NEVADA CITY, California, January 10, 2019 (ENS) – The South Yuba River Citizens League’s 17th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival opens its annual showing January 17 in the historic downtown areas of Nevada City and Grass Valley, California.

Considered one of the nation’s premier environmental and adventure film festivals, this year’s films will combine stellar filmmaking, beautiful cinematography and first-rate storytelling to inform, inspire and ignite solutions and possibilities to restore the earth and human communities while creating a positive future for the next generation.

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Nevada City children look forward to the 2019 Wild & Scenic Film Festival (Photo by Josh Miller)

Festival-goers can expect to see award-winning films about nature, community activism, adventure, conservation, water, energy and climate change, wildlife, environmental justice, agriculture, Native American and other indigenous cultures.

The South Yuba River Citizens League, SYRCL, is a grassroots organization based in Nevada City that has been building a community to protect and restore the rivers of the regional watershed, from source to sea, since 1983.

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival puts the group’s local work into the broader environmental and social context, and serves to remind people that they all are participants in a global movement for a more wild and scenic world.

During the week of the festival in Grass Valley and Nevada City, over 2,000 students from local and neighboring communities participate in the Wild and Scenic School Program.

“This year, we are excited to share a variety of conservation, science-based and environmental stewardship centered films for all three of our school programs,” said Rachel Lubitz, SYRCL River Education Manager.

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Kids paddle past Chicago Park, a residential and unincorporated historic agricultural and wine-growing community in Grass Valley, California (Photo by Josh Miller)

“For example, for this year’s K-4 Program, we hope our theme Small But Mighty instills within both our young and young-at-heart ‘activists in the making’ a sense of the importance of how interconnected not only our ecosystems are, but how connected we are to them, and how something even as small-seeming as a newt or a salmon, play a huge role in the natural balance of a habitat’s ability to remain healthy and thrive,” she said.

“We hope these films ignite a sense of wonder and excitement to address complex environmental challenges and that these young people are our up-and-coming environmental leaders,” said Lubitz.

SYRCL’s River Education program provides educational programs about Yuba salmon, water conservation, scientific monitoring, and watershed health to students and the larger community. This program works to engage local students, educators, conservation non-profits and community members through outdoor field expeditions and in-classroom experiences, inspiring young people to value their watersheds, understand the changing climate, and create links between Wild & Scenic film programming and SYRCL’s mission.

After the January festival, Wild & Scenic films go on tour around the country, spreading their messages of planetary conservation at more than 230 events hosted by other organizations that use the festival as a platform to inspire activism in their own communities.

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