NEVADA CITY, Calif. — For 10 years, this small town known for its gold mining history has hosted the largest environmental film festival in the nation. Founded by the South Yuba River Citizen’s League (SYRCL), a grass roots organization that sprung up to protect the river from a dam project, the Wild and Scenic Film festival brings together national activists, outdoor sports champions, and film makers with a vision of inspiring others.
Festival organizers report last year 4,000 people swamped the small town, and celebrities such as Daryl Hannah and Sir Patrick Stewart have attended. This year two National Geographic explorers, Zeb Hogan and Andy Maser will be special guests, along with Democracy Now journalist Amy Goodman and Native poet John Trudell. Other guests include John DeGraaf (environmental filmmaker and director of the Happiness Project), river activist Marion Stoddart, Estella Leopold of the Leopold Foundation, and Hans Florine long-time speed climbing world record holder.
The Festival is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, with a town-wide art exhibit, street performances, 10 venues with morning to evening happenings. The festival will show 117 films with 28 premiers, in 10 locations as varied as the films. The historic, rambling Miners Foundry and quaint Nevada Theater show films, with every other walkable venue opening its doors to visitors. Workshops to inspire and teach occur in the City Hall. A children’s parade with hundreds of little salmon, raising awareness of SYRCL’s campaign to restore the salmon to the Yuba watershed is also planned.
For tickets and information go to www.wildandscenicfilmfestival.org/.