SLIDESHOW: First Annual Cariboo Chilcotin Film Fest

The First Annual Cariboo Chilcotin Film Fest held at the Gibraltar Room Friday March 10 is an event organizers plan on repeating.

"What do I remember most of this evening?" says Krista Liebe who co-ordinated the event with husband Tihol Tiholov.

"The excitement and all the smiling, happy faces. Oh yes, we will do it again next year."

The evening featured long and short films, all set in the Cariboo Chilcotin, featuring local actors, musicians, videographers, and photographers, many of whom were in the audience.

Films celebrated the talents and beauty of the Cariboo Chilcotin region and many of the films pointed to the need for greater care in protecting land and water from environmental degradation caused by human development.

Two films by Jeremy Williams titled Downstream and Dasiqox Tribal Park II centred on various concerns related to environmental damage caused by mine spills and about creating additional parkland in the Chilcotin.

His third film Long Jim showed the problem when young people loose their ability to listen to nature as their elders do.

The Chilcotin Ark: A Photographer's Journey by photographer Chris Harris with music by Ken Marshall provided a brilliant tour around the region and also supported the plea to protect more natural habitat for wildlife and for future generations.

Another little film created by five young students under the direction of local filmmaker Trevor Mack got its name during the evening for its content which seemed to be saying Listen to Your Elders.

The 1974 full-length film The Bears and I, that was filmed in the Chilcotin on and around Chilko Lake with many local actors, also highlighted the beauty and natural resources of the Chilcotin region and pointed out the need to protect natural resources and respect First Nations people in their needs and wishes for care and use of the land. But it also was very funny showing the antics of three baby bears in the first year of their lives.

The Film Fest featured two videos showcasing the local musical talents of Juno Award winners Pharis and Jason Romero of Horsefly and young rappers Beka Solo and Rich Mac of Williams Lake.

Adding to the festive atmosphere the Museum of the Cariboo Chilcotin had a display of various vintage and antique items and asked people if they could identify their use. Authors Chris Harris, Judy Alsagar and Sage Birchwater also had books for sale, and each author threw the unique "mushy heart" out to the audience to give one of their books away to the catcher of the heart as a door prize.

During the break volunteers brought out a cake and the whole crowd sang happy birthday to Ruth Lord, the first and still only honorary member of the Williams Lake Film Club, who celebrated her 99th birthday on Feb. 27 and then again on March 10.

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