Special Guests

2015 Special Guest List COMING SOON!


2014 Film Festival Special Guests

Debra Winger is an esteemed actress (An Officer and a Gentleman, Terms of Endearment, Urban Cowboy, and many others), writer, producer, and activist.  Ms. Winger has additionally been the recipient of multiple distinguishing honors, including Emmy, BAFTA, and Golden Globe nominations. Long active in social issues, Winger sits on the board of the Tahirih Justice Center and works for several public health organizations. She was a co-producer of the Academy Award-nominated documentary Gasland, which has been credited as having brought the subject of fracking and its ramifications into a national spotlight. She is currently is currently the executive producer of Gasland II, the powerful sequel film about fracking. Debra speaks after both screenings of the film Friday evening at the Miners Foundry Osborn/Woods Hall and at the Nevada Theatre.

Ramsay Adams is Founder and Executive Director of Catskill Mountainkeeper, an environmental advocacy organization dedicated to protecting the Catskill Region in New York State. He is also a film and television music supervisor, author, and educator. Prior to founding Catskill Mountainkeeper in 2006, Ramsay created and taught the Music Supervision course at NYU’s Center for Advanced Digital Applications and wrote the book Music Supervision: The Complete Guide to Selecting Music for Movies, TV, Games and New Media. He co-founded MusicSupervisionCentral.com, a music supervision services company. Ramsay was the Music Director for a cable news channel for over 4 years and is the film music supervisor of many award-winning films, including Jihad for Love, The Break Up Artist, and Heights.

Paul Colangelo is a Canadian environmental photojournalist. He was first recognized for his work with the film Sacred Headwaters, which helped lead to the protection of this northern wilderness. The primary focus of Paul’s work is the current shift in core Canadian values: the once-celebrated wilderness is now being viewed as nothing more than a stockpile of natural resources. Paul is a National Geographic Explorer and a member of the International League of Conservation Photographers. Paul lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. Sacred Headwaters screens Saturday evening at 7pm and Sunday at 2pm. His photo presentation and discussion takes place Saturday at 5pm at the Stonehouse. Paul speaks after his film Saturday night at the Nevada Theatre.

Tim DeChristopher, a favorite activist of Wild & Scenic, is back. In 2008, as Bidder #70, Tim disrupted an illegitimate BLM oil and gas auction by outbidding oil companies for parcels around Arches and Canyonlands National Parks in Utah. He was indicted on two felony charges for that act of civil disobedience and served 21 months in a federal prison. He founded Peaceful Uprising, a climate justice group that empowers nonviolent action to defend a livable future, and is currently studying at Harvard Divinity School. Tim is hosting an activist workshop Saturday at 1:45pm.

Mark Dubois is a co-founder of Friends of the River and the International Rivers Network, and has long been a leader in river conservation. In 1979, he captured national headlines when he chained himself to the bedrock of the Stanislaus River Canyon as a new reservoir filled. Dubois was international coordinator for Earth Day 1990 and 2000, events that involved 200 million people from 184 countries. He coordinated ten consecutive lobbying efforts at Work Bank/IMF annual meetings, and he founded World Wise, a grassroots campaign for international development bank reform. His current work focuses on river conservation, the power of individuals to make a difference, and the maturation of the international environmental movement. Mark presents an activist workshop on Saturday at 11:15am.

Osprey Orielle Lake is the Founder and President of the Women’s Earth and Climate Caucus (WECC) and works nationally to promote resilient communities and foster a post-carbon energy future, while also addressing societal transformation. She is Co-Chair of International Advocacy with the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature and has developed a Resilient Community Training Program in California. She served on the Steering Committee of the UN Women’s Major Group for the Rio+20 Earth Summit and has recently completed organizing the International Women’s Earth and Climate Summit, bringing together 100 women leaders from around the world to draft and implement a Women’s Climate Action Agenda. She is the author of the award-winning book Uprisings for the Earth: Reconnecting Culture with Nature. Osprey speaks after her film A World on Notice, Friday evening at the Stonehouse, and she is hosting a women’s empowerment workshop Saturday, 10am at the Activist Center.

John “Jack” Muir Laws  is a naturalist, educator and artist. Laws has worked as an environmental educator since 1984 in California, Wyoming, and Alaska. He teaches classes on natural history, conservation biology, scientific illustration, and field sketching. He is a TogetherGreen Conservation Leadership Fellow with the National Audubon Society, and was the 2011 artist for International Migratory Bird Day. Laws has written and illustrated a variety of books
about art and natural history. Jack leads a natural history hike on the Tribute Trail Sunday at 12pm and has a
book signing at The Earth Store Sunday at 2pm.

