2018 FEATURE FILM: A River's Last Chance

eel river

This river story is a lesson in the residence of nature - and the best things are wild and free. 

A River's Last Chance depicts the ongoing story of California's mighty Eel River.  This film takes a look at the historical impacts of: logging, salmon, agriculture, drought, and climate climate change in a relevant and forward thinking approach. 

The Eel River in Northern California is arguably the best opportunity for wild salmon recovery on the entire west coast.  The river and salmon have weathered decades of over fishing, abusive logging, catastrophic floods and droughts, a hydro power dam that diverts water out of basin. Today the Eels recovering wild salmon compete for water with the region’s underground multi-billion dollar cannabis economy and the multi billion dollar wine industries of Sonoma and Mendocino.

This film is rooted in the belief that we can live symbiotically with our watersheds and encourage both a rivers recovery and economic future. 

A River’s Last Chance premiered to a sold out crowd at the Portland Eco Film Fest,  has won “Best Environmental Film”  at the Yosemite Film Festival and will debut at the 2018  Wild and Scenic Film festival and the 2018 Siskiyou Film Festival. 


eel river map watershed

Save the date for the 16th Annual Siskiyou Filmfest!

We are excited to announce that the 2018 Siskiyou Filmfest is happening on Saturday Feb. 10th, 2018!

photo: Shane Stiles Photography

photo: Shane Stiles Photography

Celebrating 16 years of bringing inspiring and educational films to southwest Oregon, we are excited to once again convene at the Grants Pass Performing Arts Center. If you are a seasoned Siskiyou Filmfest-goer, you know that the Filmfest is much more than just the showing of films. Though small in size, the Siskiyou Filmfest weaves together a tight-knit community, with local conservation efforts, and top notch films.

Stay tuned for more details of the fun, food, and film happening Feb. 10th, 2018! 

15th Annual Siskiyou Filmfest Success!

We are excited to announce that viewers have chosen their favorite film for the 2017 Views Choice Award, "Super Salmon."

KS Wild is so grateful to everyone that came out and made the Filmfest a success, thank you to our wonderful sponsors, auction donors, partner organizations that came and shared information at their booths, and the 500+ guests who took part and made it the fantastic community event that we strive for. 

We would like to extend an extra big thank you to volunteers that made it all possible: 

Alexa Bernard, Allee Gustafson, Ashley Mendes, Ashley Waymouth, Carly Holthaus, David Shiah, Deb VanPoolen, Elizabeth Pietrzak, Geno Silvestri, Gina Roberti, Gitta Ziegler, Jennifer Nitzky, John Bermel, Jordan Beaver, Justin Rhode, Kathrin McCoy, Kendall Cohns, Laurel/Scott, Lilia Letsch, Linda Lanzhammer, Linda Rahberger, Lynette Bullard, Makayla Hoyt, Patty Goodin, Rober Joseph, Sarah Kreisman, Shane Clark, Sydney Lund, Theresa Bush, Darren Campbell

If you would like to get involved as a volunteer for the 2018 Siskiyou Filmfest, please get in contact and let us know!

We hope to see you again next year!

Local Food to Accompany Local Films: Culinary delights from Chef Kristen at the Siskiyou Film Fest

Know where your food comes from
— Chef Kristen

We are excited to have Chef Kristen for a second year at the Siskiyou Film Fest! With sources ingredients from the Applegate and Rogue Valleys, you know that you are going to have both a delicious and locavore's treat! See Kristen's website and learn more about her catering, meals-to-go, and cooking classes. 

Chef Kristen will be cooking up delicious dinner and snack options for purchase at the Siskiyou FilmFest - snacks and finger foods available between 3-4pm, and dinner and deserts available 5:30-6:30pm:

  • Hand pies

  • Chicken pot pie

  • Curry plate

  • Rogue Valley Power Cheese Plate

  • Rice Noodle Salad

  • Substantial Side Salad

  • Cookies

  • Almond Polenta Honey Cake

  • Save The Bees Granola

Gluten free options available! 

Thank you to Chef Kristen and the local companies that have donated food ingredients for these delicious menu items - Rise Up! Artisan Bread, Bee Girl Organization, and Pennington Farms

Join us on Feb 12th at the Grants Pass High School Performing Arts Center for fine films, food and friends! Tickets are available online or in person at Oregon Books & Games (Grants Pass) or the Northwest Nature Shop (Ashland). 


A stellar film line-up for the 2017 Siskiyou FilmFest

film: Namuli

film: Namuli

film: Ace the Desert Dog

film: Ace the Desert Dog

film: Super Salmon

film: Super Salmon

The Siskiyou FilmFest team is excited to announce that the full film line-up for 2017 is now available online! There will be a jam packed 142 minutes of fantastic short films screened at the Grants Pass High School Performing Arts Center on Sunday Feb 12th. There will also be time before the films start and during the intermission to check out the tables of community groups in attendance, and eat some delicious food available from Chef Kristen. 

