Environmental Film Festival Showcases Beauty of Nature, Positive Change
By Sam Ueda
It’s well known that properly maintaining forests and bodies of water are important to sustaining a healthy ecosystem, and New Hampshire is no exception. Sometimes, it takes a truly breathtaking panoramic nature shot on the big screen to inspire people to make a change. This year, a band of local businesses and nonprofits are hoping to inspire people with a series of selected films about preservation.
On April 25, The Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire will host their 4th annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival, one stop of many on the festival’s tour. The festival, taking place at The Music Hall, will feature 12 short films, ranging in length and style, hand-picked by the Southeast Land Trust committee.
The Wild & Scenic Film Festival is held every January in Nevada City, California. Now entering their 12th year, the fest has given hundreds of environmental activists and nature filmmakers a home to showcase their stunning camera skills, all with a different theme each year. This year, the theme of the national film festival is “emPOWERment,” focusing on films about people or organizations that have taken it upon themselves to make a positive change in the environment. Within that theme, the Southeast Land Trust has also taken on a curator’s role in their selections.
“We chose several films with a water theme this year,” said Isabel Aley, Southeast Land Trust Outreach Coordinator. “Preserving this area’s water resources is something very important to the Land Trust.”
Water conservation, though not in the Land Trust’s name, is still an important facet of land conservation. Lakes, streams, and groundwater make up a community’s source of drinking water, and reckless development or pollution can put those sources of water in danger. In a continuing effort to preserve the quality of land and water for New Hampshire’s residents, the Southeast Land Trust puts on events like this film festival to raise awareness about the importance of their mission.
The Southeast Land Trust of New Hampshire is a land conservation non-profit 501c3 based in Exeter. Its mission is to protect and sustain the significant lands in our communities for clean water, outdoor recreation, fresh food, wildlife, and healthy forests. It has preserved over 9,250 acres of land since its inception in 1980.
A $15 ticket grants you access to the film festival and an automatic entry in a raffle for prizes such as a one-year membership to Zev Yoga, a one-year Green Alliance membership, and others. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Southeast Land Trust.
A number of local businesses with similar goals in mind have banded together to sponsor the event. ReVision Energy, one of the state’s leading solar energy companies, is the largest sponsor.
“You can develop until you’re blue in the face; people think there’s always going to be more land to develop,” said Kimry Corrette of ReVision Energy, “I think these grassroots conservation efforts are necessary, and they’re appreciated by people like us. Someone has to do it.”
Conservation Law Foundation, Cornerstone Tree Care, and Ultra Geothermal also sponsor the festival. These businesses, as well as ReVision Energy, are members of the Green Alliance, a union of sustainable businesses in the northeast.
Corrette of ReVision Energy was also on the committee to select the films. She chose films that got the point across about the harmfulness of development, but were also able to inspire viewers to make positive changes.
“I want people to walk away from this festival feeling some hope,” she said. “As far as my input on the selections, I tried to choose videos that were informative but not too heavy, so you can feel empowered afterwards.”
Aley reflected on the films selected for the festival.
“My favorite film was ‘One Day in Yosemite’. It has beautiful shots of Yosemite National Park, and there are little vignettes of people enjoying different activities in the park,” she said. “It’s a nice collage of shots to show people why public lands are important to our society and all the ways they can be used. I found it to be a very powerful, beautiful, uplifting message about the types of special places we’re working to conserve.”
The festival will take place at The Music Hall’s Historic Theater on Friday, April 25th at 7:00 p.m. Tickets are available at themusichall.org.
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Birch Island by Peter Ingraham
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