EFFY 2011 Awards

The 3rd Annual Environmental Film Festival at Yale (EFFY) has announced the 2011 award winners. The City Dark, directed by Ian Cheney, takes home the top juried prize for a feature film. The feature explores the psychological, societal, and environmental implications of light pollution.

The jury, comprised of Yale students and faculty, awarded Transition Town Totnes the top honor for a short film. Directed by Deborah Koons Garcia, the short highlights the growing movement of one transition town in Totnes, England, where citizens are engaging in community-based organizing to live more sustainably.

The EFFY Audience Award, as determined by ballots distributed to filmgoers, was a tie. Waste Land, a moving documentary about the population who lives off of the largest landfill in the world, was accompanied by a talk with one of the film’s stars Tiaõ Santos, President of ACAMJG (the Association of Recycling Pickers of Jardim Gramacho) of Brazil. “It is a great festival,” said Tiaõ. “I was honored to be part of it and hope it is only the beginning of a long time relationship of the Brazilian pickers of Recyclable Material and Yale.”

YERT: Your Environmental Road Trip, the other EFFY Audience Award winner, is a documentary about 3 twenty-somethings barreling across all 50 states in 52 weeks in search of local solutions to climate change. It had its world premiere at EFFY.

The student-run film festival, housed within the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, showcased 8 feature films and 9 shorts from March 28 to April 3 and hosted a record number of attendees from across the state and nation.

Other highlights of the festival included EFFY After Dark, a party to celebrate the world premiere of YERT, a special screening of the 2011 Academy Award-nominated short documentary The Warriors of Quigang: A Chinese Village Strikes Back, and a special advanced screening of Disneynature’s African Cats (which releases nation-wide April 22, 2011).

“The films in our line up this year highlight the variety of emotions we experience when we think about our planet and its future: hope as well as devastation, awe as well as caution,” says Catherine Fontana, Director of Public Affairs. “Even though the 2011 festival is over, the fight for our planet’s future endures.”

Major sponsors of the 2011 festival include The Study at Yale Hotel, alumnus Adam Wolfensohn, Films at the Whitney, School of Forestry 1980 Fund, Graduate and Professional Student Senate at Yale, Yale Environment 360, ecosystem Notebooks, 360 State Street, and Blue State Coffee.