Exclusive: Alabama Rivers Alliance announces Wild and Scenic Film Festival Lineup

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Photo from the Southern Exposure Film Series

The Alabama Rivers Alliance has announced the complete lineup for the Wild and Scenic Festival—to be held virtually for the first time—on January 28.

Below is an exclusive sneak peek at the list of 14 critically-acclaimed films and step-by-step details on how you can participate and watch this year. 

Best in the South

ARA

Did you know the Wild and Scenic Film Festival is one of the most popular environmental film festivals in the country? Kelly Marshall, Alabama Rivers Alliance’s Communications Director, described to us what filmgoers can expect at this year’s festival.

“We can’t wait to share these documentary films with you, celebrating the great outdoors and highlighting important issues all around us. You’ll learn more about fish consumption advisories in Alabama, hike alongside adventurers across the country and feel inspired by activists working to protect their land, water and air for generations to come. It couldn’t be easier this year to join us from wherever you are across the state for the Wild and Scenic Film Festival on tour in Alabama! ” 

How the Virtual Film Festival Works Step by Step

Before we unveil the 2021 Wild and Scenic Film Festival lineup, here is a step-by-step tutorial on how this virtual event works. 

Our Hosts

The event is hosted by: Alabama Rivers Alliance, Energy Alabama, Waterkeepers Alabama and Flint River Conservation Association

Tickets

The best deal in town. The tickets are only $10 and additional donations are accepted! More importantly, the purchase of a ticket includes a membership to both Alabama Rivers Alliance and Energy Alabama.

4 Easy Steps

  1. Click here to buy your virtual ticket
  2. Share with your friends and invite them to join you virtually on January 28!  
  3. You will receive a special link for the livestream event on Thursday, January 28.
  4. Simply click the special link on January 28 and enjoy the show. Virtual Lobby “Doors” open at 5:30 pm / Films at 6:00 pm CST

The Lineup

ARA
Words Have Power. Photo via Alabama Rivers Alliance

Now introducing the 2021 Wild and Scenic Film Festival Lineup. Drumroll please…

IN YOUR HANDS

Visceral imagery, emotional score and a powerful speech by John F. Kennedy, Jr. underscore a timeless theme: we come from the sea. In Your Hands invites viewers to look inward and rediscover our connection with—and responsibility to—the natural world.

WAVE HANDS LIKE CLOUDS

Suspended in the airy expanse between heaven and Earth, highliners walk a thin, wiggly piece of nylon webbing that’s been rigged between two points, very high up. Wave Hands Like Clouds is an ode to finding focus and balance in a moment of exposed vulnerability that leaves the viewer breathless.

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HOMECOMING—A BOUNDARY WATERS STORY

Joe Fairbanks was born and raised in Northern Minnesota. In Homecoming, he travels through the waters where he learned to paddle as a boy. Today, these are some of America’s most endangered waters. Joe reflects on his battle with cancer and draws on connections to the landscape for strength and healing to illustrate the importance of nature preservation.

A FISHER’S RIGHT TO KNOW

Alabama Rivers Alliance
Fisherman’s Right to Know film. Photo via Alabama Rivers Alliance

Fishers throughout East Alabama depend on the mighty Coosa River for food, recreation and a family pastime that goes back generations. But do fishermen and women—and their families—have a right to know which fish are safe to consume? Not currently in Alabama, the River State. Coosa Riverkeeper and other advocates are working to give fishers across the entire state that right.

WHERE THE WILD THINGS KEEP PLAYING

An ode to the athlete who relishes in getting dirty, who chuckles after a long day in the mountains, effortlessly glides through the crystal-clear waves and most importantly, is unapologetic in pursuing their love of getting rowdy in adventures. 

ROCKY INTERTIDAL ZONES (OREGON)

Alabama Rivers Alliance
Photo via Alabama Rivers Alliance

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. 

WORDS HAVE POWER

Ten-year-old Jaysa’s dynamic speeches at rallies and city hall catalyze her community against the coal-fired power plant that causes her asthma—and they succeed in shutting it down. Evoking social justice and environmental racism, she wonders why so many such plants are put in her neighborhood. The film’s wonderful sound track is provided by her father, a reggae musician.

THERE’S SOMETHING IN THE WATER

“There’s two kinds of lakes in the South: them that’s got Giant Salvinia and them that’s about to have Giant Salvinia.”

Caddo Lake is the only natural lake in Texas, but it’s delicate ecosystem is threatened by a seemingly unstoppable invasive species of floating fern: Giant Salvinia. There’s Something in the Water is an 8-minute animated documentary featuring interviews with people who live and work on the lake, demonstrating the damage that has been caused, and how everyone can work together to try and fix it.

INTERMISSION

DETROIT HIVES

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.

LOVE TRAILS AND DINOSAURS

Alabama Rivers Alliance
Photo via Alabama Rivers Alliance

This heartwarming film tells the story of the first person with autism to hike every trail in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Garan Moore. His mother, Theresa, shares their story of a journey for weight loss that developed into a passion for hiking—and 900 miles later…one historic achievement.

EVERY NINE MINUTES

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.

SEE ANIMALS

Alabama Rivers Alliance
Photo via Alabama River Alliance

This short, animated film shows unwelcome changes in an uncertain future.

THIS LAND

Runner and advocate Faith E. Briggs used to run through the streets of Brooklyn every morning. Now she’s running 150 miles through three National Monuments that lie in the thick of the controversy around United States public lands.

NATURE NOW

Alabama Rivers Alliance
Photo via Alabama Rivers Alliance

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.

Save the Date

Don’t forget – the festival is on Thursday evening, January 28th beginning at 6:00PM.

Purchase your tickets today!

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  • Longtime conservationist. Former Executive Director at the Alabama Environmental Council and Wild South. Publisher of the Bama Environmental News for more than 18 years. Career highlights include playing an active role in the creation of Alabama's Forever Wild program, Little River Canyon National Preserve, Dugger Mountain Wilderness, preservation of special places throughout the East through the Wilderness Society and the strengthening (making more stringent) the state of Alabama's cancer risk and mercury standards.