Film festival announces ‘Best of Fest’ at Shenandoah University

shenandoah universityThe American Conservation Film Festival announced its first “Best of Fest” in partnership with Shenandoah University on Thursday, Sept. 19, from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

The evening will feature five of ACFF’s award-winning and favorite films from the past two festivals and an intermission reception, and it will be held at Shenandoah University’s Halpin-Harrison Hall in Winchester, Virginia. This event will be held in advance of ACFF’s 17th annual film festival taking place Oct. 4-6 and Oct. 11-13, in Shepherdstown, West Virginia.

Featured films include 2017 and 2018 ACFF award-winners and audience favorites about everything from citizen activism and climate change to the moon and the set of ecology “rules” that govern all life.

The first set of films will show from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. The first film in this block is “The Discarded” (19 minutes), 2017’s Short Film Award Winner that tells the stories of local people in Rio de Janeiro who are fighting for a better, more dignified way of life, starting with cleaning up trash and the bay. The next feature is “Disobedience” (41 minutes), 2017’s Green Fire Award Winner that highlights the powerful movement coming together across the globe to defend the planet from fossil fuels and climate change, and the profound legacy of civil disobedience that has inspired these activists to action.

After a 45-minute intermission, the second block of films will show, including the following: 2018’s festival favorite, “A New View of the Moon” (3 minutes), a delightful short film about two guys who take a telescope around the streets of Los Angeles to give passersby an up-close look at a familiar object: the moon; 2018’s local interest film, “Calm, Quiet Strength” (4 minutes), a poignant tribute honoring a 200-year-old witness to American history: an Appalachian Mountain tulip poplar tree; and 2018’s Green Fire Award Winner, “The Serengeti Rules” (84 minutes), which begins in the 1960s and documents the story of a small band of young scientists immersed in the wilderness in some of the most remote and spectacular places on Earth, where they discover a single set of rules that govern all life.

“We are thrilled to share some of our most compelling and beautiful films with the Shenandoah University and Winchester communities and hope this is the first of many opportunities to partner in bringing entertaining, informative, and interactive programming with a conservation focus to the area, “ said Jennifer Lee, ACFF’s executive director.

Shenandoah University’s College of Arts & Sciences is one of the event hosts, and many of its programs, such as environmental studies, film studies, and history, connect well with the ACFF.

“The environmental studies program and Shenandoah have a long history of community engagement, so partnering with the ACFF is a natural fit,” said Professor of Environmental Studies and Geography Joshua Kincaid, Ph.D. “By bringing the ACFF’s ‘Best of Fest’ to Shenandoah, our institutions reinforce their missions to educate and inspire citizens to make positive change in the world.”

“Historians and all history students will want to take advantage of the ‘Best of Fest’ because the environment has such a powerful impact on history and human events,” said Professor of History Warren Hofstra, Ph.D.

“Over the last few years everyone has noticed SU’s growing commitment to filmmaking in both the narrative and non-fiction space – our partnership with ACFF and bringing this ‘Best of Fest’ to campus is the next logical step in fostering our community of storytellers,” added Assistant Professor of Media and Communication Glenn Anderson, M.F.A. “I can’t wait to see these films and how our students react to them. It is precisely events like this that may spark Shenandoah’s next big film project.”

For additional information and trailers for these films and all past ACFF films, visit the ACFF website at

The event is FREE. For the complete schedule and to register, visit

ACFF Executive Director Jennifer Lee is also available for comment. Contact her at or (540) 539-6150.

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