2011 Festival


Pacific salmon

SALMON FILM FESTIVAL 2011 – REPORT

We’re off to a good start! Our first festival proved to be an excellent testing ground for the viability of holding an annual film festival in association with the Salmon BBQ, and to answer the question (just posed to me by a local community leader at Congressman Thompson’s pasta dinner), how does eating a lot of salmon help save salmon?

The Salmon Film Festival (SFF) attracted over 250 attendees, showed 30+ films, raised $158 in a special donation for the Winnemen Wintu, and sent 70 action postcards to restore salmon runs in the Sacramento river, oppose genetically engineered salmon, and return salmon runs to the Snake River.

Guest Speakers included City Council Member Meg Courtney, fisheries biologist and SRA grantee Dave Wright, Ft. Bragg City Council Member Meg Courtney, Marie Logan of Salmon Aid/Food & Water Watch, filmmaker Will Doolittle, and our keynote speaker, the traditional head of the Winnemen Wintu tribe, Caleen Sisk-Franco. SRA Board Members Joe Janisch and Jim Martin also spoke briefly at the festival. Eight of Dr. Pfeiffer’s San Jose State University students traveled from Central and Southern California to serve as SFF volunteers in 4-hour shifts.

In addition to the support from the Ft. Bragg City Council, this year’s inaugural festival attracted support from local groups (e.g., the Watershed Coalition, the Anderson Valley Land Trust, the Navarro River Center), regional filmmakers (e.g., Mark Shelley of Sea Studios Foundation and the PBS-Nature film Salmon: Running the Gauntlet), national and international organizations (e.g., Food & Water Watch, Watershed Watch Salmon Society), and potential sponsors (e.g., Thanksgiving Coffee) for future years.

The salmon sugar cookies sales raised enough money for us to take our keynote speaker, Caleen Sisk-Franco, spiritual leader of the Winnemen Wintu, and filmmaker Will Doolittle to a late dinner on Saturday.

Comments and ideas from audience members (including answers to the 3-question survey for ticket holders)

“I am Native American and very connected to issues and this is certainly an issue that needs to be focused on in awareness and education of every person on every level…”

“I teach natural resource economics and energy economics at the University of Calgary and at Cornell and want to hear about systems here in Mendocino which may assist in a book we are writing.”

“ I’m attending the film festival to better educate myself and become involved.”

“Living in the South Bay I’m very far removed from the salmon issues.  I would like to educate myself on the situation.”

“After being involved in independent film, watching the Yuba River watershed declines over the years, we too intend to step out and produce some brutal truth productions about wildlife, ecology and the world around us.”

“Every film was so beautiful, and so full of information- thank you!”

“Can you put DVDs of the films in our local libraries? Here’s a $10 donation to get you started on that.”

For a list of the films included in the 2011 Festival, click on this link:

SFF 2011 List of Films

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