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Environmental Education

November 2, 2020
January 31, 2021

A curated program for
Elementary School
Middle School
High School

Uplifting and inspiring films that celebrate our Earth for all kids

Location: A Virtual, Remote, Group Learning Experience

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival’s School Program presents film programming to help students to learn about their world, inspiring environmental activism and a love for nature-through film. Wild & Scenic shares an urgent call to action, encouraging students of all ages to learn more about what they can do to save our threatened planet.

Three carefully selected, age-appropriate programs are accompanied by film-specific, standards-based lessons for classroom enrichment.

Environmental Education – Official Film Selections

K-4 Program – Running Time: Approximately 44 minutes

  • Land without Evil Throughout history, people have always been searching for a perfect place. This short film, based on Guaraní mythology (Tierra sin mal), offers another point of view on paradise: what if the real paradise is inside us and lies in the harmony and unity of everything alive?
  • Raccoon and the Light A raccoon finds a flashlight in the woods.
  • A Bird in the Hand Birds amaze us with flight, song, and beauty, but their abundance in North America has declined by almost a third in the past 50 years. A team of committed volunteers is working together at Empire Mine State Historic Park to understand local songbird populations and inspire the next generation of environmental stewards.
  • Daniel Every day (and, we mean every day) you can see Daniel riding his bike along Highway 50. And, while he's out there, he's picking up trash and doing his part to make the Lake Tahoe area better for everyone.
  • Wave Hands Like Clouds Suspended in the airy expanse between heaven and Earth, highliners walk a thin, wiggly piece of nylon webbing that's been rigged between two points, very high up. 'Wave Hands Like Clouds' is an ode to finding focus and balance in a moment of exposed vulnerability that leaves the viewer breathless.
  • DreamRide III Mike Hopkins' epic journey through a magical world comes to an end in the final chapter of the DreamRide trilogy.
  • Where the Wild things Keep Playing An ode to the athlete who relishes in getting dirty, who chuckles after a long day in the mountains, effortlessly glides through the crystal clear waves and most importantly, is unapologetic in pursuing their love of getting rowdy in adventures.
  • Rocky Intertidal Zones Filmed on the stunning Oregon Coast, this short film follows a 7-year-old boy as he explores rocky intertidal zones. Prehistoric creatures and art materials further inspire musings about ancient and present day life.
  • Every Nine Minutes Every nine minutes, the weight of a blue whale (300,000 pounds) in plastic makes its way into our ocean. To call attention to this, the Monterey Bay Aquarium built a life-sized replica of a blue whale made of single-use, locally sourced plastic trash. Certified by Guinness World Records, the whale is the largest sculpture of its kind ever built.
  • Kids Speak on Plastic Pollution What do kids think about the growing problem of plastic pollution? Our students explore young perspectives on plastic pollution causes, impacts, and solutions through interviews with Maui kids ages five through ten.
  • Bring Your Own Inspired by the popular OMI song "Cheerleader", this musical parody set to a student-written song, highlights the importance of 'bringing your own' in the fight against plastic pollution.

5th – 8th Grade Program – Running Time: Approximately 50 minutes

  • In Your Hands Visceral imagery, emotional score, and a powerful speech by John F. Kennedy underscore a timeless theme: we come from the sea. 'In Your Hands' invites viewers to look inward and rediscover our connection with - and responsibility to - the natural world.
  • Green Gone This infomercial parody made by Maui youth pokes fun at the overuse of pesticides and herbicides and the psychology used to market them.
  • See Animals This short, animated film shows unwelcome changes in an uncertain future.
  • Blooming Culture Fourth-grade students from Palouse Prairie Charter School (PPCS) in Idaho share their experience building Blooming Culture, a canoe that combines European and Indigenous styles. Students and traditional canoe families paddle together to acknowledge the colonization of indigenous peoples and celebrate our hopes for a continued confluence of cultures. Avery Caudill is a PPCS graduate and made this film in his transition from high school to college.
  • Mi Mamá Nadia Mercado grew up in a working-class community with her single mother, an immigrant from the Dominican Republic, and three sisters. In this film, Nadia recounts the ways that her mother helped shape the woman she is today: a cardiac nurse, an outdoor athlete, and a woman who is dedicated to helping the Latinx and POC outdoor communities.
  • Literacy for Environmental Justice: Cultivating Youth Leaders in Southeast San Francisco Bayview-Hunters Point in Southeast San Francisco has been on the front lines of the environmental justice movement since the 1940s. This short documentary film follows three environmental youth leaders who are changing the world, starting with their own.
  • Last Wild Places: Gorongosa For 15 years, Mozambique was engulfed in a brutal civil war that devastated human and wildlife populations alike. Now, in part by focusing on empowering and educating women, Gorongosa National Park has become a model of successful conservation efforts. In this short film, follow elephant expert Dominique Gonçalves as she shares the powerful ways the park is working with local communities and gaining a new generation of brave women rangers and scientists.
  • Words Have Power Ten-year-old Jaysa's dynamic speeches at rallies and city hall catalyze her community against the coal-fired power plant that causes her asthma - and they succeed in shutting it down. Evoking social justice and environmental racism, she wonders why so many such plants are put in her neighborhood. The film's wonderful sound track is provided by her father, a reggae musician.
  • Nature Now Made with no flights, recycled footage, and zero net carbon. Given away for free. Viewed 53 million times, played to the United Nations. This film is a personal and passionate call to arms from Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot to use nature to heal our broken climate.

High School Program – Running Time: Approximately 48 minutes

  • Detroit Hives East Detroit urban beekeepers Tim Paule and Nicole Lindsey are a young couple working to bring diversity to the field of beekeeping and create opportunities for young Detroit natives to overcome adversity. Detroit ranks fourth in the United States for the most vacant housing lots with well over 90,000 empty lots to date. In an effort to address this issue, Detroit Hives has been purchasing vacant lots and converting them into buzzing bee farms. 'Detroit Hives' explores the importance of bringing diversity to beekeeping and rebuilding inner-city communities one hive at a time.
  • Homecoming: A Boundary Waters Story Joe Fairbanks was born and raised in Northern Minnesota. In 'Homecoming,' he travels through the waters where he learned to paddle as a boy. Today, these are some of America's most endangered waters. Joe reflects on his battle with cancer and draws on connections to the landscape for strength and healing to illustrate the importance of nature preservation.
  • The Guardian Elephant Warriors of Reteti Reteti Elephant Sanctuary is the first ever community-owned and run elephant sanctuary in Africa. This oasis where orphans grow up, learning to be wild so that one day they can rejoin their herds, is as much about the people as it is about elephants. It's a powerful story about the changing relationship between people and the animals they are protecting.
  • Broken Jon Wilson struggled with the emotions of feeling broken after losing his leg to cancer. Today, crutching up and skiing down mountains at night serves as a backdrop for him to explore, accept, and embrace the idea of 'brokenness,' leading to a more sincere, genuine and honest connection with life.
  • Iniskim Shot on the real-life Blackfeet buffalo drive and inspired by a true story, 'Iniskim' follows a young girl's journey from trauma to recovery. By reconnecting with the ancient power of the buffalo, the timeless landscape of her ancestors, and the wisdom of her culture, her life is changed forever.
  • Station 15 High school student and poet, Chasity Hunter, experienced intense flooding in her New Orleans neighborhood during both Hurricane Katrina and recent summer rainstorms. Inspired to find out how safe her city really is, she investigates its infrastructure and questions water experts, finding her own voice along the way.

Questions? Contact us!