Conscious Party: Wild and Scenic Film Festival (SOLD OUT)

GET OUT: Last year, MountainTrue moved its Wild and Scenic Film Festival to Sierra Nevada, and attendance grew to about 300 people.

WHAT: An environmentally themed film festival

WHERE: Sierra Nevada’s outdoor venue

WHEN: Thursday, May 4, 7-11 p.m. (8 p.m. show time)

WHY: Since MountainTrue’s work lies in “championing resilient forests, clean waters and healthy communities in Western North Carolina,” it’s fitting that the nonprofit’s upcoming film festival highlights – and takes place aside — nature.

“The outdoor amphitheater is really magical,” says communications director Karim Olaechea. “It maintains that connection between the festival and the outdoors.”

The ten films selected for screening at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival range from three to 19 minutes long with stops all along the emotional spectrum. “Dream Day,” for instance, follows four athletes who shred powder in the Sierra backcountry, rock climb and bike their way down the mountain and then surf together — all in one adrenaline-filled day. Meanwhile, “Think Like a Scientist: Boundaries” documents how the U.S.-Mexico border wall has effected wildlife in recent years.

“There’s always a mix in these films, from inspiring, outdoor adventure stuff [to] films that cover our natural environment and environmental justice,” Olaechea says. “We try to hit that right balance where people are both educated and entertained.”

To add local talent, MountainTrue organized a WNC Short Nature Film Contest, which producer Sekou Coleman and director Diane Tower-Jones won with their work “Upwardly Mobile.” A prelude to a feature-length film, it tells the story of youth mentor Kenyon Lake and his local nonprofit My Daddy Taught Me That, which aims to empower black male youths through educational sessions, hands-on activities and other positive programs.

Coleman and Tower-Jones will be in attendance, as will research scientist Becky Nichols of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park (featured in “A Ghost in the Making” about the first bee in the continental U.S. to join the endangered species list) and paddler and author Doug Woodward (featured in two films).

General admission tickets to this event have sold out. Visit for more information. 


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About Kat McReynolds
Kat studied entrepreneurship and music business at the University of Miami and earned her MBA at Appalachian State University. Follow me @katmAVL

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