The Buskirk-Chumley Theater is set to organize this Sunday’s Wild and Scenic Film Festival, an environmentally-themed event which will feature the premiere of several documentary and art films, as well as performances by local musicians. The festival begins at 5:30 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for students and attendees under 18.
The Indiana Forest Alliance and the South Yuba River Citizens League organized the festival. Purchasing a ticket to the festival automatically starts or renews a membership with the forest alliance.
David Seastrom, a member of the festival’s steering committee, said the festival is designed to inspire and inform audiences.
“I think this is going to be a highly entertaining night of forest activism, performances, and camaraderie,” Seastrom said. “Hopefully it will be inspirational in that people will feel like they’re part of a greater community. If we work together we can make a difference in how our forests are managed.”
The lineup for Sunday night includes films by local artists and activists that focus on local issues, such as “Yellowwood,” a documentary film by John and Hannah Boggs about the state forest that was partially auctioned off to logging companies late last year.
“We’re trying to have as much local content in the films as we can, and additionally all of the musicians are local musicians,” Seastrom added.
Other films, like “The Wild President,” which recounts some of former U.S. President Jimmy Carter’s environmental accomplishments, will focus on historical events, as opposed to local ones.
Another film, “The Living Forest,” focuses on the fight by environmentalists to stop oil companies from mass deforestation in the Amazon Rainforest.
Seastrom also said the event would feature a few speakers, but that the focus would be on the films and musical performances.
“We’re trying to inform and entertain, but not to bore,” he said.
Anne Stichter, Event Manager for the Buskirk Chumley, said she expects a good turnout. As of Jan. 11, the theater has already sold over 300 tickets of the roughly 570 seats that will be available Sunday night.
Stichter also said the Wild and Scenic Film Festival is a special occasion for the theater, which only hosts a select few film festivals every year. Another, which she noted is coming up at the end of the month, is the PRIDE film festival, which celebrates short and feature length films by and about the LGBT community.
Most directly, Stichter also compared the Wild and Scenic festival to the Banff Mountain film festival, another film showcase event which she said celebrates nature through art.
“Film is a big part of our history, so we do like to have film festivals at the Buskirk,” Stichter said.
She also added that the film festival was a special event because it will feature musical performances, as well as a variety of films.
Seastrom, who said he knows many of the musicians personally, emphasized his excitement to see their performances. He also said all of the performers will be performing their own original music.
“All of these are very amazing, very talented artists that sing about and come from the American heartland,” Seastrom said.
He also said he was excited for the event and hopeful for a positive turnout.
“I expect the evening to be warm — not in the weather sense — inclusive, informative and inviting,” he said.
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