Showcasing New Environmental Perspectives

Fast Forward Film Festival 2017


Congrats to all the winners from Fast Forward 2017!

The Decay | Mary Moore & Eleanore Barrera
Life Through My Eyes | Tylor Ngourn & Juleyka Roche
Worm Farms | Caleb Holfoth & Colin Ransom
City of Gardens | Michael Tomb
Pickers | Alex Freeman
Love Song of the Drone | Brian Larson
ADULT CATEGORY – Honorable Mention:
Log.txt | Ben Doran
Kristen The Science Girl: The Shining | Kristen & Kelly Smith
The Decay | Mary Moore & Eleanore Barrera
City of Gardens | Michael Tomb

The Fast Forward Film Festival encourages films that tap into the local experience and compel audiences to engage with the community and raise environmental awareness.

Embracing the short film format, Fast Forward challenges filmmakers to utilize the power of visual storytelling to convey the urgency of our environmental problems and inspire environmental awareness.  Shorts are a liberating form that allow for greater experimentation and give voice to both aspiring and veteran filmmakers. By focusing creativity into films under five minutes in length, Fast Forward films become an important communication tool to promote change, connect people and build an environmentally concerned community.

The Fast Forward Film Festival is an initiative of the non-profit The Lost Bird Project.

Festival Program

Take a look at our 2017 Film Festival Program!

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 Meet the 2017 Jury

Jurist Benjamin TuckerBenjamin Tucker
Assistant Collection Manager at the George Eastman Museum

As the Assistant Collection Manager at the George Eastman Museum, Benjamin Tucker is an avid film buff and has been working in the film industry for over 20 years. His background in film festival programming and archival film projection gives him a unique perspective on our submissions, and his lectures at both the L. Jeffrey Selznick School of Film Preservation and the national archives of Mexico, Australia, and India offer an uncommon skill set to our talented panel of jurists.  We are looking forward to having Ben on the 2017 Film Festival Jury!

Muffie Meyer

Muffie Meyer
Film and Television Director

Muffie Meyer is an award-winning American director whose productions include, documentaries, theatrical features, television series, and children’s films. Early in her career, Meyer co-directed Grey Gardens with the pioneering cinema verite documentarians David and Albert Maysles, and Ellen Hovde. Meyer and Hovde (retired) went on to create Middlemarch Films, an acclaimed production company based in New York City that has produced more than one hundred films and videos that have been distributed nationally and internationally in theaters, on television, and in the home-video and educational markets. Meyer’s projects were the recipients of numerous awards, including, two Emmy Awards, Cine Golden Eagles, the Japan Prize, Christopher Awards, the Freddie Award, the Columbia-DuPont, and the George Foster Peabody Awards.

Adam Lubitow

Adam Lubitow
Entertainment writer, film critic

Adam Lubitow is the film critic for CITY Newspaper, Rochester’s print and online alt-weekly. He’s written for several entertainment websites, including Logo Networks, and currently writes and edits for the ImageOut, LGBT Film Festival. When he’s not sitting with strangers in dark rooms, Adam is a frequent coffeehouse patron and cheeseburger connoisseur.


Anahita Williamson

Dr. Anahita Williamson
Chemical & Environmental Engineer

Dr. Williamson has a strong background and extensive experience in the field of chemical and environmental engineering, including manufacturing process modification for improved material recovery and reuse, sustainability and green engineering.  Prior to joining the EPA as the Director of the Division of Environmental Science & Assessment, Dr. Williamson served as the Director of the NYS Pollution Prevention Institute at the Rochester Institute of Technology.  In this role, Dr. Williamson worked with industries, communities and academia on implementing a variety of solutions that focused on reducing both environmental and economic footprints.  Dr. Williamson also has extensive experience in utilizing life-cycle assessment (LCA) methodology for evaluating the environmental performance of a process/product from cradle-to-grave and has performed multiple LCAs throughout her career.  

Dr. Williamson is a Lean Six Sigma certified Greenbelt. She understands the importance of applying lean thinking when implementing environmental solutions. Dr. Williamson holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and M.S. and Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental engineering, all from Clarkson University.

