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Environmental film festival

The Evanston Environmental Association’s Wild & Scenic Film Festival will showcase 16 environmental documentaries—featuring stories about anti-fracking heroes, beautiful birdsongs, a courageous (but cold) surfer, a slimy snail, and one of the nation’s greatest environmental victories. 

The EEA, the independent nonprofit organization that supports the Evanston Ecology Center, is the Chicago area’s presenter of selections from the Wild & Scenic Film Festival, the nation’s largest environmental film fest. The films will be shown from 7 to 9:15 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 6, and Friday, Feb. 20, at the Evanston Ecology Center, 2024 McCormick Blvd.

General admission is $7. Individual EEA members are entitled to one free ticket, with all additional tickets priced at $7. All other EEA membership types (Family, Contributing, Sustaining, Not-for-profit and Lifetime) are entitled to one free ticket, with all additional tickets priced at $5.

Tichets are available online or by calling the Ecology Center, 847-448-8256, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.

“We want people to have fun and at the same time be educated and inspired by these beautiful films," EEA Board Secretary Karen Taira said. “The Wild & Scenic Film Festival is about inspiring people to become environmental heroes.”

Different films, ranging in length from one to 36 minutes, will be shown each evening.

Feb. 6 Films

"The Curious Snail" — What would it be like to explore your garden if you were less than an inch tall? Gorgeous, close-up photography brings us face to face with a “giant” in its “jungle”—a glistening, surprisingly majestic snail as it journeys through a common backyard garden.

"School’s Out" — Lessons from a Forest Kindergarten: Imagine sending your 4-year-old into the woods every day, no matter the weather. This eye-opening film tells the story of an outdoor kindergarten in Switzerland. In our protective society, some of the school’s activities may make us uncomfortable, but the film challenges us to ask: What do our children need?

"Birdsongs – Yosemite Nature Notes" — Breathtaking Yosemite National Park is a bird-lovers’ paradise, with more than 250 species and their beautiful songs. This film is a feast for the eyes and ears.

"The Colorado River" — After 40 years of rowing down the Grand Canyon, David Edwards has learned a thing or two about the threatened Colorado River. Listen to his wise words as he rows the river among beautiful red cliffs—and find out why you should NEVER try to kiss a lizard!

"Our Power – Black Mesa, AZ" — Do you want to fight for environmental justice? Learn about the Navajo people in Black Mesa, Arizona, who are fighting the good fight to protect their aquifer from a nearby coal mining plant’s pollution.

"The Wilderness Act: 50th Anniversary" — Learn about one of the nation’s greatest environmental victories: The Wilderness Act of 1964. On its 50th anniversary, see what inspired the nation to pass a law that protects areas “where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”

"The New Environmentalists, Habitat for The Endangered" — Meet Rudi, an environmental hero working to save Sumatra’s rainforests and the tigers and rhinos that live there. The forests are being destroyed by illegal plantations supported by our love affair with palm oil.

"River of Eden" — Take a trip to the majestic Fijian Highlands, where locals said “NO” to easy money from mining and dams, and are now using tourism to fund a conservation area that protects one of the most beautiful rivers on Earth.

Feb. 20 films

"Bounce" — You’re allowed to “bounce” to the catchy music in this live-action film, which features Guillaume, who uses his magic soccer ball to bounce across the world.

"Sticky" — Could you hide for 80 years if your life depended on it? This beautifully animated film tells the remarkable story of how stick insects dodged extinction by doing just that under a windswept bush on a remote sea stack. This feel-good story celebrates how life always seems to find a way.

"The New Environmentalists, Home Rules" — Upstate New York is at the epicenter of the fracking battle. Learn about a dedicated activist who in the face of ridicule found a creative legal solution to say NO to fracking. “We’re not giving up,” says Helen. “Go ahead, bring it on!”

"Monarchs & Milkweed: What’s the big deal about milkweed?" — In this microcosmic safari, you’ll meet bees, wasps, hummingbirds and the charismatic Monarch butterfly, which can’t live without milkweed.

"Catch It (Surfing)" — Léa Brassy often surfs in a bikini—but not when she’s braving the waters off Northern Norway! Watch how the nomadic surfer connects with the surrounding mountains, Arctic surf, and simple living.

"Sea Change: Watch Ikal" — a charismatic 31-year-old Kenyan woman, fight an uphill battle to protect indigenous people from the environmental impact of a dam that threatens their food and water supply.

"I Heard" — The Sierra Club tapped award-winning filmmaker Michael Ramsey for this “Seussical” celebration of the Wilderness Act’s 50th Anniversary. 

"Dryden – The Small Town that Changed the Fracking Game" — The fracking industry had a message for the small town of Dryden: “We have the power; you have none.” Find out what Dryden did next.

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