Tahoe Film Fest | Environmental films take center stage

Beyond the Brink

As the cold temperatures are settling in, there’s no better place to be than in a comfortable seat in the movie theater watching an entertaining, thought-provoking film at the third annual Tahoe Film Fest.

The main focus of the Tahoe Film Fest is the environment, largely due to its partnership with Sierra Watershed Education Partnerships (SWEP), along with a variety of films from Latino and French filmmakers. This year’s festival is from Nov. 30 to Dec. 3 featuring award-winning films at Incline Village Cinema, Northstar Village Cinema and Truckee High School auditorium.

“With these award-winning environmental films that we’ve chosen to program for Tahoe Film Fest, we’re trying to do our part to spread the word about global warming and climate change.”
–Robert Roussel

Roussel has been working tirelessly to bring in recognizable, important movies that the Tahoe community will be interested in, many with Academy Award nods.

“You get to go and learn about another part of the world for two hours, take in another culture,” says festival director Robert Roussel.

What Lies Upstream

The festival kicks off on Nov. 30 with “Josephine’s Demon,” a short featuring local children and filmed on location around Truckee. Environmental flicks include “An Inconvenient Truth,” “What Lies Upstream,” “Water and Power: A California Heist” and “Rise: Sacred Water – Standing Rock,” which takes viewers to the frontlines of the worldwide indigenous resistance.

Much like last year’s Fest, Roussel will be bringing back a stellar selection of Latino films that some of the world’s top directors and producers are currently working on including “El Vigilante,” which recently won the Los Angeles Film Festival, and “Aqui Sigo” (Still Here), a touching movie about the perspective of existence from those who have lived 90 years and longer.

“Tahoe is sophisticated. I think they will appreciate films like this,” says Roussel about the selections. “I think people up here want to go to a film that’s meaningful. That’s why the environmental films are so important.”

With the abundance of environmental activist organizations in Tahoe and the movie festival benefitting SWEP, Roussel wants to ensure that this event speaks to the landscape that the community loves.

“It’s hard to express how important it is to present new environmental films in our festival. Scientists have proven that global warming and climate change is not a theory, it is a fact, which, unfortunately, we all are responsible for. With these award-winning environmental films that we’ve chosen to program for Tahoe Film Fest, we’re trying to do our part to spread the word about global warming and climate change; how we all can learn about the problems and solutions and try our best as human beings to make a change,” says Roussel.

Roussel says that he hopes to grow the festival and secure more movies in the future, with the Truckee High School location a welcome addition to this year’s event.

“Truckee has a strong drama program and Truckee High School has a beautiful auditorium that seats 300 people,” says Roussel, adding that all of the films featured in Truckee will be free to watch.

His hopes for this year’s Tahoe Film Fest are that the number of attendees will double and that more local students will attend. If this year’s Tahoe Film Fest will be anything like the last, attendees can expect the chance to mingle with the filmmakers and Tahoe locals, watch thought-provoking movies and welcome winter back.

For more information, a list of films or to purchase tickets, visit tahoefilmfest.org.