Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Environmental Film Festival Comes to the Coast This Fall

Franklin County will host the nationally acclaimed Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival On Tour August 29 - September 5 in Carrabelle, Apalachicola, St. George Island, St. Teresa and neighboring Wewahitchka in Gulf County. Organized by the Apalachicola Riverkeeper Group, the week-long film festival will feature award-winning films and a children's program designed to raise awareness about environmental issues nationwide.

The films will be shown in the historic Dixie Theatre in Apalachicola, the Carrabelle City Auditorium, FSU's Coastal and Marine Laboratory in St. Teresa, the Volunteer Fire Department on St. George Island and the Tupelo Theater in Wewahitchka.

The 2010 Film Festival will be the second year such an event has come to North Florida. Last year, the Riverkeepers hosted a similar successful one day festival in Tallahassee. According to Riverkeeper Executive Director Andy Smith, the event's success in Tallahassee was the motivation to expand the film festival to the coast.

"Last year we hosted a one-day Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival On Tour in Tallahassee," says Smith. "Everyone loved the films for their inspirational, innovative, effective, and often humorous approach to stubborn problems. They make you feel good about what we can do to make our world a better place for everyone."

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival brings together a selection of films from the annual festival held the second week of January in Nevada City, California. "The films tell a story about our planet, highlighting issues, providing solutions and giving a call to action," says Tour Manager, Susie Sutphin. "Their collective energy empowers communities to initiate conversations that can bring about compromise and collaborative efforts that positively impact our wild places." The Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival was started by the watershed advocacy group, the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) in 2003. SYRCL is sharing their success as an environmental group with others organizations to bring the festival to over 90 communities nationwide. It is building a network of grassroots organizations connected by a common goal of using film to inspire conservation. The festival's namesake is in celebration of achieving Wild & Scenic status for 39 miles of the South Yuba River in 1999.

Some of the films scheduled include:

Water Front - 22 minutes, Liz Miller, Curtis Smith - What if you lived by the largest body of fresh water in the world but could no longer afford to use it? Residents of Highland Park, Michigan, known as the birthplace of the auto-industry, have received water bills as high as $10,000; they have had their water turned off, their homes foreclosed, and are struggling to keep water, a basic human right, from becoming privatized. The story touches on the very essence of our democratic system and is an unnerving indication of what is in store for residents around the world facing their own water struggles. Best of Fest, Hazel Wolf Environmental FF.

Once upon a Tide - 9:15 minutes, Kathleen Frith, Mark Shelley, Drew Takahashi - A spell has been cast causing people to forget about the ocean and its importance to our lives. But with a young girl, we embark on a fantastic journey, where orcas swim through corn fields, scientists talk in rhyme, and the audience, discover how the ocean touches all parts of our Earth and nurtures our existence. Best of Show, Santa Barbara Ocean FF. Animation.

Papa Tortuga - 20 minutes, Rob and Elise Wilson - Fernando shows that one person CAN make a difference. His efforts in Tecolutla, Vera Cruz, Mexico, have helped to save the endangered Lora Sea Turtles from extinction. Best of Show, SF Ocean FF.

Gorilla in the Greenhouse: Great Pacific Garbage Patch - 8 minutes, Jay Golden, Eli Noyes, Ralph Guggenheim- Follow four kids and a green gorilla as they overcome a demented plot by Dr. Morlon Hufflebot to create an island of plastic bags in the Pacific Ocean. Animation.

"The Apalachicola ecosystem is one of the most amazing places on the planet to live and work," says Smith. "The Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival On Tour will provide a refreshing look at what folks in other part of our nation and world face and solve in their efforts to create sustainable ecological and economic environments."

The Apalachicola Riverkeepers Group was formed in 1999 as an environmental citizen's advocacy organization. This year, the group is celebrating its 10th anniversary. Since 1999, the group has worked with concerned citizens to protect the Apalachicola ecosystem and the livelihood of people who depend on it for a living. The group uses persistent advocacy to attack tough problems like the environmentally destructive dredging of the middle reaches of the river and ecologically unsustainable development. The Apalachicola Riverkeeper collaborates with diverse groups to design and implement river and shoreline restoration projects, put on educational programs like the Franklin County Seahawk - Art for the Sky, and an annual Franklin County coastal cleanup.

The Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival On Tour is sponsored, in part, by the Franklin County Tourist Development Council and national sponsors such as Patagonia, Clif Bar, Osprey Packs, Sierra Nevada Brewing and Tom's of Maine. Local and regional sponsors include Trail and Ski, The Wilderness Way, Theriaque Vorbeck & Spain, the Real Estate Conservation Group, Apalachicola Bay Chamber, Carrabelle Waterfront Partnership, Carrabelle CARES, St. George Island Civic Club, Tupelo Theater, and the FSU Coastal and Marine Laboratory.

Film Festival Schedule

Saturday, August 29, Carrabelle City Auditorium
1001 Grey Avenue, Carrabelle
Children's Program at 5:00 p.m. ET
Adults $10, Children Free
Wine and Cheese Reception at 6:30 p.m. ET
General Audience Program I at 7:00 p.m. ET
Adults $10, Children $5

Wednesday, September 2, St. George Island Volunteer Fire Department
324 E Pine Avenue, St. George Island
Children's Program 5:00 p.m. ET
Adults $10, Children Free
Wine and Cheese Reception at 6:30 p.m. ET
General Audience Program II at 7:00 p.m. ET

Thursday, September 3, Tupelo Theater
136 Highway 22, Wewahitchka
Wine and Cheese Reception at 6:00 p.m. CDT
General Audience Program I at 7:00 p.m. CDT
$10 Adults, $5 Children
Friday, September 4, FSU Coastal and Marine Laboratory
3618 US Highway 98, St. Teresa
Wine and Cheese Reception at 6:00 p.m. EDT
General Audience Program II at 7:00 p.m. EDT
$10 Adults, $5 Children

Saturday, September 5, Dixie Theater
21 Avenue E, Apalachicola
Children's Program at 3:00 p.m. EDT
Tickets $10 Adults, Children Free
General Audience Program II at 5:00 p.m. EDT
Wine and Cheese Reception 6:30 p.m.
General Audience Program III at 7:00 p.m. EDT
General Audience Programs $10 Adults, $5 Children

Tickets for all film venues may be purchased at the Apalachicola Riverkeeper office at 232-B Water Street or by calling: 850-653-8936. Tickets may also be purchased at the door or online at Seating is limited so advanced purchase is recommended.
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