One of the consistently best slate of films at the SBIFF falls under the sidebar Reel Nature. This year is no exception, with local filmmakers making a significant contribution. UCSB sociology professor Kum-Kum Bhavanni’s We Are Galápagos tells the story of the people who live on the world-renowned UNESCO islands and do their part to keep it pristine (see interview on page 33).
The heart-wrenching and hopeful documentary The War In Between gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the important work being done at Lockwood Animal Rescue Center, a place where wolves are rescued and rehabilitated, as are the U.S. veterans who care for the animals. It is a remarkable story of the long road back from PTSD for both the vets and the wolves.
From Golf Course to Wetlands follows the years-long fight to return a golf course in Goleta to its native wetlands. It’s an inspiring tale of perseverance and a wonderful environmental achievement for our town.
The relationship between art and nature is made clear in The Artist & the Great Bear, a delightful story about artist and wildlife advocate Patti Jacquemain, who uses her mosaic portraits of grizzly bears to educate and inspire people to save animals. The film is a meaningful reminder that anyone can be a catalyst for environmental change.
Other films on the Reel Nature slate include Santa Barbara filmmaker shorts Dancing with Dragons, a story about Forrest Galante, who grew up in Zimbabwe bush surrounded by predators and now has a dream of being in the water with crocodiles; Shark Bight, which takes a look at great white sharks and their peaceful coexistence with humans; and Under Her Wing, which profiles the Santa Barbara Bird Sanctuary and the work done there to rehabilitate unwanted, abused, and abandoned exotic birds.