History of CEFF – Partner with CAEE from the beginning

The Colorado Environmental Film Festival (CEFF) has gone through a few changes over the years, but despite this, it has continued to serve its mission of using film to motivate, educate and inspire viewers towards action from awareness. CEFF began as a program of the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education (CAEE), an organization that works towards the collective effectiveness of environmental education throughout Colorado. Far from propaganda or activism, environmental education seeks to shape how we think, not what we think, especially in the context of environmental issues. CAEE exists to make EE accessible to all Colorado citizens, businesses and organizations.

CEFF’s roots are deep in CAEE, as it was planted as a perfect way to bring environmental education to audiences who may not attend traditional EE programming, such as nature hikes, classes, workshops, lectures.

In 2006, a committee of volunteers at CAEE worked to put on the very first Colorado Environmental Film Festival, inspired by the national Environmental Film Festival in Washington, D.C. To support this new programming, a marketing intern from CU first volunteered and then was hired, part time, to help CAEE produce the festival.  The dates were changed somewhat from year to year as the group either experimented with different optimal seasons for indoor film viewing in Colorado, or forgot to reserve the theater for the preferred date! The first weekend in November seemed to be a good time, wedged in between holidays, and usually fairly cool and dark outside, but one year the opening night coincided with a Presidential election and the Sarah Palin debate, which impacted festival attendance, and more recently, competition for media attention from a bigger local film festival that moved to “our” weekend overshadowed CEFF. With the festival’s success and growth, the volunteer committee and CAEE had come to the decision that CEFF needed to become its own event, and plans were made to either find a new partner in film, or to become its own non-profit organization. 2011 was a transition year with no annual festival, as CEFF reorganized, found a new time slot in February, and found an existing non-profit organization with a similar mission which was glad to be part of a friendly take-over! With an invitation and blessings from the founders and Board of the 10 year old “GREAT”, in January, 2012, CEFF leaders changed the name of the Golden Resource for Entertainment, Arts and Theater to the Colorado Environmental Film Festival, and formalized its leadership into an official Board of Directors.

During the transition, CEFF was grateful to CAEE serving as fiscal agent and key supporter.  CEFF owes much of its success, and certainly its existence to its partnership with CAEE.

Learn more about the Colorado Alliance for Environmental Education (CAEE) at www.caee.org