Conservation International Programs in Focus at DC’s Environmental Film Festival

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Films bring the natural wonder of Columbia’s cloud forests, Indonesia’s islands and Bolivia’s Ecolodges to the U.S. capital

​Arlington, Va. (March, 28, 2014) – The theme of the 22nd Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital, Our Cities, Our Planet, celebrates the development of sustainable and resilient cities, exploring their natural and built environments as they seek to meet environmental and economic needs.  It featured 200 films from 38 countries with world premieres, discussions with Filmmakers, and the inauguration of two new film awards.  

In partnership with National Geographic, the Festival inaugurated the 2014 Eric Moe Sustainability Award. Founded by Julia and Richard Moe in memory of their son Eric, the award was created to honor Eric's strong interest in film and commitment to the environment. The award recognizes short films for inventive solutions to sustainability in all its forms. Over 80 films from 30 countries summited entries.

The CI Visual Storytelling Team's film, Field Chronicles: Chingaza- The Water’s Journey, was one of the six finalists presented at the award inauguration. The film was introduced by its director Peter Stonier, Senior Director of Visual Storytelling for Conservation International, at the award ceremony held at the National Geographic Society.    

Relating directly to the festival theme, the film used a combination of aerial images, urban landscapes, and feet-in-the-mud perspectives to showcase the páramos. A stunning landscape, the Páramos is part of a natural machine that has sustained Bogotá, Colombia, home to 8.5 million people, for centuries. The 22-minute film explains how this breathtakingly beautiful, but fragile machine works, and why we need to rethink our approach to economics to better value the services nature provides.  

The CI Visual Storytelling team also participated in festival speaking engagements.  Peter Stonier, Senior Director of Visual Storytelling, served as a panelist at American University’s seminar on the challenges of producing films that have a tangible and measurable impact on their audiences and society and John Martin, Director of Visual Storytelling Production, led the panel discussion at a Woodrow Wilson Center screening event with the filmmakers on their Nepal and the Congo Basin sustainable forest conservation films. 

The film festival also showcased a pair of Conservation International programs in films making their DC debuts.  The Kalabia, an educational program developed by CI, was featured in the DC IMAX film premier of Journey to the South Pacific as the story’s “heartbeat.”  Since 2008, the Kalabia, a former tuna-trawling boat, has been touring Indonesian islands, spending a few days at each village to deliver a highly interactive conservation education program to the children of these communities.

For three weeks in January 2013, the Kalabia education team hosted the IMAX film crew in several villages as the Kalabia’s staff ran its education program to build community awareness and instill a sense of pride and ownership of marine natural resources, while urging conservation of these unique ecosystems.

The Chalalán Ecolodge, an ecotourism venture supported by the CI-Bolivia team, was featured in the DC premier of Gringo Trails as a model for building local, sustainable economies while working with indigenous communities. 

Located in Madidi National Park, on the edge of a heavenly lagoon surrounded by forest, the Chalalán Ecolodge has improved economic and social conditions for the local indigenous communities both from direct income from the ecolodge and from investments in health and education paid for with some of its profits. 

For More Information on the Field Chronicles: Chingaza- The Water’s Journey 
The Film was produced by the Visual Storytelling team at Conservation International as part of the CI + SonyVisual Storytelling Alliance, an 18-year partnership between CI and Sony to film and showcase some of our planet’s most pressing environmental issues and the natural solutions being developed to support human well-being.   

The film is winner of Best Educational Program by the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival, considered to be among the top festivals in its genre of films about wildlife and nature. More than 600 filmmakers, scientists, conservationists and other media professionals gathered to celebrate, share and honor films about our natural world.

For media enquieies, contact:
Laura Lucia, Media Manager, Conservation International 
Office +1 703 341 2452/ mobile +1 513 284 8138/ email 

Note to editors:
Conservation International (CI) – Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, CI empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature, our global biodiversity for the well-being of people. Founded in 1987, CI is headquartered in the Washington, D.C. area and employs more than 800 staff in 30 countries on six continents, and has nearly 1,000 partners around the world. For more information, please visit our website at: or visit us on , YouTube and .

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