The call of the wild

Sandhill cranes at Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge in San Antonio, New Mexico

You don’t have to worry about tickets selling out for the Wild & Scenic Film Festival On Tour. For 2020, the event, presented by the Santa Fe Watershed Association (1413 Second St. Suite 3, 505-820-1696,, is moving online.

Featuring a dozen short films that celebrate nature and inspire activism on behalf of the environment, this year’s festival is tailored for a Santa Fe audience. Now in its 18th year, the Wild & Scenic Film Festival was started in 2003 by the California-based organization South Yuba River Citizens League, a watershed advocacy group. It’s a five-day event that takes place annually in Nevada City and Grass Valley, California, and also tours internationally. This is the second year it’s been presented by the Santa Fe Watershed Association.

“Fortunately, the staff at Wild & Scenic in California quickly adjusted to circumstances and created the option to go virtual,” says Santa Fe Watershed Association Board Member Tony Ricketts. “What I especially like about this festival is we choose from more than 150 films to build our film program specifically for Santa Fe, keeping in mind the breathtaking natural beauty of the Southwest, as well as its unique set of environmental concerns.”

Sign up at to stream the first half (available from 6 p.m. on May 26 through May 31). The first half of the festival includes the poetic short film The Shepherdess, which is about the hardships faced by a Navajo shepherdess who struggles to maintain her vanishing way of life; Into the Black, on how prescribed burns are essential to maintaining and helping restore critical habitats; and Space to Explore, which is about aerospace engineer Natalie Panek’s adventure to the Mars-like terrain of Moab, Utah.

The second half goes live at noon on June 3, and is available through June 7. It features Where Life Begins, about the importance of protecting the environment along the Arctic Coast for the health of the planet; Nature Now, a passionate call to arms from environmental activists Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot that was made entirely with net-zero carbon emissions and using recycled footage; and The Fight for Flight, on the research, rehabilitation, and conservation efforts related to epic bird migrations in the Great Lakes region.

Tickets for each part are $15 per person (available at and by donation. Sales benefit the Santa Fe Watershed Association, which works to protect and restore the health of the Santa Fe River and its watershed. 

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