Special Guests

January 11, 2012

Filmmakers, activists, adventurers, and scientists will be gathering for the 2012 Wild & Scenic Film Festival this weekend. The power of the festival is not limited to the films, but is also the result of these influential people’s work. However they take part in the festival, whether speaking in conjunction with a film or leading a workshop, meeting the faces behind the films creates a personal connection to the issue and the film. We can watch films anywhere, but this gathering of people, with this audience’s shared passion, watching film is a collective experience.

Steve Katz is publisher for Mother Jones, which has been the home for hard-hitting, award-winning investigative reporting since 1975. In addition to helping keep the lights on at Mother Jones, Steve founded and is chair of the executive committee of The Media Consortium, a network of more than 50 progressive, independent media organizations. Steve has more than thirty years’ experience working in the fields of journalism, environmental advocacy (including five years with Communities for a Better Environment and nine with Earthjustice), the arts, social justice, and neighborhood-based housing development, and has served on a number of non-profit boards, including the As You Sow Foundation, Turtle Island Restoration Network, and Earthshare of California. Steve received his PhD in Sociology from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 1987, and his B.A. from Oberlin College in 1974. He lives in Fairfax, California with his wife Rachelle and dog Mingus. The creek behind his house is still home to a run of wild steelhead trout.  Steve will be leading a workshop on media called “Bringing Issues to Light” from 1:30-2:30pm on Saturday in the Activist Center. He will also emceeing the Saturday night session in the Nevada Theatre.

Dr. Zeb Hogan is an Assistant Research Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno in the Dept. of Natural Resources and Environmental Science. This year he was named a National Geographic Fellow – one of only 15 men and women worldwide to receive this distinction. He is the host for the hit television show, Monster Fish, broadcast on the National Geographic Channel.
A long-term advocate for the conservation of freshwater fish species, he has worked a majority of his career trying to understand the ecology of the largest, freshwater fishes in the world. These fishes include the giant catfish, stingray, gar, salmon, and sturgeon. With the University of Nevada, Reno and the National Geographic Society, he has helped launched the Megafishes Project focusing on the protection of the world’s largest fish. Zeb Hogan is our special guest for this year’s School Program, and will also lead a workshop on Conservation Filmmaking with Andy Maser from 12-1pm on Saturday in the Activist Center.

John de Graaf is the Communications and Outreach Director for the Happiness Initiative, and the Executive Director of Take Back Your Time. He is the co-author of Affluenza and What’s the Economy for Anyway? A documentary filmmaker, the John de Graaf Environmental Filmmaking Award is presented annually in his name at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival in Nevada City, CA. He will also present the award named in his honor at the Awards Ceremony on Saturday, 4:15pm.

Amy Goodman is an award-winning investigative journalist and syndicated columnist, author and the host of Democracy Now! airing on more than 1000 public television/radio stations worldwide.   Goodman is the first journalist to receive the Right Livelihood Award, widely known as the ‘Alternative Nobel Prize’ for “developing an innovative model of truly independent grassroots political journalism that brings to millions of people the alternative voices that are often excluded by the mainstream media.”  The Independent of London named Amy Goodman and Democracy Now! “an inspiration”; pulsemedia.org placed Goodman at the top of their 20 Top Global Media Figures.  Goodman is the author of four New York Times bestsellers.  Her latest book, Breaking the Sound Barrier, proves the power of independent journalism in the struggle for a better world.  She co-authored the first three bestsellers, Standing Up to the Madness, Static, and The Exception to the Rulers, with her brother, journalist David Goodman. For more information about Amy Goodman and Democracy Now!, please visit democracynow.org. Join Amy Godman for a special presentation and film screening, co-presented with KVMR, Saturday night at the Vets Hall in Grass Valley.

Brian Thomas Swimme is a professor at the California Institute of Integral Studies in San Francisco. He received his Ph.D. from the Department of Mathematics at the University of Oregon in 1978 for work in gravitational dynamics. He brings the context of story to our understanding of the 13.7 billion year trajectory of cosmogenesis. Such a story, he feels, will assist in the emergence of a flourishing Earth community.  Swimme is the author of The Hidden Heart of the Cosmos and The Universe is a Green Dragon. He is co-author of The Universe Story, which is the result of a 10-year collaboration with the cultural historian, Thomas Berry.  Swimme is also the creator of three educational video series: Canticle to the Cosmos (1990), Earth’s Imagination (1998), and The Powers of the Universe (2006).

