What is your film festival’s mission?
SYRCL’s Wild & Scenic® Film Festival inspires people and unites communities to heal the earth.
SYRCL’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival is a call to action. At Wild & Scenic, film-goers are transformed into a congregation of committed activists, dedicated to saving our increasingly threatened planet. We show environmental and adventure films that illustrate the Earth’s beauty, the challenges facing our planet and the work communities are doing to protect the environment. Through these films, Wild & Scenic both informs people about the state of the world and inspires them to take action.
Wild & Scenic raises resources and awareness for SYRCL’s initiatives to recover California’s wild salmon and to protect and restore the Yuba River. In addition, SYRCL’s Film Festival On Tour serves as a national platform for local environmental advocacy.
What is something people look forward to every year at your film festival?
Each year, the Wild & Scenic Film Festival draws top filmmakers, celebrities, leading activists, social innovators and well-known world adventurers to the historic downtown areas of Nevada City and Grass Valley, California.
Considered one of the nation’s premiere environmental and adventure film festivals, each year’s selections 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, Native American and indigenous cultures.
What do you want audiences to take away from your film festival?
Official film selections not only take audiences to some of the most remote and beautiful places on the planet, but instill a deep appreciation and a sense of wonder for the natural world that surrounds and supports us. We want our audience to leave inspired to take action on a cause they support.
How long has your film festival been around?
January 2016 will be our 14th annual film festival.
How did your film festival come into being?
The South Yuba River Citizens League, affectionately referred to as SYRCL, is a nonprofit river conservation organization located in Nevada City, CA in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains that was started in 1983. SYRCL started the Wild & Scenic Film Festival in 2003 as a fundraiser. The event was named after the 16 year-long, and ultimately successful fight, to secure Wild & Scenic status for 39 miles of the South Yuba River, forever protecting it from the threat of dams. The event grew from two nights and a dozen films to a five day event consisting of nine venues concurrently screening more than 100 environmental and adventure films while also promoting art, music, activist workshops, special guests, and overwhelming community involvement and support.
The Wild & Scenic Film Festival is first and foremost a call to action. At Wild and Scenic, filmgoers are transformed into a congregation of committed activists, dedicated to saving our increasingly threatened planet. We take great care to choose films that illustrate the Earth’s beauty, the challenges facing our planet, and the work that individuals and communities are doing to protect the environment. Through these films, the Festival both informs people about the state of the world and inspires them to take action. At the same time, we are raising resources and awareness for SYRCL’s own initiatives to protect and restore the Yuba River and to recover the Yuba’s wild salmon, one of the last strongholds of wild, self-sustaining salmon and steelhead runs in the whole of California’s Central Valley.
Anything else you’d like to tell the audience about your festival?
Did you know Wild & Scenic tours the globe?! One year after the inaugural festival in 2003, environmental groups started asking SYRCL to bring the festival to their community. Years later, Wild & Scenic’s On Tour program continues to develop as an effective tool for bringing communities together around local and global issues in a setting where environmental groups are able to help new activists take action. Whether depicting the struggle for environmental justice or an educational tale about an endangered species, the films expose people to forward-thinking ideas and global awareness. We want the Wild & Scenic Film Festival to be as big as success for other communities and organizations as it has been for our own and in doing so, inspire more individuals to take environmental action.
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