There are more than 110 films included in this weekend’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival, including three by local filmmakers.
Those fortunate to get tickets to the sold out kids’ films this morning from 9 to noon will see “River.” The short film will mark the debut of filmmaker Wes Forslund-Mooers, a 9-year-old from Nevada City. Forslund-Mooers captured the journey of his baby sister, Abigail Mooers, as her wish was granted.
At the time he filmed, Abigail didn’t say much more than “Mama,” “Dada,” and “River.” Anytime she saw running water, a smooth stone or when she woke up in the morning or from a nap, the first thing she would say is “River,” said father Tom Mooers.
So one day when she woke from her nap with a river stone in her hand, Forslund-Mooers began filming as they journeyed to their beloved South Yuba River. The result is a short, sweet and simple film about a rock, a river and a return, according to the Wild & Scenic website.
After taking the Best of Entries award in 2005 for “Dude, Where’s My River,” San Juan Ridge educators and veteran Wild & Scenic filmmakers Tom and Debra Weistar return this year with “Soul Migration.” The film follows students and teachers of Finding the Good Travelling Semester Program on an expedition to the breeding grounds of the California gray whale on the Pacific Coast of Baja California.
In the mid-1800s, Captain Charles Melville Scammon discovered the huge lagoon where the gray whales come from Alaska to give birth to their calves, a discovery that quickly led to their near extinction.
The film examines this history through the eyes of “Finding the Good” students and also Captain Scammon’s descendant, Chris Scammon, also of Nevada City. Throughout the journey, the team met with scientists, researchers, historians and conservationists and journeyed out into the lagoon several times to get close to the whales.
“The day before we arrived, scientists counted 2,500 mother and baby whales in the lagoon,” said Scammon. “But would they be aware of who I was? Would they let me approach?” The film captures Chris’s eventual encounter with the whales and asks what we can learn from the past in order to change the course of the future.
The film premiered Friday and will be played again at 1 p.m. today in the Miners Foundry Stone Hall.
Sunday at the Haven Underground catch the epic seven-month journey of rock band Los Ginger Ninjas. The locals left Nevada County one winter morning for southern Mexico with all their instruments, camping gear and 1,000-watt, human-powered sound system on cargo bicycles.
“Los Ginger Ninjas are modern day troubadours, comic and dramatic characters who fall in and out of love, challenging the powers within and without as they pedal straight into the heart of Mexico’s storied dangers while trying to make it as a band healing the planet,” according to the Wild & Scenic website.
For more information about these films, or a complete listing of events, go to www.wildandscenicfilmfestival.org.