Ocean City Today

Annual Wild and Scenic Film Festival at Seacrets, Nov. 16

By Kara Hallissey | Nov 09, 2017

(Nov. 10, 2017) Thirteen short films will be featured during the seventh annual Wild and Scenic Film Festival in Seacrets’ Morley Hall on Thursday, Nov. 16, with proceeds benefitting Assateague Coastal Trust.

“We encourage and hope these films inspire and get people thinking and talking about how they can make little changes to help not only our local watershed, but the whole world,” Kathy Phillips, Assateague Coastkeeper, said. “It has become a local’s favorite and one of the best fall events in Ocean City. It is a fun evening at a great venue. While watching with friends, we encourage people to have a dialogue about the films.”

Doors open at 6 p.m. at the 49th Street venue and the environmental films will begin a half an hour later with a focus on multiple genres from adventure to advocacy, satire and drama.

“Most films are three to seven minutes long with the longest under 20 minutes,” Phillips said. “The program will run about an hour and 40 minutes with an intermission in the middle. We have a great lineup of films this year. Some are more of a documentary, which will make you stop and think.”

Look forward to hearing stories about the farming industry, a wilderness preserve and the desert in addition to watching skiing and surfing adventures.

“Our audience keeps growing every year and I hope it will be one of our biggest turnouts,” Phillips said. “From the moment the program starts, the tempo and cinematography grabs you.”

Attendees can watch the 13 short films on Morley Hall’s state-of-the-art projection system in theatre seats, or check out the show on a small screen while grabbing a bite to eat and drink at the bar.

“The high definition and awesome sound system Seacrets provides makes the film festival more special,” Phillips said. “I can’t think of a better place than Morley Hall to showcase the quality of these films and the cinematography. The venue accommodates everyone.”

The Wild and Scenic Film Festival in Ocean City is a collection of environmental films and documentaries featured and judged at the annual event held in Nevada City, California, in January.

“It is quite an honor Assateague Coastal Trust gets to present it every year,” Phillips said. “We are the exclusive tour presenter of the lower Eastern Shore. We always try to put a program together that not only entertains, but inspires. That is the goal. Some are internationally acclaimed and only a specific set of films are put on tour.”

A committee at Assateague Coastal Trust is tasked with choosing touring films to feature at the event each year.

“We had to narrow it down to the 13 films about the watershed here or something we are involved in or ones we really loved,” Phillips said.

In addition to the films, there will be a 50/50 raffle, door prizes and a silent auction featuring items from local artists, a trip to the Florida Keys, gift baskets from numerous area businesses and packages from local restaurants.

“Seacrets Distillery will have a special drink during the festival and it will be a fundraiser for Assateague Coastal Trust too,” Phillips said. “A few door prizes from our national sponsors will be drawn during intermission. The silent auction has become a tradition with some amazing things donated by local businesses.”

Phillips said the annual Wild and Scenic Film Festival is Assateague Coastal Trust’s biggest fundraiser of the year and organizers are always looking for new business partners and sponsors.

“We couldn’t do it without them,” Phillips said. “OC Wasabi is our longest running partner. We are happy to bring on more local businesses who can donate to the silent auction or be a partner of the event.”

When the films aren’t being shown, a slideshow of all partners and silent auction items will be displayed on the screen.

“We take good care of our business partners,” Phillips said. “They help us cover our expenses so we can use more money for programs.”

Proceeds from events such as the Wild and Scenic Film Festival help Assateague Coastal Trust protect local watersheds and provide environmental youth programs for area children.

“Assateague Coastal Trust is committed to clean water, air and healthy communities,” Phillips said. “We fill a niche in the watershed and make sure environmental laws and permits are being enforced. Our youth program helps to get kids outside on the water and learning about nature.”

Tickets cost $20 in advance and $25 at the door. Buy three tickets in advance and the fourth one is free at www.actforbays.org, or call 410-629-1538.

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