Friends of the Inyo will host the South Yuba River Citizens League’s (SYRCL) Wild and Scenic Film Festival in the Eastern Sierra for the sixth year in a row. This year’s venues are in Mammoth Lakes at the Edison Theatre on Nov. 30, in Bishop at the Cerro Coso Community College on Dec. 1 and in Lone Pine at the Lone Pine Film Museum on Dec. 6. All showings begin at 7 p.m. and the $10 ticket price includes raffle entry.
The Wild and Scenic Film Festival brings together two programs of beautiful, inspiring and thought-provoking movies about environmental activism and outdoor exploration ranging in length from 2 minutes to 39 minutes. One film program will screen in Mammoth Lakes, and the second film program will screen in Bishop and Lone Pine. The Eastern Sierra community is invited to enjoy food, drink and great raffle prizes.
“I can tell a lot of thought went into selecting the films,” said Lori Van Laanen, Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour Manager. “Both programs have a wonderful mix of inspiring stories, adventure, amazing cinematography, and informative films. You have good anchor films and the halves of the programs are well balanced.”
Return Flight: Restoring the Bald Eagle to the Channel Islands will be shown in all venues. Once an important avian predator in the Channel Islands, the bald eagles disappeared due to egg collecting, hunting, and DDT contamination. This short film with the spectacular backdrop of the Channel Islands National Park off the coast of Southern California shows how a dedicated team has worked for decades to bring the bald eagle back to the islands where they belong.
Mammoth’s feature film will be Miss South Pacific: Beauty and the Beast, where audiences will learn how the 2009-2010 Miss South Pacific Pageant in Suva, Fiji, addressed the theme of climate change and its impact on Pacific Island countries. The queens eloquently and passionately implore judges, spectators, and the world at large to reduce global carbon emission lest their island homes will be lost to rising seas.
Also in the Mammoth line-up is A Liter of Light, a 2-minute film that documents a foundation’s project to light up a poor neighborhood through the efforts of a local man who installs hundreds of solar-powered light bulbs, made from old plastic soda bottles filled with water and bleach, in his neighbor’s houses; A Skier’s Journey: Friends of Shames, about skiers in Northern British Columbia buying a local ski hill as a community co-operative after it ran out of money and closed; Finding Their Way, a 6-minute short about fracking in a community park; Second Nature: The Biomimicry Evolution, which follows Time magazine “Hero of the Environment” Janine Benyus as she illustrates how organisms in nature can teach us to be more sustainable engineers, chemists, architects, and business leaders – guiding us toward a vision of a planet in balance between human progress and ecosystem survival; Seasons: Winter and Eagle Among the Swarm – closing the venue with gorgeous visuals of tens of thousands of Pacific Dunlin birds during the season’s peak in Boundary Bay, British Columbia (Best Picture, Victoria Seabird Film Festival).
Bishop and Lone Pine’s centerpiece film is Marion Stoddart: The Work of 1000, which tells the inspiring lifespan story of Marion Stoddart, who takes on big business, politicians, and public skepticism to save a dying river and proved that with vision and commitment, an “ordinary” person can accomplish extraordinary things. The film documents the parallel journey of two characters: one a young woman discouraged at her future as a suburban housewife, the other a beautiful river teeming with wildlife, transformed from a hopeless, toxic sludge pit.
Also in Bishop and Lone Pine is The Craziest Idea, about the world’s biggest dam removal on Washington’s Elwha River; A Skier’s Journey: Argentina, a stunning road trip through some of Argentina’s lesser known ski locations, covering nearly 4000 kilometers down the windswept spine of the seemingly endless Andes mountain range; Weed War, about Patagonia fly fishing rep and goat rancher Mark Harbaugh and his obsession to do his part for the environment using weed-eating goats to control noxious invaders in the Rocky Mountains; Towers of the Ennedi, which follows three climbers across the roadless, windswept deserts of northeastern Chad in search of a promised land with countless unclimbed sandstone towers; The New Environmentalists: The Grid, about how German community activists responded to the Chernobyl nuclear accident by creating the country’s first cooperatively owned, renewable power company; and Dark Side of the Lens, Mickey Smith’s “visual poem” of life as an ocean based photographer among the epic oceanic grandeur of Ireland’s west coast.
The Wild & Scenic Film Festival began in 2003 by SYRCL (pronounced “circle”), one of the nation’s most successful grassroots activist groups. It began as a fundraiser and community mobilizer for the advocacy of its local watershed, the Yuba River in Nevada County, Calif. The home film festival is a three day event each January in Nevada City, and has grown to receive local, regional, and national applause for celebrating the spirit of environmental activism. For more information about the Wild & Scenic Film Festival “where activism gets inspired” please visit their website at www.wildandscenicfilmfestival.org/
Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance at The Booky Joint in Mammoth, Wilson’s Eastside Sports in Bishop, or the Lone Pine Film Museum For more information, visit www.friendsoftheinyo.org or call 760.873.6500.