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The Evanston Environmental Association will showcase environmental documentaries in a new location this  year, when it presents the seventh annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival at One Rotary Center, 1560 Sherman Ave.

 After years of entertaining packed houses at the Ecology Center, the Evanston Environmental Association decided to move the event to the third-floor auditorium at One Rotary Center, to make the festival a more enjoyable experience for participants. The auditorium has comfortable, theater-style seating and can accommodate about twice the crowd.

“We are very excited to present these beautiful, inspiring films in the comfort of the auditorium at One Rotary Center,” EEA Board President Dick Peach said. “This year, we can accommodate a much larger crowd, which means we’ll be able to inspire more people to work to protect the planet. We are grateful to Rotary International for making this venue available for this beautiful event.”

 The Evanston Environmental Association, an independent nonprofit organization that supports the Evanston Ecology Center, will present short film selections from the 2018 Wild & Scenic festival, featuring different films from 7 to 9 p.m. each night on March 2 and 16.

This year’s films feature breathtaking scenes of some of the most beautiful places on Earth, along with powerful stories of people dedicated to protecting the planet – and many times risking their lives for the cause.  There also are films reflecting the dark reality of climate change and recent headlines in Washington.

Seating will be limited; registration and tickets are available at evanstonenvironment.org/filmfest, or at the Ecology Center, 847-448-8256, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays.

March 2
“Wildlife and The Wall” (5 min.). Filmmaker Ben Masters paddles one of America’s most famous rivers and considers the potential effects of a border wall on wildlife and access to the Rio Grande, the only water source in a harsh desert environment.

“The Invisible Mammal – The Bat Rescuer” (10 min.). To Corky Quirk, bat rescuer, the winged creatures are a lot like preschoolers: “They go, go, go, go…” They’re cute like preschoolers too. Since 2005, Corky has been working with injured and orphaned bats in California.

Featured Presentation: “The New Environmentalists – From Guatemala to The Congo” (29 min.) An introduction to the people on the frontlines of the battles to safeguard the Earth’s natural resources. These heroes risk their lives and face intimidating adversaries to fight the good fight.

“The Nature of Maps” (10 min.). Marty Schnure and Ross Donihue roam some of the world’s last remaining wild lands to create maps to help conserve these precious places.

“Canis Lupus Colorado” (18 min.). Gray wolves shaped the Colorado wilderness for eons only to disappear nearly overnight. Here is what happened to the delicate ecosystem after one of its major players became nearly extinct, along with people who are trying to bring the majestic creatures back.

“Lost in Light” (3 min.). After seeing “Lost in Light,” one might gaze obsessively at Chicago’s night sky, aching at what is missing.

March 16
“Dragging 235 lbs. Uphill Both Ways” (8 min.). This is an anthem for all people watching their children/grandchildren become increasingly plugged in to electronics but out of touch with the outdoors.

Featured Presentation: “SHIFT” (29 min.). A lot of Evanston biking enthusiasts would love to hit the trails in Carcross, Yukon. A group of indigenous youth spent 10 years converting traditional trails into a world-class mountain biking destination.

“Nobody Dies in Longyearbyen” (9 min.). This could be one of the creepiest films ever hosted at the EEA’s film festival. The rumor in the northernmost city in the world is that nobody is allowed to be buried in the area because the thawing permafrost may expose the bodies long after being laid to rest. The narrator describes the story as “the first act of a science fiction flick about something deadly, long buried in the permafrost.” Could climate change resurrect some of the world’s ancient plagues? This is disturbing, but fascinating material.

“The Secrets Held in the Ice” (14 min.). Told with beautiful animation, this is the story of how pioneering glaciologist Claude Lorius fell in love with Antarctica and found his vocation. While sharing drinks with friends he notices air bubbles in the ice cubes and has an epiphany: Will drilling deep into Arctic ice give clues to how the climate has changed over the centuries?

“Sky Migrations” (15 min.). “Looking into an eagle’s eyes changes you.” So begins this engaging film by ecologist Charles Post, as he shines a light on the network of backcountry scientists and sentinels at the front lines of raptor conservation.