Free festival of environmental and adventure films takes place at Foothill College and online

Palo Alto, Calif. —February 07, 2024 Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) and its partners Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District (Midpen), San Mateo County ParksSanta Clara Open Space Authority, and Santa Clara County Parks will co-host the fifth annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Saturday, March 2.

This in-person, free event will take place at the Smithwick Theater at Foothill College in Los Altos Hills. The film program will also be available virtually to all who register for the event, to enjoy anytime between Saturday, March 2 and Sunday, March 10.

This free film festival is one of the largest of its kind, showcasing the best and brightest in environmental and adventure films and filmmakers. Advance registration is required and available at https://staging.openspacetrust.org/event/wild-scenic-film-festival/#register.  

“We are excited to showcase a variety of award-winning, short environmental films that highlight compelling environmental stories that connect to the mission of POST and our partners,” said Mark Medeiros, director of community engagement at POST. “The in-person event is an opportunity to convene with hundreds of like-minded nature lovers and connect with the public agencies and other local environmental nonprofits that are doing inspirational work in our communities. For the online experience, viewers can learn from and enjoy the films in the comfort of their home. The seven films we are featuring this year highlight stories that don’t usually get the big screen treatment and are told by a collection of engaging and diverse voices.”

One of the nation’s premier environmental and adventure film festivals, Wild & Scenic features award-winning short films about nature, community activism, adventure, conservation, water, energy and climate change, wildlife, environmental justice, agriculture, Native American and indigenous cultures.

The complete list of films included in this festival is available https://staging.openspacetrust.org/event/wild-scenic-film-festival/#films.

Seven films will be featured in this festival:

“JoJo – A Toad Musical” – Jojo celebrates a creative and musical portrait of JoJo Nyaribo, a young nature lover and wildlife advocate as he explores the meaning of biodiversity and stewardship in his own backyard.

“Song of the Hermit” – The hermit thrush’s song has been a magical part of a visit to Big Basin Redwoods State Park. Researcher Allison R.P. Nelson and collaborators are working to better understand the subspecies that breeds along coastal California and identify impacts that the 2020 CZU Lightning Complex Fire had on the park’s population of thrushes.

“Giant Sequoias – Yosemite Nature Notes” – Giant sequoia trees are impressive for their great size, old age, and stoic resilience, but this resilience is being tested by bugs, drought, and catastrophic wildfires. These challenges offer opportunities to research these wonderful trees and develop better ways to support their ability to thrive and survive in the face of a changing climate

“Forward” – While navigating a myriad of life challenges, Anjelica turned to the outdoors to improve her mental health only to discover a noticeable lack of other plus-size women of color on trail. By posting a simple flyer looking for more women to hike with, Anjelica created a community she never could have imagined.

“Paddle Tribal Waters” – When the largest dam removal project in history begins, a group of indigenous youth learn to whitewater kayak in hopes of becoming the first people to paddle the restored river from source to sea. With jaw-dropping aerial cinematography and moving storytelling, Paddle Tribal Waters is a fully immersive experience, showcasing the unbreakable bond between people and their ancestral lands. The film gives viewers a bird’s eye view as an unforgettable group of young people train for the adventure of a lifetime.

“Forests Above & Forests Below” – Take a deep dive into California’s unique and irreplaceable underwater kelp forests that have experienced catastrophic loss in the past decade. This piece was written and supported by scientists at The Nature Conservancy and was filmed and produced by the ColdWater Collective

“Soundscape” – Soundscape Features Erik Weihenmayer, a global adventure athlete and author who is fully blind, as he ascends a massive alpine rock face deep in the Sierra Nevada. Using expert camera work and emotive, novel animation to bring to life a concept by adaptive climbing pioneer Timmy O’Neill, the film is a surprising and soulful adventure.

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Event Program:

6:00 – 7:00 PM – Pre-event reception. 

Please arrive early to park, walk up to the venue, and get settled. Seats are not assigned – so arrive early for the best seat selection. Then, check out the raffle prizes and visit the sponsor booths.

7:00 – 8:15 PM – 75-minute film program begins

8:15 – 9:00 PM – Raffle winners announced; tabling from partners continues in the courtyard.

About the Co-Hosts

Peninsula Open Space Trust protects open space on the Peninsula and in the South Bay for the benefit of all. Since 1977, POST has protected over 87,000 acres in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz Counties.

Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District is an independent special district in the San Francisco Bay Area that has preserved a regional greenbelt system of over 65,000 acres of public land and manages 26 open space preserves.

San Mateo County Parks operates 24 separate parks, encompassing over 17,000 acres, and 190 miles of county and local trails, including three regional trails.

Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority works to conserve the natural environment, support agriculture, and connect people to nature, by protecting open spaces, natural areas, and working farms and ranches for future generations. 

Santa Clara County Parks is a regional park district in the South Bay whose mission is to provide, protect, and preserve regional parklands for the enjoyment, education, and inspiration of this and future generations. SCCP manages 28 regional parks encompassing over 52,000 acres of land.

Note: Lead sponsors for this event include Sand Hill Global Advisors as well as the Bill & Jean Lane Endowment

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About Post

Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) protects open space on the Peninsula and in the South Bay for the benefit of all. Since its founding in 1977, POST has been responsible for saving more than 87,000 acres as permanently protected land in San Mateo, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz counties. Learn more

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