Event Dates:  3/19  |  3/20  |  3/21  |  3/22  |  3/23  |  3/25  |  3/27  |  3/29  |  10/13  |  3/19  |  12/5  |  3/25  |  10/4

Wednesday 3/19

EcoFocus @ UGA

Miller Learning Center (UGA)  |  7:00 PM  |  FREE

Kick off the EcoFocus weekend with The Ghosts in Our Machine! Everyone is welcome to this free event! Free appetizers, drinks and door prizes! This event is co-hosted by UGA's Speak Out for Species! A discussion will follow the film led by Rae Sikora, an author and activist for animals, the environment, and human rights for over 35 years.

Feature Film:The Ghosts in Our Machine

Thursday 3/20

Opening Night @ Ciné

Ciné  |  6:00 PM  |  $20

Help us launch our sixth festival in style with the EcoFocus Opening Night reception and award winning films Slomo and Shored Up. Join us at 6pm for the reception. Films start at 7:30pm. Director Ben Kalina and Tybee Island City Councilman Paul Wolff will join us in person for a discussion after the film.

Short Film:Slomo
Feature Film:Shored Up

Friday 3/21


Eugene P. Odum School of Ecology Auditorium (UGA)  |  11:15 AM  |  Free

Americans work some of the longest hours on Earth. Many studies have demonstrated the connection between overwork and higher greenhouse gas emissions, larger ecological footprints, poor health, social disconnection, disconnection between children and nature, and declining happiness. While European environmentalists generally recognize these connections, Americans have been slow to understand them. John de Graaf argues that overwork and time balance are key issues for the future of the planet. Mr de Graaf’s talk and discussion will begin at 11:15am. His 27-minute film – The Great Vacation Squeeze – will be shown starting at 12 noon. His film will be shown again at EcoFocus on Saturday, March 22 at 5:30 pm at Ciné along with Slomo and Dying Green.

Short Film:The Great Vacation Squeeze

Friday 3/21


Eugene P. Odum School of Ecology Auditorium (UGA)  |  3:15 PM  |  Free
Freshwater rivers, lakes, and wetlands are among our most imperiled and estranged ecosystems. How do we share the beauty and diversity of freshwater life with those who may not think of these waters as ecosystems? How do we share the need and importance of aquatic conservation efforts when many of us cannot see or identify with what we might be saving? Jeremy Monroe (Hidden Rivers of Appalachia) will present some of the challenges and opportunities in raising aquatic awareness among a broader constituency, and suggest some approaches that might invite more of our neighbors down to the river. To learn more about Jeremy’s work, visit www.freshwatersillustrated.org. Jeremy's films will be screened again during the festival on Saturday, March 22nd at 12:30pm.
Short Film:Hidden Rivers of Southern Appalachia (Short Film Showcase)

Friday 3/21

Adventures in Science

Ciné  |  5:00 PM  |  Free

Whether you’re interested in science in general or ocean plastics in particular, join Into the Gyre filmmaker Scott Elliott and UGA College of Engineering assistant professor Jenna Jambeck for an upbeat discussion after this free screening. More information about SEA-MIDI can be found at http://sea-mdi.engr.uga.edu.

Feature Film:Into the Gyre
Short Film:Badru's Story

Friday 3/21

More Than Honey

Ciné  |  7:00 PM  |  $7.50
Arrive early to enjoy bee-themed treats in the Ciné lobby!
Feature Film:More Than Honey

Friday 3/21

The Human Experiment

Ciné  |  9:30 PM  |  $7.50
Feature Film:The Human Experiment

Saturday 3/22

Hidden Rivers & Wild Things

Ciné  |  12:30 PM  |  Free

This event is accompanied by a free lunch thanks to the generous sponsorship of Streamtechs. Join filmmaker Jeremy Monroe in person for showcase of his beautiful films about our prized southeastern aquatic ecosystems. Discussion will take place between the Hidden Rivers showcase and Wild Things.

