The event held at the Poinsettia Pavilion in Ventura drew hundreds of residents for two evenings of inspired, informative and innovative cinema. The common theme was inspiring activism, and the films highlighted many examples of citizen activists from around the country. Subjects included dam removal and river restoration, as well as the Brower Youth Awards and a film about the successful re-introduction of the bald eagle to our local Channel Islands National Park. This film festival and past Conservancy events are archived here.
The final film on Saturday night was 'Release Me,' an independent film produced last summer by a student group through the Blue Horizons Summer Film Program at UCSB. The film has been shown at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival and many other events, promoted heavily by Darryl Mimick, one of the three producers.
The film provides a glimpse into the removal of Matilija Dam, a campaign that is now almost two-decades long. The screening was followed by an opportunity for the audience to ask questions of Darryl and Paul Jenkin.
The film is now streaming online in case you missed it on Saturday night, or want to share it with others:
Release Me, Darryl Mimick, Amanda Wasserman, and Skye Featherstone (USA) A story of one man's journey to fight for the removal of the Matilija Dam. Paul Jenkin, a passionate environmentalist and founder of the Matilija Coalition has dedicated the last 20 years of his professional life to witness the removal of the dam and bring awareness to its negative ecological impacts, such as the annihilation of the steelhead salmon and the displacement of sediment. Additionally, this is a story about individuals having a sense of purpose in their communities and taking initiative to solve local issues. People have the power to incite positive change; all they have to do is take that first step. Paul Jenkin is a perfect example of this.