He lectures widely and has presented at conferences sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, The World Bank, UNESCO, The United Nations Millennium Peace Summit, and the American Museum of Natural History. Dr. Swimme will be speaking in conjunction with the film he co-wrote Journey of the Universe, Saturday night and Sunday morning in the Nevada Theatre.

John Trudell is an acclaimed poet, national recording artist, actor and activist whose international following reflects the universal language of his words, work and message. Trudell (Santee Sioux) was a spokesperson for the Indian of All Tribes occupation of Alcatraz Island from 1969 to 1971. He then worked with the American Indian Movement (AIM), serving as Chairman of AIM from 1973 to 1979. In February of 1979, a fire of unknown origin killed Trudell’s wife, three children and mother-in-law. It was through this horrific tragedy that Trudell began to find his voice as an artist and poet, writing, in his words, “to stay connected to this reality.” John Trudell will be the special guest at the Native American film session Friday night at the Nevada Theatre. He will speak after the screening of the award winning film Trudell.

Peaceful Uprising is a Salt Lake City based, intergenerational, Climate Justice organization committed to defending a livable future through empowering nonviolent direct action.  Peaceful Uprising seeks to change the institutional and social status quo at the root of the climate crisis, moving towards a more just and healthy world. Peaceful Uprising will be presenting their Climate Trial Puppet Theater Saturday afternoon in the Miners Foundry Stone Hall and on the streets of Nevada Cit. They will also be leading a workshop on the history of civil disobedience from 1:15-2:15pm on Sunday in the Activist Center.

Hans Florine started climbing while in college 29 years ago, and has worked as a full-time climber since ’89.  During the past 29 years Hans has made his mark on the sport, both nationally and internationally. He holds numerous solo and team speed records on many of Yosemite’s classic big wall routes.  He’s climbed El Capitan 145 times, The Nose Route on El Cap 85 times.  In 2003, he set the speed record on all the legal 14,000-foot peaks in California.  Hans is the co-author of the Falcon Guide on Speed Climbing.  Hans lives in Lafayette with his wife Jacqueline, and two kids. When not out speaking or climbing Hans is managing the Diablo Rock Gym in Concord CA.  Hans is featured in the film Race for the Nose, screening Saturday night in the Stone Hall at the Miner’s Foundry.

Beginning with anti-apartheid student activism twenty years ago, Jason Rainey applies himself at the confluence of movements for economic justice, ecological regeneration and indigenous cultural resurgence.  He is currently the Executive Director of International Rivers, supporting a network of dam-affected communities throughout the Global South fighting for their rights to self-sustaining livelihoods, while also campaigning internationally for climate protection measures that acknowledge and respect the role of healthy rivers in supporting global biodiversity and regional food security.  Rainey served as Executive Director of SYRCL from 2005-2011, advocating for the return of salmon to the upper Yuba River and helping to produce six Wild & Scenic Film Fests.  Jason will be emceeing and speaking in conjunction with the river film session on Friday night at the Vets Hall, and will lead a workshop on Watershed Collaboration on Sunday, 10:45am.

Mark Dubois recently co-organized Four Years. Go, a campaign to shift humanity’s course toward a just, fulfilling and sustainable future by the end of 2014.  Prior to that, he was the Organizational Alliances & Youth Liaison for The Pachamama Alliance, collaborating and sharing the Awakening Dreamer Symposium’s potential with allied networks, organizations & individuals.  As International Coordinator of Earth Day 1990 and 2000, he collaborated with thousands of groups in 184 countries outside the US co-creating the world’s largest grassroots environmental event in history with hundreds of millions people actively participating.  He co-founded the International Rivers Network (’84) with its journal World Rivers Review, Friends of the River (’74) and the Environmental Traveling Companions (’72).  He also founded and directed WorldWise (’90), supporting grassroots campaigns for World Bank & IMF policy reform, and coordinated grassroots lobby efforts with Bank Executive Directors for 10 years.  Mark will be speaking at the Dam Removal Event on Saturday at the Haven and will co-lead a workshop on Watershed Collaboration on Sunday, at 10:45am.

Check out our workshop listings and our program for additional guests.




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