Feature Film:Wild Things
Short Film:Hidden Rivers of Southern Appalachia (Short Film Showcase)

Saturday 3/22

This Space Available (with Four Short Films)

Ciné  |  3:00 PM  |  $7.50

Before This Space Available, a 24-minute shorts program, the "EcoKids Short Films" will be shown. The EcoKids program has been so popular over the years, and we're including them in this block to give all of the grown-ups a peek at what all the fuss is about.

Feature Film:This Space Available
Short Film:The Scared is Scared
Short Film:Rock Wall Climbing
Short Film:My First Fish
EcoKids Film:Espero? (Hope?)

Saturday 3/22

Life, Death, & Vacation: Increasing Connection to the Natural World

Ciné  |  5:30 PM  |  $7.50

Filmmaker John de Graaf will lead a discussion after his film, The Great Vacation Squeeze. Mr. de Graaf has been producing films for 37 years. Fifteen of his documentaries have been broadcast nationally in prime time on PBS, including the popular special Affluenza. He is the co-author of Affluenza and What’s the Economy For, Anyway? and is the executive director of Take Back Your Time, which has been advocating for paid vacation legislation in Washington State and Washington, DC. The John de Graaf Environmental Filmmaking award is presented annually at the Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival. We are honored to have Mr. de Graaf at EcoFocus this year.

Short Film:The Great Vacation Squeeze
Short Film:Slomo
Short Film:Dying Green

Saturday 3/22


Ciné  |  8:00 PM  |  $7.50

DamNation comes to EcoFocus fresh from its March 2014 SXSW Film Festival world premiere! Let’s talk about rivers; a discussion will immediately follow the film.

Feature Film:DamNation

Saturday 3/22

EcoFocus Party with Special Musical Guest Revien

Little Kings Shuffle Club  |  9:30 PM  |  $5
Relax and enjoy special musical guest REVIEN at the EcoFocus Party at Little Kings. This event is produced in cooperation with ATHENS SLINGSHOT FESTIVAL! Door charge $5 (free with EcoFocus ticket stub or pass!)

Sunday 3/23

EcoKids Event

Ciné  |  12:00 PM  |  Free

Fun for all ages! Kids (and parents) will enjoy this group of fun short films followed by the 52-minute film, The Clean Bin Project. Films are appropriate for ages 6 and up. After the film, participate in kids activities in the CinéLab organized by the Athens Montessori School. AMS is a county-designated “Green School,” and recently installed solar arrays to become the first solar school in the state of Georgia! The Athens-Clarke County Recycling Division will help us make this a waste-free event.

Short Film:The Scared is Scared
EcoKids Film:The Clean Bin Project
Short Film:Rock Wall Climbing
Short Film:My First Fish
EcoKids Film:Espero? (Hope?)

Sunday 3/23

Urban Agriculture: Growing Cities

Ciné  |  3:00 PM  |  $7.50
Join us for the screening of Growing Cities! From rooftop farmers to backyard beekeepers, Americans are growing food like never before. Growing Cities tells the inspiring stories of these intrepid urban farmers, innovators, and everyday city-dwellers who are challenging the way this country grows and distributes its food. From those growing food in backyards to make ends meet to educators teaching kids to eat healthier, viewers discover urban farmers are harvesting a whole lot more than just good food.

Filmmaker Dan Susman to join us in person for an audience Q&A!
Feature Film:Growing Cities

Sunday 3/23

Thin Ice: Our Changing Climate

Ciné  |  5:00 PM  |  $7.50

Please join us for a community discussion organized by the Georgia Climate Change Coalition following the film.

Feature Film:Thin Ice: The Inside Story of Climate Science
Short Film:Abita

Sunday 3/23

A Different Take on the Population Question

Ciné  |  7:30 PM  |  $7.50

Human population growth. It’s often seen as the ultimate driver of all environmental problems. But filmmaker Werner Boote asks us to think about it differently. Enjoy lively conversation and dessert in the Ciné lobby after the film.

Short Film:SP#4
Feature Film:Population Boom

Tuesday 3/25

Taking Up Less Space: Tiny Houses

Ciné  |  7:30 PM  |  $7.50

Meet filmmaker and film subject Christopher Smith in person. Tiny insightfully documents Christopher’s story, and he’ll be on hand to tell us more about it.

