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Eckerd Hosts Environmental Film Fest

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Nine films are on the festival schedule.

ST. PETERSBURG – Rats, apes and albatrosses are the stars of some of the films featured in this year’s Visions of Nature/Voices of Nature Environmental Film Festival scheduled to run from Feb. 16, through Feb. 24, at Eckerd College’s Dan and Mary Miller Auditorium.

Organizers American Studies Associate Professor Catherine Griggs  and Philosophy Professor Nathan Andersen have curated nine films to challenge and raise awareness about the natural world and our place in it. The festival also will include screening introductions and discussions led by auteurs and producers associated with the films—including Victoria Jordan, producer of Albatross; Derek Hallquist, director of Denial; Monica Alvarez, director of The Cloud Forest; Quinn Costello, co-director of Rodents of Unusual Size; and Rebecca Cammisa, director of Atomic Homefront.

Sponsored by the Phoenix Venture Philanthropy Foundation, this free and open-to-the-public event has brought compelling and important films to the Tampa Bay area for 20 years. The festival format allows audiences to engage with filmmakers from around the world on issues of import to the future of our planet. Complete and up-to-date details about each film and presenters can be found on the Festival home page,

All screenings will take place in Eckerd College’s Miller Auditorium at 4200 54th Ave. S.

The 2018 lineup:


Feb. 16, 7 p.m.

Directed by Sabine Emiliani and Chris Jordan (English, 85 minutes, 2013)

On the island of Midway, thousands of seabirds die every year with their guts full of plastic. This unconventional documentary offers a visually stunning and intimate depiction of the magnificent albatross, both confronting us with our own culpability in this environmental tragedy and managing at the same time to deliver a profound message of reverence and renewal.


Feb.17, 7 p.m.

Directed by Derek Hallquist and Anoosh Tertzakian (English, 92 minutes, 2016)

When Derek Hallquist sets out to make a film about the global energy crisis, he enlists the help of his father, who is the CEO of a Vermont electric utility. Along the way, Hallquist discovers a shocking family secret. It turns out we all are reluctant to accept truths that require us to significantly change our lives.

Rat Film

Feb. 18, 2 p.m.

Directed by Theo Anthony (English, 82 minutes, 2016)

“There’s never been a rat problem in Baltimore; it’s always been a people problem.” Across walls, fences and alleys, rats not only expose our boundaries of separation but make homes in them. This inventive documentary uses the rat—as well as the humans that love them, live with them, and kill them—to explore the history of Baltimore.

A River Below

Feb.19, 7 p.m.

Directed by Mark Grieco (English and Portuguese with English subtitles, 86 minutes, 2017)

In their efforts to save the endangered pink river dolphin in the Amazon, marine biologist Fernando Trujillo and TV host Richard Rasmussen put the livelihoods of local people at risk. A River Below captures the Amazon in all its complexity as the film examines the actions of environmental activists using the media in an age where truth is a relative term.

The Cloud Forest

Feb. 20, 7 p.m.

Directed by Monica Alvarez Franco (Spanish with English subtitles, 90 minutes, 2017)

The people of a small Mexican community are the guardians of one of the ecosystems facing the most risk in the country. This film follows their efforts to redesign their own culture in search of a simpler and more sustainable lifestyle.

Rodents of Unusual Size

Feb. 21, 7 p.m.

Directed by Quinn Costello and Chris Metzler (English, 71 minutes, 2017)

A visually inventive and amusing documentary about giant swamp rats that have invaded coastal Louisiana and the defiant people, on the edge of the world, who are defending their communities, culture and livelihoods from the onslaught of this curious and unexpected invasive species.

Atomic Homefront

Feb. 22, 7 p.m.

Directed by Rebecca Cammisa (English, 100 minutes, 2017)

A major metropolitan area in the United States lies dangerously close to a large landfill containing radioactive waste and an escalating underground fire. This fascinating documentary serves as a case study for how citizens are confronting state and federal agencies for the truth about the extent of the contamination and are fighting to keep their families safe.


Feb. 23, 7 p.m.

Directed by Liang Zhao (Mandarin with English subtitles, 95 minutes, 2015)

Beginning with a mining explosion in Mongolia and ending in a ghost city west of Beijing, political documentarian Zhao Liang’s visionary new film Behemoth details, in one breathtaking sequence after another, the social and ecological devastation behind an economic miracle that may yet prove illusory.


Feb. 24, 7 p.m.

Directed by Brett Morgen (English, 90 minutes, 2017)

Jane Goodall, a young and untrained woman, challenges the male-dominated scientific consensus of her time with her chimpanzee research and revolutionizes people’s understanding of the natural world. Set to a rich orchestral score from legendary composer Philip Glass, the film draws from over 100 hours of never-before-seen footage and offers an intimate portrait of an astonishing woman.

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Eckerd Hosts Environmental Film Fest
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Eckerd Hosts Environmental Film Fest
Nine films are on the festival schedule.
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