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4th Annual Philadelphia Environmental Film Festival Brings the Wonders of the Planet Straight to Your Home in First-Ever Virtual Film Festival

PHILADELPHIA, August 24, 2020

Philadelphia Environmental Film Festival (PHEFF) is excited to bring the wonders of the planet straight to your living room with its virtual film festival September 23-27. The 2020 Festival aims to use the power of exceptional environmental films to entertain, inform and inspire personal action.


“We are honored to bring the beloved Philadelphia Environmental Film Festival directly to Philadelphians via our state-of-the-art online platform,” said Executive Director Debra Wolf Goldstein. “This year’s Festival showcases critical environmental issues and will captivate audiences with films showing the beauty and fragility of our planet.”


The line-up includes 13 programs offering 39 shorts and 11 feature films that explore a wide variety of environmental challenges and solutions – plus filmmaker Q&As, panel discussions, award announcements, and other great extras. The full line-up of films is available below. 


“We carefully selected the best new environmental films from around the world for the 2020 Festival which address a broad range of timely and powerful issues,” said Alexandra Drobac Diagne, Artistic Director. “Our curated programming offers visually dynamic and impactful films. This year’s virtual format offers viewers the flexibility of a customized viewing experience.”


The 2020 Festival includes Honeyland, the historic 2020 Academy Award nominee for both Best Documentary Feature and Best Foreign Film. Honeyland tells the story of Europe’s last female bee-hunter, who, embarks on a journey to save her hive after a family of nomads invade her land and threaten her livelihood. This film includes special greetings to Festival viewers from the film’s directors, Tamara Kotevska and Ljubomir Stefanov.


The Festival’s 13 curated programs highlight films touching on timely and powerful topics including:


  • Environmental Racism -- featuring Director Alexander John Glustrom’s Mossville: When Great Trees Fall, tells the moving story of a century-old black community uprooted by petrochemical plants, and one man’s refusal to give up;
  • Indigenous Perspectives -- featuring Tribes on the Edge by Céline Cousteau, granddaughter of renowned filmmaker and conservationist Jacques Cousteau. Building on the family legacy of exploration and spellbinding storytelling, Cousteau asks viewers to hear the human story and act in solidarity with indigenous peoples to help preserve their communities and the Amazon itself; and
  • American Adventures -- featuring The River and The Wall, Director Ben Masters’ 1,200-mile adventure to document the huge environmental and social impacts of the proposed border wall between Texas and Mexico. This groundbreaking documentary follows five friends on their epic journey to shed light on this controversial project.


PHEFF’s line-up also features captivating short films from around the globe, including regionally-made shorts from local talent, such as Beyond the Philth, exploring Philadelphia’s vexing trash issue; and Organize for Our Lives, a Roxborough youth’s first-hand account of Philadelphia students’ strike for climate justice in 2019.   


Among many extras included are a special message from politician Beto O'Rourke, who makes a cameo appearance in The River and the Wall; Discussion and Award acceptance with Tribes on the Edge filmmaker Céline Cousteau; greetings by the Honeyland Directors from Macedonia; special talks with other feature Directors; a panel discussion on environmental racism; an educational youth program; and more.


PHEFF is proud to be partnering this year with lead sponsor Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University to offer discussions as part of the Festival with Academy scientists about environmental topics explored in the films.


Additionally, in line with its mission to engage, inform and entertain, PHEFF is excited to offer several filmmaker and expert events free of charge.


Unlimited Virtual Passes to see all 13 curated programs are only $30; individual program tickets are $12 . Tickets and passes will be available for purchase beginning September 4 on the Festival website:


The Festival’s lead sponsors are the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University and the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, USA.


Philadelphia Environmental Film Festival brings the planet to Philadelphia through the power of environmental film. The Festival showcases exceptional new shorts and features about the beauty and fragility of the earth that entertain, inform, and inspire personal action.



For more information, visit
Facebook: @PhilaEnviroFilmFest
Instagram: @PhilaEnviroFilmFest
Twitter: @PhilEnvFilmFest





(Note:  Most film programs also come with additional viewer resources, such as filmmaker Q&As, panel discussions, and links to more information.)


