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The Evanston Environmental Association (EEA) is, once again, showcasing a collection of award-winning environmental films – including gripping tales of divers saving a baby whale caught by 500 pounds of fishing net, a kayaker who finds life in death-defying waterfall plunges, and high school kids who dress up as “plastic-bag monsters” to spark a bag ban in their community.

The EEA, the independent nonprofit organization that supports the Evanston Ecology Center, is proud to be the Chicago area’s presenter of selections from the Wild and Scenic Film Festival, the nation’s largest environmental film festival. The films will be shown at:  Evanston Ecology Center, 2024 McCormick Blvd. on Feb. 8 and Feb. 22, 7-9:30 p.m. 

Each night will feature prize drawings. Seating will be limited so viewers are encouraged to register with the Ecology Center, 847-448-8256, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays. Tickets are $5 for each night, and can be used to receive a discount on EEA membership. Current EEA members receive free admission.

“The first step in appreciating and protecting the environment is being inspired by it, and all these films inspire,” EEA Board Representative Karen Taira said. “The Wild and Scenic Film Festival has beautiful, edge-of-your-seat stories about adventure, social justice, climate change, and community activism. It’s a great deal: Have fun, get educated, be inspired.”

Each night will present different films, from two minutes to 25 minutes long, including:

• Scars of Freedom – See if the power of human compassion can overcome the power of human negligence as heroic divers fight to save a baby whale from 500 pounds of knife-like fishing net.

• Carbon for Water – A company finds a creative solution to save little girls in Kenya from the punishing and dangerous task of gathering wood to boil contaminated water.

• “Ernest” – What is the ideal retirement? Ernest Wilkerson is an old trapper and conservationist who loves to dig snow caves – even though he is nearing 90.

• “Huck” – Spectators take a seat with Evan Garcia as he kayaks over a waterfall.

• “Murder Mouth” – Madeleine likes meat, and this movie asks whether she likes it so much that she is willing to kill an animal to eat it. This is a fascinating, moving, and sometimes hard-to-watch quest for answers.

• “Young Voices for the Planet: Team Marine” – A group of high school students helped get the City of Santa Monica to ban destructive plastic bags. These “bag monsters” explain how.