After showing her short documentary film at festivals around the world, Nelson filmmaker Miriam Needoba is looking forward to finally screening it locally at the Civic Theatre next week.
Eyes In The Forest: The Portraiture of Jim Lawrence follows Lawrence, a Kaslo-based wildlife photographer, through the Selkirk Mountains as he searches out bears for making pictures. The 12-minute film will be screened with the 2007 feature-length documentary Manufactured Landscapes, about Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky, as part of Touchstones Nelson’s “Art and Activism” series.
Both Needoba and Lawrence will be at the screening to speak on the topic of activism and to answer questions from the audience after the show.
Needoba says that travelling to some of the 15 Canadian and International festivals Eyes In The Forest has been shown in and watching the environmental films it’s paired with has certainly opened her eyes to the importance of protecting wildlife.
“I’ve always been an animal lover, but I think working on this film pushed me from being a lover to a fighter,” she says.
Though her film isn’t overtly about saving the bears and their natural habitats, she says it’s hard not to feel some empathy for the animals as you watch it.
“It’s a sweet little film with a gentle message,” she says, noting it’s often seemed to serve as dramatic relief in festivals that are dominated by heavier material. “We didn’t want people to leave the film feeling devastated about how they live. We wanted to frame it in a more positive light.”
The Civic, newly equipped with its digital projector and surround sound, will be screening a recently created Digital Cinema Print of the film — which Needoba says is the best way to see it.
“It’s a very quiet film; a lot of it just has ambient natural sounds in the background. Hearing that on a good set of speakers, it makes you feel like you’re there,” Needoba says.
Eyes In The Forest, is Needoba’s first documentary film and she’s looking forward to capturing the lives of other Kootenay artists in the future. She’s currently filming on an artist’s portraiture local painter John Cooper.
See Eyes In The Forest with Manufactured Landscapes at the Civic Theatre on Wednesday, July 17 at 7 p.m.