Wild & Scenic Film Festival to Inform and Inspire Pittsburgh Community

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Courtesy of Allegheny CleanWays

The 1st Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival will feature films to raise environmental awareness and collaborative efforts in Pittsburgh.

By: Candice McDermott

A screening of the movie “The Silent River” depicting a woman and her family as they defy death threats to try and save one of the most polluted rivers in Mexico will be one highlights of the Wild and Scenic Film Festival.

The event to raise funds to cure environmental ills also will feature a wide assortment of other movies, and there will be opportunities to meet with local envirnomental activists.

There also will be a screening of the viral public service announcement “The Crying Steeler Fan” that encouraged amateur filmmakers to create Pittsburgh-centric anti-litter PSAs this past summer.

In the end, organizers of the event in its 14th year hope the ultimate outcome of it will be to invigorate and inspire folks in this region to work towards creating a cleaner environment by reducing current waste and identify local and global issues surrounding water.

“The Wild and Scenic Film Festival is inspiring and it pushes people to activism, to get motivated to act and to get involved and reduce some of the pollution that we have caused in nature,” said Myrna Newman, Executive Director at Allegheny CleanWays.

The evening of short films showcasing the global environment will benefit two local nonprofit organizations, Pennsylvania Resources Council (PRC) and Allegheny CleanWays. The PRC is Pennsylvania’s oldest grassroots environmental organization which helps protect resources by education, recycling and waste diversion programs, anti-litter campaigns, and other initiatives. Allegheny CleanWays works to “engage and empower people to eliminate illegal dumping and littering in Allegheny County.”

The Pennsylvania Resource Council will be partnering with Allegheny Cleanways to host the 1st Annual Pittsburgh Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Thursday, October 29th from 6 PM to 9:30 PM at the Kelly Strayhorn Theatre, as part of its nationwide tour to showcase environmental films that inspire action.

“It is another opportunity to come together as an environmental community and enjoy really great films while connecting and talking about these issues in a really creative way,” said Janée Romesberg, Program Director at Allegheny CleanWays.

The film festival was initially a project of South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL), and it now being hosted for its 14th year nationally. Wild and Scenic raises both resources and awareness for SYRCL’s initiatives to recover California’s wild salmon and to protect and restore the Yuba River. This year the nationwide tour to 140+ cities – from Alaska to Alabama will be making a stop in Pittsburgh.

Award-winning films like Delta Dawn, Silent River, and American Lawn will be shown at the festival. The films are meant to illustrate the Earth’s beauty and the challenges that are facing various parts of our planet. Part of the mission of the SYRCL’s Wild and Scenic Film Festival is to “call to action” people and communities in an effort to “heal the earth,” as the nation’s premier environmental and adventure film festival.

“We are going to educate via beautiful films and connect folks to organizations before, during, and after the film festival, where community members can volunteer and get involved if they wish to do so,” said Mary Kate Ranii, Program & Outreach Coordinator at the PRC.

Doug Oster, organic gardening expert and Home and Garden editor of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, will serve as emcee of the Wild & Scenic Film Festival. Along with showcasing various short films, refreshments, a chance to win two tickets to Construction Junction’s 10th annual Big Pour and a separate raffle for more local prizes will be a part of the community experience, as attendees are encouraged to mingle with Western Pennsylvania’s active, green organizations.

“Pittsburgh is proud to host this amazing selection of films that open our eyes and hearts to fantastic experiences in remarkable places. These films document some of the many challenges facing communities around the globe just as they celebrate the actions of individuals in the fights to overcome them,” said PRC Regional Director Justin Stockdale. “These films combine stellar filmmaking, beautiful cinematography and first-rate storytelling to inform and inspire individuals to take action. The film fest will offer an opportunity for viewers to connect with local initiatives from PRC, Allegheny CleanWays and others to make a positive impact on western Pennsylvania’s environment.”

Tickets can be purchased in advance at http://www.prc.org/filmfestival or at the door on October 29.

View article in The Globe here.


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