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Over the last 20 years environmental films have emerged as a leading genre of documentary and ethnographic film. Within the field of anthropology filmmakers have moved beyond an older mainstream ecological movement that narrowly defined the environment as a pristine wilderness that needed to be protected from human destruction. Moving instead to a model of environmental justice, anthropological filmmakers have located their work within the interactions of communities, often led by indigenous peoples, who are working to protect our planet in their local settings.
As part of the curated film strand of the conference, we have brought together a group of filmmakers to discuss how ecological issues have posed challenges and questions for filmmaking: what does documentary offer for environmental action? How to construct a filmic story that both acknowledges and empowers indigenous and community leadership as well as informs, inspires and broadens new audiences to support positive social change?