Pace Gallery Congratulates the African Environmental Film Foundation

Arne Glimcher, Pace Gallery Founder, environmental filmmaker, and author
Arne Glimcher, Pace Gallery Founder, environmental filmmaker, and author

Pace Gallery Congratulates the African Environmental Film Foundation on its 20th anniversary and the recognition from the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation with their Lifetime Achievement Award in Conservation given to Arne Glimcher

As part of the celebration on September 15, the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF) presented its inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award in Conservation to Arne Glimcher, Pace Gallery Founder, environmental filmmaker, and author. This annual award honors individuals for their sustained commitment to protecting our environment and celebrates their efforts to defend and preserve a vibrant and healthy planet.

In addition to founding Pace Gallery, Glimcher is the Chairman of the Board of the African Environmental Film Foundation (AEFF), which is located in the Tsavo National Park in Kenya and celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Since its founding, AEFF has been producing and distributing educational films about environmental issues in Africa, for the people of Africa, in their own languages. The films are distributed free of charge, and are seen by millions of people, predominantly in Central Africa, and also in growing numbers internationally. The organization is responsible for permanent positive change in environmental issues from protesting overfishing to significantly reducing poaching.

Learn more about the work of the AEFF and contribute to its vital efforts here.

Inside Leonardo DiCaprio’s $8M Fundraiser: Jane Goodall and Chris Martin’s Ode to Cargo Shorts

The actor and his Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation celebrated a milestone 20th anniversary with an A-list gala in Northern California which featured a performance by Coldplay’s frontman.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Jane Goodall
Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation

Once upon a time…in Sonoma County.

Leonardo DiCaprio took a weekend break from filming Quentin Tarantino’s Helter Skelter-focused Once Upon a Time in Hollywood to head to wine country for a gala fundraiser for his Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation and its global environmental efforts. And according to insider accounts, it was an elegant affair that helped LDF reach a major milestone of doling out more than $100 million in grants.

Speaking of numbers, according to sources, the event itself raised in the neighborhood of $8 million courtesy of a ticket sales (minimum of $10,000 per ticket) that pulled in around $500,000 while the live auction is said to have netted something close to $7.5 million.

Co-hosted by DiCaprio and Laurene Powell, widow of Apple chief Steve Jobs, the Sept. 15 event was presented in partnership with Jackson Family Wines and title sponsors Bank of America and Tiffany & Co. It marked a major location change, too, as DiCaprio previously traveled to the South of France for St. Tropez fundraisers, which drew hundreds of guests (including billionaires and supermodels).

This year, only 300 guests got past the velvet ropes for much more intimate event that included a well-curated live auction by DiCaprio’s longtime art adviser Lisa Schiff along with Marika Kielland of SFA Advisory and Sotheby’s auctioneer Simon Shaw. The auction featured a collection of fine art from artists Ai Wei Wei, Richard Prince, David Hockney, Wayne Thiebaud, Frank Gehry, Matthew Wong, the Haas Brothers, and others.

DiCaprio took a moment at the podium to reflect on these last two decades, his commitment to the environment and to make an announcement of additional grantees. “When I founded LDF 20 years ago, I did so based on the simple idea that we could make a real difference by directly funding some of the most effective environmental projects — whether it be individuals, grassroots movements or major nonprofits, we wanted to focus on getting critical funding to those who could have the greatest impact,” said Leonardo DiCaprio. “Since 1998, we have supported over 200 projects on every continent and in every ocean from habitat and species conservation, renewable energy, climate change, indigenous rights, and more. I am pleased to announce $11 million in new grants across our six program areas, bringing the total financial impact of LDF to over $100 million.”

The night was not only about the numbers. Apparently, it was also about DiCaprio’s adoration for a controversial piece of menswear. Chris Martin of Coldplay also made the short trek to Sonoma County to perform a set of songs. (Also there: his new girlfriend Dakota Johnson and one eye witness said their romance looked to be going strong.) He dedicated the Celine Dion classic “My Heart Will Go On” to DiCaprio, and he performed an original composition about cargo shorts.

