March 23, 2017


For more than 20 years, the Environmental Film Festival has played a critical role in bringing together filmmakers, policymakers, scientists, educators, and citizens committed to the future of our planet.  The 25th Annual Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital took place on March 14-26, 2017. DCEFF is the world’s premier showcase of environmentally themed films. Through this annual festival, year-round events, and online resources, the festival advances public understanding of the environment through the power of film.




Philip Scheffner

Merle Kröger
Caroline Kirberg


Out in the Mediterranean Sea, a few dozen miles off the Spanish coast, a frail little skiff full of men is identified by a cruise liner. A camera zooms in on the refugee boat far in the distance, but the picture remains indistinct. German director Philip Scheffner takes a few minutes of eyewitness video and slows it down to feature length, such that every frame registers as a separate pixelated, and metaphorically pained still. Meanwhile the soundtrack offers an ambitiously textured, multilingual account of the historical and cultural forces that gave rise to this confluence of participants and witnesses, such as terrorism in Algeria in the 1990s, the Irish troubles, and the war in the Ukraine. Scheffner orchestrates a moment suspended in time, in which the viewer is invited to appreciate the full complexity, and tragedy, associated with a brief picture caught at sea.

93 min., Germany, 2016

Amanda Sheffer

Amanda Sheffer

Introduction by Dr. Amanda Sheffer

Dr. Amanda Sheffer is a Clinical Assistant Professor of German and acting Basic Language Coordinator in department of Modern Languages at CUA. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a dissertation entitled "Deranged Doctors and Panicked Patients: The Doctor-Patient Relationship in Fin de Siècle Literature." President of the Maryland / DC Metro AATG, Dr. Sheffer also focuses on pedagogy through the teaching of film and German for professional purposes in the basic language classroom. Her current research looks at the intersection of medicine and science in modern Austrian literature.