by Alison Wentzell

RWFF 2013 010

Filmmakers and co-hosts at the Festival.

The second annual Reel Water Film Festival, hosted by Bethesda Green, Journey’s Crossing and Mark Leisher Productions at the Bethesda Blues & Jazz Supper Club this past Saturday, helped educate the community about water issues both around the world and at home.

About 450 people showed up throughout the day with 15 different local non-profits represented.

“There was an overwhelming response to the festival,” said event director Tiffany Jones.  “We tripled the attendance from last year, and it was great seeing so many non-profit organizations participate. We’re grateful to the entire community for their support.”

Displays in the lobby from sponsors of the event and partner organizations informed festival goers about how they can get involved in all aspects of the environment, not just with water issues.  Once everyone found their seats, Dave Feldman of Bethesda Green kicked off the afternoon splash with a brief introduction about the festival and the importance water has in all of our lives.  The audience was then treated to 21 short films of different genres including animation, documentary, narrative, and claymation.  All of these films focused on the central topic of water and how everyone is affected by it, but some in more life threatening ways than others.

Visit this webpage to check out the short films presented at the festival.

After a brief intermission, round 2 of the festival began.  People had the option of attending a gourmet taco and fajita bar for dinner, or finding their own food and just watching the feature presentation Chasing Ice.  The movie captivated the audience as it portrayed the alarming rate in which glaciers are melting due to the changing climate.

Half of the proceeds from the festival are to be donated to a rural community in India that will facilitate getting water to a small medical center, school, and orphanage as well as funding a local stormwater management project in Bethesda.  We can only hope that the event was able to inspire people to reconsider their relationship with water and get involved with this issue.

Alison Wentzell is a senior at American University and an intern with Bethesda Green.  Her interests in sustainability focus on the community, environmental politics, and cultural aspects of the environmental movement.