Wild and Scenic Film Festival brings environmental films to campus, community

Poster image for the WIld & Scenic Film Festival. (Courtesy photo by Friends of the Kaw)

On Wednesday night, Friends Of The Kaw, a local environmental group, hosted the Wild and Scenic Film Festival in Forum Hall. The festival showed 10 movies all centered around the theme of the environment.

The movies ranged in topic from global warming to wildlife conservation. Friends Of the Kaw hosted three screenings as part of the largest environmental film festival in the country, which has a motto of “where activism gets inspired.”

Kristin Vinduska, junior in park management and conservation, was one of many who attended the event.

“Seeing the films made me aware that the problems were bigger than I ever thought they were,” Vinduska said. “Like the film taking about plastic in the ocean or the one about the protection of the national sites.”

The Wild and Scenic Film Festival began in 2003, and more than 140 cities are included in the festival tour. Brian Schath, intern for the Friends Of The Kaw, said film festivals like these are important to raise awareness about some of the biggest forces impacting the environment.

“I really hope that they come here and see something that is inspiring or really lets them engage in the environment in a different sense,” Schath said. “A big problem that we have is that people don’t always see a lot of the problems so film festivals like these give them an exposure that they would not have otherwise.”

The 10 films were chosen with the goal of making the watcher think. Lauren Schath, sophomore in elementary education, said that one of the movies that stood out to her was the “zero waste” documentary “Our Last Trash,” directed by Joanne Yue.

“You hear all about the straw stuff and everything but the zero waste video was really cool,” Schath said. “You think like, ‘how can I live zero waste?’ and it showed how they used the farmers market, and the women in the video who only had a mason jar of trash that she had collected over the pat two years was really interesting.”

The Wild and Scenic Film Festival tour in Kansas ends Friday, with a showing at Liberty Hall in Lawrence.