EarthxFilm, presented by EarthX, concluded its 5th edition of the internationally reknowned environmentally-focused film festival on Sunday, April 25 with an awards presentation featuring $26,000 in cash prizes. As in years’ past, the cash prizes from the Dallas-based event, went to winning films to both honor the work of the filmmakers as well as – in the case of this year’s 7 Impact Awards – to help contribute to the efforts of organizations highlighted by those films on behalf of conservation, the care of threatened species, and the management of our environment.
The award-winning films were led by Sally Aitken’s Playing with Sharks, which took home the EarthxFilm Best Feature Film Jury Prize and $5000, and Anjali Nayar’s District 15, which received EarthxFilm’s Best Short Film Jury Prize and received $3000.
Nicol Ragland’s Trans Pecos received the Creative Storyteller Award and $2000, and husband and wife directing and producing duo Dominic and Nadia Gill won the Earth Catalyst Award and $2000 for their work-in-progess film The Messengers.
The 7 EarthxFilm Impact Awards and $2000 each went to; John Haley’s A Fisher’s Right to Know (Organization: Coosa Riverkeeper); Daniel Fradin and Kyle Rosenbluth’s Arctic Summer (Organization: Tuk Youth Center); Robin Bean Crane’s Barriers to Bridges (Organization: Alabama Audubon); Shane Anderson’s Guardians of the River (Organization: Nature Rights Council); Garth de Bruno Austin’s The Last Horns of Africa (Organization: Care For Wild); Clark Johnson’s Percy Vs Goliath (Organization: Human Kind for Farmers); and Christi Cooper’s Youth V Gov (Organization: Our Children’s Trust).
Michael Cain, Co-Founder and President of EarthxFilm, said, “It was exciting to return to drive-ins, outdoor cinema and socially-distanced theaters, and have our filmmakers come back to Dallas, walk our green carpet, and hear the reaction to their films from live audiences once again. A special moment shared by all was learning of the 2020 EarthxFilm Best Documentary Winner My Octopus Teacher winning the Oscar during our final Q and A. One thing that never changes – pandemic or not – is our commitment to the filmmakers, the causes they explore and the organizations whose work they introduce us to through their films.”
EarthxFilm’s Artistic Director, David Holbrooke, added, “We know watching movies together offers a unique and essential human experience and that felt ever more so this year. What is also essential are the myriad of stories from across the planet that we screened at EarthXFilm this year that brought us to the very front lines where some of the fiercest environmental battles are being waged. These stories, these films, these people, they inspire us and know we can do more to protect this beautiful planet.”
Among the first wave of film festivals to begin the process of returning to in-person screenings and events, one of the highlights of this hybrid edition of EarthxFilm was an Earth Day celebration at Klyde Warren Park in Downtown Dallas which included interactive attractions, a musical performance by RC & the Gritz, the festival’s signature green carpet, and a screening under the stars of Clark Johnson’s Percy Vs Goliath.
2021 EarthxFilm Award Winners
Playing with Sharks – Best Feature Award
Director: Sally Aitken
District 15 – Best Short Film
Director: Anjali Nayar
Trans Pecos – Creative Storyteller Award
Director: Nicol Ragland
The Messengers – Earth Catalyst Award
Director: Dominic Gill
Producer: Nadia Gill
A Fisher’s Right to Know
Director: John Haley
Organization: Coosa Riverkeeper
Directors: Daniel Fradin, Kyle Rosenbluth
Organization: Tuk Youth Center
Barriers to Bridges
Director: Robin Bean Crane
Organization: Alabama Audubon
Guardians of the River
Director: Shane Anderson
Organization: Nature Rights Council
The Last Horns of Africa
Director: Garth de Bruno Austin
Organization: Care For Wild
Percy Vs Goliath
Director: Clark Johnson
Organization: Human Kind for Farmers
Youth V Gov
Director: Christi Cooper
Organization: Our Children’s Trust