The first of five Friday evenings of live music and notable films from the International Wildlife Film Festival originating in Missoula, Montana will begin Friday, February 21, at the Ukiah Civic Center, 300 Seminary Avenue. Festivities will start at 6:15 p.m. with pre-film folk music by Steve Hahm.
Opening night screenings will begin at 7 p.m., featuring three films portraying the American West from a different perspective.
The feature film “Epic Yellowstone: Life on the Wing” (51 min.) provides a bird’s-eye view of an iconic place, Yellowstone National Park. Soaring above the erupting Old Faithful Geyser, the cascading Lower Falls, and the brilliant Grand Prismatic Springs, Yellowstone’s winged creatures survey an extraordinary landscape. But a bird’s life in the extremes of the world’s first national park is anything but an easy glide.
Also showing are two short films. “Glacier’s Bats” (6 min.) depicts the threat of white-nose syndrome, a cold-loving fungus that has killed many bats in the U.S. and Canada. Glacier National Park biologists adventure deep into the backcountry to find out what species of bats live in the park and monitor any dangers to their populations.
“Grizzly Country” (12 min.) introduces us to author and eco-warrior Doug Peacock, who, after serving in the Vietnam War, spent years alone in the Wyoming and Montana wilderness observing grizzly bears. With the protection status of Yellowstone grizzlies now under threat, Peacock reflects on the importance of habitat and why he continues to fight for wild causes.
Tickets for the Wildlife Film Fest are available at Mendocino Book Co. or at the door. Series tickets are $45; individual tickets are a suggested donation of $10 for adults and $5 for children. Films are appropriate for older children, but parental discretion is recommended.
Proceeds from the film festival are an important funding source for the Redwood Valley Outdoor Education Project (RVOEP), a special program of the Ukiah Unified School District that provides outdoor environmental education programs to over 2,000 students a year.
For a full program of the film series and more information about the RVOEP visit its website, www.rvoep.org. For further inquiries, contact Maureen Taylor, RVOEP Education Coordinator, at 489-0227.