Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History


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2019 Environmental Film Festival at the National Museum of Natural History*

*RSVP requested



Thank you for your interest in attending the 2019 Environmental Film Festival at the National Museum of Natural History! Below is the schedule of films that will be screened in Baird Auditorium, located on the ground floor of the Museum.

Due to the popularity of this event, please help us prepare by submitting your RSVP for all films you plan to attend. RSVP here >


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Dir. Mindaugas Survila

Austria, 2017, 86 min.

Filmed in one of the last remaining patches of the oldest forests in Lithuania, The Ancient Woods is a place where boundaries of time melt and everything that exists does not wither or age but "grows into" eternity. A poetic and atypical nature film takes its viewers on the endless journey -- from the forest thickets to the wolves' caves and up to the black stork's nest, and down to the depths of the underwater forest -- and, finally, to the human beings on the wood's edge. There is no commentary, only rich, almost palpable sounds of the forest and magical situations captured by the camera.

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7:00 p.m. EPIC YELLOWSTONE: RETURN OF THE PREDATORS *World Premiere Screening!*

Prod. Eric Bendick, Tria Thalman, Tom Winston

United States, 2018, 51 min.

It's the dawn of a new era in Yellowstone. The wolves have returned. The grizzly bear population is at an all-time high. The mountain lions never left. And Yellowstone will never be the same. The presence of these iconic predators touches every aspect of life in Yellowstone. Through their eyes, we witness nature's dramas play out over the course of a year. These carnivores play a critical role in keeping Yellowstone in balance but what does it take to survive, protect your turf and raise young, all while trying to stay at the top of the food chain?

Followed by a Q&A with the film's producers Eric Bendick, Tria Thalman, and Tom Winston. 



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This program is presented in conjunction with the Smithsonian’s Mother Tongue Film Festival, which celebrates cultural and linguistic diversity through film. 

Dir. Tala Hadid

Morocco, 2017, 85 min.

High in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco, life in an isolated rural Amazigh community has changed little over the past millennium. History is passed down the generations orally, transmitted by traditional bards and storytellers. Filmmaker Tala Hadid gained intimate access to this community, as well as their trust, in her quest to document their daily lives in visual form, thereby preserving a moment in a culture that is constantly faced with the rapid changes of the larger society in which it exists. 

House in the Fields primarily follows two teenage sisters. In a nation that has recently made steps forward in providing equal rights for women, Khadija dreams of becoming a lawyer one day, while her elder sister Fatima has stopped attending school pending her upcoming marriage. A languid camera captures the sisters’ conversations as they discuss the possibilities and likelihoods of the future, as we wonder what the impact of social progress will be on centuries of embedded culture. 

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This program is presented with the American Conservation Film Festival, based in Shepherdstown, West Virginia. ACFF is proud to be partnering with EFF for the 4th time this year. 

Dir. David Abel

United States, 2018, 74 min.

Lobster War is a feature-length film about a climate-fueled conflict between the United States and Canada over waters that both countries have claimed since the end of the Revolutionary War. The disputed 277 square miles of sea, known as the Gray Zone, were traditionally fished by US lobstermen. But as the Gulf of Maine has warmed faster than nearly any other body of water on the planet, the area's previously modest lobster population has surged. As a result, Canadians have begun to assert their sovereignty, warring with the Americans to claim the bounty.

Followed by a Q&A discussion with the producer David Abel moderated by Jennifer Lee, Executive Director of the American Conservation Film Festival.

Don't forget - due to the popularity of this event, please help us prepare by submitting your RSVP for all films you plan to attend. RSVP here >