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Wild & Scenic Film Festival - 2015

Sunday, February 8th
2:00-5:00 p.m. 
The Blue Note - Columbia, MO

This was our fifth year hosting this event at The Blue Note, and it was the best yet. Despite some really beautiful weather, over 290 visitors filled the venue to screen a diverse slate of films, feast on amazing treats baked up by River Relief volunteers and raise funds for Missouri River Relief. Plus we were treated to music from Two Bit Steve, the new duo featuring local musical legends Stephen Andsager and John Galbraith.

Thanks to many silent auction donations from a long list of community members and local businesses, we raised over $5,700 for Missouri River Relief's local clean-up and education projects.

The event was hosted by Missouri River Relief and The Blue Note with support from the Alpine Shop and donations from a long list of local businesses, artists and friends (see the full list on the right). In addition, the Wild & Scenic Film Festival is supported by several National Sponsors, listed on the right. 


About the Film Festival

The Wild & Scenic traveling film festival has over 100 venues across the country showing environmental and adventure films that illustrate the Earth's beauty, the challenges facing our planet, and the work communities are doing to protect the environment.

The festival is the brainchild of the South Yuba River Citizens League from Nevada City, CA. Our selections are cherry-picked from their 3 day festival in January. 

Thanks to a grant from Patagonia and support from the Alpine Shop, Missouri River Relief was able to bring inspiring and eye-opening selections film fest to our home town!

Film Lineup

History of the 5 cent bag tax

(2 min.) - Craig Schattner, Adam Walker, Emil Superfin (USA, 2013) Our town is currently deciding if regulation is the way to deal with plastic bags unleashed on our environment. This is an over-the-top look at one town's stab at the answer. To find out more about the proposed Columbia plastic bag ban, check out the Plastic Bag Ban Group on Facebook. Watch this hilarious film here! 

Badru's Storybadru

(6 min) - Benjamin Drummond, Sara Joy Steele (USA, 2013) Each year 60 camera traps are set in the rugged forests of Bwindi Impenetrable National Park in Uganda. This team of scientists has collected over one million images of mammals and birds to help guide conservation efforts. Find out more about TEAM Network's (Tropical Ecology Assessment & Monitoring Network) efforts to capture baseline data in preparation for climate change and habitat loss. Watch the film, and more about TEAM Network, here. 

Snows of the Nilesnows of nile

(20 min) Nathan Dappen, Neil Losin (USA, 2013) Uganda’s Rwenzori Mountains rise 5000m from the heart of Africa. At their summits are some of Earth’s only equatorial glaciers ... but they are changing fast. Follow two scientist/photographers in their goal to retrace the steps of the legendary 1906 expedition and re-capture historical glacier imagery in order to visualize the impacts of a century of climate change. • Watch trailer.

Harnassing the Sun to Keep the Lights on in India

lights on

(8 min.) Andrew Satter, Vrinda Manglik, Justin Guay (2014) More than 1 billion people throughout the world lack reliable access to electricity. Many live in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. The costs—in terms of lost economic potential and personal health effects—are staggering. This film explores grassroots, off-the-grid systems to bring green energy to rural India. Read an article about the project, with some behind the scenes clips. • Watch a TED talk by one micropower CEO, Anil Raj. Watch the film here. 

Brilliant Darkness: Hotaru in the Nighthotaru

(12 min) Emily Driscoll (2014) Who doesn't love fireflies? What's behind their decline and what can we do about it? Artists, scientists, philosophers and designers examine the intersection of our illuminated night life with the wildlife around us that need the dark.

Monarchs & Milkweedmonarchs

(8 min) Steven M. Bumgardner (2014) Take a microcosmic safari through a field of milkweed and discover a whole world of life, from bees to wasps to hummingbirds to butterflies. The charismatic Monarch butterfly is completely dependent on milkweed for its survival, and places like Yosemite National Park offer protection for this often overlooked plant. Filmmaker Stephen Bumgardner was a student at the University of Missouri- Columbia in the 90's and was excited to hear his film was showing at the Blue Note, where he saw many bands back in the day. (2014, 8 min.) Watch the film here.  Watch more amazing videos by "Yosemite Steve" on his website. 

