Annapolis Green Film Fest
Saturday, February 5, 2011


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annapolis green film fest
It's the dark of winter -- why not enjoy a cozy evening of learning and entertainment about the Chesapeake Bay?

Come to the inaugural Annapolis Green Film Fest on Saturday, Feb. 5, from 6-9 p.m., at Maryland Hall, 801 Chase Street, Annapolis. Directions

Several films will be screened, with the common theme of the Chesapeake Bay, its environment, and its people.

The producers will discuss their films and be available to meet with audience after the screening.

Admission to the Film Fest is FREE but a $10 donation per person at the door is suggested.

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Featured Films

The Sacred Places (8 min.)

For two decades, two friends have organized sea kayaking trips for devotees of Chesapeake Bay, from government officials to renowned artists. The adventurers paddle down the spine of remote islands in Maryland’s south-central Bay where much looks just as it did centuries ago. Join these explorers as they pitch their tents on windswept beaches, explore the vibrant life of rare salt marshes, outdoors marylanddevour fresh-caught rockfish grilled on the campfire, seek inspiration in dazzling sunsets and sunrises, and especially, brainstorm with other compatriots in the fight to save – and savor – the Bay. Produced by Susanne C. Stahley for MPT's Outdoors Maryland. 

Who Killed Crassostrea virginica? The Fall & Rise of Chesapeake Bay Oysters
(58 min.)

The Chesapeake was once home to the richest oyster grounds in the world. The native oyster, Crassostrea virginica, built massive reefs and filtered vast reaches of the Bay, removing algae and sediment. Now those reefs are gone. The historic fishery is a mere shadow. What happened? Who killed the Bay's native oysters?

This hour-long documentary sets out to answer that question. Produced, written, and directed by local veteran filmmaker Michael W. Fincham for the Maryland Sea Grant College, the film details both the poignant destruction of a fabled fishery and the prolonged scientific inquiry into the origins of a killer parasite.

The film asks whether we can bring the oyster back, and whether we can save both the oyster reefs and the oystermen. It peers toward a future where the Bay's historic oyster grounds may shrink to low-salinity areas where disease does not dominate.

more about the film

The Last Boat Out (28 min.)

the last boat outThe Chesapeake Bay, once brimming with life and commerce, is slowly dying. And it's not dying alone. It's taking with it a way of life for the thousands of watermen whose families have made their living on the bay for generations. It's not too late to save them both.

The Last Boat Out documentary tells the inspiring story of a family of watermen tirelessly trying to preserve their way of life working the waters on the Chesapeake Bay. It's also the story of a bay battered by development and pollution struggling to stay alive.

samNarrated by Academy award-winning actor and environmental activist, Sam Waterston, The Last Boat Out was written, produced, and directed by Seltzer Film and Video’s Laura Seltzer, a local award-winning documentary producer and director. For more info about The Last Boat Out and to learn about Seltzer's PBS documentary series in development about the Chesapeake Bay, visit

Seize the Bay (43 min.)

seize the baySeize the Bay is a comical musical romp through Chesapeake Country led by local musicians and Bay ambassadors, Them Eastport Oyster Boys who share fun, tradition and history infused with a bit of eco-ethic.

This television series showcases the Chesapeake’s people, places and way of life in a fun and lighthearted way. While savoring its bounty and experiencing its lifestyle, the film also helps us understand the Bay’s vulnerabilities and learn what must be done to bring this National Treasure back from the brink. And… you’ll have so much fun watching that you’ll want to experience it for yourself, and be moved to take action.

Seize the Bay was written and directed by Robert Ferrier and produced by Daphne Glover Ferrier of Backfin Media, a local full-service boutique media production company. The Ferriers have produced award-winning documentary programs for the Discovery Channel, Smithsonian Network, and National Geographic Channel, among others.


Admission to the Film Fest is FREE but a $10 donation per person at the door is suggested.

The Annapolis Green Film Fest plans to produce additional film evenings this winter.

The Fest is a production of Elvia Thompson, founder of, a website portal to all things environmental in the Annapolis area – also the virtual home of Green Drinks Annapolis – and local insurance executive and environmental activist Paul Murphy.

“Our goal in creating this mini-film fest is to bring attention to the plight of the Chesapeake Bay,” said Film Fest co-producer Elvia Thompson. “But we don’t want the evening to be a downer – we can still celebrate and enjoy many wonderful aspects of the Bay while we work to understand and improve its health.”

“Film is the perfect media to drive home the issues,” said Paul Murphy, Film Fest co-producer. “We hope folks will enjoy spending a cold Saturday evening in the warmth of Maryland Hall, learning and being entertained too.”

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More about Who Killed Crassostrea virginica? The Fall & Rise of Chesapeake Bay Oysters

oyster researchWho killed off oysters in Chesapeake Bay? A new look at the stunning loss of the world’s greatest oyster grounds.  Was this ecological calamity a tragedy of overfishing? A casualty of pollution? An accident of history? A scientific mistake?

This new documentary re-evaluates the usual suspects – overfishing, disease pollution, and mismanagement – in the light of recent findings from science labs, from the bottom of the Bay and from long-forgotten historical archives. 

Its thesis: watermen, oyster growers and scientists all combined to kill off most of the oysters in Chesapeake Bay, altering the ecology of the world’s richest estuary and setting the stage for a historic exercise in ecosystem restoration.

The decline of the Chesapeake Bay oyster fishery – once the world’s richest – devastated the economy of traditional tidewater communities in Maryland and Virginia, especially in the fishing villages of the Eastern Shore.  The destruction of the oyster reef system with its immense water-filtering power also altered the ecology of the entire ecosystem

When watermen used 19th century dredges and tongs to break down the Bay’s  high-rising oyster reefs, when oyster farmers and scientists began testing faster-growing foreign oysters, the stage was set for ecological disaster. The results included poorly controlled experiments, secret plantings of foreign oysters, and devastating epidemics that swept through Chesapeake and Delaware Bays and up the East Coast.

Why is this science and history so important? Because the killing of Crassostrea virginica offers clear lessons for current restoration campaigns, lessons of hope, lessons of caution. 


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