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For the love of the Wild and Scenic

FILE — Rachel Taubman steals a kiss on the cheek from Carter Stripp as the two await a Wild and Scenic Film Festival screening Saturday afternoon in the Nevada Theatre. Taubman, from Southern California, and Stripp from Massachusetts, convened at the festival for the weekend where environmental and conservational inspiration was abound.
Elias Funez/efunez@theunion.com |

The streets of downtown Nevada City and Grass Valley were abuzz with thousands of Wild and Scenic Film Festival goers over the weekend with showings of adventure and conservation based flicks in 10 different venues.

Aside from the myriad of films, festival goers could sit in on workshops in the activist center, take the Yuba Bus down to the South Fork Yuba River, or go on a hike along the Tribute-Deer Creek trail.

Signatures were gathered by South Yuba River Citizens League volunteers at many festival locations to help try to stop Nevada Irrigation District’s proposed Centennial Dam along the Bear River.

An awards ceremony held Sunday in the Stone Room of the Miners Foundry honored the festival’s winners.

“Rodents of Unusual Size,” about the nutria infestation of Louisiana, won Best of the Fest, said film festival producer Jennifer Ekstrom.

The other films honored included “Angry Inuk,” which won the Spirit of Activism award; Best In Theme winner “Water Warriors;” Most Inspiring Adventure Film “Charged: The Story of Eduardo Garcia;” “A Letter to Congress,” which won Best Short; jury award-winners “No Man’s Land” and “Wasted! The Story of Food Waste;” “Rising Tide,” which took the Student Filmmaker Award; the John de Graaf Environmental Filmmaking Award went to Peter Byck; honorable mentions to “Keepers of the Future,” “Mothered by Mountains” and “Imagination: Tom Wallisch’: and Kids Jury selection “My Irnik.”

The festival wrapped up with a locals treat, a screening of the festival’s winners at 7 p.m. at the Nevada Theatre in Nevada City, at which the winner of the People’s Choice Award was to be announced.

“It’s been a huge success,” said film festival director Melinda Booth Sunday afternoon. “I’m very, very pleased with what has been an amazing event, once again. This is our biggest fundraiser of year, which allows us to continue our conservation work.”

About 700 volunteers are needed to run the festival, Booth noted.

“It’s incredible,” she said. “I feel very supported by the community, both the businesses and the people of our town — and I’m so grateful so many people turned out.”

To contact Multimedia Reporter Elias Funez email, efunez@theunion or call 530-477-4230. Reporter Liz Kellar contributed to this report.

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