The Wild and Scenic Film Festival returns to Summit County from 7-9:30 tonight at the Speakeasy Theater in Breckenridge. The sold out event features 13 movies and a fundraiser, which benefits the High Country Conservation Center.
Created in 2003, the festival features more than 100 award-winning films over three days in Nevada City, Calif., before touring to more than 100 communities nationwide. Summit County first hosted the event in 2008. This year HC3 teamed up with Patagonia to organize the festival.
Besides serving as a fundraiser, the event aims to raise awareness of environmental topics such as plastic bag pollution, renewable energy solutions, water conservation and sustainable food production.
"I selected a variety of films that touched upon both global and local environmental issues. ...While most of the films have an environmental message, a few films feature the mountain lifestyle and others are quite humorous," said Jennifer Schenk, executive director for HC3.
"Save the Farm" is one of the festival's highlights and features Hollywood stars such as Daryl Hannah and Alicia Silverstone. The film documents the 11-hour tree sit protest staged by activists and celebrities to avoid the eviction of organic farmers in South Central Los Angeles.
"'Save the Farm' exemplifies the struggles of many communities to produce locally grown food," Schenk said. "In Summit County, we are fortunate to have supportive organizations like High Country Conservation Center, local governments and other partners that are committed to community gardens and sustainable food."
Another festival's anchor, "Chasing Water" takes you on a journey through 1,500 miles of the Colorado River. Directed by National Geographic photojournalist Pete McBride - who grew up on a ranch in western Colorado - the film explores an endangered major water source that supports more than 30 million people.
In the middle of the current debate on reducing plastic bags in Breckenridge, "Majestic Plastic Bag" might help add arguments to this discussion. The film is a "mockumentary" showing the lifecycle of the plastic bag.
"The Grid" features a German community that purchases its local power grid from a utility company, allowing the community to utilize other types of renewable energy and avoid nuclear power; "Willem and the Whale" portraits a unique view on whale hunting through the eyes of a child; "The Fishman" showcases the story of Montana local Mike Kasic, who swims the frigid Yellowstone River for fun and in support of the river's native endangered cutthroat trout.