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Wild & Scenic® Film Festival highlights

Wild & Scenic® Film Festival Kicks Off January 14-16, 2011

This January, SYRCL’s (South Yuba River Citizens League) 9th Annual Wild & Scenic® Film Festival returns with another incredible selection of films to change your world. Each year, the Wild & Scenic® Film Festival draws top filmmakers, celebrities, leading activists, social innovators and well-known world adventurers to the historic downtown of Nevada City, California.

Considered the largest film festival of its kind, this year’s films combine stellar filmmaking, beautiful cinematography and first-rate storytelling to inform, inspire and ignite solutions and possibilities to restore the earth and human communities while creating a positive future for the next generation. Festival-goers can expect to see Award-winning films about nature, community activism, adventure, conservation, water, energy and climate change, wildlife, environmental justice, agriculture, and Native American and indigenous cultures.

This year’s selections will not only take audiences to some of the most remote and beautiful places on the planet, but introduce them to the magnificent animals that inhabit these places and the courageous individuals who are working to protect and preserve both for future generations. This year’s films instill a deep appreciation and a sense of wonder for the natural world that surrounds and supports us.

Some of the standout films confirmed thus far include 180° South directed by Chris Malloy (the eldest brother of the professional surfing and filmmaking Malloy Brothers), which follows adventurer Jeff Johnson as he retraces the epic 1968 journey of his heroes Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins to Patagonia. Queen of the Sun is a beautiful film with remarkable nature cinematography about the global honeybee crisis. The documentary Waste Land follows renowned artist Vik Muniz to the world’s largest landfill on the outskirts of Rio de Janerio. Directed by Lucy Walker the film offers an incredible story about the transformative power of art and the power of the human spirit. In Felt Soul’s Eastern Rises fishing is poetry; Bigfoot lurks in the fog; and fishermen risk life and limb in decommissioned Cold War helicopters to explore rivers in the Russian Far East that have never been fished before.

In addition to these empowering and for some, life-changing films, the Wild and Scenic® Film Festival hosts many of the top filmmakers in environmental and adventure filmmaking today. Such luminaries include Sir Patrick Stewart, Peter Coyote, Daryl Hannah, Ron Kauk, Colin Beavan, Julia Butterfly Hill, and Jeremy Jones. Last year, over fifty filmmakers and activists traveled from around the globe to speak to festival-goers following their respective films and in workshops held in the festival’s two activists centers.

This year’s special guests include Pulitzer Prize–winning poet Gary Snyder. Frequently described as the “poet laureate of Deep Ecology”, Snyder is a founding intellect, essayist and leader of the new environmental awareness that supports legislation and preservation without losing sight of direct wild experience - local people, animals, plants, watersheds and food sources. Practice of the Wild, a film about Snyder that features vintage footage and a current and in depth conversation between he and fellow poet and novelist Jim Harrison, will be one of this year’s festival features. Following the film, Snyder along with Randy Hayes, founder of the Rainforest Action Network, will lead a conversation on environmental activism and take questions from the audience.

Also attending this year are filmmakers, professional kayakers, and National Geographic Young Explore grantees Andy Maser and Trip Jennings who will be screening their film Spoil, and Maser will also share The Greatest Migration. Returning to the film festival are award-winning journalist, author, filmmaker and National Geographic adventurer Jon Bowermaster and Global Exchange’s co-founder Kevin Danaher. Every year the Wild & Scenic is visited by the Brower Youth Award-winners.

Meet many of the filmmakers and activists in the Wild & Scenic® Media Lounge hosted by See Jane Do, a multi-media program on Award-winning community radio station KVMR 89.5FM. The Media Lounge is THE place for up-to-date information, photos, videos and exclusive interviews with guest filmmakers, activists, and festival organizers. Filmmakers, members of the press, and festival-goers are all invited to enjoy free wi-fi and a comfortable setting to meet, connect, and network, plus check email, write a quick blog, upload photos, Tweet and more.

Festival-goers can also enjoy children's Saturday morning cartoons, art shows, wine strolls, VIP parties, live music and more at this year’s Wild & Scenic® Film Festival.

Judging this year’s distinguished group of entries is an equally impressive lineup of jury members is lead by film critic and journalist Chuck Jaffee and includes renowned filmmakers Steve Michelson, Doug Bertran and Deborah Koons Garcia; social activists Dr. Kevin Danaher co-founder of Global Exchange and Randy Hayes founder of Rainforest Action Network; casting director for Columbia/TriStar Pictures and independent producer Steve Shor; former SYRCL board member Alison Jones-Pomatto and founding member of SYRCL and founder of Yubadocs Urgent Care, Dr. Roger Hicks.

Tickets for the 9th Annual Wild & Scenic® film festival go on sale the first week of December. For this year's festival trailer and more information go to www.wildandscenicfilmfestival.org. For press credentials, screen shots, photos, more information on the festival or for a full list of attending filmmakers, activists and special guests please contact Jesse Locks.

About South Yuba River Citizens League: SYRCL (pronounced “circle”) is the leading voice for the protection and restoration of the Yuba River and the Greater Yuba Watershed. Founded in 1983 through a rural, grassroots campaign to defend the South Yuba River from proposed hydropower dams, SYRCL has developed into a vibrant community organization with over 3,500 members and volunteers based in Nevada City, CA. SYRCL is the leading regional advocates for creating resilient human and natural communities throughout the greater Yuba River basin by restoring creeks & rivers, regenerating wild salmon populations, and inspiring & organizing people—from the Yuba’s source to the sea—to join in our movement for a more wild & scenic Yuba River. For more information go to www.yubariver.org

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Chatelin Bruno
(Filmfestivals.com)

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