Environmental movie festival begins

Film: More than 100 are scheduled air in locations all over Washington


March 10, 2000|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF

The eighth annual Environmental Film Festival, with a schedule that includes more than 100 documentary, feature, animated, archival and children's films from 25 countries, kicks off Thursday in Washington.

The festival, spotlighting films centering on global environmental issues, runs through March 26. Screenings, most of which are free, are held at museums, embassies, libraries, universities and other institutions all over town.

Thursday's schedule, for instance, includes the nature documentary "Vampires, Devilbirds, and Spirits: Tales of the Calypso Isles" (10: 30 a.m. at the Martin Luther King Memorial Library, 901 G St. N.W.); "The Gift," a film about the almost spiritual relationship between Native Americans and corn (7 p.m. at the Canadian Embassy, 501 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.); and "In the Lonya Field," a visit to a Croatian flood plain that's been turned into a national park (7 p.m., Croatian Embassy, 2343 Massachusetts Ave. N.W.).

Film fans who want to get an early start can take advantage of two pre-festival events. Tuesday, two free showings of "Africa's Elephant Kingdom" are planned for the National Museum of Natural History's IMAX Theater. The showings are scheduled for 6 p.m. and 7: 30 p.m.

For information, phone 202-633-7400.

On Wednesday, the world premiere of "Silent Witnesses: America's Historic Trees" will be celebrated at a 5: 30 p.m. reception at the U.S. Department of the Interior, 1849 C St. N.W., followed by a screening of the film at 6: 30 p.m. Narrated by James Whitmore, who will help introduce the film, "Silent Witnesses" highlights trees with connections to such famous Americans as George Washington, Frederick Douglass, Amelia Earhart, Elvis Presley and -- of course -- Johnny Appleseed.

For information and reservations, call 202-636-8745.

For information and a full schedule, check the festival's Web page at www.capaccess.org/eff. Or telephone the festival office at 202-342-2564.

Cinema Sundays thriller

"Deterrence," a political thriller set eight years in the future and starring Kevin Pollack as a U.S. president facing a potential nuclear showdown with Iraq, is this weekend's feature at Cinema Sundays.

Pollack stars as President Walter Emerson, recently elevated to the highest office in the land after the death of the incumbent.

While campaigning to be elected on his own, Emerson and his entourage -- including a TV crew documenting the campaign -- are marooned in a diner by a fierce Colorado snowstorm.

When he learns that Saddam Hussein's son has invaded Kuwait, he turns the diner into a base of operations that could lead to nuclear war.

"Deterrence" also stars Timothy Hutton and Sheryl Lee Ralph, and marks the directing debut of former film critic Rod Lurie.

Sun TV critic and host of WJHU's "Media Matters" David Zurawik will serve as host for the post-film discussion.

Film time Sunday is 10: 30 a.m., with the doors opening at 9: 45 a.m. for bagels and coffee. Tickets, priced at $15, are available at the Charles the morning of the show. Two-film mini-memberships can be purchased for $26.


The film version of Rodgers and Hammerstein's "Carousel," with Gordon MacRae as a ghost trying to do right by his wife (Shirley Jones) and daughter, will be shown for free Wednesday at Loews White Marsh. The movie begins at 2 p.m.

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