Wild and Scenic Film Festival

05/24/2023 7:00 pm
05/24/2023 10:00 pm

OARS 3 Rivers is once again hosting one of the largest environmental film festivals.

Wednesday, May 24, 2023, 7 pm–10 pm
(doors open 6 pm)
Fine Arts Theatre Place
19 Summer St, Maynard, MA 01754

Thank you to all who joined us at OARS’ 15th Annual Film Festival!

At OARS, the watershed organization for the Sudbury, Assabet, and Concord Rivers. We work to make our rivers healthy and resilient for everyone to enjoy.

We were so happy to welcome our community to Maynard Fine Arts Theater Place—truly a community asset, as well as our audience that joined us online!

The theme of the festival was CommUnity. These days, we see how easy it is to drive people apart. Let’s see how we can bring people together.

Among other things, the films shown illustrated that “What nature does best is to change.” People are part of nature, but we may not be so good at changing. We can help each other do that when we have unity of purpose, even if our perspectives differ.

For 36 years, OARS has worked to restore and protect our rivers and streams, and we have made tremendous progress by working with our cities and towns, state and federal partners, other community organizations, and volunteers.

We thank everyone who helped make this evening a success, Sarah Kwan, for working so hard, creatively, and expertly to bring the Film Festival to our community. Thomas Kwan, our wonderful Emcee. Jeff Collins, the “father” of the festival, who, with Heather Conkerton, worked on film selection. The amazing door prizes from local companies—from a mountain of fresh bread to an armful of ice cream and beautiful children’s books to a fistful of Red Sox tickets! And to our many local sponsors who helped make this festival happen—please pay them a visit!

But, most of all, we thank YOU our community, for joining us, supporting the SuAsCo rivers and watershed through OARS, and for your love of the earth and the water and air and your work to protect it all.

We hope you enjoyed the films.


^Click image above to view full event program^
Green the City As pastor of the New Northside Missionary Baptist Church in St. Louis, the Reverend Rodrick Burton champions many causes -- including renewable energy. Meanwhile, St. Louis Sustainability Director Catherine Werner pushes for energy efficiency and solar workforce programs that support underserved communities. Explore how these efforts come together to help a coal-powered city emerge as an environmental leader.
Blue Room In two prisons in the Pacific Northwest, incarcerated participants in a mental health experiment watch videos of sunset-soaked beaches, wildflowers, and forests on loop. 'Blue Room' is a meditation on the human condition in prison and outside of it—exploring trauma, confinement, and the wilderness.
I am Salmon Connecting humanity with salmon and the sea through the subtle art of poetry and Gyotaku (fish rubbing), Duncan Berry shares his experience as a longtime environmentalist and former captain of a salmon troller. In adopting the perspective of this transcendent fish, the beauty and power of the Oregon coast becomes the canvas through which the evolution of the salmon is illustrated.
Eco-Hack! Biologist Tim Shields has watched Mojave desert tortoise populations plummet since the 1990s. The latest threat? Ballooning raven populations, from increased human activity. Tired of "taking notes on a catastrophe," Tim exchanges observational biology for direct intervention. Building drones, rovers, laser cannons, and exploding tortoise shells, Tim wages technological war on ravens in a final effort to save the species.
Yuba is the Heart Forty years ago, the South Yuba River Citizens League began caring for the South Yuba River by advocating for dam removal and gaining Wild and Scenic protection. Today, their work encompasses the entire Yuba River watershed – from the Sierra crest to the valley floor. As the organization looks towards the next forty years, community members reflect on the future of their work in the face of climate change and protecting the river for future generations. Posed as a love letter to the river and the community that surrounds it, Yuba is the Heart considers what it means to love and be loved by a river.
Wood Hood Wood Hood features DeVaughn, a 15-year-old kid from New York City who loves skateboarding and craves a “quiet place” to escape the chaos of his home, the city, and kids that steal from him. The film follows DeVaughn on a weekend-long group camping trip with Camping to Connect, a BIPOC-led mentorship program that teaches leadership, brotherhood, and inclusion in the outdoors. “These kinds of conversations are rare for men that look like us,” one leader states, and as the film weaves between the city and the woods, a space that is unfamiliar and historically inaccessible to these kids, we witness the joy and growth that is possible when kids have an opportunity to find that “quiet place.”
Kayak On a peaceful summer day, a dad takes his baby son on a kayak day trip. Between the challenges of a first river outing and the baby’s whims the father will not have a relaxing day, especially when an eagle joins the adventure.
Space to Live A journey of discovery that builds toward the ultimate conclusion of what is the driving force behind habitat loss and all environmental destruction. I travel to Kenya to see for myself how my own consumption could potentially harm animals and cause habitat loss worldwide. I want to take you on this journey.
The Rock Pool Waltz The Rock Pool Waltz centers around a boy's affinity with nature, which helps to ease his worries and loneliness during the COVID lockdown. This leads him to an incredible friendship with an unlikely creature from the ocean. This inspiring film brings awareness to our connection with nature and the importance of caring for our environment and the amazing creatures we share this world with.
sym•bee•osis In sym-bee-o-sis, scientists discover that the alliance between bees and plants depends on an unexpected third partner: microbes! But the chemicals we use in agriculture are putting this ancient partnership at risk.
Voices from the water River heroes are at the forefront of solving the pollution and waste issues faced by our planet’s waterways. “Voices of Water” tells the stories of these champions and highlights the direct value of rivers to our community ecosystem and the importance of their role in the health of the planet and climate change. Through the stories of these heroes and the projects they have undertaken, we seek to raise awareness of river plastic pollution and the commitment to solve the problem at its source upstream.

Please support our sponsors (more coming each day) who make this special evening at Maynard’s Fine Art Theatre (and five days of video-on-demand) possible.



Allan Fierce
Cones for the Climate
Holly Clack
Ingeborg Hegemann
Kwan Family
Paul Goldman
Pam Helinek