#Film&Friends Presents: Environmental Storytelling Night at The Lookout

February 1, 2017

5:00 pm - 10:00 pm

2439 18th St NW


For the next installment of #FilmandFriends at the Lookout, we invite you to ‘environmental storytelling night’ featuring films from Central & Eastern Africa to Southeast and Eastern Asia with environmental storytellers including Katie Schuler, Maggie Lemere & Todd Walters — and hosted by Meghan Parker from the Wilson Center’s Environmental Change and Security Program.

We will start the evening with Katie Schuler’s film, PANGOLIN, an intimate glimpse into the journey of a single pangolin; from the moment it is taken from the wild to its final destination in China. We will continue the screening with a teaser from Maggie Lemere and Emily Hong’s film ABOVE AND BELOW THE GROUND, which follows a group of indigenous rock musicians and villagers as they utilize the powers of investigation, protest, prayer, and music to test the boundaries of tentative democratic reform in Northern Myanmar. Finally, we will watch an episode of Todd Walter’s TRANSCENDING BOUNDARIES, a micro-documentary series exploring transboundary conservation, environmental peacebuilding and cross-border cooperation.

Through these examples, we will explore and discuss approaches and techniques within environmental storytelling, including unmet opportunities, challenges, and how to measure impact.

Doors at 7pm. Screening starts sharply at 8.

More info on the films and filmmakers below!


PANGOLIN is an intimate glimpse into the journey of a single pangolin; from the moment it is taken from the wild to its final destination in China. Filmed on location across three countries with the help of reformed poachers and wildlife enforcement officers, the film acts as a surrogate for an estimated hundred thousand pangolins that are poached and smuggled annually throughout Southeast Asia and Africa. PANGOLIN offers audiences the opportunity experience the life, death and afterlife of the most illegally trafficked mammal on the planet.

ABOVE AND BELOW THE GROUND tells the story of daring indigenous women activists and rock musicians who come together in the ongoing struggle against the Myitsone Dam and for environmental self-determination across their native Kachinland. Through investigation, protest, prayer, and music, they test the boundaries of tentative democratic reform in Northern Myanmar, and work to create a future in which native peoples have the right to care for and protect their own lands and natural resources.

TRANSCENDING BOUNDARIES is a Micro-documentary series exploring transboundary conservation, environmental peacebuilding and cross border cooperation amongst stakeholders from their varied perspectives. Transcending Boundaries: Perspectives From The Central Albertine Rift Transfrontier Protected Area Network, focuses on Eastern Africa, and the tri-border region between Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, Northern Rwanda, and Western Uganda. We hear from a diverse range of stakeholders, each of whom play a critical role conserving this biodiversity hotspot despite conflict and instability; while dealing with challenges from poaching, lack of sustainable livelihoods and the activities of armed groups. We learn how informal cross-border collaboration between individuals and Park Rangers lead to the creation of an organization (Central Albertine Rift Transfrontier Protected Area Network) and then an institution (The Core Secretariat) and finally evolved into the ongoing efforts to raise this collaboration to the highest level through the signing of a formal treaty by the Heads of State of all 3 countries. We now turn our gaze to the future and encounter the questions of “what will happen to the parks and conservation in the region now that oil has been discovered?”


KATIE SCHULER works at the nexus between art, entrepreneurship, community development and conservation, and has traveled to over 22 countries across six continents while documenting wildlife and their habitats. As an artist and producer, she has led outreach efforts to vulnerable communities and undereducated youth at home and abroad. Katie is the Co-Founder and Head of Production of Coral & Oak Studios, a unique production company dedicated to telling stories that educate and inspire audiences to engage with the creatures, people and world around them. A recipient of the Henry Luce Fellowship, Katie spent more than a year in Southeast Asia, where she collaborated with scientists and conservation organizations on various art and storytelling projects. One of these projects, the film PANGOLIN, grew out of her relationship with the Philippines-based Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD). As writer, producer, director of photography and editor for the film, Katie worked closely with reformed poachers, law-enforcement officers and the IUCN Pangolin Group to create the most accurate film on pangolin trafficking to date. Katie is a graduate of the Corcoran College of Art and Design, and a recipient of the prestigious Koenig Trust Scholarship. Her clients include National Geographic, The Smithsonian Institute, Conservation International, Woods Hole Oceanographic and PBS. She currently lives and works in Washington DC.
see more at: http://coralandoak.com/

MAGGIE LEMERE is a documentary filmmaker, oral historian and social change strategist whose projects focus on social and environmental issues. She has worked across the U.S., Africa, Asia, and Latin America as a filmmaker, oral historian, refugee advocate and human rights and storytelling trainer. She is the founder of the storytelling and social change organization, Rhiza; the editor of Nowhere to Be Home: Narratives from Burma’s Military Regime (McSweeney’s and Voice of Witness, 2011; NDSP Books, 2016); and a video storyteller and a leader of “Storytelling for Changemakers” with Ashoka: Innovators for the Public. Her film with GoodFight Media, Everyone a Changemaker: The Story of Pinelands North, won the Rockefeller Foundation’s international Storytelling Challenge award in 2015. Maggie is passionate about expanding representation and voice in film, and about high-quality and high-impact collaborative filmmaking projects. She received her graduate certificate in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University.
see more at: rhizacollective.org

TODD WALTERS is an educator, entrepreneur and environmental peacebuilder. He is the founder and Executive Director of International Peace Park Expeditions which uses experiential learning to teach environmental peacebuilding and transboundary conservation best practices. He is an active member of the Transboundary Conservation Specialist Group of the IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas; and a founding member of the Environmental Peacebuilding Academy organized by the United Nations Environment Program and Environmental Law Institute. Walters currently teaches accredited academic courses at NYU, MIIS and Ohio University on Environmental Peacebuilding and Peace & Conflict Impact Assessment methodology. Walters has produced 3 short documentary films in the Transcending Boundaries series while working in conflict impacted countries around the globe including Colombia, Iraq, and Kosovo. Walters defined experiential peacebuilding for the Oxford International Encyclopedia of Peace; and has written a number of chapters and peer reviewed articles on environmental peacebuilding. Walters is a NOLS certified Outdoor Educator with Wilderness First Responder emergency medical training and has led expeditions in dozens of countries around the world.

MEAGHAN PARKER (moderator) is the Senior Writer/Editor for the Environmental Change and Security Program. She is the editor of the award-winning ECSP Report—named one of the Top 10 Think Tank Policy Reports of 2013–and the founding editor of the New Security Beat, a daily blog. She was the supervising producer of “Healthy People, Healthy Environment,” three short documentary films filmed in Tanzania, Nepal, and Ethiopia. She was the lead editor of “A New Climate for Peace,” an online platform and independent study commissioned by the G7 Foreign Ministers. A frequent speaker and moderator on panels about media and communications, she is currently serving a three-year term as the associate board member of the Society of Environmental Journalists, the premier North American professional membership association for environment and energy reporters and editors. Prior to joining the Center, she was Manager of Research and Internal Communications at the Fortune 500 energy company PPL Global, where she researched international investments and renewable energy policy.
See more at: https://www.wilsoncenter.org/


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