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Wild & Scenic Film Fest offers 'fun, light' fare

The seventh annual Rogue Riverkeeper Wild & Scenic Film Festival will show “fun and light” shorts films screened from around the world and presented at 5 p.m., Friday, Nov. 8, at the Historic Ashland Armory.

The signature annual fundraiser for Riverkeeper focuses on water-oriented films that speak to our region, since the group’s mission is “to safeguard the health of the Rogue River, using fundamental environmental protections like the Clean Water Act to improve water quality across the 3.3 million acres of the Rogue watershed.”

Organizers will show 13 films, all under 20 minutes. More than 60 films were considered, None will be specifically about Southern Oregon, as they come from all over the world. The same films were shown in an earlier Nevada City festival.

Most of the films won’t be announced until you’re in the festival because too many are available on the internet and you might be tempted to stay home and watch, says RRK Outreach Coordinator Sara Mosser. However, the Riverkeeper festval page, https://www.rogueriverkeeper.org/blog/wildandscenicfilmfestsneakpeak, features two trailers:

“Big World” is about Eddie Bauer athlete and mountain climber David Morton, who takes his son, 7, on a paddleboard down two remote rivers in Nepal, which has risks.

He says, “There’s a basic paradox to parenting. You have to keep your kids safe, but you have to teach them to take risks and follow curiosity. Life is undeniably richer with a little bit of daring.”

In “Grizzly Country,” Vietnam veteran Doug Peacock, an author and self-described eco-warrior, shares how he spent years observing grizzly bears in Wyoming and Montana as part of his healing — and how to protect the creatures now that they’re under threat again.

The website shows some other films that weren’t chosen, which are each under 10 minutes, at https://www.rogueriverkeeper.org/blog/wildandscenicfilmfestsneakpeak:

“Blue,” female fat-bike athletes, including a 4-year old girl, pedal the glaciers and mountains of Valdez Valley in Alaska. Four minutes.

“Hear Our Olympics.” Noise pollution hits the once-pristine Olympic Peninsula, long considered the quietest place in the lower 48. Eight minutes.

“Perpetual Motion.” Cool, haunting video of a woman filmmaker being tossed around underwater in the majestic dynamics of surf. Five minutes.

The film festival includes raffle prizes, silent auctions, food, local beers, wines and kombucha, and a chance to connect with like-minded friends and RRK partners, who will be setting up table presentations.

The festival aims at films that are “fun and light,” says Mosser.

“We try to have all water-focused environmental or outdoor adventure films,” Mosser notes, “and we also look at films in other spots of the world that relate to water systems, water health and are also politically relevant. Two of our films have veterans as the focus and access to nature for people healing from PTSD, after being in war. It was interesting how that was a recurring theme in the films we screened, the use of nature as a therapeutic strategy.”

Admission to the festival is $20 for adults, with tickets available at the Riverkeeper website, www.rogueriverkeeper.org. Prices go up at the door.

If you go: Wild & Scenic Film Festival

The seventh annual film festival, a screening of select adventure and environmental films, will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8, at the Historic Ashland Armory, 208 Oak St., Ashland. The evening will kick off with a happy hour, live music, silent auction, food and beverages. Films begin at 6 p.m. with keynote speaker Lesley Adams, Rogue Riverkeeper founder, and a short presentation from Rogue Riverkeeper staff. Tickets are $20, $15 for students and $10 for children 10 and younger. The event is a benefit for Rogue Riverkeeper. For tickets and information, see rogueriverkeeper.org.

A still from the film "Big World" shows Eddie Bauer athlete and mountain climber David Morton and his 7-year-old son on a paddleboard adventure in Nepal.{ } Contributed photo