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New environmental film festival announced 

Fast Forward Film Festival to show in April 2015

A new locally-centered, environmental film festival scheduled for spring 2015 was announced Wednesday morning. The Fast Forward Film Festival will feature short films created by filmmakers from the Rochester and Finger Lakes region.

The festival is an initiative of The Lost Bird Project, an organization that aims to highlight environmental issues through art and performance.

A call for submissions from local filmmakers -- amateur to professional -- will begin Wednesday, October 8. Submissions are open to all ages, and the juried winners will be awarded cash prizes. Select films will be screened at The Little and Dryden Theatre on April 17 and 18, 2015.

"Fast Forward Film Festival is an incubator for innovative thinking and artistic expression, and encourages films that tap into the local experience and compel audiences to engage with the community while raising environmental awareness," said Andrew Stern, the festival's executive director, and executive director of The Lost Bird Project. "Embracing the short-film format, the festival challenges filmmakers to utilize the power of visual storytelling to convey the urgency of environmental issues."

Fast Forward will also host a "Friends of the Festival" component that will feature more than 40 organizations offering advice, insight, and resources to filmmakers. As an example, Festival project director Rebecca Delany said part of the Monroe County Library System's participation in the program is to loan film equipment out to filmmakers, and the Rochester/Finger Lakes Film and Video Office is available for location and crew information.

Selections for the festival will be reviewed by a panel of jurists: Enid Cardinal, RIT's Senior Sustainability Advisor to the President; Deborah Dickson, two-time Academy Award nominated filmmaker; film critic Jack Garner; and filmmaker and artist Todd McGrain.

Jurists will name winners in three categories: "Most inspiring, compelling, and engaging;" "Most unique perspective;" and "Strongest call to action." Each winner will be awarded a $1000 cash prize.

There is no fee to enter, and entries must be submitted via the Fast Forward website ( beginning 8 a.m. Wednesday, October 8, through 11:59 p.m., February 27, 2015. Final selections will be announced in early April.

RIT, Pollution Prevention Institute, The Little Theatre, WXXI, and George Eastman House are sponsoring the film festival.

For more information and further film details, visit

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