Wild & Scenic film tour makes first Aspen stop
ASPEN The newest film festival to swing through Aspen will focus on a diverse array of environmental topics, but organizers hope to garner attention for an effort thats close to home ongoing stabilization work on Independence Pass.The Independence Pass Foundation brings the Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival to Aspens Wheeler Opera House on Tuesday, Jan. 6. Nine award-winning short documentaries will be presented starting at 7 p.m., following a slide show documenting the groups efforts on the pass, starting at 6:30 p.m.Wild & Scenic, billed as the largest environmental film fest in the country, tours annually, but is making its first stop in Aspen. A $1,000 grant from Patagonia allowed the Independence Pass Foundation to arrange the Aspen screening, according to Judy Olesen, development director for the foundation.The evenings program includes a 10-minute condensed version of the feature length film, A Land Out of Time, produced and directed by Roaring Fork Valley resident Mark Harvey and written by Harvey and Laurel Garrett. Winner of multiple awards, A Land Out of Time introduces the faces and unconventional partnerships behind the battle to save the landscapes of the West from escalating natural gas drilling.In bringing the films to Aspen, the foundation hopes to introduce new supporters to environmental causes, including the foundations own work to stabilize erosion-prone slopes on the upper reaches of Independence Pass, east of Aspen, Olesen said.The foundation already hosts the Ride for the Pass each spring, held shortly before the pass opens for Memorial Day weekend. The bicycling event has helped familiarize the community with the organizations work.Were hoping this event will do the same, Olesen said.The foundation also hopes to make the film festival an annual Aspen event, she said.In addition to the opportunity to see a diverse program of films, the festival offers attendees the chance to win several giveaways. Donated prizes include a pair of cross-country skis and two nights at the Hotel Jerome in Aspen.The evenings proceeds will benefit the foundations restoration and revegetation work on the pass.Presented and sponsored by Patagonia, the Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival On Tour was started by the California-based watershed advocacy group the South Yuba River Citizens League, in celebration of achieving Wild and Scenic status for 39 miles of the South Yuba River in the Sierra Nevada mountains, in 1999. The league works with nonprofit groups nationwide to attract diverse audiences and raise awareness for environmental causes through community outreach. This year, the festival will travel to 75 towns and cities around the country.Tickets to the Aspen screening are $10 ($8 for students, age 18 and younger), available at the Wheeler Opera House box office and at Ute Mountaineer in Aspen. Tickets are also available online at http://www.aspenshowtickets.com. firstname.lastname@example.org
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