Wild & Scenic Film Fest to Premiere in Lexington

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By Will Overbeck

Lately, the KY Heartwood Council has been working on planning a benefit show: Lexington’s first Wild & Scenic Film Festival on Tuesday Dec. 4, 2012 at the Kentucky Theater.

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival was started by the watershed advocacy group, the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) in 2003. The festival’s namesake is in celebration of SYRCL’s landmark victory to receive ‘Wild & Scenic’ status for 39 miles of the South Yuba River in 1999. The 3-day event features over 100 award-winning films and welcomes over 100 guest speakers, celebrities, and activists who bring a human face to the environmental movement. The home festival kicks-off the national tour to over 100 communities nationwide allowing SYRCL to share their success as an environmental group with others organizations. It is building a network of grassroots organizations connected by a common goal of using film to inspire activism.

With the support of National Partners: Patagonia, CLIF Bar, Osprey Packs, Sierra Nevada Brewing and Mother Jones, the festival is reaching an even larger audience in tour venues coast to coast. We have been very thankful to Patagonia as a supporter of KY Heartwood with a previous grant and are very excited with the chance to work with SYRCL to promote environmental activist films AND invite an audience to Lexington at the Kentucky Theater during it’s 90th year celebration!

I have a long history of watching movies at the Kentucky Theater from childhood memories in the 80’s to midnight movies in the 90’s when I was a teenager. Now I usually go to the Kentucky Theater for movies you simply can’t see anywhere else! Michael Jonathon’s Woodsongs Old-Time Radio Hour is a regular attraction and has a syndicated broadcast on local public radio stations. The Kentucky Theater has long been a venue for alternative movies and music concerts and is a staple of Lexington culture.

This premiere event promises to bring a spotlight to KY Heartwood and to KY Mountain Justice, our co-host. The festival is also a great way for local businesses to show their support for environmental issues, raise awareness for their own green initiatives and promote green business. Our sponsors will benefit from the media coverage and publicity and KY Heartwood will gain a broader audience in Lexington. We are hoping to attract new members to join and raise a significant amount of money for further protection of the natural resources in Daniel Boone Nat’l Forest and to support efforts stop mountain top removal coal mining while increasing the resiliency of our mountain communities.

Please show your support of the Wild & Scenic Film Festival by telling a few friends and making it down to the Kentucky Theater! Tickets cost $10, will be sold at the door, and are available on our website.