The Nature Now Environmental Film Festival will provide a weekend of entertainment and education this year from Thursday, Aug. 18 to Sunday, Aug. 21 in Columbus. The main events will be documentaries and cartoons pertaining to environmental issues. There will also be guest speakers and other activities such as parties.

“We have a party each night,” said NNEFF Executive Director Paige Swift. “And on Thursday night, the party is an art exhibition at the Corn Center. And we’ve got guest artists on site there to talk about their art.”

The festival’s headquarters will be Columbus State University’s Riverside Theatre Complex, located at 6 W 10th Street in Columbus. However, participants will also attend events in other locations.

NNEFF will feature films from Wild & Scenic Film Festival (WSFF) franchise, Reel Rock Film Tour, Southern Exposure Films, and more.

“It is actually the fifth year that we have done this,” Swift said. “In the beginning, it was a touring version of a national program from a big festival in California, and that was called the Wild & Scenic. And that’s what most people remember, because from 2017 to 2019, we ran this under their contracting, branding and all of their films. By year two, our location was the biggest on-tour event in the country.”

Swift said she started adding films and content to the film festival, including ones that pertained to the Southeast.

“They were like, ‘You have outgrown the Wild and Scenic, and you should be your own festival featuring films from us,’” she said.

Swift helped establish Nature Now, whose website describes it as an educational non-profit organization “dedicated to uniting communities and transforming perspectives through the power of film.”

“We rebranded with a logo, with a mission, a website,” Swift said. “You know, all those things you have to have to be recognized.”

Swift said Nature Now aims to eventually offer year-round programming. This will be NNEFF’s second year having its current name.

While the online schedule for the event doesn’t show anything for Sunday, Swift said it’s possible the film festival will show a feature film such as “Rodents of Unusual Size” on that day.

Additionally, Swift said a group called Team River Runner, a national nonprofit organization that works with veterans, will be doing a group float on the Chattahoochee River on Sunday.

Click here to buy tickets for this event. For more information, visit the Nature Now website.