Documentary about Nevada City

Nevada City Documentary

There’s a new documentary in the works by John de Graaf and Jennifer Ekstrom to help highlight sustainability in Nevada City.

For John, it’s a chance to give back to a town that has welcomed him to its Wild and Scenic Film Festival for the past ten years. For Jennifer, it’s a wonderful opportunity to become better acquainted with her recently chosen home. For both of filmmakers, it’s a way to honor the successes of the “back to the land” and environmental movements, and to inspire communities everywhere to become more sustainable.

You may have noticed the film during the week of May 9, Director of Photography, Greg Davis, filming the beauty of this area and interviewing some of the people who have made it such an amazing place to live. The one-hour television documentary is tentatively titled Town Between Two Worlds: One community’s transition to sustainability. “We’ll be working on the film for the next year and a half, with several “shoots” planned,” said Producer Jennifer Ekstrom.  “I’ve been told the filming will wrap at the Wild & Scenic Film Festival in January 2017,” said Melinda Booth, Wild & Scenic Film Festival Director. “Wild & Scenic is honored to be seen as one of the landmark events that identifies our community as a great place to live and celebrates our commitment to sustainability.”

The documentary showcases two “gold rushes” and their aftermaths. The first, in the mid-1800s, was about getting rich quick from real gold. The ethic was one of dog-eat-dog and thoughtless exploitation of the natural world with little thought for building community or a lasting culture. Forests were clearcut, water poisoned, whole hillsides washed away by hydraulic mining, leaving moonscapes like Malakoff Diggins 150 years later.

The second wave of settlers began in the late 1960s. New immigrants to this area, like inspirational poet Gary Snyder, came with a different sense of what gold was: a place to call home and to steward, a community of caring people, close connection with nature, organic agriculture and humane husbandry, living lightly on the land, respect for all its flora and fauna.

“Town Between Two Worlds” plans to show how, through the persistent hard work of many people, businesses and non-profits, and the unifying effort to save the wild Yuba River, this community has come to symbolize a transition to compassion, cooperation and sustainability that can inspire others.

“So many of my peers and I have returned to our hometown for the very reason to make a difference, to give back, and be part of something bigger.  I’m so excited for this dynamic group of filmmakers to share our community’s story,” said Jesse Locks, Festival Director Nevada City Film Festival.

Like and share the film’s Facebook page to stay informed, or email Jennifer if you want to get involved.  And last call on the giveaway to Mountain Bounty, click here for your chance to win.  And if you don’t follow along the weekly what’s happening events board, click here for that update.


© 2016 InnSide Nevada City, Photos by Erin Thiem

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