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For Immediate Release, October 15, 2008

Contact: Tim A. Janes, Center for Biological Diversity, (520) 396-1140

Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival
Center for Biological Diversity Hosts Festival's Return to Tucson

TUCSON, Ariz.— The largest environmental film festival on the West Coast is sharing its magic with Southern Arizona for a third year. Join the Center for Biological Diversity when it hosts the Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival On Tour beginning at 6:30 p.m. Nov. 12th at the Loft Cinema.

The Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival On Tour brings together award-winning environmental and adventure films in a spirit of inspiration and education. Films for this year’s Tucson screening were chosen from among the favorites at the annual film festival held each January in Nevada City, Calif. The festival receives local, regional, and national acclaim for celebrating the spirit of environmental activism and has become the largest traveling festival of its kind in North America.

This year, our program includes seven films using humor, artful photography and storytelling to convey messages of hope, challenges overcome, and opportunities for action.

The feature film of the evening is Mark Harvey’s “A Land Out of Time,” which outlines the Bush administration giveaway of vast swaths of public land to the energy industry, “Unless you were an energy analyst, it just didn’t occur to you that the Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management would suddenly be leasing millions of acres to the gas and oil industry and then issuing tens of thousands of permits to drill all over the heart of the West,” Harvey wrote. “Renewable energy and energy efficiency are the answer, supplemented by careful use of our remaining fossil fuels. This is a fight for balance… Citizens… are calling for a new energy policy that will leave something of the West still intact.”

“We’re excited to bring the Festival back to Tucson, celebrating the films and sharing inspiration to learn more, do more,” said Keri Dixon, membership director for the Center for Biological Diversity.

Since its inception more than 19 years ago in the Southwest, the Center has become the nation’s leading nonprofit advocacy group for endangered plants and animals, winning protection for more than 350 species and 70 million acres of habitat. The Center is headquartered in Tucson and has offices in California, Nevada, New Mexico, Alaska, Montana, Illinois, Minnesota, Vermont, Oregon and Washington, D.C., and is supported by nearly 200,000 members and online activists.

The film festival will provide an opportunity to both entertain and engage the community and will benefit the Center’s conservation work. Special thanks go out to our local event sponsors Buffalo Exchange, Summit Hut, Whole Foods, and the event’s major national sponsor, Patagonia, as well as other national partners.

Event Details:

When: Wednesday, November 12th. Doors open for ticket sales at 6 p.m., and the show starts at 6:30.

Where: Loft Cinema, 3233 E. Speedway Blvd., Tucson.

Cost: $10 general admission, $6 for students with valid ID. Tickets can be purchased beginning Nov. 1st at Summit Hut stores, The Loft Cinema, and online at

Note: Some film content may not be appropriate for small children.

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national nonprofit conservation organization with nearly 200,000 members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.

On Tour Tucson Film Line-up  

Note to Editors: Photos of scenes are available for most films; † indicates that filmmakers are available for phone interview.


Wild and Scenic Film Festival Opening Trailer

Black Mesa Trust 4 mins.,18 secs.; photos available †
Channel G
For 30 years, Peabody Coal Co. has been withdrawing water from Arizona’s aquifers for a coal slurry line to California, leading to devastating effects on the environment, cultures, and well-being of the Hopi and Diné (Navajo) peoples living on Black Mesa. Wells, washes, and ancient springs are beginning to run dry. The centuries-old cultures of the Hopi and Diné that depend so heavily upon the pristine aquifer for religious, cultural, and day-to-day uses, are suffering. (USA, 2007)

Fridays at the Farm 19 mins.; photos available †
Honorable Mention - Wild and Scenic Film Festival
Richard Power Hoffman
Feeling disconnected from their food, a photographer/filmmaker and his family decide to join a community-supported organic farm. Moving from passive observer to active participant, the filmmaker photographs the natural processes of food cultivation. Featuring lush time-lapse and macrophotography sequences compiled from nearly 20,000 still images, this personal essay is a meditation on the miracles of life. Best Short, Green Film Festival, Seoul, Korea; Best Documentary, Sapporo Short Film Festival, Japan. (USA, 2006)

For the Price of a Cup of Coffee – 15 mins.; photos available †
Hypatia Porter
Follow the life cycle of a paper cup and the environmental repercussions of a society reliant on convenience. Filmed in the San Francisco Bay Area with interviews from local activists and experts. Maybe you’ll remember now to bring your own cup to the cafe! Best Documentary, Epidemic Student Film Festival; Best Environmental Documentary, Cabbagetown Short Film Festival, Toronto. (USA, 2007)  

Protecting New Orleans, Saving Venice – 12 mins.; photos available †
Marylou Tibaldo-Bongiorno
Post-Katrina, Mississippi Delta restoration expert Dr. John Day shows how to rebuild Louisiana’s coastal wetlands in order to safeguard New Orleans against future hurricanes. He also draws parallels between New Orleans and Venice, Italy, and analyzes Venice’s struggle to save itself from devastating floods. Award for Scientific Approach, Montana CINE. (USA, 2006).

Owens Lake 4 mins.; photos available †
Channel G
In 1913, water diversions by the city of Los Angeles turned the largest lake in California, 250 miles away from the city, into an alkali dry lakebed and dust bowl. Last year, the city was forced to control dust from the lakebed that had gotten so bad that it violated the federal Clean Air Act. As a result of water being released onto the lake bed to reduce dust, thousands upon thousands of migratory birds have returned, some of which travel from southern South America to Arctic breeding grounds. Sixty-two miles of the Lower Owen River has also been restored, which quite possibly is the world’s largest – though unintentional – restoration project. (USA, 2007)


Climate: A Crisis Averted 2 mins.
Free Range Studios
This film looks back from the year 2056 and recounts how in 2006 ordinary citizens – realizing that global warming was a scientific fact and not a climatic theory – take action to demand clean energy and other planet-friendly options. Produced by Free Range Studios in Washington, D.C., and Berkeley, Calif., the piece describes how a movement called RenewUS effected real change with an action plan, a “call-to-arms” about global warming. (USA, 2006)

A Land Out of Time – 53 mins; photos available †
Spirit of Activism Award - Wild & Scenic Film Festival
Mark Harvey
The U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management are leasing millions of acres to the gas and oil industry and issuing tens of thousands of permits to drill for natural gas all over the heart of the West. The wild places of America’s western geography are being rendered into an industrial landscape. And for what? A few days or weeks supply of natural gas, spread over the next couple of decades. This film introduces you to the faces and unconventional partnerships behind the fight to save the landscapes of the West. Best Environmental Documentary, Taos MountainFilm. (USA, 2006)

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