DamNation, a film that captured EFFY’s packed house with its breathtaking cinematography, investigative journalism, and real adventure, was awarded the top prize at the 2014 Environmental Film Festival at Yale (EFFY) by a jury comprised of Yale students, alumni, and community members. It was the 6th annual student-run film festival.
Directed by Travis Rummel and Ben Knight, DamNation traces the story of a country torn between hydropower development and the need to restore healthy rivers that are presently stifled by over 75,000 dams throughout the United States.
“With many filmmakers in attendance, a tightly-curated program, and highly engaged audiences, the Environmental Film Festival at Yale stands out among other film festivals,” said Rummel. “EFFY might be the largest student-run environmental film festival, but the passion and commitment of the organizers and audience make it feel like an intimate gathering of the tribe.”
DamNation also received the EFFY Audience Award, determined by ballots distributed to filmgoers, with other awards going to Marmato for Best Environmental Storytelling and Expedition to the End of the World for Best Cinematography.
EFFY, housed within the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, showcased 10 feature films and 16 shorts from March 31 to April 6 in venues across New Haven. From more than 300 submissions from over 40 countries, EFFY organizers chose the year’s most innovative, cutting-edge films that raise awareness of current environmental and social issues. All screenings were followed by panel discussions with filmmakers, Yale faculty, and other experts.
“The team of dedicated students behind EFFY not only pulled off the most successful festival to date, but I would go so far as to call it the most professionally-organized and truly engaging event at Yale, ” said Peter Crane, dean of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies. “Now in its sixth year, EFFY has become one of the best ways that Yale reaches out into the broader New Haven community.”
Major sponsors of the 2014 festival include the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, The Study at Yale Hotel, Films at the Whitney, the Class of 1980 Fund, CBEY, YSEC, and Next Step Living,