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Second annual environmental film festival set for next January

Based on the successful inaugural Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival on Jan. 10-11, South Yuba River Citizens League has already set a date for its second annual festival: Jan. 9-10, 2004.

With standing-room only for many of the films, RiverPeople Director and Festival Director Kathy Hempel of the citizens league said the two-day inaugural event attracted hundreds of moviegoers, many from as far south as Los Angeles.

“It proved to be a perfect way for the hosting organization to start its 20th year celebration,” Hempel exclaimed. “We were absolutely amazed with the turnout for the festival. It exceeded all of our expectations.”

The films covered a broad range of topics, from sprawl in America to the preservation of ancient cultures.

Films reflected environmental ideals that South Yuba River Citizens League holds as its own, Hempel said, in particular citizens empowered to preserve places that need protection. The nonprofit organization was formed two decades ago to protect the South Yuba River from dam projects.

Actor-writer-activist Peter Coyote (known for his roles in “E.T.” and “Erin Brockovich”) opened the festival at Miners Foundry Cultural Center in Nevada City.

“The real celebrities are those regular people trying to protect the places where they live,” Coyote said in his introduction.

“Yubies” festival awards were presented to “Rivers and Tides: Andy Goldsworthy Working With Time” for “Best of the Festival” and “Riversense” for “Best of the Entries.”

For more information about the film festival, call Hempel at 265-5961, extension 202.

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