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YDWP hosting Film Festival!

The Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve, Downwind Sports, and Students Acting to Save Michigan’s Water will be hosting the national Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival this November. The festival will be a two night event, November 5th and 6th, in Jamrich 103 on the campus of Northern Michigan University. Doors open at 6pm and films start at 6:30pm.

The Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival is now the largest environmental film festival in the country, with over 100 venues nationwide. The main goal is to inspire activism in those who attend, and make a lasting impression on the environment. Marquette’s venue will show 8 films over two nights and feature local experts on the subject of each film.

The films address a range of environmental issues, from urban organic gardening to faith communities greening their churches to the impact of roads in wilderness areas. “I love the way each film focuses on issues that we all face, no matter what your beliefs are, but in a way that is visually exciting and very inspiring. All of the films have really great cinematography and lively soundtracks,” said Emily Whittaker, Executive Director of the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve. “It’s great that our community is going to be part of this national circuit of festivals.”

Tickets can be purchased in advance at Downwind Sports or calling the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve office at 906-345-9223. Tickets will be available at the door as well. Admission for both nights for adults is $15, one night is $10. Ticket price for students is $5 per night. Call 906-345-9223 for more information or visit our

Here is a quick look at the program:

November 5

1. Last Frontier: Conservation & Exploration in Papua New Guinea Trip Jennings- Introduced by Sam Crowley (Sea Kayak Specialists)
New Britain Papua New Guinea is one of the last frontiers between the industrialized world and tribal village life. This film weaves the story of an epic kayaking expedition around the story of a culture, ecosystem and river on the brink of change. (Papua New Guinea, 2007, 19min)

2. Hardrock Mining – Rethink, Reform
Adam Cramer, Nat Lopes- Introduced by Cynthia Pryor (Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve)
As human-powered outdoor recreation enthusiasts, we all need metal, from climbing carabiners and bike frames to trekking poles and ski edges. However, there remains a problem: 19th century values and policy are guiding 21st century high-tech mining technology.

3. Paradise Found: The Phoenix Islands
Kate Raisz- Introduced by Jon Saari (Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition)
In a remote corner of the Pacific, the nation of Kiribati has created the world’s largest marine reserve, the Phoenix Islands Protected Area. The reserve covers 410,500 square kilometers and is home to thriving coral reefs and abundant sea life, including sharks and manta rays.  The film follows scientific expeditions to these islands and the efforts of the people of Kiribati and the international environmental community to create the reserve. (US, 2005),

4. Division Street

Eric Bandick- Introduced by Dr. John Anderton (Northern Michigan University-Geography Department)
This is not your father’s road trip. Roads and cars have fragmented wild landscapes, ushered in urban sprawl, and challenged some of the bedrock values we once took for granted.  But as the transportation crisis appears to be spiraling out of control, a new generation of ecologists, engineers, city-planners, and everyday citizens are transforming the future of the American road. From pristine roadless areas to concrete jungles, follow filmmaker Eric as he tours North America, dodging Yellowstone’s grizzlies and Miami’s taxicabs, and highlighting sustainable road projects and wildlife corridors for the 21st century. (US/CANADA, 2008),


November 6
1. Homegrown Revolution
Jules Dervaes- Introduced by Natasha Gill (Marquette Food Co-op)
In the midst of a densely urban setting in downtown Pasadena, radical change is taking root. For over twenty years, the Dervaes family have transformed their home into an urban homestead. As a family for this new paradigm, they harvest nearly 3 tons of organic food from their 1/10 acre garden while incorporating many back-to-basics practices, as well as solar energy and biodiesel.


2. Burning the Future: Coal in America – 30 min.
David Novack, Alexis Zoullas- Introduced by John Rebers (Sierra Club)
Confronted by an emerging coal-based US energy policy, activists in West Virginia watch the nation praise coal without regard to the devastation caused by its extraction.  Faced with toxic ground water, the obliteration of 1.4 million acres of mountains, and a government that appeases industry, our heroes demonstrate a strength of purpose and character in their improbable fight to arouse the nation’s help in protecting their mountains, saving their families, and preserving their way of life. Montana CINE Best of Fest (US, 2007)


3. The Good Life Parable: An MBA Meets a Fisherman
Mark Albion and Free Range Studios – Introduced by Emily Whittaker (Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve)
A businessman and a fisherman on a small island. He tries to teach the fisherman about business but the fisherman teaches him about life. (US, 2008),

4. Renewal

Marty Ostrow, Terry Kay Rockefeller- Introduced by Jon Magnuson (Cedar Tree Institute)
In communities across America, people are rolling up their sleeves in practical and far-reaching ways. Offering a profound message of hope, this film shows people driven by their spiritual and religious convictions, being called to re-examine what it means to be human and how we live on this planet. The full-feature film presents eight individual stories of Americans around the nation in different faith traditions, who are working to become better stewards of the environment. In this edited version for the Wild & Scenic On Tour, three parishes are featured: a Christian, a Jewish and a Buddhist congregation . Best of Fest, Hazel Wolf FF (US, 2007)


To find out more about the festival origins, visit


If you would like to volunteer at this event, contact us at 906-345-9223.