Environmental film festival returns bigger and better for 14th year

Golden Festival will showcase 60 films from 22 countries

Paul Albani-Burgio
palbaniburgio@coloradocommunitymedia.com
Posted 2/11/20

When the Colorado Environmental Film Festival returns to Golden for the 14th straight year later this month, festival veteran Dave Steinke says festgoers can expect an event that is both bigger and …

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Environmental film festival returns bigger and better for 14th year

Golden Festival will showcase 60 films from 22 countries

Posted

When the Colorado Environmental Film Festival returns to Golden for the 14th straight year later this month, festival veteran Dave Steinke says festgoers can expect an event that is both bigger and better than ever.

“This is by far the strongest line up of films I have seen during the 14 years,” said Steinke, the festival’s vice president and a filmmaker in his own right that is heavily involved in the selection process. “No matter what segments chose to see learn something and be smarter and I think you’ll be moved by these very powerful films.”

Both Steinke and the festival’s director, Nicole Bickford, say the increase in quality is a result of the festival’s adoption of a new submission platform that made it easier for filmmakers to submit. This year the festival received 187 entries when it typically receives about 120. Bickford said the increase in both quantity and quality also led the festival to ultimately add more films to its line-up.

“So we are actually showcasing over 60 films this year which is a record for us,” she said. “Getting 60 films into the short time frame we have is pretty awesome. And we have films from 22 countries this year so it really is kind of a worldwide overview of films and topics.”

But while the festival has grown, Steinke and Bickford both agree that one of its great appeals remains its still relatively small size and intimate feel. While part of the appeal of any film festival is the chance to see and hear from those involved with making the film, Steinke said the CEFF is unique in that every film is represented by someone involved in making it and the festival’s small size makes it easy to interact with those people.

“It can give people a really fun and unique chance to maybe sit down and have a beer with one of the filmmakers that threw all of their passion and love into telling these stories,” said Bickford.

In addition to the film screenings, which consist of short and feature-length films as well as youth entries made by kids under 18, the festival also includes an exhibition of environmental photographs.

Photographer Cheryl Opperman said the goal of the workshop is to present a diverse range of images that will educate and motivate people around environmental issues.

“I think when people see something (in a photo) they connect with it and it often inspires them to take action,” Opperman said of the value of the exhibition.

The festival’s 60 films also present a diverse range of subjects ranging from deer migration in Wyoming, which is explored in Deer 139, to the 1983 protests of Rocky Flats near Golden. Just don’t go in thinking all of the films will be depressing, Steinke said.

“I think some people think ‘it’s oh my god we are ruining the Earth and you will come out of it depressed and sad’ and yeah, we have some films like that, but also we have so many uplifting films that have hope and that tell you about ways that you can make the difference after you watch. I think it’s worth it to come out and feel like you are doing something learning and becoming educated.”

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