For those who love being in Mother Nature and want to enjoy watching films underneath the stars this summer, tickets are now on sale for the Ventura Land Trust’s (VLT) ninth annual Wild and Scenic Film Festival on Saturday, Aug. 18.
The festival is being held outdoors for the first time at the Ventura County Credit Union corporate office. Attendees are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or blankets to sit on while viewing 12 award-winning short films on a giant inflatable screen.
“It’s been a great boon for us to get people to think about the great outdoors,” said Gary Bednorz, who has been on the film festival committee since its inception. “Ventura County Credit Union has this great lot that overlooks the ocean.”
Bednorz said that for the festival, which originates in Nevada City, about 400 films are submitted. Of those, 150 films are selected for viewing. The common issues of energy, food systems, biodiversity, climate change and protection and restoration of wild lands and wild waters are explored.
About 60 selected films are brought on tour across the country, and the VLT narrows down the films that relate to the environmental efforts it supports. Some of the films this year include Imagination, Lost in Light, Where the Wild Things Play, The Nature of Maps and A Letter to Congress.
“There’s an environmental lean to it; we are all open-space huggers,” Bednorz said. “We do this more as a ‘funraiser’ than a fundraiser.”
Performances include singer/songwriters Bill Jones and J. Peter Boles and cover band Mid Life Crisis, along with food trucks, alcoholic beverages, outdoor games and raffle items such as original artwork, outdoor gear and dining certificates. All proceeds support the VLT.
“The VLT is going to continue to work with the community to acquire open space and keep Ventura the ideal seaside community that everyone relishes,” Bednorz said.
VLT is also looking for about 100 volunteers to assist with set-up, check-in, beer and wine sales and serving, raffle ticket sales, cleanup and game coordination. Volunteers have the opportunity to watch the films for free.
“We hope that people are educated and inspired by the environmental films and see the connection between the greater global environmental movement and the work that the Ventura Land Trust is doing here in Ventura County,” said Adrienne Stephens, film festival organizer and development and marketing director for the VLT.
The Wild and Scenic Film Festival takes place on Saturday, Aug. 18, 5-10 p.m. at the Ventura County Credit Union corporate office, 2575 Vista Del Mar Drive, Ventura. For tickets, volunteer opportunities and more information, visit www.venturalandtrust.org.