Our Team

Andy SternAndrew Stern, founder of the Fast Forward Film festival, co-founder and executive director of The Lost Bird Project

Andy Stern, a recently retired neurologist and Associate Professor of Neurology at the University of Rochester, now devotes himself fully to raising environmental awareness. He is the co-founder and Executive Director of The Lost Bird Project, a non-profit that initiates many national projects aligned with its mission of connecting more deeply to the earth through art. The Fast Forward Film Festival is the organization’s newest initiative and is focused locally on the greater Rochester community. EarthVigil, another local project, is a collaboration between The Lost Bird Project and the Rochester Zen Center that brings a meditation presence to environmental issues. Andy also works closely with Physicians for Social Responsibility on issues of Climate Change Health. A long time Zen Buddhist practitioner, he is the author of numerous essays related to environmental concerns, mostly from a Zen perspective. For more information on Andy’s projects, visit

Becca Delaney

Becca Delaney, Festival Director and owner of Delaney Marketing & Event Services

Becca joined Fast Forward during the festival’s inaugural year, helping to build the festival from the ground up. In her previous roles with Rochester Institute of Technology and as an independent marketing consultant for global companies, Becca developed creative brand solutions and strategy with event planning support, as well. Becca’s signature is extracting and projecting artistic elements in each campaign she touches.

Becca holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and journalism from St. John Fisher College and a master’s degree in communication and media technology from Rochester Institute of Technology. In her free time, she enjoys photography. Her muses? Bentley and Belle, her adored golden doodles.

Ashley Neal

Ashley Neal, Green Story Guide Project Lead & Designer

In her work with the Fast Forward Film Festival, Ashley combines her artistic talents with her experience in marketing and communications.  As the Project Lead for Fast Forward’s Green Story Guide, Ashley builds community connections and actively meets with Rochester youth, offering resources and learning materials to inspire engagement and action on environmental issues through the film festival. Ashley has an extensive background in visual communications and is responsible for the creation of the festival’s marketing and graphic design materials.  More of Ashley’s design work can be viewed on her website Ashley Neal Design.

mike caruso

Mike Caruso, Marketing & Communications Assistant

Mike is currently on loan from the Rochester Institute of Technology where he will graduate with a degree in Environmental Sustainability Health and Safety. He joined the Fast Forward team in the festival’s inaugural year as a dedicated volunteer and later as Gala Chair. Mike now joins the staff on a part time basis as our Marketing & Communications Assistant. Utilizing both his passion for the environment and his strong outreach capabilities, Mike is a key contributor to Fast Forward’s vision and growth. In his role, Mike will expand festival programs and events and respond to local community needs while aligning with the festival’s mission.


Luke Dunkelberg, Marketing & Communications Assistant

Luke is currently a junior at St. John Fisher College, where he will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in Marketing. Luke now joins the Fast Forward team on a part time basis as our Marketing & Communications Assistant. In his role, Luke will be utilizing his knowledge of marketing and outreach, as he keeps community informed about this importance of environmental sustainability through the Fast Forward Film Festival. Luke is also a member of the St. John Fisher College Cross Country and Track & Field teams.


Bill Walter, Content Marketing Manager

Bill has always had a knack for creative, which he brought with him when joining the FFFF team. As a Content Marketing Manager, Bill brings an expertise in nonprofit storytelling through his development of messaging and content for local organizations. Bill holds a Bachelors Degree from St. John Fisher College in Communication & Journalism and is extremely passionate about film.


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Friends of the Festival

Friends of the Festival are a network of organizations throughout the greater Rochester area that offer support to Fast Forward filmmakers. Friends of the Festival support the festival’s mission and assist festival entrants by providing knowledge, resources, and other means where applicable throughout the submission period.

Our Friends circle is constantly growing. If you or your organization is interested in becoming a Friend of the Festival, contact us at for more information.