Program 1 -- Indigenous Perspectives – Shorts and Features

  • Throat Singing in Kangirsuk (Canada), Director Eva Kaukai, Manon Chamberland
  • Fighting Fire with Fire (USA), Director Sinead Santich
  • Feature: Tribes on the Edge (USA/Brazil), Director Céline Cousteau


Program 2 -- American Adventures – Shorts and Features

  • In Your Hands (USA), Director Brandon Moore
  • The Cholito Climbers of Bolivia Scale Mountains in Skirts (Bolivia), Director Mariano Carranza
  • Feature: The River and the Wall (USA), Director Ben Masters


Program 3 -- Regional Shorts  (sponsored by Fairmount Park Conservancy)

  • Euphoria (Argentina, Hungary), Director Katalin Egely
  • Organize for Our Lives (USA), Director Isaak Popkin
  • Beyond the Philth (USA), Director Marlee Snyder, Renee Cinningham, Christina Karos, Emily Moser, Mengyuan Cao
  • Park Champions:  Neighborhood Volunteers (USA), Director James Wasserman, Valerie Keller
  • Petty’s Island: A Journey Back to Nature (USA), Director Adin Mickle, Jr.
  • Shad Run (USA), Director Ben Dorger, Becky Harlan


Program 4 -- Global Shorts  (sponsored by University of Pennsylvania School of Arts & Sciences and Climate Week at Penn)

  • Ferryman at the Wall (Canada, Mexico, USA), Director David Freid
  • Kofi and Lartey (Ghana, USA, New Zealand), Director Sasha Rainbow
  • Antarctica – Little Animal (France), Director Paola de Sousa
  • The Call of the Pashmina (India), Director Taira Malaney
  • Back to Nature, (Portugal)  Director João Pombeiro
  • Polarbarry – Let’s Break the Ice! (Netherlands, United Kingdom), Director Wouter Dijkstra
  • Electrifying India (India, USA), Director Sam Eaton


Program 5 -- Oceans First – Shorts and Features (sponsored by OceanFirst Bank)

  • The Evolution of the Ocean (Spain), Director Rafael Fernandez Caballero
  • Rocky Intertidal Zone (USA), Director Irene Tejaratchi Hess
  • Let’s Go to Antarctica! (Antartica, Spain), Director Gonzaga Manso
  • Feature: Sea of Shadows (Austria), Director Richard Ladkani


Program 6 -- Planet Food --  Shorts and Features

  • The Wasted Effort (Turkey), Director Muhammed Bozbey
  • Insect Garden – Butterfly Paradise (Netherlands), Director Tim Visser, Sander van Iersel Richard Ladkani
  • Feature: Modified (Canada), Director Aube Giroux


Program 7 – Honeyland (The Republic of Macedonia), Director Tamara Kotesvka, Ljubomir Stefanov, Historic 2020 Academy-Award Nominee for Best International Feature & Documentary (sponsored by Cary Snider)

  • Available on Friday, September 25th for 24-hour window only (12:01 am – midnight)


  • Land Without Evil (Argentina, Hungary), Director Katalin Egely
  • See Animals (USA), Director Scott Wenner


Program 8 -- Environmental Racism – Shorts and Features

  • Detroit Hives (USA), Director Palmer Morse, Rachel Weinberg
  • Lowland Kids (USA), Director Sandra Winther
  • Feature: Mossville: When Great Trees Fall (South Africa, USA), Director Alexander John Glustrom


Program 9 -- African Lens – Shorts and Features

  • A Walk Through the Land of a Thousand Hills (Rwanda, USA), Director Chema Domenech
  • The Guardian Elephant Warriors of Reteti (Kenya), Director Ami Vitale
  • Not a Pet (Namibia, South Africa, United Kingdom), Director Andrea Walji, Jack Wylson
  • Feature: The Great Green Wall (Senegal, Mali, Nigeria, Niger, Ethiopia, IUK), Director Jared. P Scott


Program 10 -- Kid’s Planet – Shorts and Features

  • Chiripajas (Russian Federation, Spain), Director Olga Poliektova, Jaume Quiles
  • Plastic Addiction (Hawaii), Director Taylor Redman, Kiana Liu, Lehua Jimenez, Sebastian Byhre, Christine Davis
  • Feature: Microplastic Madness (USA), Director Atsuko Quirk, Debby Lee Cohen


Program 11 -- Plastic Problem – Shorts and Features (sponsored by Jen & Greg Case)

  • Words Have Power (USA), Director Lynne Cherry
  • Racoon and the Light (USA), Director Hanna Kim
  • Feature: The Story of Plastic (Belgium, China, India, Indonesia, Philippines, USA), Director Deia Schlosberg


Program 12 -- Toxic Bodies – Shorts and Features

  • A Fistful of Rubbish (Spain), Director David Regos
  • Gajah Borneo (USA), Director Shervin Hess
  • Feature: Overload: America’s Toxic Love Story (USA), Director Soozie Eastman


Program 13 -- Public Lands – Shorts and Features

  • The Emergency Brake (Canada), Director Macy How
  • Mni Wiconi: Water is Life (USA), Director Miguel Antonio Genz, Jeremias Galante
  • Renewal: Think Like a Scientist (USA), Director Jessica Plumb
  • Feature: Public Trust (USA), Director David Garrett Byars