Wild & Scenic Film Festival May 30 Will Benefit Georgia’s Only Floating Classroom

May 19, 2015
Brenau Staff

Wild & Scenic Film Festival FlyerThe Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Saturday, May 30, at Brenau University’s Downtown Center, 301 Main St. SW in Gainesville, features the good, the bad and the beautiful of natural settings across the U.S. But there won’t be any similarity with Sergio Leone’s similar-titled 1966 Western. Hosted by Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and sponsored by Brenau, as well as a number of other local and national organizations and businesses, the festival seeks to inspire appreciation for the treasures of natural beauty as well as provide incentives to think about how and why some of these gems are threatened.

Tickets to the 18-film festival are $10 per person and $5 for students with a valid ID. Purchasing advanced tickets at http://chattahoochee.org/wildscenic2015/ is recommended but tickets may be purchased at the door as well. The short films range from 2-20 minutes in length. Doors open at 6 p.m. for exhibits and poster presentations and showings begin at 7 p.m. in the theater.

“We’ve spent many hours in group meetings, selecting the eighteen movies that will be shown at the 2015 Wild & Scenic Film Festival,” said Duncan Hughes, headwaters outreach director of the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. “The selections present a variety of topics and breath-taking views that are going to be memorable for everyone. And films like ‘River of Eden’ are gems that you rarely get to see anywhere else.”

The Southern Appalachians are widely known and appreciated for their splendid mountain views. But the movie “Hidden Rivers of Southern Appalachia” examines a little-known hotspot for aquatic life. Appalachian streams are home to some wildly diverse fish, mussels, salamanders, crayfish and other critters. On a much grander scale, the subject of another one of the festival selections is the Colorado River. This river is more than beautiful, sustaining life for 11,000 species. Less beautiful is the flood of plastic bags threatening to overwhelm our cities, landscapes and landfills. A short feature explains how the problem could be controlled.

Do you prefer to stay home and work on your mini-ecosystem, the garden? “Compost-a-lujah” highlights the qualities of what gardeners call “black gold”: compost. It provides plant nourishment while at the same time reducing landfill waste. Laying an entire region to waste is a process that strip-mining companies are often accused of, and the footage shown in “Overburdened/Undermined” provides plenty of food for thought.

Proceeds of the festival benefit Georgia’s only floating classroom, the Lake Lanier Aquatic Learning Center, where elementary- to high school-aged students learn about ecology and water quality while cruising Lake Lanier on a 40-foot catamaran. The LLAC is operated by the CRK and the Elachee Nature Science Center.

In addition to the Riverkeeper, sponsors include Brenau University, The Outside World, UNG Institute for Environmental and Spatial Analysis, Sweetwater, Patagonia, Clif Bar, Orion, Sierra Nevada, Klean Kanteen, EarthJustice and Barefoot Wine & Bubbly. For more information go to http://chattahoochee.org/wildscenic2015/