Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
South Yuba River Citizens League
City & State:
Nevada City, 
Organization's Mission Statement
The Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival inspires people and unites communities to heal the earth. The South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL, pronounced 'circle') is a community-based educational nonprofit corporation committed to the protection, preservation and restoration of the entire Yuba Watershed. Wild & Scenic raises resources and awareness for SYRCL’s initiatives to recover California’s wild salmon and to protect and restore the Yuba River. And SYRCL’s Film Festival On Tour serves as a national platform for local environmental advocacy.

Submission Information

Impact Essay
In 2002, SYRCL’s director came to me and said, “Let’s put on a film festival.” My response, “Sure, why not?” After all, we worked for an organization that had seen crazy success organizing the community around saving the Yuba River. If we could achieve Wild & Scenic status on the river, we could host a film festival, right? We booked a venue in our small town of Nevada City for a winter weekend in 2003. With little resources, I created a poster and simple program, chose 20 films, and emailed our members. But would anyone show? YES! The weekend was standing room only. Filmmakers came to speak with their films. Actor Peter Coyote graced us with opening remarks. Poet Gary Snyder came to take in the birth of a new Nevada City event. People came out of the theatres filled with emotion ... obviously moved by the films.The seeds for the festival were planted, and the Wild & Scenic Film Festival became an annual event. Jump ahead to 2009: Wild & Scenic is the largest festival of its kind in the US. Seven venues host 125 films, and over 100 filmmakers mingle with 5,000 attendees. Special events occur throughout Nevada City’s downtown. Soon other communities requested the festival, so Wild & Scenic On Tour was born. The program now reaches 100 towns across the nation in a single season. Wild & Scenic is a call to action and film is the communicator. We witness the transformation of filmgoers into a congregation of committed activists, dedicated to saving our threatened planet. We screen films that illustrate the Earth’s beauty, the challenges facing our planet, and the work communities are doing to protect the environment. Through these films, the festival informs people about the state of the world and inspires them to take action. Actions are big and small: installing solar, switching to CFLs, going organic, buying a hybrid, consuming less, and for one man, changing a lifestyle to become a farmer. The tide is turning .... and Wild & Scenic has become a force for change. The festival is possible by a local grassroots effort but its impact and appeal are vast. Therefore, our image must be professional and appealing. We have been able to do this because of Adobe’s programs. Each year’s signature look starts with a film still from one of the current films. In Photoshop the photo transforms into the foundation graphic that is translated in InDesign and Illustrator into a 40-page festival program, event posters, ads, as well as the collateral for the On Tour program. We rely on these promotional pieces to attract people into the inspiring world of Wild & Scenic. The designs are seen by the thousands that attend the home festival, as well as the thousands across the country attending the Festival On Tour. Billboards in the state of Colorado have even advertised the face of Wild & Scenic! Adobe’s products have truly contributed to the success of the festival in helping bring these important films to more people and inspiring them to make a difference. (as told by Kathy Dotson, Wild & Scenic Film Festival Director)
Submission Category
Environmental Impact Print/Photo
Project Image
Supporting Work Files