10th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival a Huge Success

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John Trudell at the 20th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Nevada City, January 17, 2012 –The South Yuba River Citizens League’s (SYRCL) 10th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival took place over this past weekend.  5,000 tickets for more than 10 film and music events were sold, packing Nevada City with more than 4,000 people over three days.  In addition to events that required a ticket, the many activities free to the public were also well attended, such as the dam removal celebration and the activist workshops.

“The festival’s goals to inspire activism, support SYRCL’s year round work to protect the Yuba River watershed and support the local economy in a traditionally slow time of year, were fully realized,” stated Melinda Booth, Director of Development and Wild & Scenic Events.

The festival kicked off early on Friday morning with a school program in Grass Valley at the Del Oro Theater.  1,300 youth in grades k-12 attended this sold out educational opportunity.  Then, starting Friday evening, the festival began screening 118 films at seven venues in Nevada City and one in Grass Valley—for the first time, Grass Valley was included in the list of venues; on Saturday night, Amy Goodman spoke and the film Schooling the World was shown at the Veterans Hall.  Comments from festival-goers throughout the weekend were positive—they loved the films, the music, the street performances, parades and, most of all, the ability to get involved.  The Wild & Scenic Festival tagline, “where activism gets inspired” was true to its words and opportunities for folks to take action were abundant.  SYRCL promoted its Save Our Yuba State Parks campaign and other activist organizations were on hand to collect signatures and promote their cause.

More than 600 volunteers joined SYRCL to present this film festival.  Help was needed for all aspects of the festival—to sell tickets, emcee the films, provide lodging to filmmakers, handle the audio/visual needs—just to name a few.

The hotels were fully booked for the weekend and Erin Thiem, owner of The Outside Inn, said “as it stands now the Outside Inn is 75% booked for next year’s festival, for MLK weekend.”  Shops and restaurants were also supportive of the event and packed throughout the festival. Alesia Sampson, Sales Associate at Scotch Broom said, “we were pleased to support Wild & Scenic with a custom film festival window display and the 2012 film festival brought lots of people and increased sales to our store.”

Filmmakers and guests from out of the area commented on what a wonderful town Nevada City is and what an amazing community it boasts.  “In addition to being an environmental call to action and an opportunity to showcase historic Nevada City, we’re so pleased that the Film Festival is such an economic driver that supports our friends in the business community, too,” said Caleb Dardick, Executive Director of SYRCL.

The Award Ceremony on Saturday afternoon was packed and all but one award was announced.  The People’s Choice Award wasn’t tallied until the end of the session on Sunday and that winner was announced at the Nevada Theatre’s Sunday Night Movie Series—that evening a selection of the award winners was screened as a benefit for SYRCL.  The winners are:

Best of Festival

Into Eternity

Spirit of Activism
The Naked Option

Most Inspiring Adventure Film


Jury Awards

You’ve Been Trumped
We Still Live Here

Best Short Short
The Story of Broke

Student Filmmaker Award

Roots & Hollers

John de Graaf Environmental Filmmaking Award
Mill Valley Film Group, The New Environmentalists

People’s Choice Award
Rock the Boat

Honorable Mentions

Food Stamped

Liter of Light

Chasing Water

Best Children’s Film (Decided by our Kids’ Jury)
Origins: Obe and Ashima

Honorable Mentions for Best Children’s Film
The Shark Riddle

Animal Beatbox

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