An annual benefit for the Santa Fe Watershed Association, the Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour inspires environmental activism and a love for nature through film. Wild & Scenic shares an urgent call to action, encouraging festivalgoers to learn more about what they can do to save our threatened planet, and to take action. Watch the 2020 festival trailer!
SFWA’s 2020 call to action as part of the Wild and Scenic Film Festival was to send a message to your local lawmakers urging them to increase the amount of water released to the Santa Fe River as part of the Living River Ordinance.
Investing in the Santa Fe River and Watershed has a track record of creating a healthy river system and directly brings benefit to our community. Boosting measures to sustain a living river is highly desirable. A flowing, meandering, tree-lined stream is a greenway which all of us can enjoy. A living river recharges the underground aquifer which becomes our primary source of water during droughts. There are also benefits for plants and wildlife, which in turn enriches our quality of life and creates a better future. Let’s make our voices heard together!
2020 Festival Information
May 26 – June 7
In a year when the big summer festivals and performances in Santa Fe cancelled or went virtual, the Wild & Scenic Film Festival organization gave us a way to hold our festival online.
A livestream event launched the first 6 environmental short documentaries of the festival with brief talks. Four films addressed issues relevant to our own, and neighboring, watersheds: drought and its mitigation through aquifer recharge and recovery, prescribed burning for forest health and hard rock mining which is threatened in the neighboring Upper Pecos River Watershed. The last two films were a call to action to protect our natural surroundings. There was a live chat where the audience could interact with local experts.
The second half was video-on-demand. These 6 films addressed national and global issues including drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, melting of polar ice sheets, bird migration, zero trash lifestyle and coral reef restoration. The message of these films is when we burn fossil fuels, disrupt wildlife migration or discard plastic waste it has national and global impact, however there are ways to live in greater harmony with our surroundings.
The aim of the festival is to engage, inform, and inspire action for the environment. Practical pointers were offered on how to oppose the Tererro mine, to advocate for more water in the living river, and to produce less trash.
Check out the Santa Fe New Mexican’s coverage here!
First Half: Program
Concerned central to Santa Fe’s, and neighboring, watersheds including drought mitigation, forests & mining
The Shepherdess – Katie Falkenberg. 6min. A Navajo shepherdess perseveres despite extreme drought in this poetic short film about a rapidly vanishing way of life. “We didn’t even go up the mountain because there’s no water,” she recounts. “Hardships are just lessons and challenges in life and you just can’t dwell on it, you have to live through it.”
Sonora Rising – Sinjin Eberle, American Rivers. 11min. Water and wheat have been foundations of life for millennia across the American Southwest. Explore three Tucson visionaries who are creating and growing the circular economy of water in the arid Sonoran desert. Watch the trailer for Sonora Rising!
Into the Black – Kenzie Greer. 20min. Human ignited ‘prescribed burns,’ are an essential technique to mimic natural processes that maintain and restore critical habitats. With extensive efforts to restore large areas of native habitats, partnerships are critical to provide the capacity necessary to implement fire on the scale needed.
Too Precious to Mine – Justin Clifton. 10min. The Havasupai have lived at the bottom of the Grand Canyon for centuries. But now, uranium mining on the canyon’s rims is putting the tribe’s drinking water and its way of life at risk. What would you do to protect your home from uranium contamination?
Space to Explore – Katherine DuBois. 14min. Natalie Panek is an aerospace engineer, a pilot, an influencer, an avid explorer. On an outdoor adventure to the Mars-like terrain of Moab, Utah she searches with her friend to reconcile life’s stumbles, redirections, and challenges. Watch the trailer for Space to Explore!
A Letter to Congress – Chris Newman, Amani King, Dalia Burde. 3min. Wallace Stegner’s 1960 letter to Congress about the importance of wilderness is the framework for a new message, one in which our unified voice can help prevent the transfer of our most valuable heritage— our public lands— to private and corporate interests.
Second Half: Program
Drilling in the Arctic and zero trash: global connections and messages of hope
Where Life Begins – Katie Schuler, Coral & Oak Studios, The Wilderness Society. 10min. Along the Arctic Coast, at the northmost point on American soil, we explore the importance of protecting the place Where Life Begins. Watch the trailer for Where Life Begins!
Colors of Change – Jenny Nichols. 19min. Experience Greenland through the eyes of Artist Zaria Forman, NASA scientist John Sonntag, and Inuit Elder as art, culture, and science collide in a region defined by climate change. Watch the trailer for Colors of Change!
Nature Now – Gripping Films Production, Tom Mustill. 4min. Made with no flights, recycled footage, and zero net carbon. Given away for free. Viewed 53 million times, played to the United Nations. This film is a personal and passionate call to arms from Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot to use nature to heal our broken climate.
Fight for Flight – Jason Whalen, Chris Zuker. 16min. Each year, millions of birds migrate through the Great Lakes. The Fight for Flight highlights this natural phenomenon and the stories of people who interact with these birds. As technology progresses, we are learning more about our impact during migration. The film shows the research, rehabilitation, and conservation involved in understanding and protecting this epic journey.
Our Last Trash – Joanne Yue, Aashka Pandya, Sabine Hrkalovich, Jinuk Lee, Santiago Sanchez, Clarissa Requiestas. 20min. The film highlights the current global recycling crisis and explores the meaning of a “zero waste” lifestyle. Some individuals are combating this plastic issue one reusable item at a time.
Spawning Hope – Roshan Patel. 10min. Spawning Hope follows a team of scientists as they attempt to introduce coral DNA to new populations of elkhorn coral. If this technique works, it could have lasting impacts on how conservationists are able to protect and restore endangered corals from near extinction.