American Lawn

(12 min) Robert Sickels (2014) For a lot of people, “in lawns we trust” is more than a motto: it’s a way of life. Conversely, many folks see their lawn as an enemy. Lawns actually have a lot in common with other hot button social issues in that there's no ambivalence where they're concerned--one way or the other, everyone has an opinion. American Lawn explores this fascinating dichotomy, resulting in a kaleidoscopic, lighthearted, and insightful portrait of Americans of all stripes grappling with their relationships to lawn. Watch the trailer. 

Silver Carp Solutions

(5 min) Mark Olsen (2014) Missouri River lovers have witnessed an alien invasion on our big waters. Silver carp, a massive and explosive jumping fish from China, has spread throughout the watershed. In just a few decades, biologists estimate that the fish have become up to 80% of the biomass in our big rivers. Where some people see an ecological catastrophe, others see an untapped food source. Local filmmaker Mark Olsen teamed up with MU professor Dr. Mark Morgan on this short film sharing some of the new ways people are turning protein into profit. Click here for a Scientific American article on Dr. Morgan's work.  Check out the whole series of "Silver Carp Solutions" videos here.



World Beyond the World

(3 min) Paxson Woelbr (2014) Using text adapted from Bob Marshall's "Alaska Wilderness: Exploring the Brooks Range"(1929) and images from Expedition Arguk (2013), "The World Beyond the World" aims to celebrate that most ancient and sublime of human pleasures: moving through a mysterious, beautiful, and unknown landscape. Watch this beautiful film here. 

My First Fish

(7 min) Ben Galland (2013) A boy catches his first fish. After an epic battle, the boy has a chance to hold the fish and once they make eye contact, the memory is etched into the child's brain forever instilling a connection to the wild and the foundation for environmental stewardship. Watch the film here. 

White Earth

whiteearth(20 min) J. Christian Jensen, Weary Traveler (2014) Thousands of desperate souls flock to America’s Northern Plains seeking work in the oil fields adjacent to the Missouri River. “White Earth” is the tale of an oil boom seen through unexpected eyes. Three children and an immigrant mother brave a cruel winter and explore themes of innocence, home and the American Dream. This film was nominated for a Oscar for Best Documentary Short this January. Also, check out a great interactive site of stories from the Baaken Boom - - Read interviews with director J. Christian Jensen in the Stanford Arts Review and by the Heartland Film Festival. Watch a vignette from the film here. 

Sacred Headwatersheadwaters

(4 min) Paul Colangelo (Canada, 2012) The shared birthplace of three salmon rivers in Northern Canada, the traditional territory of the Tahltan First Nation, and home to an incredible ecosystem of large mammals, the Sacred Headwaters is at risk of losing all that makes it sacred to resource extraction. Narrated by author and anthropologist Wade Davis, a National Geographic Explorer in Residence. Watch a TED Talk by Davis here. Watch the film here. 

Mixing Oil & Water

(10 min) Eric Warren (2014) Another look at the Baaken Oil Boom upstream from us along the Missouri River. Shale oil and gas development and fresh water use are tightly intertwined. “Mixing Oil and Water” illustrates that water quality, scarcity, and uncertainty are becoming more prevalent in Montana where oil and gas development occurs. Are we willing to sacrifice clean water in order to carry out extreme fossil fuel development? Read an article about the making of the film.  Watch the film here. 

Ryan's Stories

(7 min) Anson Fogel, Aimee Tetreault, Camp4 Collective (2013) Living in poverty for as long as he remembers, Ryan Hudson grew up in and out of homeless shelters. At 14, Ryan was introduced to snowboarding through Outdoor Outreach, a non-profit organization dedicated to using outdoor activities to empower at risk youth, and his life took a 180. Now competing as a semi pro athlete and introducing a new generation to the outdoors, Ryan's story shares just how transformational the outdoors can be. Watch the film here. 

Sufferfest 2 - Desert Alpinesufferfest

(26 in) Cedar Wright (2014) Subtitled - "34 Pieces of Choss and 5 Horrendous Life Experiences" - Less than a year after enchaining the fifteen tallest peaks in California, by bike, Alex Honnold and Cedar Wright have forgotten that it was their worst trip ever and for some reason…they are at it again. This time they attack an ambitious goal to climb 45 of the American Southwest’s most iconic Desert Towers, via their most difficult routes, in an epic and scenic bike journey that takes them through Colorado, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona. This movie has it all: gale force winds, hard climbing, snow in the desert, loose rock, and a puppy. What more could you ask for? Read an article on the adventure here. 


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