Library films go wild in Steamboat |

Library films go wild in Steamboat

Series of wildlife festival’s best movies starts at 6 tonight

— Janet Rose called “Snow Leopard: Beyond the Myth,” a 49-minute film screening tonight at Bud Werner Memorial Library, a groundbreaking look into the future of wildlife films.

“It’s about people, it’s about wildlife, it’s about cultures and it’s about regions of the world,” Rose said Sunday. “I think that’s really where the genre of wildlife films is going.”

As executive director of the International Wildlife Film Festival, which will celebrate its 34th annual event in May in Missoula, Mont., Rose has an exceptional window into that genre. And starting with today’s 6 p.m., free screening in Library Hall, Yampa Valley residents will get to see through that window, as well.

“Snow Leopard” is the first screening of the library’s new, ongoing Wild Films series, which will feature some of the best films from the international festival. “Snow Leopard,” for example, won the event’s Best of Festival award in 2008.

Suitable for all ages, the film portrays Pakistani journalist Nisar Malik’s two-year effort to document the daily lives of snow leopards in the wilds of northern Pakistan.

Like Rose, the library’s Jennie Lay said the film is about much more than snow leopards.

“It’s a pretty intense human drama,” said Lay, Bud Werner’s adult programs coordinator. “There’s a lot of powerful, intersecting stories.”

Lay, also an accomplished magazine writer, met Rose in October while in Missoula for an environmental journalism conference. Lay attended a screening of “Snow Leopard,” she said, and immediately was struck by that film and others in the genre.

“I couldn’t stop thinking about it when I got home — wishing I could share some of the best-of from the (film festival) with Steamboat,” Lay said. “And so, here we are. … The library now has a wonderful partnership with IWFF, and we’ll be screening many of the festival-winning wildlife films during our Wild Films series.”

Upcoming Wild Films screenings include “Sun Come Up,” a short-subject documentary that’s nominated for an Academy Award and addresses the impacts of climate change on residents of islands in the South Pacific, on Feb. 15; and “Wolverine: The Last Phantom,” on Feb. 21.

Lay said the Wild Films series likely will extend through spring and into summer. All films are free and start at 6 p.m., a time that Lay said is an effort to allow youth to attend the screenings.

Rose said the International Wildlife Film Festival has formed similar partnerships across the world, allowing school groups, community groups and other types of organizations to view films from the festival.

“Any time the public can be educated about wildlife … it’s always a positive thing and a very beneficial thing,” Rose said. “Many of these films and programs people would not otherwise be able to see or have access to.”

Lay emphasized that point. Films shown in the Wild Films series will be returned to the film festival the day after their screening in Steamboat and won’t be added to the library’s stock of films for the public.

“These are not films that are going to be in the collection, so you need to come and see them when we screen them,” Lay said. “All of these are special screenings.”

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