Environmental Film Fest

Schiff's 14th Annual Environmental Film Festival

Independent, Inspiring Films in our Woodland Theatre

Saturday, June 3, 2023

Wood Badge Lodge, 339 Pleasant Valley Road, Mendham, NJ
Use 339 Schiff Drive in Your GPS to Arrive at the Nature Center
Schiff Environmental Film Festival

Welcome to Schiff's 14th annual Environmental Film Festival (EFF)! A true community event, the festival allows us to explore the preserve in a unique manner. Each year, we strive to show inspiring environmental films, offer a venue for the community to gather, raise funds for Schiff, and promote learning and discussion of important environmental issues.

The night of the festival, the Wood Badge Lodge is transformed into a wonderful Woodland Theatre. With the fire pit lit, the picnic benches and seating strewn around the fire, we enjoy catching up with our EFF friends and visitors as we wait for dusk to arrive. Schiff provides the hayride, the alfresco movie experience, popcorn, and water. You bring a picnic dinner, beverages, and a friend of two! Savory and sweet snack boxes will be available for sale. All net proceeds of the evening support the mission of Schiff Natural Lands Trust. In the event of light rain, the event will stand. We will show the films inside the Wood Badge Lodge.

Environmental Film Festival New Jersey

  • 6:30 pm - Check in begins at the Nature Center/Self-Guided Hikes to the Woodland Theatre
  • 6:45 pm - Hayride to the Woodland Theatre
  • 7:00- 7:30 pm - BYOPicnic, Fire Pit, & Trivia Time
  • 7:30 pm - Welcome & Showing of Short Film
  • 7:45 pm - Intro of Guest Speakers (Director, Scott Morris) Q & A
  • 8:00 pm - Feature Movie
  • 9:00 PM - Wrap up Q&A
  • 9:20 pm - Hayride option to return/Hikers leave

The Environmental Film Festival hopes to attract new and repeat visitors to the preserve. Lovers of environmental documentary movies who also enjoy a good hike to a magical outdoor venue within the preserve, please consider joining Schiff. We are offering a NEW Schiff membership/EFF ticket bundle price for those who might like to support Schiff Nature Preserve and attend the EFF.

Member Ticket: $18
NEW! Membership and EFF Ticket Bundle: $60
Non-member Ticket: $20
Student/Senior Ticket: $12

This Year's Featured Film: Saving the Great Swamp

Saving the Great Swamp

Saving The Great Swamp: Battle to Defeat the Jetport is a one-hour documentary about the events, people, and politics behind the struggle to preserve a rural area of New Jersey between 1959 and 1968. The fight began when the powerful Port of New York Authority announced plans to construct a huge 10,000 acre "jetport" 26 miles west of New York City in a little-known place called the Great Swamp. In the name of progress, entire towns would be obliterated, the aquifer and wildlife destroyed, and a way-of-life threatened for thousands of people.

The events that followed became one of the most defining environmental confrontations of its time - a grassroots movement that started in a local high school and grew to historic proportions. It was a battle that took almost a decade, a President, and an Act of Congress to stop, and ultimately led to the creation of a national treasure - the Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge.

Two years in the making, Saving The Great Swamp: Battle to Defeat the Jetport was produced and directed by award-winning filmmaker Scott Morris, co-produced by Larry Fast and narrated by Blythe Danner. The film features in-depth interviews with residents, historians and officials, and a rich visual tapestry of historic film footage, old photographs, and high-end cinematography of the Great Swamp today. The inspiring story continues to resonate as a model for community action in the face of powerful forces.


Film Co-producers

Scott MorrisScott Morris - Producer / Director / Editor / Special Guest
Scott Morris is a seasoned documentary filmmaker with 35 years of experience. His work includes From The Ashes: The Life and Times of Tick Hall, the acclaimed one-hour documentary featuring talk-show host Dick Cavett, about the re-creation of his historic seaside home destroyed by fire. The film premiered primetime on Thirteen/WNET and was distributed to public television stations nationwide. Scott's company, formed in 1992, produced dozens of award-winning films and videos for clients ranging from major corporations to non-profit organizations. Scott also edited Emmy Award-winning cable and network television programs for Discovery, Lifetime, CBS News and PBS, and an Academy Award-winning short. Scott is very familiar with the Great Swamp - he's lived nearby for more 25 years, frequently hiking and biking through the area with his family.

Larry FastLarry Fast - Co-producer / Co-writer / Historian
Larry Fast brings professional experience in media and the creative arts, history, and technology. With a degree in history from Lafayette College and additional studies in architecture and engineering technology, Larry has qualified for government-appointed positions with the Morris County Historic Preservation Trust Fund and the Morris County Heritage Commission, having chaired both. As a technology history specialist, Larry serves on the board of the Thomas Edison National Historic Park and as an advisor to the Thomas Edison Papers Project at Rutgers University. Media experience includes decades of work as electronic music composer and producer contributing to numerous platinum selling recordings with world-renown artists, commissions for projects by companies such as Disney, XM Satellite Radio and Tribune Broadcasting, and working on documentary and feature film projects. Residing near the Great Swamp for nearly forty years, Larry remembers visiting the proposed jetport site in 1959 as a schoolboy with his family to gauge the potential impact on their home.


Save the Great Swamp Awards

Please note: The name used when purchasing tickets will be the name listed on the event roster. We do not issue physical tickets.

Thanks to the generous support of our sponsors, recognized below, the proceeds from this event help Schiff in its education, stewardship, and conservation mission. Please join us in thanking them by supporting their businesses!

If you're interested in becoming a sponsor for this event, please complete the sponsor form and return it to info@schiffnaturepreserve.org by May 15, 2023.

Bailey Funeral Home
Backer Farm
Breakaway Prep, Mendham NJ
Headquarters Financial Group
Advanced Eye Care Center
Mikula Web Solutions