Films at the 2017 Siskiyou FilmFest:

NoWhere (10 min)
The Refuge (15.5 min)
Forget Shorter Showers (11 min)
Speak For The Trees (13 min)
Namuli (24 min)
Kid Warrior (6.3 min)
The Super Salmon (25 min)
Our Land (16 min)
Walking The Wild Applegate (22 min)
Ace And The Desert Dog (9 min)

View more details about the films, and learn more about the issues, on the 'Films' page of the Siskiyou FilmFest website. 

film: Kid Warrior

film: Kid Warrior

film: The Refuge

film: The Refuge

film: Forget Shorter Showers

film: Forget Shorter Showers

Our Land: Traversing Oregon

Guest film review by SFF volunteer Carly Holthaus, AmeriCorp volunteer for Rogue Valley Farm to School

Octave Zangs & Jason Fitzgibbon do a phenomenal and drool-inducing job of presenting our magical Oregonian public lands in their true light. OUR LAND - TRAVERSING OREGON follows the duo dream team as they roam and ramble; surfing on the coast, flyfishing in alpine lakes, and touring forests on mountain bikes. This footage is enough to awaken the playful wild child in all of us, simultaneously filling us with warm-fuzzies for the places we hold dear. Poetic narration notes "towering evergreens plunging down dark rocky cliffs toward the sea and not with another soul as far as the eye could gaze," in combination with beautiful cinematography, masterfully brings goosebumps to viewers. The filmmakers have created a work of art that will incite audiences to love and fight for these endangered paradises. 

The film alludes to the unofficial national anthem by Woody Guthrie, "This Land Is Your Land", and at no better timing than now, with the arrival of a new presidency. Here we are called to reflect on these last tracts of wild and untouched country, hidden pockets of living history that reveal to us an often forgotten lesson. We're charged to preserve, against big business interest and government takeover, the places in our very own backyard that stir our hearts. This film will make you want to get out of your seat, put on a wet-suite and dive into water, or fight for the protection of our lands, or both! Either way, you'll want to make sure that stunning films like this one will continue to be made.

2017 SFF Guest of Honor: Agnes Baker Pilgrim

Agnes Baker Pilgrim, the oldest member of the Takelma Tribe of Oregon that once occupied the Rogue River basin, travels tirelessly around the world, at 92, to keep native traditions alive, to give spiritual help to those in need, and to be a voice for the voiceless - our natural communities.  

From 1993 to 2014 she and her family hosted the Sacred Salmon Ceremony in Southern Oregon, which attracted people from all over the world. Agnes is also the eldest member and chairperson of the "International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers" that have traveled the world since 2004. She met with the Dali Lama in 2006, (see the Book: "Grandmothers Counsel the World.") Most recently, Grandma Aggie released, "Grandma Says: Walk Up World!" a book published by Blackstone. A testimony of her life's journey, experience, strength and hope, her wisdom and wit. Books will be available at the Film Festival


The Klamath-Siskiyou's Inspired Inhabitants

Love where you live, defend what you love

If you are following the Siskiyou FilmFest on Facebook you may have noticed that we recently held a competition for free festival tickets. Entrants were asked to comment on a Facebook post about why the wilds of the Klamath-Siskiyou are important to them, and some of the comments were so beautiful that we asked if we could share them on the Siskiyou FilmFest website. 

While the competition winner was chosen randomly, we do love the comment from the ticket competition winner: 

“The wilds of the Klamath-Siskiyou are important because ALL wild areas are important. Wilderness keeps us from losing our souls to the disease of civilization: loneliness.”
— John Jordan-Cascade

There were so many great comments, we knew we would have to pick a random winner or it would be impossible to decide on merit! Below is a selection of some of the comments that we found particularly inspiring...

The Klamath-Siskiyous are important for so many reasons! They provide clean air, clean water, habitats for local species, and a retreat into wilderness for people!
— Sara Arredondo
The Klamath-Siskiyou wildlands are my church. The place I go to listen to spirit and remember who I am. The place I share with my child in hopes that he too can connect with all that truly matters - to slow down and breathe.
— Unity Bubb-Manson
The wilds of the Klamath-Siskiyou make my heart soar like a raven on a windy day!
— Brandon Breen
The KS wildlands are important to me because an massive numbers of creatures, plants, rocks, trees and other precious beings live there, Not only do those beings have inherent value but also, the health of the human species is dependent on the health of ALL the species. Wildlands provide essential places of refuge for the endless biodiversity of this planet.
— Deb Van Poolen
What does the Klamath-Siskiyou Wilds mean to me? It is a majestic mountain range filled with biodiverse habitats, rare plants, and bountiful wildlife. It was once home to tribes of native people who reaped its ethnobotanical offerings and bathed in its beauty. My life revolves around the Klamath-Siskiyous, yet the region still remains such a mystery to me. It is one place that I will never stop exploring and will always have a deep love and respect for.
— Mandy Noel
Love the inspiring positive projects these films focus on for the health of our amazing environment. The films have inspired me to get involved and speak out about what environmental issue I am passionate about! Especially Climate recovery so we have an environment to protect! Thank you for this festival!
— Ann Barton

Thank you to everyone that entered the competition and wrote inspiring comments.

