Oregon’s vivid landscapes will hit the big screen at the Living River Film Festival, a three-day event presented by the McKenzie River Trust. The festival, which begins Oct. 12 and includes 11 films with guest appearances by the filmmakers, provides the public with an opportunity to connect to MRT’s conservation goals.
“We purchase land in order to protect critical fish and wildlife habitat,” says Liz Lawrence, operations manager for MRT. “Basically, we’re in the conservation real estate business.”
MRT protects areas span the length of western Oregon, including the recently acquired Railroad Island, a 63-acre piece of land in the Willamette River that MRT will preserve as protected habitat for sensitive species. In association with MRT’s spirit of conservation, the film festival mainly includes films set or shot in Oregon, joined by Hollywood movies and documentaries with connections to nature.
“We wanted to connect the festival to the landscapes directly around us,” says Brandi Ferguson, development manager for MRT. The festival, Ferguson says, was created to appeal to a wide variety of audiences.
One film, Letters from the Big Man, tells the story of an Oregon field biologist who “encounters a sasquatch in the wilderness,” the film’s director Christopher Munch says. His movie, which makes its first Eugene appearance on Oct. 13, explores how “dangerously removed many of us have become from nature,” Munch says.
The festival kicks off at 6 pm Friday, Oct. 12, at the Wildish Theater in Springfield, with a sneak peak at the film Willamette Futures and catering from local businesses, including Oakshire Brewing and Sweet Life Patisserie. Seven more films will show at Bijou Art Cinemas on Saturday, while free films and activities for children will take place on Sunday at EWEB’s River Edge Plaza, with tree-climbing and crafts with the Slug Queen.