Skeena Wild are celebrating Shell's abandonment of their coal bed methane project in the Sacred Headwaters. But they are certainly not resting on their laurels now that the one threat has been cancelled. Enbridge's project, the Trans Pacific Pipeline, fracking and now a copper mine are still threats to the area.
There were two features of under 30 minutes, "Art for an Oil-Free Coast" and "Groundswell." Both were beautiful. Of course. The whole northwest part of the province is stunning. I have only been as far as Kitimat, and I have not been very far off any highway, but it really is unlike any other place I have been.
Art for an Oil-Free Coast is a too short documentary about 50 artists on a tour of the Great Bear Rainforest. They talk about why the area is precious, why none of these industrial projects should go ahead, and you get to see some lovely art in progress. It is a bit of an advertisement for the art itself which is apparently touring the country. There is a book of the artwork available too. I think it was this film which started with the quote by Chief Seattle in my title.
Groundswell is also too short. It is a small documentary about surfers on the north coast. Like Oil-Free Coast it is beautiful. It spends much more time on the water, though, which I enjoyed. The surfing is really wonderful. One scene is paired with a beautiful song by Roo Panes called Move Mountains. Its a nice match: guitar, violin and surfing. Much of the film is narrated by a young surfer from California named Trevor Gordon. Early in the film, he quotes John Muir: "It is not blind opposition to progress, it is opposition to blind progress."
There were also a bunch of really short films, all of which have some representation in the film fest trailer. They were funny (fishing as art: think chest waders and ballet) or poignant (canoeing on running water) or exciting (skiing at Shames Mountain, or kayaking down falls) and they were all beautiful.
It was a great way to spend an evening. If it comes to your area, go and see it. Or, better yet, organize one in your community.