We want to engage the community in a discussion of environmental issues, by presenting a showcase for the best environmental films from Canadian and international filmmakers. These films are supported with panel discussions and educational initiatives.

In curating the program for the festival we emphasize:

  1. A science-based perspective on environmental issues, including conservation, climate change, nature, artistic, and social justice issues.

  2. Programming for all ages, including grade school children, families, and adults.

  3. Positive, solution-based stories that will inspire audiences.


Board of Directors


Duane Sharman

A successfully retired engineer and entrepreneur in wireless technology, filmmaker, multi-instrumental musician, film soundtrack composer, Duane is a tireless advocate for ocean conservation. In 2016, he completed his award winning documentary short film THE END GAME, which focuses on coral bleaching and efforts to mitigate the looming disaster in the oceans.

Duane is a scuba diver, mountaineer, and a Fellow of the Explorers Club. Duane strives to follow in the footsteps of hero Sir David Attenborough and bring the message of an ailing world to a larger audience. 


Maureen Sullivan

A concerned environmental advocate and artist, Maureen is retired from a career in marketing and business operations in the development, technology, and government sectors. Maureen’s focus is on creating informed dialogue that crosses entrenched partisan lines.


Nik Green 

Nik is a film industry professional and business entrepreneur. A Vancouver Film School graduate, Nik produces and directs documentary films, commercial films, and digital advertising.

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Dale is a west coast artist, a travel industry professional, and business entrepreneur. She brings career experience and vision in media, marketing and sales to the Elements team.



Alisha Kapil

Alisha brings her passion for the environment and organization to the ELEMENTS team. After graduating with a double major in History and Political Science from UVic, Alisha realized she wanted to leave an impact on the world by bringing awareness to issues that are impacting our earth. 


Alyssa Hollyoake

After a trip to Costa Rica to volunteer with sea turtle conservation, Alyssa moved from Winnipeg to the West coast to pursue a career in marine biology. She recently graduated from the University of Victoria with a degree in biology where she further found a love for the ocean, birds, and animal and environmental conservation.   

Alyssa’s role with ELEMENTS Film Festival is community engagement, including communicating with local businesses and community centres about getting involved the festival.

In Memory

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Dr. Ruth D. Gates

The Elements Film Festival was inspired by the passion and commitment of Dr. Ruth D. Gates. Ruth is remembered for her creative research on corals and for advancing strategies to sustain reefs into the future. She was a tireless communicator about, and advocate for, coral reefs, Director of the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, and President of the International Society for Reef Studies. Dr. Gates recognized the importance of film as a medium for the communication of science, and appeared in several films including Chasing Coral, Living in the Future’s Past, and The End Game.


Advisory Board

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Scott D. Sampson, Ph.D.

Born and raised in Vancouver, BC, Scott Sampson is a dinosaur paleontologist, science communicator, and passionate advocate for reimagining cities as places where people and nature thrive. He serves as the President and CEO of Science World British Columbia.

Scott’s scientific research has focused on the ecology and evolution of Late Cretaceous dinosaurs, and he has conducted fieldwork in many countries, including Kenya, Zimbabwe, South Africa, Madagascar, Mexico, the United States, and Canada. He has published numerous scientific and popular articles, and regularly speaks to audiences of all ages on topics ranging from dinosaurs and education to sustainability and connecting kids with nature.

Scott has appeared in many television documentaries and served as a science advisor for a variety of media projects, most recently the BBC movie, Walking With Dinosaurs. He has also authored multiple books, including Dinosaur Odyssey: Fossil Threads in the Web of Life, and How to Raise a Wild Child: The Art and Science of Falling in Love with Nature. However, he is perhaps best known as “Dr. Scott,” host and science advisor of the Emmy-nominated PBS KIDS television series Dinosaur Train, produced by the Jim Henson Company.


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Travis Steffens, Ph.D.

A primatologist with a passion for conservation, Travis Steffens has dedicated his life and research to community development efforts, environmental education, conservation, and international awareness in Madagascar. Travis is the Founding Director of Planet Madagascar a non-profit that aims to build sustainable forest communities to improve the lives of people and to conserve lemurs and their habitat. Travis is also an International Fellow of the Explorers Club. Partnering with Adventure Science, Travis co-led an expedition into the remote Tsingy of Western Madagascar in 2014. Travis is an active traveler and tour leader and has led more than 60 groups of people around the world including through Southern Africa, Madagascar, Central America, Canada, and Russia.


Dr. Andrew S. Wright

Andrew S. Wright is a former high technology entrepreneur.  Since 2007 he has actively engaged in promoting enhanced inner city childhood education programs and ecological conservation efforts.  In addition to directly supporting the Great Bear Rainforest agreement via donation he has played a direct technical role in advancing land based closed containment salmon aquaculture in BC.  The development of the Namgis Kuterra FinFish aquaculture farm is a direct result of these efforts.  He is involved in a wide range of conservation endeavors and sits on the boards of various groups and initiatives.

He is a passionate conservation photographer and has produced two books,  Emeralds at the Edge and Faltering Light, both arguing the case for increased conservation in British Columbia.  He has also penned several conservation photography articles.

Dr. Wright has published numerous IEEE peer reviewed research papers and has been awarded and filed in excess of 60 patents.


Dr. David Shiffman

Dr. David Shiffman is a marine conservation biologist and award-winning science communicator based at Simon Fraser University. His research focuses on shark conservation and management policy. Follow him on social media @WhySharksMatter, where he's always happy to answer any questions that anyone has about sharks.