South Lake Tahoe filmmaker Mikey Wier spent several weeks cruising along California’s rivers, streams and watersheds last year to capture one of the country’s most endangered fish species on camera.
He was researching — and making a documentary on — Southern California Steelhead, a variety that has dwindled in population from tens of thousands to the brink of extinction.
“They’re hanging in there,” Wier said. “They are living in areas that are highly impacted from human use and development, but against all odds these fish have managed to survive and maintain.”
A trailer for the 20-minute film, titled “Southern California Steelhead: Against All Odds,” will be shown at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Thursday. There, viewers can get a better glimpse of the documentary, which can also be found online.
Wier said the point of the movie is to educate people on what’s happening to the fish and inform the public on what can be done to save the species, as well as create healthy and functional watersheds.
While the film may be too long to show at the festival in its entirety, a different Wier film will be presented at the event in full.
“Swing North,” a 10-minute documentary that can only be viewed at certain film festivals currently, features fishing on the Eel River near California’s north coast.
Both movies were filmed early last year for the nonprofit organization California Trout, and Wier said he’s excited to see the public’s reaction to them.
“I’m looking forward to it. It’s going to be great,” he said, adding that the festival has “a bunch of great content as usual, and I’m looking forward to coming and hanging out.”
“I really don’t get to show much of my stuff in Tahoe,” he said, “so it’s great to see what people think of it.”
The ninth annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival will also feature several other movies, including documentaries filmed in Yosemite, Norway and the Aysen region of Chilean Patagonia.
On-tour manager Jenna Brager said festival-goers can expect to be energized by what they see and motivated to make a difference.
“People can expect to be inspired,” she said. “People can expect to be engage and excited (and) to be delighted by a variety of films.”