Wild & Scenic Film Festival

By on 30 October, 2017 in Art, Kate and Stephen with 0 Comments

This Friday night, Montgomery will host the free Wild and Scenic Film Festival out at AUM, courtesy of the Alabama Rivers Alliance and the Montgomery chapter of the Sierra Club. Although the festival has been going strong in Alabama for a decade, this is the first time it will play in Montgomery. The festival is a national event, first started in California by the South Yuba Rivers Citizens League. That group offers the touring film festival to different groups across the country. The festival features a curated collection of short films (ranging from 5 to 20 minutes). Montgomery’s version will have about 12 films. Though the program was still being finalized when we wrote this story, Kelly Marshall, Development and Communications Coordinator for the Rivers Alliance told us to expect diversity in the films. “There will be fun films mixed in with serious ones, so it’s not all doom and gloom,” she said. The Rivers Alliance’s screening committee watched nearly 50 films this year to pick the ones they thought would speak best to Alabama audiences.

Because of the Rivers Alliance’s focus on water, Marshall told us to expect at least a film or two about rivers. But the festival will pull back the lens to focus also on personalities, animals and the power of individual action. “It’s a wide array of topics. We hope you’ll find a new film or a new favorite cause, or figure out how you as an individual can be involved in the environmental movement,” she said. “One person can make a difference, and that person might be you.”

The festival used to include films made through the Southern Exposure program, which sponsored filmmakers coming to the South to make environmentally themed movies. But that program is on hold this year, as ownership transfers to the Rivers Alliance from the Southern Environmental Law Center. Next year, when the program resumes, there will be originally commissioned works in the festival as well as nationally known short films.

In a world of endless streaming entertainment, it can sometimes be challenging to find reasons to leave the house to see a movie or two. Marshall said that one big difference for this festival will be the opportunity to ask questions of Alabama environmental experts. Cindy Lowry, Executive Director of the Rivers Alliance, will be in attendance, as well as the chapter chair of the Alabama Sierra Club, Jonathon Meeks. That kind of interaction makes Wild and Scenic much more different than you could just watch on Netflix or Hulu any old time. Also there will be snacks and door prizes!

The festival is free to attend and will be from 1-4 p.m. on Friday at 112 Goodwyn Hall on the AUM campus.

Kate and Stephen are Midtown residents with one cat, a dog, ten fish, a garden, an old house and a sense of adventure. They write about life in Midtown here and about life in Montgomery at their blog Lost in Montgomery.

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