Courtesy of Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation
Courtesy of Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation

According to one attendee’s Instagram video, Martin said, “I studied him very closely for about five or six years and what became clear to me was his unbelievable service, his commitment to the business of cargo shorts…. This is a guy, he’s seen cargo shorts and he said, ‘I’m going to save these shorts from extinction. They should have gone out about 25 years ago. I’m personally going to fund the sort of renaissances of cargo shorts.'”

Guests who got to hear the song’s debut included Mike Ovitz, Tamara Mellon, Sophia Lauren, Catherine Deneuve, Edward Norton, Naomi Campbell, Tobey Maguire, Lukas Haas, Mike and Irena Medavoy, Peggy Siegal, Vivi Nevo, producer Steve Golin and Mark Ruffalo, the latter of whom flew in from the Avengers set to address the crowd from the podium. Many of the aforementioned names stayed at the Calistoga Ranch before heading to Matanzas Creek Winery where armed security and police dogs helped to keep the peace.

DiCaprio looked to be enjoying the moment, and the entire evening which he spent seated next to Dr. Jane Goodall. The famed English primatologist and anthropologist was named to LDF’s new independent board of directors along with indigenous rights leader and former special adviser for Native American affairs to President Obama, Jodi Gillette, LDF CEO Terry Tamminen, Robert Hrtica and Adam Bernholz.

There were awards, too. Artist Wayne Thiebaud received LDF’s inaugural Art & Environment Award; filmmaker, gallerist and author Arne Glimcher took home the inaugural Lifetime Achievement in Conservation Award; and Amazon Frontlines and Ceibo Alliance were awarded the first annual Environmental Activist Award.

AEFF Buzzing with its Current Projects

Thanks to support from our donors AEFF has been able to continue using the digital editing suite at AEFFs HQ in the Tsavo National Park.

As soon as it has been shot, AEFF footage is logged into the operating computer for editing and a back up copy on an independent hard drive.

Then, using updated specialized logging software, we use a much more detailed process, involving cross-referencing and extreme levels of detail to log all the 750 hours of footage in the AEFF library. Finally the footage is copied using LTO tapes, which have a thirty-year life, as against hard drives that only have a three-year guaranteed life. All this makes the AEFF library (probably one of the most comprehensive environmental/wildlife film and sound libraries on the continent) more accessible to all future generations of AEFF editors, who will be able to draw on this extensive resource when assembling new educational films in the future.

AEFF’s current series of films include a second marine film as a follow up to KURUWITU: BETWEEN A ROCK AND A HARD PLACE. This new film shows how this first film spawned an extension to the original area and in fact 16 new areas have opted for sound marine management. AEFF can claim to have played an important part in spreading the word along the coastal communities.

In addition AEFF’s film THE ICONS OF TSAVO, is complete. This film has two parts. Part One shows the huge Tsavo elephants, with tusks sweeping the ground, and how dependent they, and the many emerging tuskers, are on the whole elephant society. Part Two shows the life of a bow and arrow poacher and how, when questioned by a young Kenyan, the reality of what he has done over the years is revealed. For him it is too late, the damage has been done, but the young Kenyan now has the responsibility to influence modern Kenyan society in acknowledging the importance of these elephants and the role wildlife has to play in the future.

AEFF’s film The Standard Gauge Railway is in production. AEFF was given permission to film this huge project by the Kenya Railway Corporation This film has a much broader message than just the construction of a railway by emphasizing how development need not damage the environment irrevocably. Industrialization will bring a better standard of living for many Kenyans but, in this modern age, all projects should be carried out with an understanding of how to minimize the impact it inevitably has on the environment. And higher incomes will mean more Kenyans will be able to visit the wildlife areas and appreciate wild animals for what they are.

Taking a Moment to Reflect

As 2016 winds to a close, we take a quick moment to look back at AEFF’s recent achievements.

The African Environmental Film Foundation (AEFF) has made great strides over the past few years. AEFF is Africa’s only non-profit dedicated exclusively to providing environmental and conservation education through film and new media, presented in local languages.

