Whaleback environmental film and art festival

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Whaleback Environmental Film & Art Festival

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Whaleback weekend 2011 photos here

Visit us at the Portsmouth Farmers' Market on Saturday to find out more about the festival and purchase tickets for the Loft screenings!


Festival organizer Dyanna Smith was invited on WSCA radio's Environmental Show this week to talk about the Whaleback films - thanks Judi and Tim!

Listen to the interview here.


The Red Eft Project would like to thank the Green Alliance, a sponsor of Whaleback 2013!


Food, Farms and Gardens: Whaleback Film Festival Presents Two Nights of Environmentally Themed Films on May 9th and 11th
April 26, 2013 - Portsmouth, NH -

Stopping traffic for cow crossings, moving sheep from lawn to lawn through town, and beekeepers who move themselves instead of the bees. Whaleback Film selections ranging from the super-short 5 minute Credible Egg to the full-length feature presentation of Elemental embrace this year's theme: Food, Farms and Gardens. Six films cover the issues from sustainability on small farms to tuna ranching, subsistence whaling, and what it might take to replace the egg.

"It's hard to believe this is already our third year presenting Whaleback Festival", said festival organizer, and new filmmaker, Dyanna Smith. "We're doing things a little differently this spring and offering two separate evenings - a double feature night with a local filmmaker Q & A, and a series of four films shown at the Music Hall Loft."

Both nights include films that are in keeping with the festival's priority for new filmmakers and student work. Thursday night features a pre-screening of Piglets & Perspectives, a 40-minute film produced by Smith as part of her doctoral research in environmental studies at Antioch University New England.

The film highlights sustainable farming practices in the seacoast and Peterborough areas of New Hampshire. "Most of the footage in the film is shot by the farmers themselves," Smith explains. "They are a unique group of individuals who are very thoughtful and innovative with their farming."

Many of them have never tried filmmaking before, and Smith shares that what they were able to capture gives us, as viewers, an amazingly intimate look at the practices and philosophies that set them apart in how they operate small, sustainably-minded farms today in our area.

Piglets & Perspectives features Dick Wollmar of Moor Farm in North Hampton, Phil and Becky Brand of Brandmoore Farm in Barrington, Brendan Cornwell of Victory Bees, Dan and Ruth Holmes of Sunnyfield Farm in Peterborough, and Conrad and Ellen Dumas of Ten Talents at La Bergerie Dumas in Greenfield. A filmmaker Q & A panel following the screening will include Smith and a number of the featured farmers.

Then on Saturday, May 11, the Loft is host to a series of four new films. First, The Credible Egg briefly ponders how egg substitutes might ease pressure on industrialized egg production. Jump over to the sparkling coast of Turkey, where Fish Meat investigates open ocean tuna "ranching" and centuries-old style carp aquaculture.

Next, filmmaker Tom Weston will be on hand to personally guide the screening of his new film The Wind That Blows. Weston shot the film over a span of 20 years among the traditional whalers of Bequia, giving voice to a humble community on a tiny island still clinging to its past.

The evening peaks with the stunning feature film Elemental, exploring the lives of three individuals united by their deep connection with nature and driven to confront some of the most pressing ecological challenges of our time. The film follows Rajendra Singh on a pilgrimage to save India’s polluted and dying Ganges River; Eriel Deranger, campaigning tirelessly against the proposed 2,000-mile Keystone XL Pipeline which would destroy Indigenous communities of northern Canada; and Jay Harman, an Australian inventor searching for investors willing to risk millions on his revolutionary device that he believes can slow down global warming.

"Elemental is a real coupe for Whaleback," Smith says. "It is scheduled to open in New York City at the end of May, and being able to show it in Portsmouth ahead of it's opening is a big deal - and for those of us out there striving for lasting environmental change it is deeply inspiring."

