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Los Olivos Provides Setting for NatureTrack Film Festival

The Santa Ynez Valley will have its first nature film festival next spring. Featuring some two dozen films that “ignite passion for nature through film,” the NatureTrack Film Festival is set to debut March 23-25 in Los Olivos.

NatureTrack founder and director Sue Eisaguirre conceived the idea for a local film festival as an extension of the nonprofit she started in 2011, which introduces school children to outdoor spaces from the seashore to the inland oak woodlands.

The festival kicks off Friday, March 23, with an opening reception prior to screenings that day. A full slate of films will be offered on Saturday, and the festival concludes on Sunday with a half-day of programming and closing reception.

Films will screen at three venues in Los Olivos: Santa Ynez Valley Grange, Gates Foss Community Center at Los Olivos School, and St. Mark’s In-The-Valley Church.

NatureTrack Film Festival passes will go on sale Dec. 1 at www.NatureTrackFilmFestival.org.

Organizers plan to incorporate filmmaker meet-and-greets at local food and wine establishments, as well as bonus screenings.

NatureTrack also will offer docent-led hikes in the Santa Ynez Valley for those looking for a more immersive outdoor experience.

“This beautiful valley with its proximity to the coast and Los Padres National Forest, among other scenic attractions, makes it an ideal location for a film festival dedicated to the great outdoors,” Eisaguirre said.

The NatureTrack Film Festival is now accepting long and short film submissions in both live and animated form in the categories of Student, Adventure, Conservation, Kids Connecting With Nature, and a category called Outdoors and Out of Bounds.

There is no fee to submit a film entry for consideration. Entry applications are available at https://filmfreeway.com/festival/NatureTrackFilmFestival. Final deadline for all submissions is Nov. 1.

Juried awards will be given for Audience Favorite, Best Student Film, Best in Category (feature or short), Best Depiction of Children Connecting to Nature — the Dan Conaway Award, and overall Best in Festival.

The NatureTrack Film Festival welcomes sponsor and advertiser inquiries and offers various participation levels for businesses and individuals wishing to support the inaugural event as a legacy partner or advertiser.

Contact Eisaguirre [email protected] for information.

NatureTrack is a 501(c)3 nonprofit that provides cost-free outdoor field trips for Santa Barbara County school-aged children, utilizing local trails and beaches throughout the county.

— KC Murphy Thompson for NatureTrack Film Festival.


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