Make sure to follow the Siskiyou FilmFest on Facebook

Love Where you Live, Defend What you Love

Klamath-Siskiyou Wildland's timeless slogan 

Klamath-Siskiyou Wildland's timeless slogan 

When people speak up about the places they love, we take the first step in protecting our home for future generations.

Most recently, January 2017 marks the culmination of years of hard work and community effort for the protection for the wild rivers of the Kalmiopsis, and the biodiversity of the Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument.

Come celebrate these conservation landmarks for the Klamath-Siskiyou at the 15th Annual Siskiyou Film Fest!

Stand Up, Speak for the Trees: southern Oregon Activism

An interview with local filmmaker Dean Hawn

SFF: We're excited to see an updated version of "Speak for the Trees" at this year's Siskiyou Film Fest.  Can you tell us about how you became involved with this project initially?


DH: It was actually by random chance that I got involved with Speak For The Trees.  I was in Portland having dinner with my friend Matt, who lives in the Little Applegate, and he started telling me about a community effort aimed at stopping an egregious and ultimately illegal logging project that was taking place in his neighborhood.  The timber company in question, Spalding Timber, had violated a number of timber harvest regulations and were forced to halt operations. Turns out the company was illegally siphoning water out of the small, sensitive, local creeks that are home to the rare Siskiyou Salamander and salmon spawning grounds in order to fulfill their dust abatement requirements.  The Jackson County Water Master determined they were violating the rules and the operation shut down.  I found this story really interesting: a group of friends came together to stand up against the destructive saws of industrial logging, and I felt I could use my filmmaking skills to be of service to a friend and ideally help to defend mother earth. I had seen the impact short films have, and the ability they have to raise awareness, and funding.

SFF: Was there a particular moment that inspired you to create a film?

DH: In 2012 I visited the property in the Little Applegate where Spalding had started to log and I was blown away by the devastation.  It looked like a bomb had gone off to me.  Hailing from Tempe, Arizona and then Los Angeles, this was the first time I had stood in a clear cut and it impacted me on a deep level.  And I knew I had to make a film about it, which seemed to be the only way I knew how to help.  I went back to LA , and while digging around a property I was living on and felt gripped by the prospect of helping a defend a hillside in Oregon.  In a dirt pile,  I found an old picture viewer - I think they called it a viewmaster - toy which had circular slides that you could look through and see pictures of your favorite animals and landscapes.  It was a moment when I realized that I had an opportunity to help prevent the Speak for the Trees hillside from turning into the stuff of artifacts.  I wanted the futures pictures of that little applegate hillside to be of a healthy forest instead of a wasteland.

SFF: How would you describe the community involved in forest protection in the Little Applegate valley?

DH: Well, the short version is that the community made me want to live here - and now I do! After living in LA for almost 15 years, I really felt that this beautiful community full of dedicated people here in the Little Applegate,  are like no other.  It was something I didn't find in LA.  There is a different type of connection in Southern Oregon and the people I know here are ready to come out and fight for their backyards. With the Speak for the Trees effort, we had three fundraisers on Yale Creek Road - which were hugely beneficial both financially and for getting feedback on the film.  I am currently working on a new project, with the working title of "The Paper Trail."  I have been developing, researching, and filming for the past two years.   It also addresses logging but takes a wider perspective while continuing to focus on Oregon as its central location.  We are fiscally sponsored through the International Documentary Association and it really nice to have a network of professionals to help us bring this new film to life.

SFF: How do you see your role as a filmmaker in supporting efforts to protect southern Oregon forests today?

DH: I aspire to be a good filmmaker.  I spent a lot of time in edit bays back in LA but found my voice was somewhat silenced working for the studios and wanted more.  I look at filmmaking as a medium through which community efforts can become seen and more widely spread and I hope to continue to meet others who are interested in preserving these amazing places.

SFF: What are you most excited for regarding the upcoming Siskiyou Film Fest?

DH: I really love film festivals and the way they connect people.  With the Siskiyou Film Fest, I am really excited to see other films about local issues and to meet some new people in the area who are into making films.  I am also excited to witness peoples' response to Speak for the Trees.  Audience reaction is the best barometer of what works, and where I can get better.

SFF: What film projects are you most excited about in the near future?

DH: Selfish answer, my film.  I’m working with producer Sheila Laffey who has a long track record of producing environmental films that have sparked change, like Who Bombed Judy Bari?, The Last Stand of the Ballona Wetlands and a long list of others.  She is really good at getting things done and has been a great producer on this project.  Like I said, I have been working on this new film for two years now, to further explore the bigger timber industry problems - so I have been working within my network to fundraise and research and get footage.  As I get deeper into the research, I’m realizing how complex this issue is - the ecology of the forest, the politics, and the social landscape...it is much more nuanced that I had ever imagined.  I’m determined to create this film because I feel that it is important.  Even if it just affects a few people, there is a multiplier effect which can ripple and ideally, make people question their beliefs.  It's funny how the desire to affect change can completely alter your life and perspective on what is important and how I want to spend my time.