NEVADA CITY, CA. (Jan. 25, 2021) – The 19th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival has officially come to a close! What an incredibly inspiring 11 days, full of amazing humans celebrating captivating stories and calls to action from around the globe. From the art reception and excursions to the workshops and filmmaker Q&As, this year’s Wild & Scenic was one for the books. 

The first ever virtual Wild & Scenic Film Festival featured award-winning films, activist workshops, and special guests such as Earthjustice President Abbie Dillen and artist Steph Littlebird Fogel. The festival presented panels on a variety of topics such as Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, with members of groups like Latino Outdoors and Save the Redwoods League. There were self-guided excursions including a hike virtually led by the Nevada City Nisenan tribe, as well as an art exhibition, EnviroFair, author presentations, and much more that rounded out the immersive event.    

“I am incredibly proud of what our team accomplished and hope that festival-goers enjoyed our first-ever virtual festival. I am grateful to everyone who showed up, supported SYRCL and Wild & Scenic, and immersed themselves in the virtual festival experience. It is bittersweet to see the festival come to a close each year, but despite all the challenges 2020 threw our way, our team was determined to bring inspiring films to our community and create opportunities to engage in environmental and social justice issues. We hope not only was the event enjoyed, but each attendee took away a dose of inspiration that will turn into action in 2021,” said Festival Director Jess Swigonski.

Wild & Scenic is excited to share two special sessions featuring 2021 Award Winners. Both sessions are available for online viewing now through the end of the day on January 31st. Additionally we have made most of the Award-Winning films available individually to rent on demand, also available through the 31st. Learn more and get tickets at WSFF.EVENTIVE.ORG.

2021 Award Winners:

Best of Festival:

The Last Ice

Best in Theme:

The Church Forests of Ethiopia

Spirit of Activism:

Our Mothers’ Land

Most Inspiring Adventure Film:


Best Short:


Jury Award:

Public Trust

River’s End

People’s Choice:

River’s End

Student Filmmaker Award

Ellie Stones – The Pangolin Man

John de Graaf

Environmental Filmmaking Award

David Abel – Entangled

Honorable Mention:

Rebuilding Paradise

District 15


Best Children’s Film

Disappearing Penguins


One of the nation’s largest environmental and adventure film festivals, the 19th annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival combines stellar filmmaking, cinematography, and first-rate storytelling to inform, inspire, and ignite solutions to restore the earth and human communities while creating a positive future for generations to come. Festival-goers are treated to a wide variety of award-winning films, including those about nature, community activism, adventure, conservation, water, energy, wildlife, and environmental justice. Happening January 14 – January 24, 2021, with Award Winners available through the 31st, the Wild & Scenic Film Festival is hosted and produced by the nonprofit organization South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) to raise funds for their year-round conservation work. This flagship festival kicks off a nationwide tour bringing Wild & Scenic films to more than 65,000 people annually.