Wild & Scenic Film Festival 2021

Date: Sunday, February 21, 2021
Time: Lobby opens at 6:30 - Films from 7:00 - 9:00
Location: Virtual Event

We can't thank you all enough for the overwhelming support during this year's festival. We know thing's weren't quite the same this year but we are so thankful we were able to spend an evening with 400 of our closest friends, connecting over inspiring films.

Thank you so much to everyone who made this year a huge success. We could not have done it without the tireless work of the film selection committee, and those generous donors and bidders during the silent auction.

Festival Program

Special Local Feature

"Trash to Treasure" - Dr. Mark Morgan, School of Natural Resources, University of Missouri - Columbia

It’s hard to imagine that an environmental problem is also a solution in disguise. Removal of Asian carp from our waterways addresses two important, but seemingly unrelated issues – invasive species and malnutrition. For Midwesterners, these fish are a bane. For Haitians, they are a blessing. Discover the interdependence between people and nature in surprising ways. 

Click here to learn how you can be part of the solution.

Click here to watch the film

Film Lineup

"Rocky Intertidal Zones (Oregon)" - Irene Tejaratchi Hess

Filmed on the stunning Oregon Coast, this short film follows a 7-year-old boy as he explores rocky intertidal zones. Prehistoric creatures and art materials further inspire musings about ancient and present-day life.

Watch a short excerpt from the film. 

Watch this other cool film by the filmmaker, also told from a child's point of view - "Roost - The Crows of Downtown Portland" (5:06)

"Detroit Hives" - Palmer Morse & Rachel Weinberg

East Detroit urban beekeepers Tim Paule and Nicole Lindsey are a young couple working to bring diversity to the field of beekeeping and create opportunities for young Detroit natives to overcome adversity. Detroit ranks fourth in the United States for the most vacant housing lots with well over 90,000 empty lots to date. In an effort to address this issue, Detroit Hives has been purchasing vacant lots and converting them into buzzing bee farms. 'Detroit Hives' explores the importance of bringing diversity to beekeeping and rebuilding inner-city communities one hive at a time.

Watch the film here. 5.5 mins

"Last Call for the Bayou: On A Wing & A Prayer" - Nadia Gill

Louisiana's delta is a veritable bounty of rich estuarine life, supporting a robust commercial fishing industry, fertile oil fields, millions of migrating waterfowl, and at the heart of it all the mighty Mississippi - a navigation channel that allows the passage of goods worldwide. The erosion of Louisiana's wetlands is one of the greatest environmental threats the US faces today. Every hour a chunk the size of a football field is lost. Without a mitigation strategy, the marine economy, oil and gas, and even the citizens of New Orleans will be seeking refuge elsewhere in 30 years or so.

Watch the entire four-part series here.

"Sounds of Survival" - Katie Garrett

Deep in the emerald cloud forests of Cusuco National Park of Honduras, scientists are on a quest to record the never-before-heard call of the endangered exquisite spike-thumb frog (Plectrohyla exquisita). What ensues is both a delightful portrait of the process of scientific discovery and an inspiring example of the power of sound as a tool for conservation.

Watch the film here. 8 mins

Find out more about the Honduran Amphibian Rescue & Conservation Center.

"The Guardian Elephant Warriors of Reteti" - Katy Garton

Reteti Elephant Sanctuary is the first-ever community-owned and run elephant sanctuary in Africa. This oasis where orphans grow up, learning to be wild so that one day they can rejoin their herds, is as much about the people as it is about elephants. It's a powerful story about the changing relationship between people and the animals they are protecting.

Watch the film here. 4 mins

"If You Can Hear My Voice: The Fight to Ban Chlorpyrifos" - Martin do Nascimento

Claudia Angulo's son was born with developmental delays after she was exposed to chlorpyrifos during her pregnancy. Now, she's fighting for a ban on the pesticide. "If we want things to change, we have to work together," Angulo says. "Don't stay silent. Don't just sit around at home. Stand up and make your voices heard."

