IF YOU'RE looking for a way to enjoy the fall foliage and take in a few good movies, the perfect combination can be found in Shepherdstown, W.Va., this weekend at the American Conservation Film Festival.
The annual compendium of films relating to the natural world, now in its third year, is at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Conservation Training Center, an attractive compound of stone and timber buildings nestled in rolling hills, as well as various locations in and around Shepherdstown.
The festival makes for a terrific road trip, and this year's movie offerings represent some of the best documentaries to come out in recent years, including "The Future of Food," Deborah Koons Garcia's examination of genetic engineering; "Grizzly Man," Werner Herzog's lyrical and absorbing portrait of an idealistic, if misguided, environmental activist; and "In the Blood," George Butler's provocative chronicle of his own son's initiation into the world of big game hunting in Africa. There's much more on tap, including films about the preservation of American bison, the history of the U.S. Forest Service and a children's program anchored by a collection of short films by the wonderful animator Nick Hilligoss.
The free festival continues through Saturday night. For information, call 304-876-7373 or visit www.conservationfilm.org.
Peace Corps Film Fest
A group of former Peace Corps volunteers has organized a festival of films by alumni of the organization. The Returned Peace Corps Volunteers Film Festival kicks off Friday at 4:30 with a 10-minute clip of John F. Kennedy speaking to a group of Peace Corps volunteers in 1962. Other films include a documentary about child trafficking in Thailand; films about life in Mongolia and Nepal; the chronicle of a group of volunteers returning to Morocco in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks; and a documentary about the relationship between three highly successful Indian Americans and the country of their heritage.
The festival continues through Saturday at 9:30. All screenings are at 1725 I St. NW. Admission is free (there is a suggested donation of $5). For information, visit www.rpcvfilms.com.
'The Phantom' Lives Again
As part of its Millennium Stage series, the Kennedy Center will celebrate Halloween on Monday with a screening of "The Phantom of the Opera" -- the 1925 silent classic starring Lon Chaney -- accompanied by Ray Brubacher on the Kennedy Center's Filene organ.
The screening begins at 6 in the center's Concert Hall. The Kennedy Center is at 2700 F St. NW. Admission is free.
For information, call 202-467-4600 or visit www.kennedy-center.org.
-- Ann Hornaday