Michael Mease is President, founding board member and current Campaign Coordinator for the Buffalo Field Campaign. He earned a BA in Radio/Television and Psychology from the University of Montana and has produced more than 20 video documentaries on human rights and environmental issues. His videography has received awards from the Best of the Northwest Film Festival, the Hometown Video Festival, and the International Wildlife Film Festival. Michael has worked as an undercover videographer for Greenpeace, Native Forest Network, and BearWatch, with footage broadcast on CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, A&E, and the Discovery Channel. Mike is co-founder of Cold Mountain, Cold Rivers and the Buffalo Field Campaign. Michael presents a workshop at the Activist Center, Saturday at 4:15pm, and he speaks after the film Buffalo Battle on Saturday, 1:30pm at the Stonehouse.

Caleen Sisk is the spiritual leader and Tribal Chief of the Winnemem Wintu Tribe of Northern California. She received her training in the traditional way from Winnemem Wintu Leader/Healer Florence Jones and now leads the tribe’s struggles to restore salmon in their traditional waters, gain federal recognition of their sovereign rights, and protect their sacred places. Caleen speaks after the film Standing on Sacred Ground: Pilgrims & Tourists, Saturday at 1:30pm at the Nevada Theatre and Sunday at 2pm at the Vets Hall.

Angela Sun is a journalist, documentary filmmaker, actress, and adventurer. She broke boundaries in the world of sports media as the first Asian-American female on-camera personality to appear on networks such as ESPN, Yahoo Sports, the Tennis Channel, and others. She currently serves as the host of Yahoo Sports Minute. Watched by millions of viewers, it is the longest-running daily sports show online. Behind the lens, Angela directed and executive produced the feature-length documentary film Plastic Paradise: The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, which has garnered awards worldwide and was recently tweeted about by former VP Al Gore. She is an avid surfer and scuba diver and serves on the Board of Advisors for the Ocean Defender organization based in Hawaii. Angela speaks with her film on Saturday at 1:30pm at the Miner’s Foundry Stone Hall and again on Sunday at 10am at the Stonehouse.

John Trudell, Santee Sioux, is a philosopher, orator, national recording artist, actor and poet. Trudell became involved in Indian activism in the late 1960′s and was a spokesperson for the Indians of All Tribes takeover of Alcatraz Island. He joined the American Indian Movement and was its national chairman from 1973 until 1979. In 1979 his mother-in-law, wife, and three children were killed in a suspicious fire — a tragedy that led him to poetry. He began putting his poetry to music in 1982, and soon after joined with legendary Kiowa guitarist Jesse Ed Davis to release several albums, including the 1986 release of AKA Graffiti Man, which Bob Dylan called the best album of the year. His latest album is Crazier than Hell. John has played roles in major feature films, including Thunderheart and Smoke Signals. In 2012, Trudell and Willie Nelson co-founded Hempstead Project HEART (Hemp Energies Alternative Resource Technologies) to raise awareness of the many economic and environmental benefits and uses of industrial hemp. As Co-Director of Hempstead Project HEART, Trudell works to enliven public action toward creating a sustainable green economy based on hemp. A documentary on his life, Trudell, debuted at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival (and screened at Wild & Scenic). John speaks after the film Buffalo Wild Saturday night at the Nevada Theatre.

Juliette West, 17 years old, stars in the film How I Became an Elephant, the powerful rescue story of an abused elephant in Thailand. Today Juliette continues her fight for the elephants, working with the organization In Defense of Animals (IDA) to reach new audiences and inform young and old alike of the abuse of elephants in zoos and circuses. She founded a nonprofit called Juliette Speaks. Their mission is to provide a voice for those who cannot speak for themselves, especially elephants, advocating for public awareness about the issues confronting both captive and wild elephants and their protection. She has received numerous awards for her work as a youth activist, including the Youth Activist of the Year Award in 2011. Her film How I Became an Elephant screens Saturday, 7pm at the Yuba River Charter School and Sunday, 2pm at Oddfellows. She will speak at both screenings.

Scott Williamson has logged more miles on the Pacific Crest Trail than anyone else in history. He has thru-hiked the PCT 13 times and was the first person to complete a continuous one-season round-trip of the PCT from Mexico to Canada and back. He has walked over 47,000 miles and completed what’s known in the thru-hiking community as the “Triple Crown” (thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, and the Continental Divide Trail) in one season. In 2011, Williamson set a new PCT speed record, unsupported, by completing the trek in 64 days. In 1996, while working in Richmond, California, Williamson was shot in the face during an attempted robbery. “Coming that close to death made me focus more on what I felt was important in my life,” he has said. Scott speaks after the film Tell it on the Mountain: Stories of the PCT, Sunday, 10am, at the Vets Hall.