We have a fulltime team of just 4 people in Africa, supported by our Board of Directors in the United States.

AEFF’s accomplishments include:

The widening of grass-roots distribution networks for our finished films, on DVDs, which now reach Government Authorities, school children, university students and adults in Kenya, Tanzania, South Sudan, DR Congo, West Africa, Namibia, Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana, Zambia, Cameroon and Uganda.

The indexing of AEFF’s entire film archive, consisting of over 750 hours of footage, which will allow this unique resource to be easily accessible for use in future AEFF educational films.

An additional two new film projects completed and the re-versioning of two older films by AEFF’s Founder, Simon Trevor, who has donated the educational rights to AEFF. Total number of films now at 27

Through donations, AEFF has been able to fund the production of new films and purchase new equipment (cameras, editing computers, software and accessories).

The negotiation of a distribution deal, which will bring AEFF’s films to 45     English speaking TV countries across Africa,

We thank you for your support, which has made all these achievements possible, and we invite you to join us again as we embark on further new educational film and new media projects in 2017.

Six AEFF films have been screened on Kenya’s Nation TV Channel in a program called NTV Wild

The Kenyan NGO, Wildlife Direct, in conjunction with the Kenya Wildlife Service, initiated an agreement with Nation TV to screen one hour of wildlife films per week, for free.

It is a condition of the rules governing TV in Kenya that a certain percentage of the films shown should be Kenyan productions. AEFF, as the producer of our films fulfills this condition. There has been a specific demand for AEFF films after early NTV Wild films showed overseas productions.

For more information on NTV Wild, see The Guardian article – “Finally, Kenyans can watch their own country’s wildlife on TV


White Gold Finalist at International Elephant Film Festival and Honored at United Nations on World Wildlife Day, March 3rd, 2016.

Geneva/Jackson, WY/New York 25 February 2016 – The Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival and the Secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) teamed up in organizing an International Elephant Film Festival to raise global awareness of the various challenges facing the African and Asian elephants, as a highlight of UN World Wildlife Day on 3 March. The Festival received more than 250 entries into the film competition, which were reviewed by over 75 preliminary judges over six weeks before the short list was passed on to the final judging panel.

Finalist will be honored at a high level event to mark the global celebration of World Wildlife Day at UN Headquarters in New York on 3 March 2016. The Films will be subsequently showcased extensively throughout the world, through local screening events and broadcasts.

The distinguished panel of international judges who will select winners includes:

  • Inger Anderson, Director General of International Union for Conservation of Nature
  • Ian Craig, Director of Conservation, Northern Rangelands Trust, Kenya
  • Bingbing Li, Actress, Singer and Conservationist, China
  • Edna Molewa, Minister of Environmental Affairs, Republic of South Africa
  • Catherine Novelli, Under Secretary of State for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment, United States
  • John E. Scanlon, Secretary General of CITES

African Voices Finalists

– All the Presidents Elephants, Triosphere for NHU Africa

– Elephants Without Borders, Afriscreen Films, BBC

– NATURE: Soul of the Elephant, Wildlife Films and THIRTEEN Productions LLC in co-production with Terra Mater Factual Studios

– Paseka The Easter Elephant, Afriscreen Films

– White Gold, African Environmental Film Foundation in association with Pace Productions

White Gold launched in the United States and China to help stop the killing of elephants in Africa

To help change ivory consumer trends around the world, AEFF launched its powerful film, White Gold to five star reviews in New York City. The film was also launched on youku in China, narrated by Jackie Chan in Mandarin, in a bid to encourage the world’s greatest consumers of ivory to reject this non-essential luxury item, which leaves so much carnage in its wake. On youku there have already been 2.77 million full views. To watch: ” Click Here

Simon Trevor and Hillary Clinton at premiere of White Gold
Simon Trevor and Hillary Clinton at premiere of White Gold
Arne Glimcher and Hillary Clinton at premiere of White Gold
Arne Glimcher and Hillary Clinton at premiere of White Gold