Film fest coming to Missoula
By Hookemharry

Posted: August 26, 2004

The International Wildlife Media Center (IWMC) at the Roxy Theater will play host to the first International Cultural Film Fest and Symposium in September.

The Missoula-based non-profit organization, which is known for the popular spring International Wildlife Film Festival, liked the idea of this event because it will include some films that are geared toward hunting and conservation.

“The lead film, In the Blood, will make its Montana premiere during the event,” says Janet Rose, Executive Director of IWMC.

In the Blood was a 1990 award-winner at the Sundance Film Festival and is produced and directed by award winning filmmaker George Butler. The film highlights a theme of Theodore Roosevelt’s legacy of conservation and features some of the Roosevelt offspring and explores hunting and conservation issues through the eyes of a young man first learning to hunt in Africa.

“Films that have entered the competition and the films we will be showing on Saturday Sept. 11th at the Roxy all have a powerful educational purpose and meaning,” adds Rose. “Many are addressing how other parts of the world are dealing with conservation and hunting.”

The IW Media Center is a year-round facility that houses three theaters. It’s a place where you can go to borrow films from their extensive library or rent out one of their three theaters for a special event.

“Many of the films that contain a hunting and conservation theme will be shown at our media center here at the Roxy throughout that Saturday,” explains Rose. “ In the Blood, however, will be shown at the Wilma Theater to accommodate a larger audience, starting at 6:30 p.m. The film will be followed by a panel discussion with an impressive group of speakers at 8 p.m. headed up by Butler.”

Joining Butler on the panel will be John J. Jackson III, President of Conservation Force and a hunting advocate with international ties, and Shane Mahoney, Chief of Wildlife Ecosystem Research and Inventories in Newfoundland, Canada, and one of the world’s foremost experts on the North American wildlife model.

Several members of the IWMC Board of Directors played a big hand in suggesting that the IWMC consider an event of this kind. “Quite a few members of our board of directors and several members of our advisory board enjoy hunting and they’re dedicated to conservation so they felt very strongly that we reach out to this active segment of our population that are advocates of ethical hunting,” according to Rose.

The IWMC board of directors and the advisory board represent a broad spectrum of interests and include T.O. Smith from Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks and Rich Howard from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

Some of the other films that are being featured on the Hunting and Conservation Day include the film Vision Man that made its debut in 1997 on Swedish TV. It is an educational film about an 87-year-old man who reflects on pursuing polar bears and walruses in his younger days.

Aboriginal Journal is a film produced by the Chinese Public TV ORG. Comm. It tells how hunting has always held a sacred place in the traditional culture of Taiwan’s indigenous people. It portrays the hunting culture of the Bunun people and discusses the impact of the Wildlife Protection law on their culture.

Ray Mears World of Survival: Series II also will be showing the film entitled The Heart of the Rift. Mears travels with the people through their magnificent country as they hunt with their five-foot long bows and poisoned arrows, eating their bush food along the way. Many of the films throughout the four-day event will be followed by a panel discussion or presentation from a top filmmaker.

Ticket prices will be $5 for adults, $4 for students and adults over 65 and $3 for young people under the age of 12. It will be the same for the Roxy as well as the Wilma showings. Day passes will sell for $20 which entitle people to see all of the films being shown on a given day or a Symposium pass for $40 which entitles someone to see all of the films and hear all of the panel discussions throughout the four days.

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