Festival Friends

Official Check In Sponsor: Yelp Rochester
The Nature Conservancy
Locations, preserve access
Interviewee subjects, connections, local experts
Information on nature topics
Genesee Valley Audubon Society (GVAS)
Information on birds and environmental conservation
RIT Sustainability Office
Sustainability topics
Art and Vintage on Main (AVoM), Art Gallery
Photographers, models, artists in Rochester
NYS Pollution Prevention Institute
Environment and pollution topics
Monroe County Central Library
Camera equipment, use of film editing equipment (available to High School aged and younger)
Rochester Movie Makers
Resources, forms, crew support, etc.
Rochester & Rochester/Finger Lakes Film Commission
Locations, interviewees, crew support
Jack Garner
Former chief film critic for Gannett Newspapers, author of From My Seat on the Aisle
Film knowledge, tips and advice
Rochester Documentary Filmmakers
Filmmakers may join this network of local filmmakers
Information on sharing communities or events
Harley School
Resource for Harley students, or topic of Harley green initiatives
Center for Environmental Initiatives, Riverwatch
Information on water topics
braineryRochester Brainery
Assistance with networking for speakers or interview subjects
Green Drinks
Information on green businesses in Rochester
Sierra Club of Rochester
Environmental preservation topics
Rochester Contemporary Art Center
Artists or green projects in Rochester
M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence
Sustainability or worldview topics
First Fridays Rochester, City Gallery Night
Artists or green projects in Rochester
Visual Studies Workshop
Access to photography and visual arts
Good LuckGood Luck
Java’s Café
RIT Film & Animation Department
Access to actors, film knowledge
Harts Local GrocersHart's Local Grocers
Topics on food, green initiatives, composting
Socially Good Business
Connection to local green businesses, topics on green business initiatives
Information on all things environment in Rochester
Seneca Park Zoo
Potential film location and interview subjects
EPIC10 Films
Filmmaking technical advice or consultation
New York Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation

Community Partners

Arena's For LifeConstellation Brands
New York Film Academy logoNew York Film Academy
Learning by Doing
Heron Hill Winery
Finger Lakes region
Rochester Solar Power Organizational Team
New York Women in Film & Television
Red Jacket OrchardsRed Jacket Orchards
Orchards * Juicery * Farmstore
Lori's Natural Food CenterLori's Natural Food Center
Impact EarthImpact Earth
Creating more sustainable communities

Thank you to our 2016 Friends of the Festival and Community Partners!

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Community Advisory Council

The Fast Forward Rochester Community Advisory Council (CAC) was created in 2015 to support Fast Forward ROC’s efforts to showcase new environmental perspectives through film. Fast Forward ROC seeks to engage a thoughtful, connected and diverse Community Advisory Council to further its mission.

Members of the 2016 Fast Forward Rochester Advisory Council

Fred ArmstrongAnimatus Studio (Animation)

Enid CardinalRochester Institute of Technology (RIT)

Don CasperEPIC 10 Productions/Films

Shawn DunwoodyArtist, Youth Coordinator

Timothy MadiganSt. John Fisher College (SJFC)

Jan MillerThe Nature Conservancy

Chris Pulleyn – Trustee Emerita, George Eastman Museum

Robert PutneyImpact Earth, Inc.

Pamela Reed SanchezSeneca Park Zoo Society

Frank ReganSierra Club, Rochester

Kimie RomeoGenesee River Watch, Green Drinks Coordinator

Daniel SchneidermanRochester Mini Maker Faire

Sara ScottCity of Rochester, Recreation & Youth

Malcolm SpaullRochester Institute of Technology, School of Film & Animation

Meg SternowskiConstellation Brands, Environmental Sustainability Specialist

Zachary WelchRochester Association for Film Arts and Sciences



 2017 Festival Sponsors

Thank you to our 2017 Fast Forward Film Festival sponsors! Your support helps Fast Forward Rochester showcase filmmakers and artists of all ages in Rochester, NY.


The 2017 Fast Forward Film Festival welcomes new sponsors.  To learn about sponsorship opportunities, click here or contact Festival Director Becca Delaney at

Support the arts.  Support our community.  Support change.


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Submission FAQs

When are submissions being accepted, and when is the submission deadline?

Submissions open August 8, 2016 and close on February 27, 2017.

Is there a fee to submit?

There are no fees to submit to the Fast Forward Film Festival.

Who can submit a film, and what type of film can be submitted?

Anyone from the Greater Rochester area can submit a film, which includes the Finger Lakes area (but not as far as Buffalo or Syracuse).

We encourage all ages to submit to the festival.  All genres and styles are accepted.

Are there submission categories?

Fast Forward 2017 has an Adult Program and a Youth Program.  Cash awards will be given to filmmakers for the most inspiring, compelling, and engaging films. The categories for the programs are as follows:

For the Adult Program:

(3) Winners of the adult program will each receive an award of $1,000.

(1) The Audience Choice Award recipient will receive an award of $500.

