A&E

Wild & Scenic Film Festival comes to Foothill College

POST and Midpeninsula Open Space District to co-host environmental film event

Calling all tree huggers, sky gazers, mountain climbers and nature lovers -- and movie fans, too. A plethora of short films showcasing the beauty of nature, the importance of environmental conservation, the wonders of science and more will be screened as part of the free Wild & Scenic Film Festival, co-presented by Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) and the Midpeninsula Open Space District and coming to Foothill College on Sunday, May 26.

"For POST and Midpen, the festival is about bringing our communities together to celebrate conservation, people and our relationship with nature, and to build community among residents of the Peninsula and the South Bay," POST's Senior Manager of Community Engagement Mark Medeiros said.

For local viewers, a likely highlight will be the inclusion of "Umunhum," a film about the restoration of Mt. Umunhum (pronounced "um-un-um"), located in the Sierra Azul Open Space Preserve, which is managed by the open space district. Sacred to the indigenous Amah Mutsun Tribal Band, the mountain was in the 1950s home to the Almaden Air Force Station and left in damaged condition. Midpen purchased the site from the U.S. military in 1986 and worked closely with the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band on its restoration, opening it to the public in 2017. The mountain (it's one of the highest peaks in the Santa Cruz range) offers views from the Sierra Nevadas to the Pacific Ocean, is home to incredible biodiversity and is still an important cultural site. The restoration and public opening of Mt. Umunhum is a success story about what can be accomplished when communities work together, film producer Annie Burke told the Weekly.

"I was inspired by the relationship between (former Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District General Manager) Steve Abbors and (Amah Mutsun Tribal Band Chairman) Valentin Lopez," she said. "I thought of it as a relationship between two people who were really very different: the relationship between them as individuals, as leaders of their two organizations, and between them and the Earth."

Burke, who grew up in the East Bay, said she's fallen in love with the "stunning" space and continues to learn from her experience making the film.

"There are a lot of reasons why people are interested in this story. For some it's about history, for some it's about the ecology ... for some people it's a social justice and environmental justice story," she said. "Every time I have a conversation about the film I learn something new or see another layer. It is really a very hopeful story, about taking something damaged, cleaning it up and finding commonality."

Other films to be screened include "March of the Newts," about the intriguing forest amphibians and the emerging disease they face; "Sky Migrations," about migratory raptors and the scientists who work to conserve them; "Our National Parks belong to everyone. So why are they so white?," a video exploring the conservation movement's struggle with inclusivity; and "Dragging 235 lbs uphill both ways," about a mother who decides to restrict her children's screen time in favor of time in the great outdoors.

In addition to the 13 films screened, the event will also feature free refreshments; a raffle with prizes donated by businesses including REI, Patagonia and Sports Basement; and information from local environmental groups.

Wild & Scenic Film Festival is organized by the South Yuba River Citizens League, with a large, annual flagship festival held in Nevada City, California. The touring version of the festival travels to around 250 community events each year.

Falling as it does over the long Memorial Day weekend and in the spirit of the nature-celebrating event, Medeiros suggested attendees enjoy a hike earlier in the day, then head to Foothill for the evening's festivities.

"This one of the first large collaborative events we've done together," he said, in regards to POST and Midpen's co-sponsoring of the festival. "We're really excited to bring so many people together to enjoy it."

What: Wild & Scenic Film Festival.

Where: Smithwick Theatre, Foothill College, 12345 El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills.

When: Sunday, May 26, at 6 p.m.

Cost: Free.

Info: Wild & Scenic Film Festival.

What is community worth to you?
Support local journalism.

Comments

There are no comments yet. Please share yours below.

Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Choose a category: *

Since this is the first comment on this story a new topic will also be started in Town Square! Please choose a category that best describes this story.

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields


All your news. All in one place. Every day.

After 39 years of cakes and pastries, Palo Alto institution Prolific Oven to close
By Elena Kadvany | 55 comments | 16,547 views

What is your climate personality?
By Sherry Listgarten | 35 comments | 1,905 views

The Regional Housing Needs Allocation (RHNA) Process Explained
By Steve Levy | 5 comments | 1,225 views

Do something about assault weapons, now!
By Diana Diamond | 35 comments | 1,073 views

"You Gotta Have Balls [to do counseling] . . .
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 878 views

 

Early Bird rates end today!

​On Friday, October 11, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run or half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families. Early Bird prices end Sun., Aug 18.

Register now