The Center for Environmental Filmmaking (CEF) is one of the leading environmental, wildlife, conservation film programs in the world. Its mission is to advance filmmaking, photography and new forms of media as vital catalysts for raising awareness, promoting solutions and mobilizing movements. Compelling storytelling can inspire and empower people to engage in the critical environmental challenges faced today. CEF is committed to finding new ways to diversify the field, address inequality, and engage new audiences. The center provides an outstanding array of courses, experimental learning opportunities, creative media labs, film and speaker series, and internships. In addition to accomplished and award-winning faculty, CEF partners with conservation and advocacy organizations, media companies, and a vast network of experts, scholars, and policymakers, to create and innovate high-impact storytelling that makes a meaningful difference.
Executive director Maggie Burnette Stogner, an award-winning documentary filmmaker and film and media arts professor, brings a wealth of experience and energy to the center's important work. She is expanding the Center’s focus on the critical climate and environmental issues of today, as well as the Center’s emphasis on diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Center, founded by Chris Palmer in 2005, has a long tradition of fostering meaningful collaborations with a wide range of NGOs, government agencies, broadcasters, and others. Topics have ranged from air pollution and the disparity of regulatory enforcement, effects of tourism in the Galapagos Islands, the impact of private development on forests, to plastic pollution and ocean sustainability. Many of these projects have received honors, including a Student Academy Award for best documentary, Student Emmys and CINE Golden Eagles awards, and have screened at the Environmental Film Festival of the Nation’s Capital, Chesapeake Film Festival, Blue Ocean Film Festival, and others. Students and alum have been selected for the prestigious Jackson Wild Media Lab, internships at National Geographic, fellowships at the National Park Service, NASA, and NOAH, and many more.
The Center for Environmental Filmmaking (CEF) is one of the leading environmental and wildlife film programs in the world. We believe that innovative media making can inform, inspire and empower people to engage in the critical environmental challenges we face today. Our mission is to advance documentary filmmaking, photography and new forms of immersive and interactive media as vital catalysts for raising awareness, promoting solutions and mobilizing movements. We are committed to finding new ways to diversify the field, address inequality and engage new audiences. The Center provides an outstanding array of courses, experiential learning opportunities, creative media labs, film and speaker series, and internships. In addition to our accomplished and award-winning faculty, CEF partners with conservation and advocacy organizations, media companies, and a vast network of experts, scholars, and policymakers. Join us in creating high-impact storytelling that truly makes a difference!
Our signature initiatives include:
- Creating partnerships with established organizations-Maryland Public Television, the National Park Service, The Humane Society of the United States, and others-that give students the opportunity to produce professional films.
- Bringing world-class filmmakers to American University to speak, teach, and mentor.
- Developing innovative, interdisciplinary, and experiential classes and programs.
- Promoting the ethical treatment of wildlife and the environment.
- Awarding student scholarships and fellowships.
- Supporting and mentoring environmental and wildlife filmmakers in a variety of other ways.
Partnerships Around D.C.
As part of AU’s School of Communication (SOC), the center partners with SOC’s programs in journalism, public communication, film and media arts, and communication studies, drawing on the expertise of the accomplished filmmakers on SOC’s faculty to offer students exceptional professional training. We also collaborate with the College of Arts and Sciences and the School of International Service.
Located in Washington, DC, we belong to a broad and vital community that includes the Smithsonian Institution, the National Geographic Society, Discovery, Animal Planet, and PBS, as well as many nonprofit environmental organizations and government agencies, providing rich opportunities for our students. Each year we participate in the Realscreen Summit, Environmental Film Festival, and other major film festivals and conferences.
The Center for Environmental Filmmaking's activities and programs are made possible by the generosity of the following individuals, foundations, corporations, and other organizations. The Center is honored to recognize them and to thank them for their support:
Wallace Genetic Foundation, Frances & Benjamin Benenson Foundation, Shared Earth Foundation, Park Foundation, Saint Paul Foundation, Turner Foundation, Prince Charitable Trusts, Herbert W. Hoover Foundation, Ramsay Merriam Fund, Henry Foundation, Mead Family Foundation, Norcross Wildlife Foundation, Ernst & Young Foundation, Merrill G & Emita E. Hastings Foundation, T. Rowe Price Associates Foundation, and The Nature Conservancy.
Special thanks to Joan Murray, Bill and Laurie Benenson, Caroline Gabel, Gil Ordway, Caroline Ramsay Merriam, Elysabeth Kleinhans, Elizabeth Ruml, Lucy Waletzky, Wool Henry, Angel Braestrup, Lacey Hoover, Colton Hoover Chase, Mark Butterworth, Betsy Mead, Diana Mead, Christelle Siohan, Sheila and Bill Wasserman, Amy Panek, Lisa Peterfreund, Todd Robinson, Carolynn Brunette, Kristin Pauly, Leonard Berman, John McMurray, Elizabeth Gray, Kay Summers, Whitney Hall, and other generous supporters.
If you would like to support the work of the Center for Environmental Filmmaking with a tax-deductible gift, we are very grateful to you. Your gift will help the Center nurture and train the next generation of environmental filmmakers and help protect the natural world and wildlife.
Please contact Maggie Stogner at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Center For Environmental Filmmaking Diversity, Equity and Inclusivity Statement
American University embraces diversity in its broadest sense, including diversity of race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age, religion, nationality, disability, socioeconomic standing, and intellectual viewpoint. Center For Environmental Filmmaking at AU's School of Communication supports a learning environment where diversity, equity and inclusivity are respected and encouraged. CEF's programs are designed to increase equity and diversity “behind and in front of the camera”. From student recruitment, to course curriculum, experiential education opportunities, events, and programs, we are firmly and passionately committed to promoting a just, humane and healthy planet for all. Our recent documentary film, “Unbreathable - the Fight For Healthy Air”, is a strong example of our work to raise awareness about the disparate effects of environmental issues on marginalized communities. www.environmentalfilm.org, www.unbreathable.org