Wild & Scenic Film Festival
313 Railroad Ave. Suite 101
Nevada City, CA 95959
Phone: (530) 265-5961
Fax: (530) 265-6232
Jess Swigonski, Film Festival Director (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 back in 2014. 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 Festival Director, 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.
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, 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 Manager to be a dream come true. Her intention is to use her extensive experience in sales, and business management, combined with her passion for the environment, to grow SYRCL’S Wild & Scenic On Tour Program.
Eric Dunn, Film Festival Producer (530) 265-5961 ext. 223
Growing up in the Midwest, Eric’s love of nature and waterways was established early at a summer camp with a focus on extended wilderness tripping in the north woods. After crafting his own unique degree at The Ohio State University, Eric began his professional career with over a decade of experiences managing and booking musicians at high profile events around the globe. Following years of life in the Midwest he relocated to the Nevada City region in 2012. Prior to Wild & Scenic, Eric was the owner & manager of an award-winning essential oils and aromatherapy products company with his wife. Eric brings with him to Wild & Scenic a deep well of experience in logistics, marketing, & sales.
Today Eric continues to be an avid outdoorsman. He is an enthusiastic photographer, especially long exposure and astrophotography. He enjoys sharing his vision and the natural beauty of our earth to help connect others in appreciation and gratitude for the natural world. In his spare time Eric enjoys getting outside and exploring the region with his wife & dog in a variety of ways including hiking, camping, canoeing, skiing, & soaking in hot springs.
Hunter Jones, Senior On Tour Coordinator, (530) 265-5961 ext. 232
Hunter recently moved back to Nevada County after a decade on the East Coast where he worked in various advocacy roles at the Center for Study of Responsive Law in Washington, DC. He has a master’s degree from Georgetown and a bachelor’s from Hampshire College.
He is passionate about the written word and its capacity for persuasion and for effecting change. He brings to the Wild and Scenic Film Festival years of experience in communication, outreach and event coordination. When he’s not in the office, he’s playing music, reading, writing, or hiking with his dog Greta.
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.