2017 Winners & Highlights Series

Wild & Scenic is partnering with the Nevada Theatre Film Series to bring you 8 weeks of winners and highlights from 2017’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival.

Each week will feature a short (or 2) followed by a feature-length film. Many of these titles aren’t currently available in the SYRCL Film Library, so this may be your last chance to see them for awhile. Tickets are $8 and can be purchased online or at the Nevada Theatre box office a half hour before showtime.

Proceeds benefit SYRCL.


May 14, 2017

The Refuge

Alex Jablonski, Kahlil Hudson | 16 min

For hundreds of generations, the Gwich’in people of Alaska and northern Canada have depended on the caribou that migrate through the Arctic Refuge. With their traditional culture now threatened by oil extraction and climate change, two Gwich’in women are continuing a decades-long fight to protect their land and future.

Fractured Land

Damien Gillis, Fiona Rayher | 80 min
Award Winner: 2017 Best in Theme

A coming of age story about a young First Nations lawyer, Caleb Behn, from northern Canada, epicenter of some of the worlds largest fracking operations. Watch as Caleb tries to reconcile the fractures within himself, his community and the world around him – blending modern tools of the law with ancient wisdom.



March 26, 2017

Douglas Tompkins: Wild Legacy

James Q Martin, Chris Cresci | 16 min
Award Winner: 2017 Honorable Mention

Douglas Tompkins was a world-renowned adventurer, entrepreneur, and conservationist. The founder of The North Face and cofounder of Esprit, Doug spent the first half of his life building successful global brands, while simultaneously adventuring around the world, completing first descents of the world’s toughest rivers. In 1968 Doug embarked on a trip to Chile, driving with friends from California to the tip of Patagonia.  In the early 1990s, Doug sold his part of Esprit and turned his entrepreneurial energies to land and wildlife conservation projects in South America, working alongside his wife, Kristine McDivitt Tompkins, the former CEO of Patagonia, Inc. Over the last 25 years, Tompkins-initiated efforts have helped secure 4.75 million acres in new protected areas in Chile and Argentina including five new national parks. Tragically killed in a kayaking accident on December 8th, 2015, A Wild Legacy tells the story of Doug’s incredible life, his lasting impact on the wild landscapes of Patagonia, and Kris and the Tompkins Conservation team’s efforts to continue his audacious mission.

Can You Dig This

Delila Vallot | 85 min
Award Winner: 2017 Spirit of Activism

South Los Angeles. What comes to mind is gangs, drugs, liquor stores, abandoned buildings and vacant lots.  The last thing that you would expect to find is a beautiful garden sprouting up through the concrete, coloring the urban landscape.  As part of an urban gardening movement taking root in South LA, people are planting to transform their neighborhoods and are changing their own lives in the process.  Calling for people to put down their guns and pick up their shovels, these “gangster gardeners” are creating an oasis in the middle of one of the most notoriously dangerous places in America. Can You Dig This? follows the inspirational journeys of four unlikely gardeners, discovering what happens when they put their hands in the soil.  This is not a story of science and economics.  This is a story of the human spirit, inspiring people everywhere to pick up their shovels and plant!

April 2, 2017

The Accord

RC Cone, Elli Thor Magnusson | 19 min

The reality of growing up a surfer in Iceland is different from anywhere else in the world. It’s a harsh place. There are no surf shops, guidebooks or webcams. But being so far removed from the hustle and bustle of the known surf world hardens Iceland’s surfers to confront the issue they all must face: the North Atlantic wind. Follow Heiðar Logi Elíasson on his journey through Iceland searching for that rare, yet significant, compromise that brings both Icelandic surfers and the North Atlantic wind to the table.

Sea Gypsies: The Far Side of the World

Nico Edwards, Splendid Entertainment | 79 min

Welcome aboard to a reckless sailing expedition to Antarctica aboard a hand-built gypsy boat, crewed by wandering miscreants without permission or insurance of any kind. Along the way the crew will battle a hurricane of ice in the Ross Sea, assist the radical environmental group Sea Shepherd, tear every sail they have and unwittingly go further south than any other sailing vessel in 2014.

April 9, 2017

The Gnomist

Sharon Liese, Cynthia Wade, Ty Jones, Jeremy Carr, Samantha Hake | 20 min
Award Winner: 2017 Best Kids Film

This true story follows the mysterious appearance of fairy homes in a suburban forest and the magical experience shared by three women.

Another Way of Living: The Story of Reston, VA

Rebekah Wingert-Jabi | 69 min

Robert Simon (1914-2015) had a vision for American life. While 1950s post-war suburban sprawl cultivated individualism and homogeneity and prioritized single-family homes, Bob Simon dreamed ‘another way of living’ that valued community, nature, and social equity. He set out to build a suburban town that integrated citizens across racial, economic, and religious divides. His vision was realized in the New Town of Reston, VA, in 1964. As Bob approached his 100th birthday, will the families of Reston come together to secure the diversity and sense of community he fought so hard to preserve? Or will the rising housing costs and rapid redevelopment mark the end of Bob’s legacy in Reston?

