Call for Entries
Closing date: 31 December 2015
In March 2015, the Eco Kids Film Initiative screened many short films that were entered, and sourced locally and abroad over the course of seven days for children in Cape Town ranging from 3 – 17 years in age. During this week days we played host to many parents and children, schools and eco clubs.
In 2016, EKFI is once more affiliating with the South African Eco Film Festival and we are looking for submissions by media professionals, amateurs and children (see our competition page) alike.
Films submitted should be between 2 minutes and 15 minutes in length. We accept documentaries and narratives that are either live-action or animated. The films should be made with children in mind; not necessarily be about children.
There should be a strong environmental theme, which could be about a particular environmental issue, for example pollution, recycling, organic farming, health and wellbeing, conservation, wildlife, about the beauty of nature, or about a community, organisation or individual that is making a difference.
The guiding philosophy for the selection process is ‘earth action’ and ‘earth inspiration’. In other words, films should be by-or-about people and actions that can inspire kids to take action in their own communities and schools.
Screenings will be followed by a dynamic group session lead by a trained facilitator to enhance and reinforce the learning process. The selected films will be a creative mix of documentary and narrative type films, both live-action and animated.
Although we endeavour and prefer to promote the local film and media sectors we do source films from the international arena.
Rules & Terms
Criteria for non-acceptance:
• Excessive or gratuitous violence, nudity, or profanity.
• Content that advocates and supports racial, cultural, religious, or gender bias.
• Films may also be disqualified for technical or procedural reason.
• Films made prior to 1 January 2013 will not be considered for selection.
The person/company (the Entrant) submitting this production to the Eco Kids Film Initiative agrees that:
• The EKFI has the right to use video excerpts and photo stills from the film for publicity and promotional purposes, including on its webpage. By submitting an entry, permission is granted for its use in promotional materials.
• The entrant is legally authorized by the producer and distributor, or other rights’ owner to enter this film in the EKFI Festival. Once entered, submissions may not be withdrawn from participation in the Festival.
• Entrants must guarantee, should their entry be selected, that permission from the rights holder is secured for a maximum of three screenings at the 3rd annual Eco Kids Film Initiative 2016 at each different venue, and a further five additional screenings at schools or other outreach projects.
Green heroes (7 – 14 years old)
Films about people and projects that are making a difference for the planet and are an inspiration to kids to do the same.
Wild world (7 – 14 years old)
Educational films about wildlife and/or kids getting wild while taking care of the planet’s wild life and having fun doing it.
Be the change (7 – 14 years old)
Films about kids that, whether on their own or as a group of friends, are creating change to protect and preserve the environment and raising awareness in the process. Films can also be educational or informative about actions that kids can take at home or school to make a difference.
Small seeds hold great potential (4 – 7 years old)
Films especially for the very little ones to delight and ignite their curiosity in things living and green.
Natural Connections (7 – 14 years old)
Children and nature go together like peas and carrots. Give them a dose of Vitamin N(ature) by showcasing the planet’s natural history and rich biodiversity.
Food for thought (7 – 14 years old)
Films to create and raise awareness around just and sustainable food.
Films by Kids (7 – 14 years old)
Kids from around the world are making films and telling stories about their environment and the environental challenges that are facing us all.
Submit your film
For more information, email email@example.com for the entry form, or submit your film via FilmFreeway: Eco Kids Film Initiative proudly accepts entries via FilmFreeway.com, the world’s best online submissions platform. FilmFreeway offers free HD online screeners, Vimeo and YouTube integration, and more.
Cowspiracy, the revealing documentary feature film about the impact of animal farming on climate change and the environment has won the Silver Tree Audience Choice Award at the 2015 South African Eco Film Festival.
After every screening at the Festival, audience members were asked to give each of the films they had just watched a score between 1 (poor) and 5 (excellent). A total of 1224 votes were cast during the Festival.
As the film that received the highest average score, Cowspiracy receives the 2015 Silver Tree Audience Choice Award. The award is named after the beautiful indigenous Silver Tree (Leucadendron argenteum), a member of the protea family that grows only on a few spots on the slopes of Table Mountain, Devil’s Peak and Lion’s Head on South Africa’s Cape Peninsula.
