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California Drought, Wildfires Among Topics Showcased At Film Festival

Amy Quinton / Capital Public Radio

An effort to preserve the South Yuba River, shown above, inspired the creation of the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, now in its 14th year.

Amy Quinton / Capital Public Radio

The 14th annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival kicks off this week in Nevada City and Grass Valley, with a unique way to turn passion for environmental topics into action.

Melinda Booth, the festival's director, says the event will offer a series of activist workshops at the Nevada City City Hall, all day Saturday and Sunday.

“There’s ten different workshops that are actually free to the public," Booth says. "So, you can come, dive a little bit deeper into these topics and find out ways to take action.” 

Some of those topics showcased on film will include the California drought, fracking, wildfires and wildlife preservation.

The activist workshops and films are just two of the event's many offerings, Booth says.

“We have art. We have music. We have a pedal powered stage downtown that doesn’t amplify the music unless there’s people sitting on bicycles pedaling," the festival director adds. "We have an enviro fair where we invite organizations to provide information to folks and help them get involved.” 

The festival is hosted by the South Yuba River Citizens League, which describes the event as the nation’s largest environmental film festival. It was inspired by the successful effort to stop the construction of dams along a stretch of the South Yuba River.

The festival runs Thursday through Monday. It will feature 140 films, including 23 world premieres.

Booth said volunteers are welcome. Those interested in helping are asked to complete a volunteer registration on the event's website, WildandScenicFilmFestival.org.