Damariscotta River Association

Wild and Scenic Film Festival finds inspiration in the natural world

Fri, 02/01/2019 - 7:45am

The Wild and Scenic Film Festival on Tour, hosted by Damariscotta River Association (DRA) and Pemaquid Watershed Association (PWA), returns to Damariscotta at 7 p.m. on March 4 at Lincoln Theater with a curated selection of the festival’s 2019 films. New this year, guests can enjoy a dessert and coffee bar compliments of Rising Tide Co-op.

While admission to the film festival is free, tickets are required and may be reserved online at www.damariscottariver.org/events.

Now in its 16th year, the Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Tour is a selection of short films from the annual festival held the third week of January in Nevada City, California. The films speak to environmental concerns, outdoor adventure, and finding connection to nature.

The eight films to be screened on March 4 include “Confluir,” which documents a month-long expedition of scientists and river experts down the extraordinary Río Marañón in South America. The crew navigates intricate whitewater as well as the environmental and social issues created by 20 proposed dam projects on the principle tributary of the Amazon, connecting with passionate local communities as they go.

“Treeline” takes us to the enshrined cypress groves of Japan, the towering red cedars of British Columbia, and the ancient bristlecones of Nevada, following skiers, snowboarders, scientists, and healers as they explore a connection older than humanity. “A New View of the Moon” invites viewers to become reacquainted with awe alongside strangers in Los Angeles interacting with a telescope trained on the moon. Other films highlight topics in land conservation, habitat restoration, wildlife, activism, and more.

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival was started by the watershed advocacy group, the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) in California in 2003. The festival’s namesake is in celebration of SYRCL’s landmark victory to receive “Wild & Scenic” status for 39 miles of the South Yuba River in 1999.

The five-day event in Nevada City features over 150 award-winning films and welcomes over 100 guest speakers, celebrities, and activists who bring a human face to the environmental movement. The home festival kicks-off the international tour to over 200 communities around the globe, allowing SYRCL to share their success as an environmental group with other organizations.

The festival is building a network of grassroots organizations connected by a common goal of using film to inspire activism. With the support of Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Tour’s National Partners, Peak Design, CLIF Bar, EarthJustice, Klean Kanteen, and Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, the festival can reach an even larger audience.

The event is a natural extension of DRA and PWA’s work to inspire people to act on behalf of the environment. A non-profit, membership supported, and nationally accredited land trust and conservation organization, DRA is dedicated to preserving and promoting the natural, cultural, and historical heritage of the Damariscotta region, centered on the Damariscotta River. PWA’s mission is to conserve the natural resources of the Pemaquid Peninsula region through land and water stewardship and education. DRA and PWA are in the process of unifying to form a single organization.

The two organizations have active programs in the areas of land conservation, stewardship, community education, water quality monitoring, marine conservation and cultural preservation.

Visitors are welcome at the Great Salt Bay Heritage Center in Damariscotta as well as the many other DRA and PWA properties throughout the region. For more information call (207) 563-1393, email dra@damariscottariver.org, or visit online at www.damariscottariver.org or www.pemaquidwatershed.org.