For the Youth (under 18) Program:

(3) Winners of the youth program will each receive an award of $500.

(1) The Audience Choice Award youth recipient will receive an award of $250.

Does my film topic have to be about Rochester?

The festival is all about celebrating the environmental voice of Rochester, but subject matter is not limited to the Rochester area. Please note that filmmakers must be from the Greater Rochester region, which includes the Finger Lakes area (but not as far as Buffalo or Syracuse).

Why is the limit 5 minutes?

The Fast Forward Film Festival is a short film competition. Limited only by runtime and driven by innovation and experimentation, short films transcend the rules of conventional storytelling and allow for greater creativity.

Short films submitted to Fast Forward must have a total running time of less than 5 minutes, including credits.

Can I submit a short film that has already been released publicly? 

There are no premiere or prior screening restrictions for short film submissions. Shorts that have been previously released via any home video outlet, broadcast television, internet, and/or publicly screened anywhere in the world remain eligible.

Can I use a pre-existing film for the Fast Forward Film Festival?

We will not accept a film that has already been submitted in previous years of the Fast Forward Film Festival. Otherwise, pre-existing films are encouraged and allowed.

If any film includes non-English dialogue, do you require English subtitles?

All films that contain significant non-English dialogue MUST include on-screen English subtitles at the time of submission. A translated list of dialogue on paper is not sufficient. If your film is mostly in English and you intend to intentionally leave out subtitles for any non-English dialogue included in the film, you do not need to provide subtitles for those particular sections.

How do I submit online?

Fast Forward Film Festival accepts entries via, an online submissions platform. FilmFreeway offers free HD online screeners, Vimeo and YouTube integration, and more. To submit, please go to: and click on “Submit Your Film”.

If you submitted your film via our online submission platform, you do not need to send us any physical materials. If you are not satisfied with the quality of your digital upload and would prefer to send a disc instead, please contact immediately, so we can modify your previously selected submission format.

Am I required to obtain rights for copyrighted material included in my film?

You must clear all copyrighted materials included in your film before you can publicly screen it. It is the sole responsibility of the entity submitting the project to secure permission from the copyright holder of the material in question, whether it is music, stock footage, or any other elements that could violate an existing copyright. Films that are accepted into the Festival must sign a waiver stating that materials used in the film do not violate any existing copyright.

How many films may I submit?

You may submit as many films as you would like, all will be eligible as long as they meet the criteria. Each film must be submitted separately.

What types of films are you looking for? What stands out?

We celebrate the independent spirit of unique and original storytelling. Diverse voices and films that push the limits of style and narrative also excite us, but there is no single aesthetic that we look for over any other. We value creative storytelling about an interesting environmental point-of view.

May I make trailers, clips, or scenes of my film available online?

Yes, you may make any shortened version of your film available online before, during, or after the festival. We ask that you simply do not air the entirety of your entry before the screenings at the Fast Forward Film Festival.

Who will review my film?

The Fast Forward Film Festival has four jurists who will be made publicly known during the submission process. These jurists review, score, and select the films for the Festival.

When and how, will I hear about my submission?

During the submission period, you will contacted if your film needs additional documentation. Within one month following the submission deadline, you will be notified via the email address you provided at submission if your film has or has not been selected.

Who do I contact if I have any questions after I submit my film?

Email with any questions during or after you submit your film. We make every effort to respond within 24 hours of your inquiry.

Where do I mail a submission if I choose to mail through the US Postal Service?

All submissions should be mailed to us at the address below along with the Festival Mail-In Submission Form.  This form can be requested by emailing  Please do not send us a DVD if you have already submitted your film through FilmFreeway.

Mail to:

Fast Forward Film Festival
274 North Goodman Street
Ste B267
Rochester, NY 14607


Event FAQs

When does the Festival take place?

The 2017 Fast Forward Film Festival takes place in the Spring. Festival dates will be announced in the Fall.

The Festival Film Screenings will take place on Friday, March 31 @ 7 pm at the Little Theatre.

The Festival Gala will take place on Saturday, April 1 @ 6-10 pm at the George Eastman Museum.

Additional details will be announced soon.

How do I buy tickets?

You can purchase tickets online beginning in March, 2017.

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Contact Us

For general inquiries about the Fast Forward Film Festival:
(585) 340-7456

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