Top five flicks at the Colorado Environmental Film Festival

With over fifty films screening, the Colorado Environmental Film Festival is seeking to inspire audiences into action. The fest runs Thursday through Saturday in Golden at the

American Mountaineering Center

with flicks about environmental issues from organic farming to energy conservation. "I hope that people will walk away from this weekend feeling empowered," explains Co-Director Danette Dacey. "Colorado is a wealth of information and activism happening and it's going to make a difference down the road." The CEFF will inspire that activism with a program packed with panels, family events, and plenty of ways to get involved. Read on for the festival directors' top five films to catch.

Switch Thursday, February 23, Foss Auditorium, 7 p.m.

Rocky Thompson: "What I really like about Switch is it's a very accurate description of where we are in our efforts to switch away from carbon-based fuels. It talks about several different things that are working very well, different projects that are up and running and showing that we can get off of fossil fuels. But it also talks about some of the difficulties including how much coal we have in this country and how easy it is to dig it up and how easy it is to create energy from coal. So without hitting up the carbon side of coal it's going to be hard to get away from creating energy from coal."

Green Fire

Friday, February 24, Theater II, 7 p.m.

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Thompson: "Green Fire is a wonderful story about Aldo Leopold, who really was one of the first environmentalists and really understood how important it was to protect the environment and how important it is to be stewards of the land and use land, but use it wisely. And one of the filmmakers is based here in Denver."

Chasing Water

Friday, February 24, The Golden Hotel, 9 p.m.

Danette Dacey: "It follows the Colorado River from source to sea--they attempted to go to the sea, and fifty years ago you could make it all the way to the sea. Fifty years ago when Aldo Leopold went it was literally, the quote in the movie says he described not being able to choose which lagoon to go into. And now, I think it's about twenty-some miles away from the coast it just dries up and turns into a gross garbage disposal. It used to make it and now it doesn't; it's quite weird. Peter McBride, the director, is going to be there in person, so we're really excited about that."

What's 'Organic' about Organic?

Saturday, February 25, Foss Auditorium, 1:30 p.m.

Dacey: "It's just under an hour and it features Grant Family Farms and several other farms around the country. For instance, the main guy from Grant Family Farms is quoted in that movie talking about his experience as a child on his family's farm after they started using pesticides on the grasshoppers, and then his dog would eat the grasshoppers and his dog died from the use of pesticides. And he watched the dog die in his arms as a ten-year-old, and then going forward now he's become one of the largest organic farmers in Colorado. So I just think that really speaks powerfully to what we eat; we are what we eat! And we know that there are issues with our food source. So what I liked about this is it just made me feel much more empowered as a consumer to make that right choice in the grocery store."

The Next Best West

Saturday, February 25, Theater II, 4 p.m.

Thompson: The Next Best West has three really nice stories showing where people are moving ahead in the west and just from ranching to carrying out dams to showing that things are being done to move forward environmentally.

Tickets are $5 per film. For more information on the variety of programs, and to buy tickets, visit ceff.net.

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