The Montezuma Land Conservancy will show a series of short movies this Saturday in an agriculture-themed film festival at the Sunflower Theatre.
“Of Life and Land” will include 13 films about the ways people use land in their everyday lives, from farming to children playing outside. At $25 per ticket, it’s a joint fundraiser for the Conservancy and KSJD Radio. They hope it will be the first in a series of annual film events.
Organizer Lindsay Yarbrough, who helped choose all the films, said that, while they’re not all documentaries, they all deal with issues the Conservancy supports, like sending kids outdoors and promoting progress in agriculture.
“We live in an old-school ag community, and a lot of changes are coming in that field,” she said. “We want to show some new ideas in agriculture that are being used to rebuild soil health.”
One of the movies in the festival will cover the experience of young farmers just starting their businesses, and others focus on “regenerative agriculture,” or techniques for using the land in a sustainable way.
Yarbrough said the festival lineup is a “random mix” of independent films that she was able to get permission to play. She said that when she was making her selections, she had a “personal bias” toward movies that showed children enjoying the outdoors, which ties into the Conservancy’s partnership with the Montezuma Inspire Coalition to encourage kids to go outside.
In January of 2016, the Conservancy participated in the nationwide Wild and Scenic Film Festival, which showcased short documentaries from all over the world. Yarbrough said they decided to organize their own festival this year in order to raise money for their general operating budget, as well as raise awareness for local issues.
Not all the films were made in Montezuma County or by local residents, but Yarbrough said she and other members of the not-for-profit group looked for stories that tied into issues surrounding land use in Southwest Colorado. She also said the Conservancy plans to reach out to the community for ideas when they plan for future festivals.
“We want to showcase the things local people are doing, and some topics that are very important to us,” she said.
The event is being sponsored by organizations like Alpacka Raft, the San Juan Citizens Alliance and Trout Unlimited.