January 2007 Watershed Highlight

Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival

January 12 – 14, 2007, Nevada City, CA

There’s no doubt that the Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival is one of Northern California's premier events.  Founded 5 years ago by Janet Cohen and Kathy Dotson of the South Yuba River Citizen’s League (SYRCL), the vision was to use film to inspire activism on behalf of the environment and encourage stewardship of the planet.  Five years later it’s become the largest festival of its kind in the United States.

The Film Festival’s popularity and credibility have soared since the first year, when it screened 20 films. This year the Festival will screen more than 110 films, including 32 premieres, and will most likely top last year’s attendance of 4,000 people. In addition, Nevada City’s top art galleries, restaurants and stores will host chats with filmmakers and receptions where attendees can meet world-class environmentalists to discuss issues, swap ideas, and get inspired to create a better world. Christopher Beaver who showed his film Tales of the San Joaquin at the 2006 festival says, "The Wild and Scenic Film Festival is the next Sundance".

Cohen and Dotson have expanded the Festival’s offering this year to include more seats, more venues, more receptions, and some very hip t-shirts.  They advise that if you’re interested in going, buy your tickets early, either online at www.wseff.org, or by phone at 530-265-5961 or go to SYRCL’s headquarters located at 216 Main Street in Nevada City to buy tickets in person.  The Festival program is available on-line at www.wseff.org and at various locations around Nevada City and at the SYRCL office.  Proceeds from the festival are used to preserve, protect and restore the Yuba Watershed. The event has sold out in all previous years and is predicted to do the same this year.

“This year we are showing high-impact films that chronicle explorers and pioneers who take great risks to tell truths that need to be told”, says Janet Cohen, the Festival’s coordinator.  “It’s inspiring to see ordinary people doing extraordinary things to protect our planet. We’re particularly pleased to run a series of films featuring the famed Goldman Environmental Prize winners--brave people from all around the world, many of whom risk their lives on a daily basis to save the places they treasure,” says Cohen.
“Our theme, ‘Truth, Hope, Action’ sets the tone for the Festival this year.  We selected films that not only expose environmental problems and issues, but also offer inspiration and hope for the audience.  That’s really what we’re after: inspiring and encouraging further environmental activism” says Kathy Dotson, Director of the Wild and Scenic Film Festival.
Other film and festival highlights include:

  • The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil about the fascinating and little-known story of Cuba and its emergency transition to local organic agriculture, renewable energy, and large-scale mass transit after the Soviet collapse in 1990. The country’s experience serves as a model for how the rest of the world can respond to the coming world oil production peak.
  • Birdsong & Coffee: A Wake Up Call, we learn about how important it is to think before we buy. Even the choices we make for our daily cup of coffee effects farmers and ecosystems globally.
  • Children’s environmentally-focused fun films on Saturday morning.
  • Ocean explorer Jon Bowermaster and his two new films: Borderland and Birthplace of the Wind
  • Willie Kern, world famous paddler and one of Outside Magazine’s “Top 100 People, Places or Things to be Excited About Right Now” will be at the festival talking about his adventures around the world.
  • Writer, radio host, and authority on "peak oil", Thom Hartmann. He is author of The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight
  • Channel G, shares a variety of short documentaries highlighting the important work of non-profit organizations around the world such as the Planetary Reef Foundation and the Buffalo Field Campaign. 
  • The Activism Center will feature booths, literature, workshops and guest speakers from the various campaigns featured in our films throughout the weekend at Nevada City’s City Hall.
  • 12 art shows, wine stroll throughout town, opportunities to meet filmmakers, VIP party, music by local musicians and Tuck and Patti—world famous folk duo.

You never know who you might bump into at the Festival.  Actress Daryl Hannah and Charris Ford, bio-diesel activists and former attendees at the Festival say they “…fell in love with the Wild and Scenic Film Festival! How refreshing to be part of an event that not only entertains but actually inspires participants to make this world a better place!"  Keep checking the website www.wseff.org for the latest news about this exciting Northern California event and don’t forget to buy your tickets early.

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