6:00 P.M. to 9:00 P.M. at the Chester County Historical Society. Films begin at 7:00 P.M.
Don’t miss out on the event where delicious local food and drink meet nationally acclaimed short, independent films and documentaries featuring outdoor adventures, nature and environmental issues. It’s a great opportunity to gather with friends and family for a night of education and inspiration.
Different films featured each night. Tickets include fabulous local food, beer and wine.
Launched in 2003 by the watershed advocacy group, the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL), The Wild & Scenic Film Festival began as a small, local event and over the past 10 years pioneered into the largest environmental film festival in the nation. Held each January in Nevada City, CA, SYRCL’s annual event kicks-off a nationwide tour to over 100 cities.
Lucky for us, SYRCL believed years ago that the films were too good, and the messages too powerful, to keep to themselves.
Now in our seventh year hosting Wild & Scenic, Trail Creek was among one of the first groups to organize the fest offering a diverse menu of environmental and adventure films that illustrate the Earth’s beauty, the challenges facing our planet, and the work communities around the world are doing to protect the environment. Through film, great local food and drinks, we are all connected by the common goal of inspiring people and uniting communities to take action.
Staff member Sarah McDonald sat down with Ed and Brian, Trail Creek co-owners and event organizers, to get the back story on how the environmental film fest evolved, and to discuss some of the evening’s highlights over the years:
Q. How/when did you first hear about Wild and Scenic Film Festival?
Ed: Back in 2007, a friend who used to work for Patagonia approached us and asked if we would be interested in hosting this new environmental film festival. This seemed to be a perfect opportunity to entertain and do something good for the community.
Q. What were the key factors that made you decide to get involved in hosting a local fest?
Ed: We have always wanted to be more than just a store that sold really cool, outdoor clothing. This film fest allows us to inspire, enlighten and entertain while raising awareness and money for land preservation and clean water. Plus, in February it is a timely cure for cabin fever.
Q. Have Stroud Water Research and TLC always been the two organizations benefitting from the proceeds of the evening?
Ed: No, the first few years Stroud was our sole beneficiary. When we added a second night, we included The Land Conservancy. Land preservation and clean water are two causes that are very near and dear to us. The film fest allows us to give back to these two local organizations that do so much to further these causes.
Q. When you decided that you wanted to hold a film fest event, how many films were made available to you the first year?
Brian: The founding organization, SYRCL, has generally provided an extensive menu of films from which to choose. We try and choose films appropriate to each of the organizations we support and because of our love of the outdoors, we pick the outdoor adventure films.
Q. How does the film selection process work? Who chooses which films will be shown?
Ed: We want to represent all 3 organizations – Trail Creek, Stroud and The Land Conservancy (TLC), so we look for water films for Stroud, environmental or land preservation for TLC and at Trail Creek we’re all about fun so we look for films that remind about why we love being outside.
This is a very collaborative process with Kay Dixon and Dave Arscot from Stroud, and Jess Provinksi from TLC. We all watched the trailers and rated them from 1 to 10. Then we tallied up the votes and the highest rated films were selected provided they fit into the time constraints. This gives us a balanced selection of water, land preservation and adventure films.
Q. Where was the first fest held?
Brian: The first event was held at Stroud Water Research Center. They were our only beneficiaries at the time. It was a full house; I believe we had fifty people attend. It was very well received and deemed worthy of continuing. It has grown every year since.
Q. What year did you make the film fest a two-night event?
Brian: From the very beginning, we experienced an increase in demand for space and tickets. We moved several times and found a home at the Chester County Historical Society. Our first event held at there sold out quickly, so we decided to make it a two night affair in 2012, and it also sold out!
Q. I know you’ve seen a lot of films, but do each of you have a favorite film that stands out among the rest?
Ed: Last year, there was a film about British kids and their outdoor classroom. It was funny, innocent and sweet. It reminded me about the importance of getting kids outside and the joy of discovery. There was film a few years ago about mountain top mining in West Virginia. It was hard to watch the destruction but left an impact.
Q. Are there any stories of positive action taken by a festival goer that has been shared with you by anyone who attended the festival? In other words, did anyone say…I was so inspired after seeing the films I….or any quotes by attendees you could share?
Ed: Two things come to mind – we showed a film about plastic bags and how many end up in a vortex in the ocean and the harm they cause to the sea life. Many people mentioned how that changed their awareness on this issue. The other was a short film about how many Starbucks cups end up in landfills. Several customers were proud to tell us they started bringing in their own mugs. I think that epitomizes the Film Fest. Most of us aren’t going to save a river or effect climate change but we can all choose to do 1 small thing everyday that can make a huge impact.
Q. Any memorable moments you could share?
Brian: To me, every night of every event we have held is a memorable moment. The films are inspirational, the support from our sponsors is incredible, and most importantly, the gathering of community to spend a few evenings together in support of our effort is truly humbling.
Q. What makes the 2014 fest stand out from previous film fests?
Ed: The films this year are collectively as good as they have ever been. And the food and drink is better than ever. So we hope you will come away with a full mind and a full belly.
Semi-annual sale and clearance is on! Save 70% on the season’s essentials that keep you warm, dry and geared up for your next outdoor adventure.
Some exclusions may apply. Discount is only applicable to Fall/Winter 2013 merchandise. Sales on discounted items are final, no exchanges or refunds. Sale does not apply to previously purchased items or special orders.
Free Monthly Children’s Bird Walk
Monthly Children’s Bird Walks are designed to introduce children ages 3 to 12 to birding by gentle instruction from an expert birder. These walks are led by Holly Merker, a local children’s nature educator and expert birder. Refreshments provided after the walk. Registration required. Click here to get the details.
Register at: www.delawarenaturesociety.org