Going to the movies to get closer to nature may seem counterintuitive, but that’s the exact goal of the Wild and Scenic Film Festival coming to ETSU on April 6.

The festival is in its 16th year after the South Yuba River Citizens League launched it as a fundraising and awareness event in 2002. ETSU is one of 170 hosts for the festival, which tours internationally to promote environmental activism.

“Each individual plays a role in protecting and also damaging our environment through simple actions,” ETSU Director of Sustainability Kathleen Moore said.

The is the fourth time Wild and Scenic has visited ETSU—and it may be the last due to renovations in the Culp Center, so this is the year to go.

Several ETSU departments are sponsoring this year’s event: the Department of Sustainability, Buccaneer Outdoor Adventure and the Radio/TV/Film program in the Department of Media and Communication. The event is hosted in support of the Friends of Rocky Fork State Park, a group which advocates for this newly established park in Unicoi County.

Moore and RTVF students selected 14 short films to show that reflect and honor Rocky Fork State Park. These will be shown first, followed by a handful of students films made in the RTVF department.

Prior to the screenings, local groups will have booths set up for an EnviroFair in the Culp Center lobby where attendees can learn about sustainability and volunteer opportunities in our area. There will also be door prizes and a raffle to win a guided hike through Rocky Fork.

“This gives our nonprofit partners a way to spread the word about what they’re doing and get students, faculty and staff involved in community service,” Moore said.

Throughout Earth Month, ETSU will host many events centered around environmental responsibility and conservation. Check out the Department of Sustainability’s online calendar for more details on what to attend and how to get involved.

“We live in a beautiful area,” Moore said. “… We need to have people being vocal. We need them to let our representatives know that protecting these natural places is important.”

The Wild and Scenic Film Festival will screen from 6-9 p.m. in the D.P. Culp University Center auditorium on Friday, April 6. The EnviroFair begins at 5 p.m. Tickets are free to the public and available at the door.