Thursday's double feature is a free event, hosted by the Portsmouth Public Library from 6:30-9pm. Then on Saturday, Whaleback takes place at the Music Hall Loft from 6:30-10pm. Tickets are $18 for the evening, includes 4 films, and can be purchased online at the Music Hall website. Seating is limited.

All proceeds support environmental filmmaking, art and conservation.

Whaleback is organized by The Red Eft Project, a nonprofit headquartered in Portsmouth that fosters conservation and environmental protection through research, education, and opportunities to explore and connect with nature. To find out more about Red Eft, visit www.redeft.org. The Festival is named after the iconic lighthouse that marks the entrance to Portsmouth Harbor. Like Whaleback Light, the festival illuminates and draws in stories celebrating our environmental culture.

Film details are posted on the festival page here. Tickets are now on sale for The Loft presentation through the Music Hall.



Whaleback 2013 schedule announced - includes feature night at Music Hall Loft, Saturday, May 11th
April 23 , 2013

The film selections for this year's Whaleback Environmental Film Festival pivot around the theme of Food, Farms and Gardens. Films range from 5 minute shorts to full length features diving into topics from tuna ranching to sustainable beekeeping and subsistence whaling. Thursday, May 9th opens the festival with a free double feature and local filmmaker Q & A hosted by the Portsmouth Public Library. Saturday, May 11th brings the festival downtown to the Music Hall Loft for an evening of four films including the feature presentation Elemental.


Film details are posted on the festival page here. Tickets are now on sale for The Loft presentation through the Music Hall.




Open Call for Environmental Film Entries: Whaleback Festival in Portsmouth

January 27, 2012

Whaleback Environmental Film & Art Festival announces its open call for film submissions for its event, taking place in Portsmouth NH, May 11-13. With the excellent response to last year's inaugural event, the Whaleback Festival returns for its second annual weekend of environmental films.
"We welcome films from new and upcoming filmmakers," invites Dyanna Smith, festival organizer and President of the Red Eft Project, host of the event. Whaleback was designed to encourage people to translate their environmental messages and actions into film. "People are accomplishing great things for sustainability and conservation," says Smith, "and some of the most exciting, thought-provoking films telling these stories are coming from first-time filmmakers."
Films invited for submission can address any environmental subject, and range in length from short to full-length feature. Submissions are now being accepted online at the festival website: www.whaleback.org, and the early bird submission deadline has been extended until February 17. Visit the "submissions" page for more details.
Whaleback is organized by The Red Eft Project, a Portsmouth-based nonprofit fostering conservation and environmental protection through research, education, and opportunities to explore and connect with nature. To find out more about how you can get involved in local conservation, and to see the other Red Eft initiatives going on, visit www.redeft.org.



Whaleback & Sustainability Featured in two editions of Bill Rogers' TV program: Green Screen TV

Episode 11, May 21st, 2011: Bill talks to Dyanna about the Red Eft Project and Whaleback (segment starts at 19min 13sec mark)

Green Screen episode 11

Episode 10, May 14th, 2011: Whaleback filmmaker Jerry Monkman talks about his film The Anderson Farm, which opened Whaleback weekend; and Sustainable Portsmouth's Bert Cohen talks about the city's efforts, including our new Little Green Trail!

Jerry Monkman on Green Screen TV

Whaleback 2011 Festival Poster
[2.4 MB pdf file]



Sustainability Fair Column

Whaleback column printed in the Sustainability Fair

special section of the Portsmouth Herald, May 2011



Herald Article


Whaleback Festival brings 'green theme' to film and art
article by Charles McMahon, Portsmouth Herald, May 13th
[600KB pdf file]



Foster's Article


Port City to host Whaleback Environmental Film & Art Festival
article in Foster's Daily Democrat, May 10th
[750KB pdf file]



Salem Radio Boston Interview
with Dyanna about Whaleback and Sustainability Fair

by Jeanne Denizard Host, Community Spotlight




Whaleback Artists and Art Locations Announced



View Whaleback Art Locations May 13-15, 2011 in a larger map


Four environmental art installations are taking place during Whaleback weekend, at sites scattered across Portsmouth. Visit the Festival page for all the details!




