News

2024 Nature Connection Pitch at Mountainfilm Festival 

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 Mountainfilm Festival in partnership with IF/Then Shorts in Telluride, Colorado. Awarded films will receive up to $25k in funding, impact and professional development training, as well as travel, accommodation, and passes to attend Mountainfilm Festival.  

Jan 08, 2024

APPLICATIONS CLOSED FEBRUARY 5, 2024

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 Mountainfilm Festival in partnership with IF/Then Shorts in Telluride, Colorado. Awarded films will receive up to $25,000 in funding, impact and professional development training, as well as travel, accommodation, and passes to attend Mountainfilm Festival.  

An evolution and expansion on the Nature Connection and Nature Access Pitch that The Redford Center and IF/Then have partnered on since 2021, this call for entries seeks impactful stories of leaders, activists, and communities paving the way for creative and equitable solutions that reconnect individuals and communities with nature and the outdoors.  

Program Details: 

This opportunity calls for original stand-alone short documentaries in production of no more than 30 minutes that explore environmental stories centered around restoring humanity’s connection with nature and the outdoors. 

Five finalists will be selected to attend in-person training and compete at the pitch event at Mountainfilm Festival in Telluride, CO from May 23-26, 2024.  

Finalists receive a workshop on impact driven filmmaking from The Redford Center, a tailored pitch training session hosted by IF/Then Shorts, and will present their projects to a panel of environmental and filmmaking industry experts.  

Four of the finalists will receive a non-recoupable grant of $5,000 to support the development and production of their project, while the winning project will receive a non-recoupable grant of $25,000.  

Project Eligibility: 

This opportunity is open to individuals living and working in the U.S., prioritizing stories and filmmakers representing communities often most impacted by environmental problems and challenges to outdoor access, including Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), LGBTQIA+ people, immigrants, undocumented people, incarcerated and formerly incarcerated people, people with disabilities, and/or women.  

Submissions should be character-driven, place-based, community-inspired short-form stories centered around restoring and strengthening humanity’s relationship with nature, and the leaders, communities, and cultures leading this charge. 

In addition to being on theme, eligible projects must meet the following criteria: 

  • Be an original, short documentary with a final duration of 10-30 minutes
  • Be factually accurate, follow best practices in documentary ethics, and be designed for a U.S. audience by a filmmaker living and working in the U.S.
  • Be accountable to and authentically represent people and places featured in the film 
  • Be driven by (a) compelling character(s), with access to the character(s) secured 
  • Be presented in English or subtitled in English 
  • Be in production or post-production and have no prior distribution attached

Suggested stories related to this theme may include, but are not limited to: 

  • The physical, mental, spiritual, and social impacts of humanity’s growing disconnection from the natural world. 
  • The vast benefits that time outdoors can contribute to individual, community, and environmental health.  
  • Leaders, activists, and communities paving the way for creative solutions that reconnect individuals and communities with nature and the outdoors.  
  • An equitable, inclusive, and diverse environmental movement that brings underrepresented and historically excluded communities and voices to the forefront. 
  • Breaking down barriers of access to nature for historically excluded and marginalized communities, highlighting the complex social, racial, economic, and health inequities related to issues of nature access.  
  • Cultural practices that honor traditional and ancestral knowledge which reframe our relationship to nature.  
  • Current decolonization practices around land rights and histories that center Indigenous perspectives. 
  • Raising awareness around and addressing systemic bias, discrimination, and injustice in environmental policy. 

APPLICATIONS CLOSED FEBRUARY 5, 2024

Key Dates:  

January 12, 2024 – Application Opens 

February 5, 2024 – Application Closes at 11:59 PM PT 

Mid-March 2024 – All applicants notified of status, finalists announced 

May 23-26, 2024 – Mountainfilm Festival in Telluride, CO 

May 24, 2024 – In-person workshop at Mountainfilm 

May 25, 2024 – Nature Connection Pitch 

Please direct any questions regarding this program to agovind@redfordcenter.org