Wild & Scenic Film Festival comes to Jupiter

Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse - Hot on the heels of the twentieth annual Palm Beach International Film Festival, the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum (JILM) is getting in on the movie magic, but this time with a naturalist bent. On Friday, April 10, the Jupiter landmark will take part in the largest environmental film festival in North America, hosting the touring arm of the Wild and Scenic Film Festival.

   Put on by the Loxahatchee River Historical Society, the operating body of the Jupiter Inlet Outstanding Natural Area—the Bureau of Land Management’s only east coast Outstanding Natural Area—the Wild and Scenic Film Festival fits perfectly with the Jupiter Inlet region, says Kathleen Grover, JILM Assistant Director and coordinator of the film festival.

   “We’ve picked eleven films that focus on the impact that humans have on our waters and vice versa,” she says, continuing. “These unique videos show how the waters inspire and invigorate us and push us to recognize our true selves, while revealing our absolute connectedness to our world. They are short films that make a big impact on the viewer, encouraging personal, social, artistic and scientific calls to action.”

Wild and Scenic Film Festival - Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum   Created by the South Yuba River Citizens League, a conservation group based in Nevada City, California, in 2003 to raise awareness, and as a call to action, about the challenges facing our planet, the festival began going on tour in 2004. The tour gives organizations a chance to select from 70 international, national and regional films, allowing each “On Tour” stop to create its own, curated festival. Grover and JILM focused, naturally, on water, with “most of the films [being] about rivers and oceans, and people in them, either with conservation or adventures.” The outlier of the films chosen, a short about fireflies in Japan and the U.S. called Brilliant Darkness: Hotaru in the Night, is a stunning work that shows how something as small as fly can offer so much beauty. “It’s a stunning little video about fireflies,” says Grover. “I couldn’t believe how much I learned from this short little video.”

   A first for JILM, hopes are to make this film festival an annual affair, not just for the artistic beauty of the films, but for the messages and missions they bring in focus. “The films are stunning; visually, they are gorgeous,” says Grover. “But the information in them will make your jaw drop; they are a real eye opener. These films will inspire a lot of people.”

   The Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse and Museum will host its Wild and Scenic Film Festival on the waterfront big screen in the shadow of the lighthouse from 6:30-9:30 p.m. The festival will start with the StratOlites from 7-7:30 p.m., bringing its version of surf rock to ease festivalgoers into the films, which will begin screening at 7:45 p.m. A family-friendly style event, with kid-friendly films on the docket, guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and picnic blankets to lounge for the flicks. Admission is $10 per person, and snacks, sodas, beer and wine will be available for purchase (sponsors Sierra Nevada Brewing, and Barefoot Wine and Bubbly will be on hand for the 21 and up guests).


Here’s a quick list of what will be screening on April 10:

The Colorado River | 5 minutes; Water and Fish Conservation

Jeff Litton

The Colorado River is more than beautiful, it sustains life for 11,000 species including us. Seasoned Expedition Leader Dave Edwards shares a funny story & what he takes away after almost 40 years of rowing down the Grand Canyon.


River of Eden | 5 minutes; Water and Fish Conservation

Peter McBride

River of Eden - film at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival - Jupiter Inlet Outstanding Area - Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum

Join filmmaker Pete McBride, a National Geographic Freshwater Hero, on a journey into the Fijian Highlands to discover why the locals said “no” to easy money from resource extraction, and how they turned to tourism to fund a conservation area that protects one of the most beautiful rivers on Earth.


Brilliant Darkness: Hotaru in the Night | 12 minutes; Social Justice and Activism

Emily Driscoll

Explores the importance of darkness, and the erosion of it, through the study and preservation of firefly habitats in Japan and the U.S. Fireflies disappear as artificial night lights disrupt their “languages of light.” The film showcases scientists on different continents studying firefly flash patterns and how to live among wildlife in urban settings.


Twenty Eight Feet | 9 minutes; Adventure with a Purpose

Kevin A. Fraser, Melani Wood

Twenty Eight Feet - film at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival - Jupiter Inlet Outstanding Area - Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum

David Welsford has given up the luxuries of land in search for happiness and adventure on a 50 year old wooden boat he restored from a scrap heap. Featuring music from Bahamas, Acres & Acres and Ben Howard!


Phoebe’s Humpback Whale Adventure | 15 minutes; Kids

Tim Fitz, Andi Campbell

Join high school student Phoebe Fitz in her quest to learn about humpback whales. She teams up with scientists who study whales in Hawaii, and learns first-hand what it takes to work on the high seas with these magnificent animals. In Lahaina, she visits a local high school and meets students who are actively involved in the humpback studies.


Dream | 5 minutes; Adventure with a Purpose

Skip Armstrong

Dream - film at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival - Jupiter Inlet Outstanding Area - Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum

When a newbie kayaker goes paddling, he discovers a posse of pros on the river and wonders whether someday he could be that cool. A daydream in the eddy transforms the purple-helmeted rookie into a whitewater Adonis. Join kayaker Ben Marr as he takes us to a world where a paddler’s wildest fantasies come true.


Oceans North – Protecting Manitoba’s Beluga Estuaries | 5 minutes; Wildlife

Trevor Gill

Each summer, as the sea ice recedes, more than 57,000 beluga whales return to the estuaries along stunning western Hudson Bay in Manitoba. There they mate, molt, and feed, safe from predators. But the whales need protection from potential risks like the impact of oil spills or traffic-related noise that threaten to move in through the Port of Churchill.


The Coralax | 6 minutes; Kids

Troy Lau, Taylor Redman, Kaya Goosby, Kawelu Higashino

Inspired by Dr. Suess’s The Lorax, this claymation by four Maui middle school students uses 667 images to show how irresponsible shoreline development can impact our precious reef ecosystem.


Catch It | 10 minutes; Adventure with a Purpose

Sarah Menzies, Let Media

Catch It - film at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival - Jupiter Inlet Outstanding Area - Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse & Museum

Léa Brassy grew up surfing the warm waters of Southern France. Accustomed to a life on the road, her nomadic lifestyle takes a pause at the Unstad break in the Lofoten Islands in Northern Norway. Trading in her bikini for a thick wetsuit, she connects with the surrounding mountains, Arctic surf, and simple living. Whether it’s paddling hard for a wave, or chasing after a passion, Léa reminds us that if the timing is right, we have to Catch It.


River Music | 30 minutes; Water and Fish Conservation

Michael Bloebaum

What happens when science and art collide? “River Music” is what happens! When teenage musicians spent a year studying music composition and, at the same time, were exposed to the wonders of the Yuba River, the ensuing endeavor finds young people thinking deeply about the nature of this place – and finding ways to express that wonder with music.


Hidden Rivers of Southern Appalachia | 10 minutes; Water and Fish Conservation

Jeremy Monroe, David Herasimtschuk

West Coast Premiere. Biodiversity. It’s in the rivers of the Amazon, the jungles of Borneo, the coral reefs of Belize… oh, and the creeks of Tennessee. That’s right, southern Appalachia is a little-known hotspot for aquatic life and is home to some wildly diverse fish, mussels, salamanders, crayfish and other critters. Hidden Rivers takes an immersive look at the little-known creatures of these waters, their striking beauty and extreme vulnerability. The films also reveal how some Southerners are finding new ways to explore and celebrate this precious life, and reminding us all that biodiversity is everywhere and rivers are always deeper than you think!

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