Free film festival explores nature

November 04, 2004|by ANDREA ROWLAND

SHEPHERDSTOWN, W.Va. - The second annual American Conservation Film Festival will showcase films that explore "The Changing Face of the Land."

The festival will start at 7 p.m. today and run through 10:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6, at several venues in and around Shepherdstown. Admission to all films is free. The event showcases films that aim to educate about land- and natural-resource conservation, festival organizers said.

This year's film lineup will include:

· "Monumental: David Brower's Fight to Protect Wild America" at 7 p.m. today at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's National Conservation Training Center north of Shepherdstown. The film examines the life and work of conservationist Brower, who fought to save wilderness land and establish national parks at the Grand Canyon and elsewhere. A 9 p.m. reception will follow the film at the training center.


· "The Story of the Weeping Camel" at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 5, in Shepherd University's Reynolds Hall in downtown Shepherdstown. The film depicts the journey of a Mongolian camel, her newborn colt and two shepherds across the Gobi Desert. The ACFF Producers Night Reception will follow the film at the Entler Hotel in Shepherdstown. Tickets for the reception cost $25.

· "Snow Geese in Peril" at noon Saturday, Nov. 6, at the training center. Ducks Unlimited produced this look at wildlife management in a changing arctic landscape.

· "Letting Go: The Art of Catch and Release" at 12:15 p.m. Saturday at the training center. This film highlights some of the best fly-fishing in the world.

· "The River" at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at the training center. West Virginia native Pare Lorentz in 1937 produced this documentary about the Mississippi River based upon his Pulitzer Prize-nominated poem.

· "Thirst" at 1 p.m. Saturday at the training center. The film examines the corporate drive to package, control and profit from water.

· "Broken Limbs: Apples, Agriculture, and the New American Farmer" at 2:15 p.m. Saturday at the training center. The film examines the apple industry as a whole and one orchard family's struggle.

· "Thoughts in the Presence of Fear" at 3:30 p.m. Saturday at the training center. Written and narrated by farmer-conservationist Wendell Berry, the film offers commentary on our times. Filmmaker Herb E. Smith will participate in a discussion about Appalachia, land ownership and land use following the viewing.

· "The Appalachians: America's First and Last Frontier" at 4 p.m. Saturday at the training center. The film is the second part of a series that explores Appalachia's people, culture and land. The series' producer and writer will participate in a discussion following the film.

· "One Wild Ride: Yukon to Yellowstone" at 7 p.m. Saturday at the training center. National Geographic filmmaker Larry Cumbo of Jefferson County, W.Va., chronicles British biologist Nick Baker's 5,000-mile road trip along the northern Rocky Mountains, and describes an effort to create a wildlife corridor for large animals such as wolves and bears.

· "Flip Flotsam" at 7 p.m. Saturday at Shepherd University's Reynolds Hall. The film examines the flip-flop phenomenon beginning in the rubber shoe's African homeland.

· "Endangered Species" at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Reynolds Hall. The film traces the work of the young people who formed the Earth Conservation Corps while enduring the challenges of street gangs, drugs and violence in Washington, D.C.

· "People of the Sea" at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at the training center. The film explores the relationship between the sea and the residents of Newfoundland and Labrador. Shane Mahoney, film narrator and Newfoundland's chief of ecosystems research and inventory, will speak after the viewing.

· "Being Caribou" at 9 p.m. Saturday at Reynolds Hall. The film follows a Canadian couple who spent five months on foot with a herd of more than 120,000 caribou as the animals migrated from the Yukon Territory to the caribou calving grounds in Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

· "Mosaic of Diversity" at 10:30 p.m. Saturday at Reynolds Hall. Actor Graham Greene narrates this documentary about the natural and cultural history of the Olympic Mountains.

American Conservation Family Film Festival offerings at Reynolds Hall on Saturday will include three animated shorts - "Good Riddance! Air Pollution: The Eco Van Comes Clean," "Banjo Frogs" and "Possum Rest" - and the classic film "The Man Who Planted Trees." Oscar winner Frederic Back animated this film about a man who decides to plant 100 acorns a day in an otherwise desolate environment. The family festival, which starts at 1 p.m., also will feature a hands-on activity.

A panel discussion about "The Changing Face of the Land," featuring filmmakers and Sierra Club members, will be held from 5 to 5:30 p.m. Saturday at the training center.

"I think that's going to be the gem of the festival, actually," said Cassandre Cohn, festival manager.

For a complete list of films and other information, go to on the Web.

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