The Wild and Scenic Film Festival on Tour, hosted by Coastal Rivers Conservation Trust, returns to Damariscotta at 7 p.m. on March 2 at the Lincoln Theater with a curated selection of the festival’s 2020 films. Now in its 17th 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 nine short films to be screened on March 2 include “The Guardian Elephant Warriors of Reteti,” which documents the work of Reteti Elephant Sanctuary, the first ever community-owned and run elephant sanctuary in Africa. This oasis where orphans grow up, learning to be wild so that one day they can rejoin their herds, is as much about the people as it is about elephants. It's a powerful story about the changing relationship between people and the animals they are protecting.
“In Celebration of Open Space” was produced right here in Maine. Schoodic Institute at Acadia National Park pursues collaborative solutions to critical environmental problems through discovery and learning. In 2018, the institute worked with organizations and volunteers from Maine, the United States, and more than 19 different countries to enhance our understanding of the land and seascapes of Acadia National Park and surrounding areas. After volunteers spent time outside walking, observing, and recording data, they were asked: what does open space mean to you?
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, Klean Kanteen, EarthJustice, Sierra Nevada Brewing Company, and Hipcamp, the festival can reach an even larger audience.
The event is a natural extension of Coastal Rivers’ work to inspire people to act on behalf of the environment. Formerly Damariscotta River Association and Pemaquid Watershed Association, Coastal Rivers is a non-profit, membership supported, and nationally accredited land trust and conservation organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the natural, cultural, and historical heritage of the greater Pemaquid peninsula and Damariscotta River region.
Coastal Rivers has active programs in the areas of land conservation, stewardship, community education, water quality monitoring, marine conservation and cultural preservation.
The Lincoln Theater is at 2 Theater St. in Damariscotta. Tickets are $10, $5 for kids 16 and under, and free for Coastal Rivers members, and may be reserved online at www.coastalrivers.org/events
New this year, Oysterhead Pizza Co. will offer beer, wine and pizza for sale, and Rising Tide Co-op is once again providing a complimentary dessert and coffee bar.