graphic.jpgWhere: Nevada City, CA

Festival Dates: January 12th-14th, 2007

Last summer the United States found itself wrapped up in debate, but not about the typical topics of the Iraq War or stem cell research. Instead, the debate turned to environmental issues when docs Who Killed the Electric Car? and An Inconvenient Truth highlighted the disturbing consequences that modern living has had on the environment. It seems likely, then, that the popularity of those films is what led to the sheer volume of films submitted to this year’s Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival (WSEFF) in Nevada City, California. Organized by the South Yuba River Citizens Leagues, the festival screened an impressive 100 films in its three-day run, which took place this past weekend.

This year’s theme for the largest West Coast environmental film fest—Truth, Hope, Action—”sets the tone for the festival,” says director Kathy Dotson. “We selected films that not only expose environmental problems and issues, but also offer inspiration and hope for the audience.”

The South Yuba River Citizens League formed in 1983 to protect the California watershed. Five years ago it began hosting the WSEFF. When discussing the League’s motivation for founding the festival, Dodson offers the following explanation: “Film viewing—particularly when framed within a context of civic engagement and with subject matter that links the human to the natural world, and links local and planetary issues—can be a transformative community experience for participants.” For more information, visit

Sound Off: Do you believe, as Dodson suggests, that film has the ability to transform society? Why or why not? Let us know in the comments section!