Presenting the 2016 Fast Forward Film Festival winners!



Juried Award Winners

Seedfolk City Farm: Overcoming Food Deserts in Rochester
Alex Freeman, Lisa Barker

Community Composting
Steven Kraft, Brent Arnold & Michael Giardino

Goodbye, Goodbuy
Jill Peterson

Audience Choice Award
Seedfolk City Farm: Overcoming Food Deserts in Rochester
Alex Freeman, Lisa Barker

View the 2016 Adult Category Official Selections!



Juried Award Winners

Organically Fashioned
Sofie Cerankosky

Paris Climate Change: An Education
Jack Aman

Kristen the Science Girl: Water
Kristen Smith

Youth Audience Choice Award
Paris Climate Change: An Education
Jack Aman

Lights, Camera, ACTION! Award
Filters for Flint
Jeremiah, Joshua, & Jordan West

The Pollution Prevention Award
Presented by the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute
Apples: Core Dilemma
Asha Hotaling

The Young Filmmaker Award
Presented by Lori’s Natural Foods
The Big Picture
Chris Widmaier & The World of Inquiry Class, Global Environment, Period 4

View the 2016 Youth Category Official Selections!


Congratulations to all of our Rochester filmmakers!


 2016 Festival Program

Take a look back at our 2016 Film Festival Program!

2016 Fast Forward Film Festival Program

The 2016 Jury

Jurij MedenJurij Meden
Award-winning filmmaker, Curator of Film Exhibitions at George Eastman Museum

With more than 15 years of experience in cinema, Meden has curated and presented film and media programs throughout the United States and abroad. Prior to joining the George Eastman Museum, Meden served as the adjunct professor of experimental film and video art at the School of Arts of the University of Nova Gorica in Slovenia. An award-winning experimental filmmaker himself, Meden exhibited his own works in Europe, including at the prestigious Rotterdam International Film Festival. He has also juried numerous film festivals across Europe and Asia.

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.

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Presenting the 2015 Fast Forward Film Festival winners…

Most Inspiring, Compelling & Engaging
Winner: Ain’t No Fish by Tom Gasek
Runner Up: Changes by Michael Ramsey & The Science Stars

Most Unique Perspective
Winner: Paper by Ben Doran
Runner Up: Kristen the Science Girl by Kristen Smith

Strongest Call to Action
Winner: Just Add Water by JeffMead/Water for South Sudan
Runner Up: Epiphany by Michael Tomb

Audience Choice Award
Ain’t No Fish by Tom Gasek

Young Filmmaker Award
presented by the Fast Forward Film Festival & Lori’s Natural Foods Center
“The Science Stars” of East High School

Congratulations to all of our Rochester filmmakers! Category winners received $1,000 and the Fast Forward Film Festival Award. Category Runner Ups, winner of the Young Filmmaker Award, and winner of the Audience Choice Award were awarded $250.

2015 Fast Forward Film Festival Trailer

Fast Forward Film Festival Trailer from Fast Forward Film Festival on Vimeo.

2015 Festival Program

[click to view]

Festival Program cover page

 2015 Festival Sponsors

GEH logo Little Theatre logo NY State Pollution Prevention Logo RIT logo WXXI logo

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2015 Festival Jury

Jack GarnerJack Garner, nationally renowned film critic and author

Jack Garner was a film critic and entertainment writer for the Democrat and Chronicle for 30 years and chief national critic for the Gannett newspapers for the last twenty of those years. Now retired, he continues to write for the newspaper as a freelancer, doing a weekly entertainment column, and articles about jazz and classic film. He is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association, the Eastman House Council, and recipient of the 2013 Impact Award from the Rochester Media Association. Jack has taught at Monroe Community College and Rochester Institute of Technology and served on the boards of Writers & Books and BOA Editions.

Jack Garner is also author of the book From My Seat on the Aisle, a memoir and anthology of his work published in September 2013.

Enid CardinalEnid Cardinal, RIT’s senior sustainability advisor to the president

Enid Cardinal is the senior sustainability advisor to the president at Rochester Institute of Technology. In this role she is responsible for facilitating a campus culture of sustainability with respect to operations, curriculum, and research; developing metrics for the Institute’s progress in sustainability and directing RIT’s efforts to achieve its commitment to climate neutrality by 2030.

Prior to joining the RIT community, she was the Director of the Office of Sustainability at Illinois State University. There she expanded alternative transportation options for the community, authored Illinois State’s inaugural sustainability report, established an annual sustainability across the curriculum workshop and launched a community wide food waste composting program. She has also worked as a consultant on projects for organizations like Audubon International and Calvert, a socially responsible investment company. After completing her undergraduate degree, she spent a year in AmeriCorps*NCCC and later served as a crew leader for the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps. She is LEED –accredited professional and holds a bachelor’s degree in biology and history from Binghamton University and a master’s degree in Environmental Policy from Bard College. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Central and Western NY chapter of The Nature Conservancy.

Deborah DicksonDeborah Dickson, independent filmmaker and Academy Award nominee

Deborah Dickson is a three-time Academy Award nominee whose award-winning films include The Education of Gore Vidal, Ruthie and Connie, Lalee’s Kin, Witnesses to a Secret War, The Lost Bird Project and the acclaimed Carrier series.

In addition to producing and directing, Deborah Dickson teaches directing at the Masters program in Social Documentary at the School of Visual Arts in New York City.

Todd McGrain, sculptor, filmmaker, author, creative director and co-founder of The Lost Bird Project

Todd McGrain’s sculptures, memorials to five extinct North American birds, have been permanently placed at locations directly related to each bird’s decline. Groups of all five sculptures are currently on view at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C., the John James Audubon Center at Mill Grove, the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum in Chicago, and the National Wildlife Museum in Jackson Hole. McGrain’s book about the personal journey, which led him to the extinction stories of the lost birds and the sculpture project that followed, was published in September 2014. McGrain is a recent graduate of the School of Visual Arts, New York City in Social Documentary Filmmaking and is currently working on a film about the plight of forest elephants in central Africa. McGrain is the artist-in-residence at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the winner of the 2014 Audubon Award for Art Inspiring Conservation.

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