Outdoors Blog

Les Bois Film Festival expands to 3 sessions to spotlight more local nature flicks

The Les Bois Film Festival will be a full-day event this year.

The festival Saturday at the Egyptian Theatre expands from one session to three with each including its own roster of films. The sessions begin at 11 a.m., 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.

“There were just too many good films ... many by local filmmakers,” said Sam Sandmire, president of Land Trust of the Treasure Valley. “Our focus has continued to be moving more and more toward screening local outdoor and nature films, and we’ve sold out the last several years, so we decided it was time to expand.”

The Land Trust co-hosts the event with Wild Lens, a nonprofit film production company based in Boise.

Wild Lens, which produces films that highlight wildlife conservation issues, will premiere a 30-minute version of “Souls of the Vermilion Sea” at the festival. The documentary about the endangered vaquita — a marine mammal nearing extinction in the Gulf of California largely because of fishing operations — will be shown at 11 a.m. with free admission and a panel discussion with filmmakers and wildlife experts after the showing.

Wild Lens is producing a feature-length documentary on the vaquita but is using a shorter version to rally support for vaquita. The 30-minute film will be shown in several fishing communities in Mexico after the Les Bois Film Festival.

A previous 12-minute video was released showing some of the surveys done to track vaquitas.

“This new 30-minute film presents the issue from the perspective of the fishermen who live in these small communities,” said Matt Podolsky of Wild Lens. “We followed one fishing family in particular — one of the few families that is actively working to help the vaquita by assisting researchers in monitoring efforts and being community advocates.”

The 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. showings require tickets. Afternoon tickets cost $12 for adults and $5 for youths under 17 at lesboisfilmfestival.org. Evening tickets are $18 and $10. Adults can purchase tickets to both sessions for $25.

The afternoon session features eight films, including “Paul’s Boots” — about a unique journey on the Appalachian Trail — and Idaho-produced short films “The High Divide” and “Santiaguito: The Volcano Laboratory.”

The evening session features 11 films, including “Elk River,” which follows the migration of a herd of Yellowstone elk, and locally produced films such as “Chasing Ridgelines,” “The Falconer” and “Outdoor Idaho: Beyond the Boulder White Clouds.” Craft beer from Woodland Empire and wine will be available for purchase at the evening show.

“The Falconer” is “about a guy who uses his hunting falcons to keep the birds away that eat berries,” Sandmire said. “It’s natural pest control.”

“Most of the films have some comedy in them,” she said. “These are entertaining, enlightening films.”

Also Saturday:

▪ The Rally for Public Lands is at 11 a.m. on the south steps of the Idaho Capitol. Outdoor enthusiasts plan to gather to show support for keeping public lands public.

▪ Deer Flat National Wildlife Refuge in Nampa is hosting a Refuge Star Party from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Visitor Center near Lake Lowell. Learn how animals use the stars to navigate and utilize telescopes to check out the stars yourself. More info: www.fws.gov/ refuge/deer_flat.