What is the "Tiny House" movement?

The “tiny house” movement can be traced back at least as far as Henry David Thoreau and the publication of his book, Walden. “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately,” Thoreau wrote, “to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” Today’s tiny house movement is less concerned with leaving society to find solitary contemplation. But Thoreau’s ideal of simplifying life, considering which comforts and possessions can be done without in order to live a life that is “more deliberate” rings true for many tiny house owners.

Though they live on a smaller scale, most tiny house owners still commute to jobs every day. Some even have families. Some are attracted to the mobile lifestyle, since most tiny houses are built on trailer beds and can easily be towed to a new location. Many others like the idea of having a home, but without the mortgage payments and upkeep of a traditional house. Whatever the original motivation, the folks who make up this movement have come up with some inspiring designs and innovations for living comfortably and creatively in small spaces.

Feature Film:Tiny: A Story About Living Small

Thursday 3/27


Ciné  |  7:30 PM  |  $7.50

This is filmmaker Jeremy Seifert’s second film to be shown at EcoFocus. His first film, Dive!, was featured at the 2010 festival. Jeremy will join us via videoconference after the screening.

Feature Film:GMO OMG

Saturday 3/29

Ripple Effect Film Project Kids Matinee

Ciné  |  2:00 PM  |  $5

Athens area filmmakers created short films about water conservation and water stewardship for the Ripple Effect Film Project. The Blue Carpet Kids' Matinee showcases all the finalists' films in a family-friendly environment followed by the awards ceremonies in the Children's category (grades 1-5). Snacks provided. Suggested Attire: it’s your premiere! Make a splash and dress like it’s Oscar Night!

Short Film:Chasing Water (2014 Encore)

Saturday 3/29

Ripple Effect Film Project Showcase

Ciné  |  6:00 PM  |  $5
Meet the other filmmakers and judges who participated in the Ripple Effect Film Project at a reception catered by The National in the Ciné Lab at 6pm. The Blue Carpet Premiere starts at 7:15pm, and will showcase the finalists' films and the awards ceremonies in the Middle/High School Student and Adult categories. Suggested Attire: it’s your premiere! Make a splash and dress like it’s Oscar Night!
Short Film:Chasing Water (2014 Encore)

Tuesday 10/13

Racing Extinction Special Engagement

Ciné  |  7:45 PM  |  Free

We are proud to bring Racing Extinction to Athens for a one-night engagement at Ciné! Utilizing state-of-the-art equipment, Academy Award® winning filmmaker Louie Psihoyos (The Cove) assembled a team of artists and activists intent on showing the world never-before-seen images that expose issues of endangered species and mass extinction. Whether infiltrating notorious black markets with guerilla-style tactics or exploring the scientific causes affecting changes to the environment, this compelling documentary will change the way we see the world and our role within it. View film trailer here

This screening is presented by Oceanic Preservation Society in partnership with UGA-based ECOGIG Research Consortium (Ecosystem Impacts of Oil and Gas Inputs to the Gulf), EcoFocus Film Festival and Ciné.


Tuesday, October 13th, 2015, 7:45pm and 9:45pm, Ciné in downtown Athens.

The first screening is SOLD OUT.

Admission is FREE; reservation is required.

Due to the film's popularity we recommend reserving your tickets now here.
Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis
Kids are welcome; however, please note that the film contains scenes depicting animal cruelty

Saturday 3/19

4th Annual Jekyll Island Green Screen

Morgan Center, Jekyll Island Club, Jekyll Island Georgia  |  3:00 PM  |  Free; Rese
We are pleased to co-present the 4th annual Jekyll Island Green Screen! This unique day of education and inspiration will start at 3pm with The Forgotten Coast: Return to Wild Florida. Following the opening film, a reception, including light hors d’oeuvres and cash bar, will feature poster presentations by researchers and environmental professionals working on topics important to our coastal communities. At 5pm, this year’s feature film, Racing Extinction will be presented. Stick around after the feature for a special filmmaker Q&A.

