On bad days, when you feel at odds with the world, the only thing that helps restore order is watching adorable animal videos. This might explain the popularity of the National Zoo’s Panda Cam but it’s also present in the Environmental Film Festival’s programming this year. Beginning tonight, the annual celebration of the natural world features films about, among other things, a dog who protects penguins from invasive foxes, Asiatic lion cubs, and the life of Atlantic puffins. The diverse lineup isn’t limited to fuzzy creature features, however; urban planning nerds can learn about the development of Reston, Va., and food snobs can discover how environmental changes affect the creation of products like collard greens and sake. Even local changemakers are profiled in City of Trees, a feature-length look at a stimulus-funded job training program that hired unemployed citizens to plant trees and improve parks east of the Anacostia River. Consider how your life intersects with the environment at any number of these screenings, many of which show for free. The festival runs March 15 to March 26 at various venues around D.C. Free–$30. (202) 342-2564. dceff.org.

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