Wild & Scenic Film Festival announces 2019 award winners | TheUnion.com

Wild & Scenic Film Festival announces 2019 award winners

Submitted to Prospector
World-class climber Tommy Caldwell participated in a free climb at the Gold Crush Climbing Gym in Grass Valley during the Wild & Scenic Film Festival. Caldwell and his climbing partner were the first to free climb the Dawn Wall in Yosemite and the film, The Dawn Wall, documenting this challenge, won the film festival’s People’s Choice Award.
Photo by Josh Miller

Jan. 17 through 21, the downtowns of Nevada City and Grass Valley came alive with thousands of film enthusiasts, filmmakers, environmental leaders, and world-class athletes who traveled from all over the world for five days of award-winning films and activism as part of the 17th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival. This year’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival featured 150 award-winning films, special guests, activist workshops, Fireside Chats, speaker panels, outdoor excursions, art shows, a gala, Media and Virtual Reality Lounge, award ceremonies and more.

“We had our best turnout ever,” said festival producer Jorie Emory. “This year’s record-breaking attendance at Wild & Scenic shows us that the world is ready to be inspired. People are seeking out the stories that celebrate environmental activism and teach us how we can each make a difference.”

Wild & Scenic Film Festival worked with more than 450 volunteers to fill 800 volunteer shifts during the festival weekend.

“Our river community really stepped up to help support this year’s festival,” said South Yuba River Citizens League community engagement manager, Daniel Belshe. “Without our Yuba community, this festival would never be possible. Our volunteers make this festival happen every step of the way.”

The festival hosted the CLIF Athlete Speaker Series, welcoming professional climber Tommy Caldwell (known for his dramatic 19-day climb of the Dawn Wall of El Capitan), and professional snowboarders Jeremy Jones (Protect Our Winters, Jones Snowboards, Ode to Muir) and Tamo Campos (Beyond Boarding, The Radicals).

They joined more than 100 special guest filmmakers and influencers in the global environmental movement including LeeAnn Walters (Goldman Environmental Prize Winner for her role as a whistleblower in the Flint, Michigan water crisis), Chad Brown of Soul River, Inc., representatives from Earthjustice and Bernadette Demientieff (Gwich’in Steering Committee), and many others.

Each year, an esteemed jury selects the very best festival films for awards and honorable mentions. This year’s Official 2019 Wild & Scenic Awards include:

Best of Festival: “When Lambs Become Lions”

People’s Choice: “The Dawn Wall”

Spirit of Activism: “Ghost Fleet”

Persistent Vision Award: Will Parrinello and John Antonelli, “The New Environmentalists”

Most Inspiring Adventure Film: “The Dawn Wall”

Best Short: “Climbing Out of Disaster”

Jury Awards: “The Serengeti Rules” “RJ Ripper”

Student Filmmaker Award: Anna Chahuneau, “Pursuing the Monarchs”

John de Graaf Environmental Filmmaking Award: Jon Bowermaster

Honorable Mentions: “The Silver Branch,” “Blue Heart,” “The Weight of Water”

Kids Jury: “The Arrowhead Traverse”

Kids Jury Honorable Mentions: “Blue,” “My Mom Vala”

Considered one of the nation’s premier environmental and adventure film festivals, the Wild & Scenic Film Festival is produced by South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL). The festival combines stellar filmmaking, beautiful cinematography and first-rate storytelling to inform, inspire and ignite solutions and possibilities to restore the earth and human communities while creating a positive future for generations to come.

South Yuba River Citizens League is a grassroots organization based in Nevada City that has worked to protect and restore the Yuba River Watershed, from source to sea, since 1983. The Wild & Scenic Film Festival puts the league’s work into the broader environmental and social context, and serves to remind people they all are participants in a global movement for a more wild and scenic world. After the January festival, Wild & Scenic goes on tour throughout the country to more than 250 events hosted by other organizations that use the festival as a platform to inspire activism in their own communities. Learn more: http://www.wildandscenicfilmfestival.org

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