These 8 Environmental Film Festivals Showcase Movies on Climate Change and More

Sophie Hirsh - Author

Feb. 16 2023, Published 5:12 p.m. ET

Best Environmental Film Festivals
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From indie documentaries such as Why on Earth to major motion pictures like Don't Look Up, there has been what seems like an explosion of environmental movies over the last few years.

Not only that, but there has also been a surge of environmental film festivals, where film buffs can go take in an entire week or weekend of movies about wildlife, the climate crisis, veganism, and more.

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Keep reading for a list of some of the best environmental film festivals around the world, that are all definitely worth checking out if you are in the area. We also recommend using Google to see if there is one coming up closer to where you live!

The Environmental Film Festival at Yale (EFFY)

Every year, Yale University's Yale School of the Environment hosts the Environmental Film Festival at Yale (EFFY), a fully student-run film fest.

EFFY aims to show "incisive, cutting-edge films that highlight the environmental and social issues of our time," and the fest offers panel discussions after each screening. EFFY 2023 will take place on Yale University's campus in New Haven, Conn. from March 29 through April 1.

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Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival (FLEFF)

Every year, Ithaca College and Cinemapolis host the Finger Lakes Environmental Film Festival, better known as FLEFF. According to Ithaca College, FLEFF is the second longest-running environmental film festival in the U.S.

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FLEFF 2023 will run from March 20 through April 9, with over 65 events events (including 26 film screenings as well book launches, concerts, an art exhibition, and more) being held both in-person in Ithaca, N.Y. and online.

The 2023 theme is POLYPHONIES, a word that typically refers to the musical style (or other artistic style) of combining various parts together in harmony.

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The Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital (DCEFF)

The annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital (aka DCEFF) is known as both the U.S.'s biggest and longest-running environmental film festival, as it prepares to enter its 31st year.

Founded in 1993, DCEFF aims "to inform and inspire our community through the power of film to incite change and take action so that we can preserve our planet for generations to come."

This year, DCEFF will be held in Washington, D.C. between March 16 and 26, 2023, offering both in-person and virtual screenings.

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Cinema Verde Film Festival

Since 2010, the organization Cinema Verde has been presenting independent environmental films at the annual Cinema Verde Environmental Film Festival.

Cinema Verde's mission is "to provide environmental education to the public through film, arts, workshops, events, tours and any other forum or media," as well as increase awareness of life-changing environmental practices.

The Cinema Verde 2023 Environmental Film Festival was held in Gainesville, Fla. from Feb. 9 through 14.

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International Vegan Film Festival (IVFF)

The International Vegan Film Festival (IVFF) works to celebrate "the vegan ideal: a healthier, more compassionate, environmentally friendly lifestyle that can be achieved through the consumption of plants and animal-free alternatives."

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The fest is held in Ottowa, Canada every November, and the 2023 dates have yet to be announced. The fest is also broadcast virtually, so you can enjoy the films from anywhere in the world.

A few films that won awards at IVFF in recent years include SLAY, about the use of animals in fashion; Eating Our Way to Extinction, narrated by Kate Winslet; and 2040, about a filmmaker looking for climate solutions to guarantee his daughter a healthy and safe future.

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Matsalu Nature Film Festival (MAFF)

The Matsalu Nature Film Festival (MAFF) has taken place in Estonia every fall for about 20 years, and the fest has grown exponentially over the past two decades.

The 21st Matsalu Nature Film Festival will take place from Sept. 20 through Oct. 1, 2023, primarily in the town of Lihula, Estonia, as well as across Estonia.

Besides the films, one of the best perks of attending MAFF is that the festival venue is about a 10-minute drive to the beautiful Matsalu National Park.

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Colorado Environmental Film Festival (CEFF)

The Colorado Environmental Film Festival (CEFF) not only presents new environmental films (both feature-length and shorts), but it also invites people from from local and national environmental organizations. CEFF aims to "motivate people to make a difference in their community."

The in-person portion of CEFF 2023 will be held at the American Mountaineering Center in Golden, Colo. from Feb 23 through 26; then, from Feb. 27 through March 5, the films will be available to watch online.

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Eckerd College Environmental Film Festival

Every year, Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, Fla. hosts the Eckerd College Environmental Film Festival, aka the Visions of Nature/Voices of Nature Environmental Film Festival.

The 2023 fest will take place from Feb. 23 through 25 as well as on Feb. 28, and it will mark the 25th anniversary of the event.

The film fest aims to "raise awareness and promote discussion of matters relating to nature, place and the environment" for Eckerd students, as well as any local in the Tampa Bay area who wants to attend. All screenings are free to the public.

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