April 16, 2017

Being Hear

Palmer Morse, Matthew Mikkelsen | 10 min

Emmy-Award winning nature sound recordist and acoustic ecologist, Gordon Hempton, works to protect the few remaining quiet places on Earth from noise pollution. Being Hear highlights his quest to preserve silence, and the importance of listening to world around us.

In Pursuit of Silence

Patrick Shen | 81 min
Award Winner: 2017 People’s Choice
Award Winner: 2017 Jury Award

In our race towards modernity, amidst all the technological innovation and the rapid growth of our cities, silence is now quickly passing into legend. Beginning with an ode to John Cage’s seminal silent composition 4’33”, the sights and sounds of this film delicately interweave with silence to create a contemplative and cinematic experience that works its way through frantic minds and into the quiet spaces of hearts. As much a work of devotion as it is a documentary, In Pursuit of Silence is a meditative exploration of our relationship with silence, sound, and the impact of noise on our lives.

April 23, 2017


Katie Schuler, Nick Rogacki | 13 min
Award Winner: 2017 Best Short

This is an intimate glimpse into the journey of a single pangolin; from the moment it is taken from the wild to its final destination in China. Filmed on location across three countries with the help of reformed poachers and wildlife enforcement officers, the film acts as a surrogate for an estimated hundred thousand pangolins that are poached and smuggled annually throughout Southeast Asia and Africa. This film seeks to inform a broad audience about pangolins and the illegal trade they are central to, in order to address the very real danger that pangolins might be extinct before much of the world ever knew they existed. Filmed with minimal commentary to be as immersive as possible, Pangolin offers audiences the opportunity experience the life, death and afterlife of the most illegally trafficked mammal on the planet.

The Islands and the Whales

Mike Day | 2016 | 83 min
Award Winner: 2017 Best of Festival

In their remote home in the North Atlantic, the Faroe Islanders have always eaten what nature could provide, proud to put local food on the table. The land yields little, so they have always relied on harvesting their seas. Hunting whales and seabirds kept them alive for generations, and gave them the way of life they love; a life they would pass on to their children. But today they face a grave threat to this tradition. It is not the controversy surrounding whaling that threatens the Faroese way of life; the danger is coming from the whales themselves. One of the first to feel the affects of our ever more polluted oceans, they have discovered that their beloved whales are toxic, contaminated by the outside world. What once secured their survival now endangers their children and the Faroe Islanders must make a choice between health and tradition.

April 30, 2017

Dream Day

Malcolm Sangster, Eric Crosland, CLIF Bar, Sherpas Cinema | 10 min

What would it feel like to begin your day in fresh powder and end it in the briny Pacific on the perfect sunset wave? It would probably feel like a dream. Four athletes, Jeremy Jones, Hilaree O’Neil, Matt Hunter and Greg Long, set out to see if they could make that dream a reality –starting out in the Sierra backcountry then rock climbing, cruising down Mt. Tam on mountain bikes, and capping it off with a surf at Stinson Beach. Amazing adventures are possible when you get outside and dream big.

The Wild President

Will Stauffer-Norris, Sinjin Eberle, Jacob Boling | 6 min

President Jimmy Carter, an unsung environmental hero, grew up in awe of nature’s wonder. But it wasn’t until he first paddled the Chattooga River’s Bull Sluice did he understand the power of a wild river. In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act, happening in 2018, President Carter urges all Americans to protect more wild rivers.

Chasing Niagara

Rush Sturges | 77 min

When pro kayaker Rafa Ortiz decides to follow his dream to paddle over Niagara Falls, he sets in motion an incredible series of events that eventually takes on a life of its own. To prepare for this mission, Rafa enlists the help of world-renowned paddler Rush Sturges and a tight team of their friends. Together they go on a remarkable three-year journey from the rainforest rivers of Mexico to the towering waterfalls of the U.S. Northwest.

May 7, 2017


Amy Nicholson | 15 min
Award Winner: 2017 Honorable Mention

Let us reflect on the brief existence of Pickle the fish. Although he could not swim, he was lovingly cared for by a couple that kept him propped up in a sponge. Along with an obese chicken, a cat with a heart condition, and a paraplegic possum, his life is a celebration of man’s eternal capacity to care for all creatures. He will be dearly missed.

An Acquired Taste

Vanessa LeMaire | 70 min

As the food movement grows across America, a young generation of mindful meat-eaters reject factory farms and turn to hunting for the ultimate protein. Animal lovers, Nick, Alex and Ashlie leave behind their modern lives and embark on a journey that is foreign to their parents – partly to eat dinner, and partly to carve out their identities.