditi Desai

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 at 7 pm

Reception at 6:30 pm with refreshments

Birds and People that Inspire Conservation Storytelling with Aditi Desai

As Director of Multimedia at American Bird Conservancy, Aditi Desai produces stories to promote bird conservation across the Western Hemisphere. From a ten second clip featuring the charismatic Lear's Macaw on Facebook to a short documentary about the impact of free-roaming cats on birds on YouTube, Aditi leverages visual media to take viewers on a journey and highlight interesting bird-related stories. Her work has taken her from young forests in Minnesota to the arid grasslands of Mexico to share stories that raise awareness of threats to birds and foster conservation action.

Nat Geo Goes Wild with Geoff Daniels

Tuesday, October 24, 2017 at 7 pm

Reception at 6:30 pm with refreshments

Nat Geo Goes Wild with Geoff Daniels

Join Nat Geo WILD's Executive Vice President and General Manager, Geoff Daniels, for a wild night of stories about what goes on behind-the-scenes at cable television's #1 animal-focused network. From broadcasting live safaris from the middle of Kenya in Safari LIVE, to launching fun, new digital series like Untamed, Nat Geo WILD is pioneering new frontiers in a quickly evolving industry. Hear from Geoff about how Nat Geo WILD plans to captivate animal-lovers everywhere with exciting new shows featured on innovative platforms, as well as funny anecdotes about what goes on behind-the-scenes of your favorite shows like Snake City, Safari LIVE, the Incredible Dr. Pol, and more, and how he plans to stay one step ahead of the competition.

Classroom in the Wild in the Chesapeake Bay

Tuesday, November 14 at 7pm 

Classroom in the Wild- Film Screening Followed by Q&A

Come and hear first-hand accounts from students about their extraordinary experiences during Classroom in the Wild in the Chesapeake Bay. Vanina Harel and Nick Zachar, who led the Chesapeake Bay course, will lead the presentation and Q&As. Through photos and videos by the students themselves, you will learn more about this unique experiential learning course, as well as future opportunities to practice environmental filmmaking in Classroom in the Wild in 2018.

Past Highlights

Image of the Potomac River


Keeping the Potomac: The Politics of Water (2016, 26 minutes) plus Discussion

This documentary—conceived, written, produced, shot, directed, and edited by students in Environmental & Wildlife Production (COMM 568)—will air during Maryland Public Television's Chesapeake Bay Week in April. Keeping the Potomac examines efforts of three local river keepers to hold polluters accountable along the Potomac River watershed.

Created by Elizabeth Herzfeldt-Kamprath, Anthony Brunner, Doaa Nour, Sam Sheline, Raffi Paul, Sarah Liebman, Kent Wagner, Chelsea Greene and Xinyi Song, and by American University's Center for Environmental Filmmaking, in association with Maryland Public Television.

Panel discussion, hosted by Professor Chris Palmer, follows screenings. Panelists include student filmmakers and Professor Mike English, who taught the Center for Environmental Filmmaking class where Keeping the Potomac was produced for Maryland Public Television.