Wild & Scenic Film Festival
313 Railroad Ave. Suite 101
Nevada City, CA 95959
Phone: (530) 265-5961
Fax: (530) 265-6232
Jorie Emory, Film Festival Producer, (530) 265-5961 ext. 208
Jorie joined the Wild & Scenic Film Festival in 2018 following 10+ years in development, events, and communications with arts and environmental nonprofits across the U.S., most recently as Director of Community Strategies with River Network. Jorie is passionate about facilitating and researching creative intersections and collaborations across art, environment, and social justice, and she is experienced in elevating these themes in her professional work, community activism, and creative life. Jorie earned a Ph.D. in Arts Administration, Education, and Policy from the Ohio State University, where she researched critical social theories and practices that help explain how people teach and learn in public spaces, leading to critical consciousness and community transformation. She is a textiles weaver and water issues artist who has exhibited her work nationally. Jorie serves on the board of directors for Surface Design Association. In her free time, you’ll find Jorie out exploring new hiking trails or dyeing yarn with local plants.
Jess Swigonski, Programming Manager, (530) 265-5961 ext. 219
Equipped with a degree in Film Production and a natural affinity for the outdoors, Jess’s work with one of the nation’s premier environmental and adventure film festivals has absolutely been a dream come true. Originally from Erie, PA, Jess moved to California after graduating from Allegheny College (Meadville, PA) to work for Wild & Scenic Film Festival as the Filmmaker Liaison. Her greatest passion is social and environmental justice; coming in close second is watching films. With a background in communications focusing in documentary film making, Jess has always been intrigued by the stories of individuals, communities, events, creatures, places that often go untold. Jess feels honored to be a facilitator for the telling of some remarkable, vital, and timely stories.
Jess serves as Programming Manager, taking the lead on creative content for the film festival and curating the film sessions that you will see at the event. Since moving to Nevada City for the job at Wild & Scenic in 2014, she has been endlessly fueling her curiosity and excitement for the various opportunities for adventuring in Northern California. Other than wildflower walks, mountain hikes, river dips, and hot spring trips, you can most definitely find her watching films, discovering music, dancing, dreaming, reveling in the time she gets to spend with the amazing and inspiring humans in California, and hanging out with her cat Charlemagne.
Theresa Huck, On Tour Sales Manager, (530) 265-5961 ext. 204
Theresa attended her first Wild & Scenic Film Festival in 2008 and it changed her entire life. An avid camper and a fish in a previous life, she fell in love with the Yuba River and describes it as a spiritual experience. Growing up in California and traveling all over has given her an immense love of nature and the environment.
Theresa brings a lifetime of sales experience to the Wild & Scenic Film Festival team. As a social entrepreneur, her goal is to use Wild & Scenic On Tour as her voice for change. She considers her position as Sales Associate to be a dream come true. Her intention is to use her extensive experience in sales, business management and public relations combined with her passion for the environment, to grow SYRCL’S Wild & Scenic On Tour Program.
Sarah Muskin, On Tour Event Coordinator, (530) 265-5961 ext. 223
Sarah grew up in coastal New England, and spent her summers exploring and working in the Green Mountains of Vermont. She graduated from Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, NY with a B.A. in Environmental Studies focusing on political ecology and earth science. As an undergraduate, Sarah traveled to Tanzania with the School of International Training to complete an independent study project about water borne disease prevention education. Sarah moved to the Tahoe area in 2016 to work with two watershed non-profit organizations as their Education and Outreach Coordinator.
Sarah came to Nevada City for the first time to attend the 2017 Wild & Scenic Film Festival, and was immediately enamored by this foothill town and the work the Wild & Scenic Film Festival does. She is thrilled to be a part of the WSFF team. Sarah is passionate about social justice, the outdoors, and environmental health. She enjoys anything that will get her outside including: running, backpacking, exploring rivers, climbing, and reading.
Laura Petersen, Communications Coordinator, (530) 265-5961 ext. 207
Laura has a passion for storytelling. As a Northern California journalist, she has spent the last two decades chronicling the people and landscapes of remote corners of The West. Regular themes of her writing examine the complexity of human relationships with nature. She has written extensively about water rights & fisheries, climate change, development, land conservation, agriculture, outdoor recreation, native plants and animals, and Indigenous cultures. Besides writing, Laura has a long history of volunteerism and community advocacy, supporting regional environmental groups like SYRCL and local sustainable agriculture. A hiking guide who loves inspiring people to get outside, Laura can often be found spending time in nature with friends, family, and her community. She loves working with the Wild & Scenic team where she can support everything she cares deeply about: the arts, outdoors, social justice and environmental causes.
Daniel Belshe, Community Engagement Manager, (530) 265-5961 ext. 201
Daniel leads all aspects of volunteer management for Wild & Scenic Film Festival. He comes this this role following nearly 20 years working internationally on projects mapping the ocean floor in Brazil, studying overfishing in communities in Baja, mapping Olive Riley nesting sites on the beaches of Costa Rica, working with big cats in India, and teaching children English in remote villages of Nepal. Most recently, he worked at a children’s charity, organizing and guiding volunteer surgical teams to hospitals in developing countries to provide complex surgeries for kids.
Daniel’s passion for protecting the health of our waterways grew after a summer internship with an environmental non-profit Missouri River Relief, mapping and analyzing garbage deposits on the banks of the Missouri River. This work involved connecting people to the Missouri River through clean-ups, river education, eco-excursions and outreach across four states. He received a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Daniel is enthusiastic to be living in a community passionate about their environment and thrilled to explore the Sierra, meet the people, the wildlife and enjoy the beauty of a river again. In his free time, he can always be found outdoors, creating eco-art, splashing in the Bear River, hiking, paddling, camping, mountain biking, or planning his next adventure.
Melinda Booth, SYRCL Executive Director, (530) 265-5961 ext. 202
Melinda is Executive Director of the South Yuba River Citizens League, the nonprofit watershed organization that produces Wild & Scenic Film Festival. Prior to this role, Melinda served as Festival Director for Wild & Scenic from 2011-2018, significantly growing both the flagship festival and On Tour program. Before her passion for environmental conservation brought her to the festival, she focused her career on saving iconic species like bears, wolves, and salmon in the American West. Melinda holds a M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana, where she studied human-bear interactions in the wildland urban interface. Melinda’s publications span scientific journals, periodicals, and books. When not working, Melinda enjoys extreme tubing, hiking with her husband and two dogs and yurt improvement projects.