NatureTrack Film Festival to open in-person in Los Olivos and online
NatureTrack Film Festival returns Oct. 16 with a hybrid format of a one-day, pop-up festival in Los Olivos and a virtual festival Oct. 17-31.
The festival showcases nature-loving cinema and raises money for the NatureTrack Foundation to provide outdoor field trips year round.
The in-person festival on Oct. 16 will show 30 films, and the virtual festival will feature 76 works.
Seven films will make their U.S. premiere at NatureTrack. Producers of five films plan to make their movies’ California premiere.
Sue Eisaguirre, founder and director of the NatureTrack Foundation, was nervous the festival may not receive enough movies because her two-week submission period felt rushed.
But she was thrilled to receive 800 submissions.
NatureTrack created one of this year’s films alongside Golden Sage Productions. It highlights the organization’s new wheelchair-friendly hikes, which use a device Ms. Eisaguirre calls a “freedom track.” It turns any wheelchair into an all-terrain vehicle, suitable for the beach or trail.
“It’s just one more way that we can connect people to the outdoors — and include everybody,” she told the News-Press Thursday.
One of her favorites submissions is “Wild,” an animation of a lizard that falls from a plane.
Another highlight, “Sebastian and Max’s Grand Canyon Adventure,” is directed by Oregon resident Max King, who documents Montecito resident Sebastian Salsbury’s 23-mile trail run in the Grand Canyon.
“It’s like Pixar’s ‘Bird on a Wire’ where you can watch it over and over and just smile,” Ms. Eisaguirre told the News-Press.
BBC’s “Antarctica” is another noteworthy film, taking viewers into the coldest place on Earth and explaining why it matters. Filmmakers captured breathtaking closeups of arctic wildlife, as small as plankton to massive whales.
“Antarctica” will only be available to view in-person, so NatureTrack set up a second showing at the Cindy Bronfman Leadership Center on the campus of the Dunn School, 2555 State Route 154 in Los Olivos. The Dunn School showing will begin at 6:30 p.m. Oct. 16 and will be followed by the film “Korovadu.”
The rest of the in-person screenings will be held in programming blocks beginning at 9 a.m. at Stacy Hall at St. Mark’s-in-the-Valley Episcopal Church, 2901 Nojoqui Ave., Los Olivos.
That morning, NatureTrack will be hosting the 5K and fun run as part of Los Olivos’s annual Day in the Country festival. It is just the second time the organization has hosted the races.
Day in the Country will take place both Oct.16 and 17.
Tickets for the NatureTrack Film Festival can be purchased for individual films or full passes. The in-person and online pass is $100, and the online-only pass is $75.
To learn more, go to naturetrackfilmfestival.org.