2023 Selections 

Congratulations to the films selected to screen at the festival and to the winners! 

2023 Winners 


Audience Selection- Jamie Berger- The Smell of Money Documentary

Best Feature- Jamie Berger- The Smell of Money

Best Short Film- Benjamin Cheer- The Box Of Life

Best International Film-Prin Uthaisangchai- The Story of the Leatherback

Best Indigenous Film- Darby Adam’s- Paddle Tribal Waters

Best Film by an Emerging Filmmaker- Madison Cavalchire- Fire & Flood

Best Film Highlighting a Hidden Story- Ashley LoFaso- Keeper of the Bay

Best film highlighting Religion/Spirituality and the Environment- Lara Jacoski- Eskawata Kayawai.


Check out the films screening at this year's festival! 


Here's a link to the festival program! There is one change to the program. The Friday night film begins at 8:30 P.M. at Dare Arts. 


The Box of Life (Directed by P.W. Cheer, Manuel Baechlin)

After leaving his Data Analytics job in Boston and moving to Ottawa, Canada to be with his wife, Akil found himself faced with unemployment. The solution? Worms. An at home composting experiment now turned full-time occupation.

Connected By Water (Directed by Will Freund

Humans are natural storytellers and that is how we make connections. Join Will Freund on a journey to hear perspectives from 9 people living along the coast of the United States southeastern coast about what they think of climate change.

Traveling solo over 1,000 miles along the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway in a Hobie Mirage Adventure Island from Miami, Florida to Norfolk, Virginia, he meets people from so many different backgrounds and learns more than he ever thought possible.

Eskawata Kayawai- The Spirit of Transformation (Directed by Lara Jacoski, Patrick Dequech Belem)

In the heart of the Amazon Rainforest, the Kaxinawá people (self-claimed Huni Kuin, "true people") are experiencing their cultural and spiritual renaissance. After decades of slavery during the rubber plantation era, they were captured in the forests with dogs, marked with numbers, and forbidden to speak their language and live their culture. 
It took more than 20 years of hard work, prayers, and cultural strengthening undertaken by the spiritual leader Ninawá Pai da Mata so that his people could return to their ancestral way of life. 
In this feature film, we are taken by the villagers to the cacophony of the forest, the beauty and the simplicity of everyday life, the enchantments of the forest medicines, and the effort of what it takes for a tribe to rediscover themselves in communion with nature. 
Such a powerful return home is an example for the world, especially in the critical moment in which we live, proving that it is possible to rescue ancestry and revolutionize everyday life to be in harmony with the planet.

Fire and Flood (Directed by Madison Cavalchire)

The rural community of Seven Springs, North Carolina has a long history of survival. After being nearly destroyed during the Civil War, a fire swept through the town in the early 1920s almost wiping it out entirely.

More recently, hurricanes are pushing the already struggling small town to the brink of collapse, as severe flooding has left it virtually beyond repair.

Seven Springs’ demise would mean a loss of identity, culture, and community for those who still call it home. Fire & Flood paints a video portrait of this charming place and the community that is fighting to keep it afloat against all odds.

Heart of Maui (Directed by David Ehrenberg)

This National Park Service film follows two biologists fighting to save a bird species so rare there are only 200 left on the planet. The extinction event of our lifetime is unfolding inside Haleakala National Park's remote backcountry. Discover what will be lost if humans do not take action to save these rare Maui forest birds.

The Invisible Forest (Directed by Andy Costa)

In a time of advanced deforestation in the Amazon, we delve into the stories of struggle and resilience of individuals who view the forest as an inseparable part of their lives. These people shield the forest, confront the harassment of invaders, and safeguard the transmission of their knowledge and culture in the pursuit of caring for the planet's largest tropical rainforest. This documentary uncovers their journey and dedication to preserving the Amazon's vital legacy.

Keeper of the Bay (Directed by Ashley LoFaso)

A documentary film about marine conservation through the eyes of a native Hawaiian woman as she struggles to continue a family baykeeping legacy.

Longleaf Forever (Directed by Laura Albritton)

Longleaf Forever is a short documentary film that plunges viewers into one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems on the planet. Home to hundreds of rare plants and animals, longleaf pine forests once covered 90 million acres in the American South. Today, conservationists and land managers are turning a history of habitat loss and decline into a hopeful environmental story of renewal. We hear from women and men who care passionately about these landscapes and the species that live within them: a forester in rural Georgia, a Native longleaf needle basket maker, a young Black botanist, and fire ecologists who study the essential role of regular cycles of fire in the health of longleaf forests. Made with assistance from the GA Dept of Natural Resources Wildlife Division, The Longleaf Alliance, and The Environmental Resources Network (TERN).

Paddle Tribal Waters (Directed by Paul Robert Wolf Wilson, Rush Sturges)

When the largest dam removal project in history begins, a group of indigenous youth learn to whitewater kayak, hoping to become the first people to paddle the restored river from source to sea.

