Jessilyn Dagum, Staff Writer
On Thursday, April 26, The Wild & Scenic Film Festival came to Saint Martin’s University, hosted by Saint Martin’s Biology Club. The Wild & Scenic Film Festival entailed a collection of films shown and gathered in Nevada City, Calif., during the annual festival held the third week of January. Now in its 16th year, The Wild & Scenic’s films focused on issues that speak to environmental concerns and celebrations of our planet. All proceeds from the event benefited the Saint Martin’s Biology Club to promote and fund undergraduate research conferences.
“The event originated in my home town and I’m excited to help bring it to Saint Martin’s University,” said Abigail Limov, senior biology student and President of Saint Martin’s Biology Club. The festival featured 11 films surrounding the topics of environmentalism, conservation, adventure, sustainability and appreciation for nature. “We are bringing this festival to our area to promote community involvement, preservation and increasing awareness of the many issues that are happening in our area, as well as around the world.”
This year, the Wild & Scenic Film Festival at Saint Martin’s featured films such as “Wild Olympics,” the documented journey of paddlers Adam and Susan Elliott as they kayak, fish, packraft and explore the wild rivers of the Olympic Peninsula; “Eating for Change,” a film about the Sierra Harvest and how it educates, inspires and connects families to fresh, local seasonal foods through farm to school education, training the next generation of farmers and supporting low income families in growing food at home; as well as “The New Environmentalist: Water Song,” the story of Maxima Acua, a subsistence farmer in Peru’s northern highlands, who went head to head with the giant Newmont Mining Corporation over the development of a gold and copper mine on her property.
Over the course of five days, The Wild & Scenic Film Festival in California featured over 150 award-winning films and welcomed over 100 guest speakers, celebrities, and activists who brought human faces to environmental movements. Beginning in 2003, the event was originally started by the watershed advocacy group, the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL). The festival’s namesake comes from the celebration of SYRCL’s landmark victory to receive “Wild & Scenic” status for 39 miles of the South Yuba River in 1999.