Even in Bert Raynes’ ninth decade of life, he’s inspiring people to pay attention to their surroundings.
Filmmaker Jennifer Tennican brings that story of Raynes — a Wyoming man whose great loves are his wife and nature — to the screen in …
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Even in Bert Raynes’ ninth decade of life, he’s inspiring people to pay attention to their surroundings.Filmmaker Jennifer Tennican brings that story of Raynes — a Wyoming man whose great loves are his wife and nature — to the screen in a documentary called “Far Afield: A Conservation Love Story,” one of 50 films at the 10th annual Colorado Environmental Film Festival, Feb. 18-20, at the American Mountaineering Center in Golden.“Even though it’s a local setting, it’s got broad appeal,” she said of the film and Raynes. “He was responsible for getting more people outdoors.”The festival does have a couple local filmmakers in the mix, but features 10 countries worldwide, said Dave Steinke, a filmmaker on the festival’s board.“It really is a global festival,” he said, and “there is no shortage of environmental topics.”The purpose is not to have people leave the festival feeling guilty about the impacts on the environment, but people do learn a lot from the films, Steinke said.“There are so many wonderful films,” Steinke said. “The cool part is you can walk in at any time and have a variety of films to see.”Festival organizers did not want to focus only on oil leaks or global warming, Steinke said. Although those topics are covered, people may also enjoy the story of Larry Fivecoats by Colorado filmmaker Scott Thompson. Thompson tells how Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing helped Fivecoats after coming down with symptoms of PTSD and depression after he returned from the Vietnam War in the mid-1960s. Or, Steinke said, people may enjoy learning about how arborist Ryan Bartlett rescues and relocates beehives in “Bees and Trees” directed by Dawn George.Filmmaker Daniel Miller is especially excited to have his film “The Anthropologist” — “a climate change and coming-of-age film” — shown at the mountaineering center on Feb. 18. Not only is it a “mountain film,” Miller said, it coincides with World Anthropology Day. The main screening will take place at the festival in Golden, he said, but “The Anthropologist” will also be screened at 22 universities and theatres worldwide on that same day.For five years, the film crew accompanied Susie Crate, an American environmental anthropologist studying the impact of climate change. But the story is told through the perspective of Crate’s teenage daughter, Katie, now 18 years old, whose father is an indigenous Siberian.“We got to see the girl through the best of times, and the worst of times,” Miller said.The film is meant to bring the audience to the “front lines of climate change” along with the scientists, but also to bring in the human face and show how people and communities are being affected.“The film is really about hope,” Miller said. “So much about climate change is doom and gloom. But things are always changing, and people can adapt.”Also, the festival’s Eco Expo will be Friday and Saturday during which people can learn more about issues presented in the films. And the Environmental Photography Exhibition coincides with the film festival. The opening reception for the photography exhibit is 6-7:30 p.m. Feb. 19 and will be at the mountaineering center through April 30.Sometimes, people might get overwhelmed with conservation efforts and feel they can’t make a difference, Tennican said. But Raynes’ message is that everybody can make a difference.It’s all about taking “baby steps,” she said. “The more we know about our wild friends, the more we can help them.”About 90 percent of the films won’t be easily accessible outside of the festival, which Steinke said provides people the opportunity to hear some great stories told by great film directors.“You’ll cheer, and you’ll cry,” Miller said, but “you’ll see amazing films with some amazing topics.”
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