Cowspiracy achieved an excellent score of 4.83 out of a maximum of 5. Close runners up were Just Eat It (4.66), Black Ice (4.61) and the South African short films Abalimi (4.59) and The Artist (4.54).
In Extinction Soup, filmmaker Philip Waller sets out on a quest for adventure, telling the story of his larger-than-life friend and extreme sports legend, Jimmy Hall. The film quickly takes a surprise turn when Waller finds himself consumed with exposing to the world an environmental catastrophe in the making – the extinction of the oceans’ shark population through the mass slaughter of these magnificent animals for their fins. Waller documents Stefanie’s shark conservation efforts as she fights to educate lawmakers and help pass ground-breaking legislation that will curb the consumption of shark fin soup, considered a delicacy in many Eastern cultures and the impetus behind 70 million sharks being killed per year.
Stefanie will be at the Cape Town and Johannesburg screenings of Extinction Soup and will participate in a Q&A session after each screening.
More info about the screenings of Extinction Soup at the South African Eco Film Festival here.
Buy tickets now: or call the Labia Theatre box office (021 424 5927) to reserve tickets.
This year, the South African Eco Film Festival includes an exciting new component especially for children: the Eco Kids Film Initiative (EKFI). This will be the first eco film festival dedicated to kids in South Africa and will run from the 26th of March until the 2nd of April at the Labia Theatre in Cape Town.
EKFI offers a unique opportunity to parents and teachers, as well as eco and film clubs to introduce their kids to media on the big screen that is positively educational, entertaining and inspiring.
“The children will be invited to look at our planet’s natural heritage, rich biodiversity, and range of human cultural expression with a new sense of wonder, curiosity and respect,” explains Tarien Roux, the director of EKFI. “We are committed to facilitating the establishment of an educated film viewing culture that is devoted to media that reflects a sustainable culture-nature relationship infused with a respectful curiosity toward the conservation of our rich biodiversity and natural heritage.”
MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet, one of South Africa’s biggest community fundraising programmes, has come on board as the festival’s headline sponsor. “For the past 18 years MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet has been working with schools and charities, helping to raise funds for education and social development. By partnering with the Eco Film Festival we aim to create additional platforms through which to encourage community engagement on crucial issues and also to inspire parents and children to become active citizens,” says Helène Brand, Marketing Manager for MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet.
The EKFI programme includes award-winning content from around the world that speaks positively to children from diverse backgrounds and cultures, featuring films made for – and in some cases even by – children. Each programme consists of a series of short films around a particular theme or issue, including, Be the Change, Green Heroes, Wild World, Eco Films by Kids and Natural Connections. Each programme varies in length from between 60 to 90 minutes, and will be followed by a short discussion with the audience.
This year’s festival also includes a call to all budding environmentalists, storytellers and filmmakers to make their own films for next year’s festival. Tarien will be available before and after screenings to chat to any eager kids to give tips and advice.
The 2015 South African Eco Film Festival runs from Thursday the 26th of March until Thursday the 2nd of April. Tickets cost R45. For each ticket sold, R5 will be donated to Greenpop, the Cape Town based tree-planting organisation. Block bookings (minimum 10 tickets) are available at R30 per ticket, directly at the Labia (021 424 5927).
The South African Eco Film Festival will bring the world’s best documentary films with environmental themes to South African audiences from the 26th of March to the 2nd of April.
“We’ve branched out,” says Andreas Wilson-Späth of While You Were Sleeping, the non profit organisation behind the event. “After last year’s enthusiastic reception of the Cape Town Eco Film Festival, we’ve gone nation-wide, sprouting offshoots in three additional venues around the country. Our mission remains the same: to raise awareness about the many pressing environmental issues the planet is facing through the amazing medium of documentary film. We’ve put together a world-class selection of films that both entertain and educate.”