Special Thanks to Stonyfield Farms


Stonyfield Farms

Stop by the Whaleback Festival & Red Eft Project booth during the Portsmouth Sustainability Fair for a yummy Stonyfield yogurt! Proceeeds support Whaleback, environmental art and filmmaking :)




WSCA, Portsmouth Community Radio Station

April 19th

Whaleback organizer Dyanna Smith, Sustainable Portsmouth's Bert Cohen and Bill Hagerty, and eco-artist Tim Gaudreau chat about the big weekend of the Sustainability Fair on the Environmental Show, hosted by Tim Stone and Judi Matthews.





Portsmouth Brewery


Portsmouth Brewery on tap

to host Double Feature and Awards Celebration

Sunday, May 15

5:30-8:30 pm


It looks like we will wrap the first Whaleback Festival in the Brewery's Jimmy LaPanza Lounge! Folks at the Portsmouth Brewery are generously hosting our double feature screening on Sunday with an Awards Ceremony and wrap party. More details to come, but for now, here's what they had to say about being part of our new festival:


"When you're committing to becoming more sustainable, you have to become more aware of your community and what's taking place around you; The Portsmouth Brewery is glad to support the community of environmental activists by providing a screening space for Whaleback."


Be sure to give them a big thanks the next time you drop by for a tasty pint!




Gas Light


Portsmouth Gas Light Hosts Launch Party and Screening

Friday, May 13th

5:30-8:30 pm



Whaleback Festival is very pleased to announce that generous support for the launch of the Festival has been provided by the Thomas W. Haas Fund of the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation.


Green Alliance website

Green Alliance joins in as new Whaleback partner!

March 21, 2011


We are very pleased to welcome Green Alliance onboard as a local partner in Whaleback! Green Alliance shares our mission of sustainability and positive environmental progress. Visit their website to find out about their work on both the business and consumer side of sustainability.




Open Call for Film Entries at Whaleback 2011

March 11, 2011


The Whaleback Environmental Film & Art Festival announces an open call for film submissions to this year's event. Whaleback, named after the iconic lighthouse that marks the entrance to Portsmouth harbor, seems a fitting emblem for an event that illuminates and draws in the stories and imagery that celebrate our environmental culture.


"There is a tremendous audience building for artists who speak to our connection with nature and provide thought-provoking commentary on sustainability and personal responsibility," festival coordinator, Dyanna Smith explains. Smith is president of the Red Eft Project, the nonprofit conservation organization behind the festival. Partnering with Sustainable Portsmouth, Whaleback will run concurrently to the 4th annual Sustainability Fair on the weekend of May 14th as part of a constellation of sustainability events going on in the city.


"We're thrilled to see Whaleback become an integral part of the sustainability movement in the region," says Smith. The seacoast has long been known for its strong arts community but few realize that the city is gaining international recognition as an eco-municipality. "Environmental artists and filmmakers powerfully translate abstract scientific themes we wrestle with - like climate change," Smith contends. "We think Portsmouth is the perfect place to unify their voices."


Whaleback organizers have an open call out for films with a prominent environmental theme, and are accepting online submissions in all film categories at www.whaleback.org. Student films and short films are especially encouraged. Entries will be accepted until April 15, and begin with an online "intent to participate" form. All screened films will be eligible for public voting and the People's Choice Award.


For festival guidelines and submission information, visit the submissions page.

Whaleback is organized by The Red Eft Project, a Portsmouth-based nonprofit fostering conservation and environmental protection through research, education, and opportunities to explore and connect with nature. To find out more about how you can get involved in local conservation, and to see the other Red Eft initiatives going on, visit www.redeft.org.




Red Eft ProjectWhaleback is a Red Eft project. All contents copyright of Red Eft Project.