Walking Mountains Sustainable Film Series returns to Riverwalk Theater in Edwards with monthly showings through April
Topics covered include conservation, the plastics crisis, epic heatwaves, floods and drought at Riverwalk Theater
When you think of Walking Mountains Science Center, you typically think of outdoor experiences that bring you up close and personal with nature. Since 1998, this nonprofit has helped people of all ages learn about our amazing surroundings whether it is a guided backcountry hike high above the valley or scientific experiments held along the creek for young, aspiring scientists. Immersing people in outdoor habitats is what Walking Mountains is all about, but even though its Sustainable Film Series may take you indoors, it aims to be an enlightening and thought-provoking experience.
“I think that film is a great medium for telling environmental stories and raising awareness because it brings empathy and emotion into what can often be framed as a purely scientific or information-based topic,” said Elizabeth Baer, sustainability fellow at Walking Mountains Science Center. “Environmental issues have very real and human consequences in our community and around the world. Being able to experience this and really connect with people’s very real stories, is something you couldn’t get in any other way without traveling and experiencing it yourself.”
Walking Mountains has been hosting the series for 12 years and will be screening one film a month from November until April. The series serves as a platform for conversations and motivation, empowering residents and visitors to take positive steps toward a greener future.
Walking Mountains selects the films and tries to give a holistic and diverse set of topics and perspectives of what is going on in sustainability.
“Our sustainability staff makes suggestions and then picks some of their favorite films that came out in the last year or two, and then the smaller team and I go through those picks seeing what topics would fit nicely together and would be interesting and new for our community,” Baer said.
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“This year I really wanted to emphasize environmental justice and inclusivity in the lineup, since that is where we are focusing a lot of work at Walking Mountains and it is such an important topic. So you’ll see that through-line in the series and discussions,” Baer said.
Walking Mountains encourages the audience to engage in the conversation and hosts a discussion after each film to allow attendees an opportunity to delve deeper into the film’s themes and share their thoughts and ideas. The series has gained an audience throughout the years and these free movie offerings have become very popular.
“The Sustainable Film Series is definitely one of our most popular events and it is so fun to see people coming year after year and film after film,” Baer said, adding that the longevity of the program has built an amazing community of people excited to learn and discuss these important issues. “Our audience is much less an audience and is really part of the programming, because that community discussion is what makes this event special. I love the positive feedback we get from film-goers saying that they learned something new or were inspired to take action, because that is really the goal.”
The series will be hosted at the Riverwalk Theater in Edwards and to kick things off, the documentary “Wild Life” will be featured. Follow the fascinating story of Doug Tompkins and his wife Kris Tompkins. Doug Tompkins was the founder of The North Face and co-founder of Esprit. Kris Tompkins was the former CEO of Patagonia clothing company. Together, they have dedicated their lives and personal wealth to buy up and protect over 14 million acres of natural lands. Doug was tragically killed in a kayaking accident on Lago General Carrera, north of Patagonia Park, on Dec. 8, 2015. Kris continues the couple’s mission as the president and co-founder or the Tompkins Conservation.
Other films include:
- Dec. 5 – “The Weight of Water” centers around three deeply personal stories from a Nepalese community being impacted by floods and drought.
- Jan. 2 – “Cooked: Survival by Zip Code“ tells the story of this tragic heatwave in Chicago, the most traumatic in U.S. history.
- Feb. 6 – There will be two short films: “We The Power” follows the stories of European communities as they work to form local energy cooperatives. “Craig, America” tells the story of this neighboring town in the Yampa Valley that was traditionally defined by coal. Craig’s main power plant will be closing in 2030.
- Mar. 5 – “Tribal Waters” tells the story of the Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho Tribes and what happened when their land and water was taken.
- April 4 – “Plastic Earth” covers solutions and technologies to combat and eventually solve the plastic crisis that our world is facing.
Showtimes are at 6:30 p.m. and Walking Mountains is happy to partner up with Riverwalk Theater again.
“We are so grateful for the setting of the Riverwalk Theater. Having that big screen experience really sucks you in and makes that connection to the topic even more impactful,” Baer said.
Although the movie is free, there is a $5 suggested donation and advanced registration is required at WalkingMountains.org/Films. If you have questions, contact Elizabeth Baer at email ElizabethB@WalkingMountains.org.