Seventy-two long and short films from 21 countries, in both live and animated form, will be screened at the third annual NatureTrack Film Festival (NTFF), March 20 through 22 in Los Olivos. The event is the only nature-focused film festival between San Francisco and Los Angeles.
Directors and other representatives from 24 films will attend the festival. Films range from exhilarating, to spectacular, heart-breaking to hope-filled stories from passionate filmmakers about the world we live in and share with the other animals on earth.
Categories are adventure, animation, biography, conservation, Kids Connecting with Nature, scenic, student, and a special category Outdoors & Out of Bounds.
Festival film highlights include:
» “83° Ski the North” — Director Matthias Mayr (2018 NTFF Award Winner, Best in Outdoor & Out of Bounds category for “White Maze”); country: Austria.
Less than 800 kilometers away from the North Pole is the Arctic Cordillera, the most northern mountain range in the world, on Ellesmere Island — remote, hostile, beautiful and one of the coldest places on earth. Two adventurers, Hauni Haunholder and film director Matthias Mayr, set off to ski the Cordillera but getting there is the real adventure.
The island is home to polar bears; arctic wolves; and native Inuit, indigenous people who actively support the two skier mountaineers. On their journey, Hauni and Matthias not only face major athletic and filmmaking challenges, they also have to accept that they won’t be the alpha leaders on this outing.
» “Kokoly” — Directors: Blue Ventures, Garth Cripps & Paul Antion; country: United Kingdom.
“Kokoly” offers an insight into the life of an incredible woman. Against a backdrop of extreme poverty, personal loss and a marine environment changing beyond her control, Kokoly lives on a knife edge. “Kokoly” follows a traditional Vezo fisherwoman Madame Kokoly as she reflects on her life experiences and carries out her daily routine in and around the coastal waters of southwest Madagascar.
This film features female-only voices from one of Africa’s most remote regions. Film rep Tom Collinson is attending.
» “Lost Kings of Bioko” — Director: Oliver Goetzl (2019 NTFF Award Winner, Audience Favorite category for “White Wolves—Ghosts of the Arctic,” 2018 NTFF Award Winner, Best in Conservation category for “Yellowstone”); country: Germany.
Goetzl returns to NTFF with this fascinating film about one of the world’s least known primate species, the drill monkey. Off the coast of Central Africa lies Bioko, an isolated island covered by primeval rainforests and surrounded by dark ocean waters.
Island folklore tells of a drill king who ruled the island’s forests, a place where drills still play a critical role in the health of an ecosystem known to scientists as a biodiversity hotspot. The “Lost Kings of Bioko” explores the secret lives of the drills and their mysterious island home.
Goetzl has created a bonus, “Making of Lost Kings of Bioko,” behind-the-scenes short film just for the NatureTrack Film Festival.
» “Threats in the Northern Seas” —Director: Jacques Loeuille; country: France.
About 3 billion tons of chemical and conventional warfare lies at the bottom of the North and Baltic seas. These silent witnesses of both world wars have become a true threat to the environment. How and why were these weapons dumped in the sea, and is this massive propagation of highly toxic products an avoidable disaster?
This chilling film takes viewers to Bornholm, Germany; the Skarregak Straight (between Finland and Denmark); the French North Sea and Channel coasts; the south of England; Knokke Heist, Belgium; the Netherlands and Denmark to examine this underwater stockpile of dangerous munitions, and to defend the cause of our seas’ survival.
All-Access Passes, ticket packages and single tickets are available and can be purchased by visiting the festival website www.NatureTrackFilmFestival.org. All proceeds from the festival go to support the NatureTrack Foundation. The full list of participating films is posted on the festival website.
NatureTrack Film Festival celebrates nature and outdoor adventure through film. The festival showcases dozens of national and international filmmakers’ works. The festival was founded by Sue Eisaguirre, who conceived the idea as an extension of and fundraiser for the nonprofit NatureTrack Foundation she started in 2011.
NatureTrack introduces schoolchildren to outdoor spaces from the seashore to the inland oak woodlands of Santa Barbara County by providing cost-free outdoor field trips. Since it began, NatureTrack has provided more than 22,000 outdoor experiences for school-aged students. For more about NatureTrack Foundation, visit www.naturetrack.org.
List of attending filmmakers, directors, producers, composers and film reps:
10 Miles Out: Director Preston Maag
Better Together: Director Isaac Hernandez and Producer Nancy Black
By Hand: Director Kellen Keene, principals Casey and Ryan Higginbotham, and composer Todd Hannigan
Carrizo Plain: A Sense of Place: Director Jeff McLoughlin
Escape: Director Yeliz Motro and Producer Catherine Nelson
Guidance: Director John M. Mastriano
Highline: Directors Chris Smead and Gordon Gurley
Kokoly: Representative Tom Collinson
Literacy for Environmental Justice: Cultivating Youth Leaders in
Southeast San Francisco: Director Kristin Tieche
Ocean Stories with Howard & Michelle Hall/and Our World of Ocean Sharks: Director Earl Richmond
One. Long. Day.: Director Robert (Bobby) Jahrig
Out There-Cypress Provincial Park: Director Christopher R. Abbey
Spinnaker: Center for Coastal Studies Representative Nikolaj Leszczynski
Taming Wild: Pura Vida: Director Elsa Sinclair
The Butterfly Trees: Director Kay Milam
The Hart: Director Henry Lin
Victory Swim: Executive producer/principle Susan Scarlett
Visions of the Lost Sierra: Producer Darrel Jury
Walking the Camino: Six Ways to Santiago: Director Lydia B. Smith
Waters of March: Director Elizabeth Lewis
Wild Hope: Director Suez Jacobson
Queen Without Land: Composer Julian Cisneros