Redlined Reimagined (Directed by Christopher Jorelle Gillespie) 

The goal of this policy ethnographical project is to elevate historically redlined communities within the federal policy 
space. Currently, there is not a single federal program that gives special consideration to historically redlined 
communities. Even following the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, “redlined” communities remain subject to forced segregation and economic starvation. To date, no federal policy or program has been created to address the negative, compounding, placed-based effects of redlining. Redlined communities need a formal definition of the policy landscape that will provide grounds for establishing federal initiatives and programs. Defining "redlined communities" cannot be accomplished through geographic maps alone, in fact, it is more about the things we cannot see. That collective experience impacts 11 million Americans in 11 million different ways.

Salted Earth (Directed by Ben Hemming)

"Salted Earth" plunges us into the heart of an invisible and creeping crisis that's transforming the Mid-Atlantic – the inexorable rise of sea levels. This hard-hitting, yet tenderly woven 20-minute documentary paints a vivid picture of an escalating environmental catastrophe, where the threat is not just the swelling sea, but the encroaching salt that kills forests and decimates arable land, but could also signal a return to the natural order of the Atlantic Coast.Our journey navigates the brackish waters of climate change alongside an intrepid team of scientists. Through their tireless work, they seek to unravel the intricacies of how salty water infiltrates groundwater and soils, with consequences as far-reaching as they are devastating. Their research is more than academic; it's a desperate quest for solutions that may help vulnerable communities adapt and even survive."Salted Earth" is not only a saga of scientific discovery. It's also a story of human resilience and ingenuity. We venture into the heart of communities, the lifeblood of the Mid-Atlantic, whose existence is at stake. We see firsthand the farmers struggling to preserve their livelihoods, community leaders forging ahead with audacious resilience strategies, and everyday individuals battling the rising tide.Through intimate interviews with scientists, farmers, and community leaders, "Salted Earth" provides a sobering, yet inspiring look at the very real and present challenge of sea-level rise. It asks a question that affects us all: Can our strategy against the rising sea succeed, or are we fighting an unwinnable war?

The answer may unsettle you, but the journey is one you cannot afford to miss. Watch "Salted Earth" and see the future of our world through a salt-streaked lens.

Save Our Soil (Directed by Ayush Talker)

A Student created Documentary that highlights the Great risk to Global Soil within the next 50 years and what we need to drive legislation. 

Sentient Souvenirs (Directed by Pearl Elizabeth Marley)

An educational, short documentary that explores tourist-shop hermit crabs and how detrimental, widespread and unregulated the hermit crab industry really is.

The Smell of Money

A century after her grandfather claimed his freedom from slavery, Elsie Herring and her rural North Carolina community fight the world's largest pork corporation for their freedom to enjoy fresh air, clean water, and a life without the stench of manure.

The Story of the Leatherback (Directed by Alongkot Chukaew)

An account of the Leatherback Sea Turtle, the largest turtle species on Earth, through the eyes of a 12-year-old boy who has been keeping up with its status and journey in Thailand for 6 years. Its declining population, its plight, and how to save the sanctuary where they were born, so they can have a place to return to lay their eggs. “If all of us do our best, we will be able to preserve their home,… our home.”


Tides (Directed by Andre Silva)

Filmed at Masonboro Island, an undeveloped barrier island in southeastern North Carolina, “Tides” contemplates the liminal space between the modern technological world and that more ecological dimension we label as “nature” or “the environment.”


Festival Agenda

A single-ticket purchase gains admission into a block of films. Festival Pass gains admission to all films. 

Stay tuned for special events.

Thursday, November 2nd- Dare Arts 

7:00 P.M.  Festival Opening with film Journey of the Universe- Directed by Thomas Berry, viewers of the film are invited to a conversation about how the universe has evolved over time. This film is followed by a conversation about ways our cosmologies differ and are similar and how we can work together for the planet's good. 

Conversation after the film at Old Tom's (107 Budleigh Street) Manteo beginning at 8:30. 


Friday, November 3rd- Dare Arts (300 Queen Elizabeth Ave., Manteo, N.C. 27954) Parking at 403 Lord Essex Ave., Manteo, N.C. 27954. Overflow parking at Roanoke Island Festival Park. 

6:30 P.M-  Filmmaker and VIP Welcome Reception- Magnolia Market Downtown Manteo (408 Queen Elizabeth Ave., Manteo, N.C. 27954)- Parking at 403 Lord Essex Ave., Manteo, N.C. 27954. Overflow parking at Roanoke Island Festival Park. 

8:30 P.M. - Keeper of the Bay, Heart of Maui, The Story of the Leatherback, Tides (Total Run for Film Block 1 Hour 30 Min.) 


Saturday, November 4th- COA (Parking on site)

10:00 A.M.-Connected by Water, Fire and Flood, Sentient Souvenirs, The Box of Life (Total Run for Film Block 2 Hr. 05 Min.)

1:15 P.M. - Paddle Tribal Waters, Eskawata Kayawai,  The Invisible Forest (Total Run for Film Block 1 Hr. 46 Min.)

4:00 P.M.- Redlined Reimagined, The Smell of Money (Total Run Time for Film Block 2 Hrs. 15 Min.)


Dare Arts 

7:00 P.M. - Longleaf Forever, Save Our Soil, Salted Earth,  (Total Run for Film Block 41 Min.) 


Awards- 8:00 P.M. 

Following the Final Film. 

After Party at Nouvines, 105 Budleigh Street, Manteo, N.C. 27954


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