In an exciting development, MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet, one of South Africa’s biggest community fundraising programmes, has come on board as the festival’s headline sponsor.
“For the past 18 years MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet has been working with schools and charities, helping to raise funds for education and social development. By partnering with the Eco Film Festival we aim to create additional platforms through which to encourage community engagement on crucial issues and also to inspire parents and children to become active citizens,” says Helène Brand, Marketing Manager for MySchool MyVillage MyPlanet.
How can parents get their kids away from electronic screens and into nature? What are the thousands of industrial chemicals we are constantly surrounded by doing to our bodies? Will sharks survive humanity’s seemingly insatiable hunger for shark fin soup? These are just some of the questions the films in this year’s festival line-up ask and try to answer.
The programme includes more than 25 beautifully shot, thought-provoking short and feature-length documentaries – 12 of which have never been seen in South Africa before. Members of the audience will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite film, which will be decorated with the Silver Tree Audience Choice Award.
“We think that documentary films are an excellent way of learning about environmental issues, but unfortunately, they tend to be rather neglected on the mainstream cinema circuit,” notes While You Were Sleeping’s Dougie Dudgeon. “This year’s festival includes a number of South African productions and we want to share these magnificent and important films with as many people as possible and are proud to announce that this year’s festival will be hosted at four intimate and independent venues: The Bioscope Independent Cinema in Johannesburg, the Asbos Teater in Pretoria, Khula Dhamma Retreat Centre & Ecological Farm near East London and, of course, the Labia Theatre in Cape Town which remains our home base.”
For Cape Town and Eastern Cape audiences, the Eco Kids Film Initiative (EKFI) is an exciting new addition to the festival programme, featuring films made for – and in some cases even by – children.
“In order to nurture a social culture that is responsive to youth’s environmental concerns we need to ensure that children are aware of the relevant environmental issues and have a vehicle through which to voice their concerns in a creative and empowering manner. I believe this vehicle should be film”, explains EKFI director Tarien Roux.
Each EKFI screening is made up of a careful selection of short films which will be followed by a dynamic group discussion. This year the screenings will be aimed at children aged 3 to 6, 7 to 11 and 12 to 17. The selected films include a mix of documentary and narrative type films, both live-action and animated.
The 2015 South African Eco Film Festival runs from Thursday the 26th of March until Thursday the 2nd of April. Tickets for the Cape Town, Pretoria and Johannesburg screenings cost R45. For each ticket sold, R5 will be donated to Greenpop, the Cape Town based tree-planting organisation.
To peruse the complete festival programme, including summaries and trailers of the films on show, visit the official website at www.southafricanecofilmfestival.com.
The South African Eco Film Festival is a project of While You Were Sleeping, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing documentary films that both entertain and inform with important environmental, social and political messages to South African audiences.
Fossil fuels are history and renewables are the future. Such a simple statement, but such a pertinent one as we come out of 2014, the hottest year on record.
350.org is taking action across the world this February to make fossil fuels history. Global Divestment Day in Africa, organised by 350Africa.org, will kick off in Johannesburg on Friday the 13th at 7pm with an exclusive film screening of Thin Ice, a fantastic feature-length documentary that was one of the hits of the 2014 Cape Town Eco Film Festival, at The Bioscope Cinema, followed by a performance by the band Bantu Continua Uhuru Consciousness (BCUC) at Curiocity Backpackers in Maboneng.
Bioscope doors open: 6:30pm
Film starts: 7pm
Band plays at Curiocity Backpackers: 9:30pm
More about Thin Ice:
In recent years climate science has come under increasing attack, so geologist Simon Lamb took his camera to find out what is really going on. For over three years he followed scientists from a wide range of disciplines at work in the Arctic, Antarctic, Southern Ocean, New Zealand, Europe and the USA. They talk about their work, their hopes and fears with a rare candour and directness. This creates an intimate portrait of the global community of researchers racing to understand our planet’s changing climate, and provides a compelling case for rising CO2 as the main cause. Thin Ice reveals the human face of climate science and offers the inside story on the worldwide debate: a film about climate science made by a scientist.