In the highly acclaimed film Racing Extinction, Academy Award® winning filmmaker Louie Psihoyos (The Cove) assembled a team of artists and activists intent on showing the world never-before-seen images that expose issues of endangered species and mass extinction. Whether infiltrating notorious black markets with guerilla-style tactics or exploring the scientific causes affecting changes to the environment, this compelling documentary will change the way we see the world and our role within it. Don't miss the opportunity to see this film on the big screen.

Green Screen is free and open to the public. However -- new this year -- TICKET RESERVATIONS ARE REQUIRED. Seating is limited. For ticket reservations and more information, visit the event website!

Let your friends know by sharing our Facebook event!

Schedule of Events

3 p.m. The Forgotten Coast: Return to Wild Florida
3:30 p.m. Coastal Research Showcase & cocktail reception
5 p.m. Racing Extinction, followed by a special filmmaker Q&A

This event is made possible in part through partnerships with Jekyll Island Authority, EcoFocus Film Festival, Georgia Sea Grant, The Sapelo Island National Estuarine Research Reserve Coastal Training Program, ECOGIG Research Consortium, and other local conservation partners, including Altamaha Riverkeeper, Satilla Riverkeeper, Surfrider Foundation Georgia Chapter, Coastal Wildscapes, and One Hundred Miles.

Monday 12/5

Special EcoFocus Screening of The Burden

Ciné  |  7:00 PM  |  Free
Special free EcoFocus screening of the award-winning documentary THE BURDEN: FOSSIL FUEL, THE MILITARY, AND NATIONAL SECURITY at Ciné on Monday, December 5th. THE BURDEN tells the story of fossil fuel dependence as America’s greatest long-term national security threat, and highlights the role of the U.S. military in leading the transition to clean energy. Gather in the Ciné lobby at 7pm; film starts at 7:30 p.m. followed by a panel discussion. 

This event is presented by EcoFocus Film Festival and the Odum School of Ecology, and is sponsored by the UGA Center for Integrative Conservation Research as part of the 2016 Sustainability Summit, a free day-long event at UGA on December 6th. 

THE BURDEN has been featured at several film festivals and won multiple awards, including the Best of Festival Award at the 2016 Wild and Scenic Film Festival and the Audience Award for Best Feature Documentary at the 2015 Long Beach International Film Festival.

This event is FREE; admission is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Special Screenings:The Burden

Saturday 3/25

Ripple Effect Film Project Finalist Showcase

Morton Theatre  |  5:00 PM  |  $5
Finalist films from the 2017 Ripple Effect Film Project ocean-themed video contest will be showcased at the historic Morton Theatre at the Blue Carpet Premiere! Filmmakers from around the state were asked to submit short films on a broad range of topics that connect human behavior to the health of the world’s oceans, including transportation choices, clean waterways, and the impact of our choices around food, water, and energy consumption. Following the film will be a short ceremony to celebrate jury prizes and audience choice winners.

Wednesday 10/4

Chasing Coral at the Tate Student Center

Tate Student Center Theater (UGA)  |  6:00 PM  |  Free

Free public screening of the award-winning film Chasing Coral followed by a panel discussion with the filmmakers and film subjects, including Dr. Jim Porter, professor and coral ecologist in UGA's Odum School of Ecology. Chasing Coral follows a team of divers, photographers, and scientists as they set out to discover why coral reefs around the world are vanishing at an unprecedented rate.

This event is part of a larger project to engage the public in the Athens area about the importance of healthy oceans. During the filmmakers' visit, local area schools will participate in field trips to see the film and meet the filmmakers and will take part in educational activities about ecology, marine science, and ocean health.

Financial support for this project comes from Kirbo Charitable Foundation, Reef Ball Foundation, ECOGIG Research Consortium at UGA's Department of Marine Sciences, Peabody Media Center, Katherine and Bertis Downs, Odum School of Ecology, and Willson Center for Humanities and Arts. Additional promotional support was provided by UGA’s Speak Out for Species club, UGA Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant. We are grateful for the partnership of the Clarke County School District.

Chasing Coral won the Audience Award for the U.S. Documentary category at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. 

Chasing Coral press photos on this site's home page courtesy of Netflix and The Ocean Agency (Catlin XLSeaview Survey).

Feature Film:Chasing Coral