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Wild & Scenic Film Festival features Mother Nature
Eighteen movies explore Great Outdoors
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The good, the bad and the beautiful of natural settings across the U.S. will hit the silver screen at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival at Brenau University in Gainesville.

Hosted by Chattahoochee Riverkeeper and sponsored by Brenau, as well as local and national organizations and businesses, the festival seeks to inspire appreciation for the treasures of natural beauty and provide incentives to think about how and why these gems are threatened.

Doors open at 6 p.m. for exhibits and poster presentations Saturday, May 30, at the Brenau University’s Downtown Center, 301 Main St. SW in Gainesville. Showings begin at 7 p.m. in the theater. The short films range from 2 to 20 minutes in length.

Tickets to the 18-film festival are $10 per person and $5 for students with a valid ID. Purchase advanced tickets at or at the door.

“We’ve spent many hours in group meetings, selecting the 18 movies that will be shown at the 2015 Wild & Scenic Film Festival,” said Duncan Hughes, headwaters outreach director of the Chattahoochee Riverkeeper. “The selections present a variety of topics and breathtaking views that are going to be memorable for everyone. And films like ‘River of Eden’ are gems that you rarely get to see anywhere else.”

The Southern Appalachians are widely known and appreciated for their splendid mountain views. But the movie “Hidden Rivers of Southern Appalachia” examines a little-known hotspot for aquatic life. Appalachian streams are home to some wildly diverse fish, mussels, salamanders, crayfish and other critters.

The Colorado River is the subject of another film. The grandiose river sustains life for 11,000 species, but it is marred by the flood of plastic bags threatening to overwhelm our cities, landscapes and landfills. A short feature explains how the problem could be controlled.

Do you prefer to stay home and work on your mini-ecosystem, the garden? “Compost-a-lujah” highlights the qualities of what gardeners call “black gold:” compost. It provides plant nourishment while reducing landfill waste.

Laying an entire region to waste is a process strip-mining companies are often accused of. The footage in “Overburdened/Undermined” provides food for thought.

Festival proceeds benefit Georgia’s only floating classroom, the Lake Lanier Aquatic Learning Center, where elementary to high school students learn about ecology and water quality while cruising Lake Lanier on a 40-foot catamaran. The LLAC is operated by the CRK and the Elachee Nature Science Center.

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