January 11, 2024

2024 Nature Connection Pitch at Mountainfilm Festival

As social culture moves increasingly online, society and technology have placed humankind on a path to becoming an indoor species. Today, most of us spend over 90% of our time indoors. This growing disconnection from nature negatively affects us in significant ways — from health problems exacerbated by nature deprivation to systemic inequities reinforced when communities lack access to the outdoors. 

Storytellers have a unique and important role to play in driving the culture change needed to increase our care and respect for the natural world and break down the systemic and individual barriers to outdoor access. 

To support the production and impact of outstanding short films on the theme of nature connection, The Redford Center and Mountainfilm are co-presenting a pitch event at the 2024 Telluride Mountainfilm Festival in partnership with IF/Then Shorts

Awarded films will receive substantial funding with a top prize of $25,000, impact and professional development training, as well as travel, accommodation and passes to attend the Mountainfilm Festival. 

The Redford Center has partnered with IF/Then Shorts on short film pitch events and professional development workshops on the theme of nature connection since 2021. The more deeply the Redford Center can support these projects at this critical juncture in their development, the more likely they are to scale from simply a great story to a standout film that’s changing the conversation around nature connection and outdoor access. Films are solutions-focused, character-driven, place-based and community-inspired. 

The Nature Connection Pitch will support projects centered around restoring and strengthening humanity’s relationship with nature and the outdoors and the leaders, communities and cultures leading this charge. 

The aim is to increase representation of communities most impacted by environmental degradation and injustice and bring underrepresented and historically excluded voices and communities to the forefront. We’re looking for work made by and about the communities often most impacted by environmental problems and challenges of outdoor access: Black, Indigenous, and people of color, LGBTQIA+ people, immigrants, undocumented people, people with disabilities and women. 

A recent Nature Connection Pitch grand prize ($25,000 award) went toAndrew Nadkarni’s Between Earth & Sky (Mountainfilm 2023), which tells the story of renowned ecologist Nalini Nadkarni as she works to heal disturbances in her scientific work and personal life. After a thrilling 2023 festival run, where the film garnered numerous awards and acclaim, Nalini was recently named a Nat Geo Explorer, the film is currently streaming on PBS’s POV, and it’s in the running for an Academy Award nomination for Best Short. 
Applications will be accepted from Jan. 12–Feb. 5, 2024. Finalists will be notified by mid-March and will be invited to participate in the pitch event at Mountainfilm Festival from May 23–26.  

Filmmakers must be based in the U.S. For more information on eligibility, the application process, and the timeline, please visit The Redford Center’s website.

About The Redford Center 
The Redford Center is one of the only U.S.-based nonprofits solely dedicated to environmental impact filmmaking. The center develops and invests in narrative tools that strengthen and broaden the reach of the grassroots efforts powering the environmental movement. Stories are proven and effective tools to communicate, educate and mobilize for change. With millions of viewers across all 50 states and 45-plus countries, our films and impact campaigns have helped halt the construction of harmful coal plants, restore the Colorado River Delta, reconnect people to nature, and accelerate the clean energy revolution. Films we’ve produced and supported have received distribution from industry leaders such as Netflix, Hulu, HBO, PBS, National Geographic and more. 

About Mountainfilm 
Started in 1979, Mountainfilm is one of America’s longest-running film festivals. In addition to screening leading independent documentary films from around the world, the festival includes a speaker series focusing on contemporary issues, art and photography exhibits, early morning coffee talks, outdoor programs, a book-signing party, an ice cream social, student programs, and a closing picnic/awards ceremony. Presentations and panels are scheduled throughout the Memorial Day weekend event with a wide diversity of special guests, ranging from artists to adventurers and academics to activists. 

About IF/Then Shorts 
IF/Then Shorts (an initiative of Field of Vision) is a fund and mentorship program for short documentaries that supports storytellers in breaking barriers to access, exposure and sustainability in the media landscape.

For more information, please visit The Redford Center  website.

Apply Here

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