Watch the film here. 7 mins

Read more about chlorpyrifos (Earthjustice)


"Nature Now" - Tom Mustill

Made with no flights, recycled footage, and zero net carbon. Given away for free. Viewed 53 million times, played to the United Nations. This film is a personal and passionate call to arms from Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot to use nature to heal our broken climate.

Watch the film here. 3.5 mins

"SANCTUARY" - Shane Anderson

Set against the backdrop of the North Umpqua's most famous tributary, Steamboat Creek, which was recently designated as the Frank and Jeanne Moore Wild Steelhead Sanctuary, filmmaker Shane Anderson documents how these famed waters impacted Soul River, a group of veterans and urban youth as they learn about steelhead trout research by Pacific Rivers and meet conservation heroes Frank and Jeanne Moore. 'Sanctuary' explores the healing powers of wild places and rivers and the need to create more sanctuaries on public lands.

Watch the film here. 7 mins

"Every Nine Minutes" - DJ O'Neil

Every nine minutes, the weight of a blue whale (300,000 pounds) in plastic makes its way into our ocean. To call attention to this, the Monterey Bay Aquarium built a life-sized replica of a blue whale made of single-use, locally sourced plastic trash. Certified by Guinness World Records, the whale is the largest sculpture of its kind ever built.

Watch the film here. 3.4 mins

Read more about the aquarium's work fighting ocean plastic. 

Check out this article in Makezine describing the process of building this sculpture. 

"ROCK-PAPER-FISH" - Connor Gallagher, Colin Arisman

Every year, all five species of salmon return to the Chilkat River and sustain the communities of Haines and Klukwan, but now a modern-day gold rush is underway in the mountains above the river's headwaters. 'Rock-Paper-Fish' offers a vivid look into the lives of Alaskans grappling with questions as immense as the place they call home.

Watch the film here. 26 mins

Read more about Earthjustice's work to protect the Chilkat watershed

Event Sponsors

Thank you to these generous local donors for making this event possible!

Luminary Sponsors

Education Partner

Visionary Sponsors

  • Eileen & Barney Combs
  • Dave, Chrissy, Lucas and Wyatt Combs
  • Bruce & Jan Sassmann
  • John & Wren Roark
  • David Dearnley
  • Matthew Britt &Michelle Freidrich-Kaiser
  • Gary Moreau
  • Michael Bauermeister & Gloria Attoun-Bauermeister
  • Brian Waldrop
  • Bernie Arnold
  • Jeanne Heuser
  • Robbie Price
  • Luz Rooney
  • Kellie Wingate Campbell
  • Laura Adam and Laura Morrison
  • Joe Beeson
  • Scott & Abby Robeson
  • Lea & Dennis Langdon
  • Janet Moreland
  • Scott Swafford
  • Sam Phillips
  • Rich Anderson & Leslie Palmer
  • Betsy Garrett
  • Magnificent Missouri
  • Tom & Donna Bell
  • John Holmes
  • Debbie Gittinger
  • Grady & Anna Lynne Frazier
  • The Strohs
  • Don Moellering
  • Diana Papoulias & David Galat
  • Rod Power & Nanci Mon
  • Jonsey
  • Corey Dunn
  • Kory & Robyn Kaufman

Silent Auction Donors

Thank you to the artists, business owners and community members for their generous donations to our silent auction!

About the Film Festival

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival is organized and produced by the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) in Nevada City, CA. Their flagship festival is held anually in Nevada City and Grass Valley, California and spans 5 days featuring over 100 films, workshops, visiting filmmaker and activist talks, family-friendly programs and art exibitions. 

Missouri River Relief is a part of the Wild & Scenic's On Tour program along with 250 enviromental nonprofits, schools, museums and businesses across the country. We have the honor of choosing from a diverse lineup of outdoor adventure & environmental films from around the globe.

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MRR is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization. Federal Tax ID (EIN) 03-0425187
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