Outdoors On-Screen: Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Environmental and nature-forward filmmakers make for Nevada City.

Josh Miller Photography

IT'S A FUNNY TWIST... and an obvious one, too, perhaps, but we've like all experienced it. And the twist we refer to is this: Seeing some of the greatest bits of nature and highest waterfalls and most striking meadows all while sitting in a seat with armrests inside a darkened room. The fact is that film has brought nature indoors for well over a century, and done so in a delightful, wide-scope, and frequently positive way. We may never get to hover above a canyon, via a rope, and stare directly down into the river cutting through it, but we can live it through a wide-screen adventure. Thus when Wild & Scenic ziplines back into Nevada City and Grass Valley for another multi-day film festival devoted to the environment, activism, and adventure, it makes sense that many a nature enthusiast will be there, experiencing, vicariously but vigorously, what it feels like to run off a cliff and fly, courtesy of a glider, or drop into a lake or ski off a precipice. And love the planet, too, which doesn't need to be experience vicariously, only vigorously.

DATES AND DETAILS: The fest will roll -- and peddle and canoe and climb -- from Jan. 9 through 12 in the charming, neighboring north Gold Country burgs (itself a year-round destination for adventurers looking for outdoor-type communion). Beyond taking a seat for docs covering the gamut of earth-love and earth-care, there shall be socializing opportunities, wine tastings, and the enjoying of art displays, too. And, yeah, a fish bicycling around Nevada City has been spied in past years, so look for a few light-hearted high jinks to stir up the scene. Nature, progressive outlooks, and adventure are at the heart of Wild & Scenic, a fest that allows everyone to go to places they've never been while also discussing, as a motivated group, how to best tend to our homeplanet's needs.

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