One of my favorite weeks of the year is just around the corner.
It's New York WILD Film festival time! And there could not be a more appropriate venue than the Explorer's Club headquarters, a place known for exploration of earth, sea and space, wild adventure, and leadership in conservation - not to mention FUN!
This year the New York WILD Film Festival features a Family day, Sunday, February 25th. Bring the kids! Bring the grandparents. Bring the neighbors!
We spoke to Nancy Rosenthal, the festival's Founder and Executive Director, about the new family day and few of her favorite parts of New York WILD!
Where did you get the idea of a specific "family day" come from? Why is it important?
Nancy: Some films are so inspiring whether it's a young climber who is incredibly focused, dedicated and accomplished yet still struggles with emotional and school issues so young people can relate to them or learning about why destroying a forest is deadly for the animals that live there or just a cute fun film about owls.
Part of NY WILD's mission is to engage young people (and inspire them) to care about the planet. Often some of the films we get will appeal to (both) adults and kids so I have wanted to create a family program. It finally happened the 5th year.
What is your favorite of the films for family day?
Nancy: I watch Owl Dance Off sometimes during the day - even though I've seen it many times it always makes me smile. Person of the Forest is an important film, and I like that you see how the photographer captures the shots and how difficult it is. Margot Hayes in Break on Through is amazing. Sorry, hard to name just one.
How did you choose the family day films?
Nancy:The jury selected them, some of them are also featured in the regular program.
Is there anything about the Sunday schedule (Family Day) that makes it better for children than other days?
Nancy:The mix of topics and most are short films except for the Giraffe film but I'm hoping kids will sit through it, who doesn't love giraffes and they are in trouble
About the festival in general:
Why a Wild Film Festival - what made you decide to put this beautiful annual event together?
Nancy: I think (the medium of) film is the most powerful way to reach people. I mix the content as some people don't want to see an environmental film but I pair it with an exhilarating adventure film, and then they see both, it's all connected, enjoying the outdoors and the environment.
What has been your favorite part of the festival?
Nancy: When I see the audience react - they're excited to be there and are amazed at what they're seeing and learning, and also when they swarm the speakers, I want the attending speakers to feel they have reached the audience.
How do you choose the films?
Nancy: I research other festivals and create a database and (I) attend (other) festivals and meet filmmakers.
How has the festival changed over the years?
Nancy: We've expanded and also (developed a) partnership with NYU and NYU Shanghai, the reach to college students and internationally is fantastic.
Do you have a favorite moment over the years?
Nancy: I always love showing the festival trailer that encompasses all the films. And I love when we have to kick out people at the second reception, and they've stopped serving alcohol yet people are fired up about what they've seen and want to keep talking.
Thank you Nancy, for taking time to tell us about this year's festival!
A Note From Roberta at Destination: Wildlife: Over the years the New York WILD Film Festival has introduced me to places I never knew existed, people and cultures I never dreamt lived, filled my soul with wonder and my bucket list with destinations. It has also taught me that the earth is in a far more precarious state than we believed - but each of us does have an impact. Go to New York WILD Film Festival. Experience the world.