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EEA Wild & Scenic Film Festival presented by NorthShore Evanston and Skokie Hospitals

Wild & Scenic Films - 2023

3.5% (2 min)

In a not too distant future, the once picturesque city of Lucerne (Switzerland) has become uninhabitable due to the climate crisis. Beginning in an abandoned kitchen, the scope of the change is revealed on an ever-increasing scale, until finally the dried-up Lake Lucerne can be seen. 3.5% is is a hybrid of computer animation and live action. The audio features excerpts from interviews with climate activist Greta Thunberg.

What's in a Name? (14 min)

Brazilian immigrant and professional climber Maiza Lima confronts the history of racism and misogyny in American culture while developing her own new sport climbing area in rural Montana that celebrates the true diversity of the sport and our world.

Reclaim Your Water: Natasha Smith (5 min)

Natasha didn’t grow up believing that “Black people don’t do that” was going to be a limiting factor in her life. Not only does she ride dirt bikes, skate, and surf, she is passionate about sharing those skills with others. Along with her friends at Ebony Beach Club, Natasha is reclaiming waves, introducing others to the ocean, and spreading a love of surfing through her community. Her joy is palpable on each wave and whether it's dipping toes into the water, dancing in the waves, or getting on a board, EBC is creating an inclusive space on the beaches of Los Angeles which is making waves in their community. Made in partnership with Claima Stories and Sperry, “Reclaim Your Water” is a three-part short documentary series that poignantly highlights how communities of color can reclaim water as a healing and enjoyable experience for all.

Rockies Repeat (20 min)

Rockies Repeat grapples with the cultural impacts of climate change in the Canadian Rockies. The film follows a team of artists as they trek into the mountains to reinterpret the work of early Banff painter, Catharine Whyte a century later. Their journey is a heartbreaking meditation on a shifting sense of place in a rapidly changing climate.

Like a River (4 min)

Artist and climber Jeremy Collins has had a long and loving relationship with the desert canyons of the American southwest. In this short film, he describes his passion for three canyons in particular as he creates a new mural that combines them on paper. Captured with cutting edge robotic technology and featuring stunning timelapse imagery of Grand Canyon, Black Canyon, and Zion Canyon.

Feeling the Apocalypse (7 min)

From the disappearing wildlife in his hometown Owen Sound to the news stories about the melting of Greenland, psychotherapist Anderson Todd explains how unravelling ecosystems around the world have affected his psyche and his relationships. How do we respond to collapse without collapsing ourselves? A film about civilizational collapse and existential anxiety.

The Prospector (18 min) 

The Prospector is a quietly captivating lyrical journey following National Gold-panning Champion, Ernie Lazlo. We follow Ernie as he shares this wealth of geological, historical and prospecting wisdom with a new friend, all while unearthing an off-the-grid lifestyle deeply connected to nature, and a pet donkey named Nugget. Ernie’s reflections are quickly set aside as we witness his poignant run at the National Gold Panning Championship where he is determined to find the victory nuggets. As the competition swiftly rushes on, we not only start to speculate whether or not Ernie can win, but also if finding peace in the natural world ultimately outweighs the possession of another trophy. Through this film, Ernie highlights contemporary themes of sustainability, capitalism, and the preservation of the by-gone era. The Prospector will broaden the horizons of historians, educators, naturalists, and laypersons alike.

Miles to Go (9 min)

In 2022 alone there have been over 300 anti LGBTQ+ bills proposed in various states across the country. Refusing to sit idly by, trans trail runner Perry Cohen formed a team of fellow runners, who identify as trans men, with an aim to compete in trail races in states proposing and passing hateful legislation. Miles to Go follows their journey into the world of trail running and the freedom to be themselves on the trail.

Uncharted Waters (7 min)

What is it like to be surrounded by gang activity then suddenly experience an overnight adventure on the river? In fall of 2021, we got to follow along as Homeboy Industries, the largest gang-intervention organization in the world, took 50 of their members on an overnight whitewater rafting trip with All-Outdoors California Whitewater Rafting. Most of the individuals had never been camping before, let alone rafting, and some had never left Los Angeles County. It was such an impactful experience that Homeboy Industries has made it an annual tradition, and they reunited on the river this past September.

Rangers of the Ulaan Taiga (14 min)

Rangers are the Swiss army knives of the Mongolian National Parks, protecting nearly seventy million acres of wild landscape, cultural and historic heirlooms, and endangered animals. Despite these men and women risking their lives patrolling remote locations for weeks or even months, salaries are typically low and teams often lack the necessary equipment and training required on the job. Over the last year, the International Ranger Federation reported that 149 rangers died on duty. In 2013 the people of the Ulaan Uul valley called upon one of their own, argali sheep biologist and Hovsgol Lake National Park director Tumursukh Jal to come back and protect their home from social and environmental threats. Together they formed Ulaan Taiga National Park, over a million acres of vital waterways and imposing mountains. This short film documents the compelling dedicated work of the Ulaan Taiga rangers and how they serve not only as stewards of the land, but also as guardians.


A young shipwreck arrives unconscious to an apparently paradisiacal desert island. After waking up she explores the island and discovers that it is a landfill.

I Am Salmon (3 min)

Connecting humanity with salmon and the sea through the subtle art of poetry and Gyotaku (fish rubbing), Duncan Berry shares his experience as a longtime environmentalist and former captain of a salmon troller. In adopting the perspective of this transcendent fish, the beauty and power of the Oregon coast becomes the canvas through which the evolution of the salmon is illustrated.

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