In February 2024, SYRCL's (South Yuba River Citizens League) 22nd Annual Wild & Scenic® Film Festival returns with an incredible selection of films to change your world. Each year, the Wild & Scenic Film Festival draws top filmmakers, celebrities, leading activists, social innovators, and well-known world adventurers to the historic towns of Nevada City and Grass Valley in California.

Wild & Scenic features environmental and adventure films from around the world that illustrate the earth's beauty, the challenges facing our planet, and the work communities are doing to protect the environment. We welcome documentary and narrative shorts and features about nature, community activism, intentional adventure, conservation, health, water, energy, climate change, wildlife, environmental justice, food, and farming. Our objective is to inform, inspire, and ignite solutions to restore the earth and human communities while creating a positive future for the next generation through stellar filmmaking, beautiful cinematography, and first-rate storytelling. Films are curated into themed tracks, which pair projects with complimentary subject matter or ideas to create a cinematic journey for audiences.

Each year, filmmakers and activists travel from around the globe to speak to festivalgoers following their respective films for Q&A, in workshops held in the festival's activist center, and in talks throughout the weekend. There are many opportunities for filmmakers to connect with peers, audiences, and the press.

While all submissions will be considered, we are especially interested in projects that interpret our 2024 theme, "Reel Action." The theme pays homage to the festival’s mission to inspire activism. The festival will look for films that work as a call to action, inviting audiences to learn about the most pressing environmental problems and initiatives anyone can take to improve the natural world and lives around the globe.

***Information Regarding COVID-19***
The Wild & Scenic Film Festival staff are in the early planning stages of our 2024 event. We are hopeful that an in-person or hybrid (virtual + in-person) event will be possible. If an in-person event cannot be held, we will pivot to a virtual festival. Updates will be posted here as more information becomes available and further decisions are made.

(Updated May 11, 2023)

Twelve "Yubie" awards are given each year:
Best of Festival
People's Choice
Spirit of Activism
Most Inspiring Adventure Film
Best in Theme
Best Short Short
Jury Award (x2)
Student Filmmaker
John de Graaf Environmental Filmmaking Award
Szabo Winery Award
Best Children's Film (awarded by the Kids Jury)

Two Honorable Mention are awarded by the Jury, and one Honorable Mention is awarded by the Kids Jury.

1. Submission copies must be submitted online (no DVDs, Blu-rays, DCPs, thumb drives, or other physical media will be considered)

2. All entries selected for our 2024 festival grant the Wild & Scenic Film Festival the right to use film stills and portions of accepted films for promotional purposes.

3. If accepted, final screening copies must arrive no later than December 5, 2023, or the entry will not be included in the festival. Filmmakers are responsible for shipping costs to the festival. All copies of the films become SYRCL's property unless otherwise directed.

4. Non-English entries must be submitted with English subtitles.

5. All films must submit a closed caption file in .scc, .srt, or .vtt format if accepted.

5. Entry fees are nonrefundable.

6. Only films completed after January 1, 2022 will be considered for Official Selection unless otherwise approved.

7. Wild & Scenic does not show works in progress unless otherwise approved. Works in progress will be considered, but programmers cannot guarantee that any screeners updated after submission will be reviewed. Be prepared to have your original screener be reviewed. Completed projects are preferred.

8. As Wild & Scenic is a fundraiser for an environmental non-profit, we can only offer a limited number of fee waivers, and we cannot guarantee them from year to year. Apply here: https://wildandscenicfilmfestival.org/film-submission-fee-waiver-application/. APPLICATION DEADLINE: July 15, 2023.

9. By submitting your project, you acknowledge that:
-Your film is not subject to any litigation, nor is it threatened by any litigation.
-You are duly authorized to have this film be screened at the festival.
-You have secured the rights to any and all music and/or footage used in the film.
-You fully indemnify and hold SYRCL and Wild & Scenic Film Festival completely harmless from any and all claims whatsoever that may arise as a result of usage of submitted materials.

Overall Rating
  • You can spot a good festival from many others very quickly, but in the case of "Willd & Scenic" we are dealing with a great great festival, tremendously well organised, with a powerful splash of love for cinema and respect for the filmmakers. We will never be able to express our gratitude so much!

    February 2023
  • Jack Armstrong

    We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Wild & Scenic. The environment was extremely welcoming, and they took good care of us while we were there. We will hopefully be returning next year!

    February 2023
  • Elijah Yetter-Bowman

    This festival is probably the most welcoming, unique and community oriented in the US. This year they had over 500 volunteers involved in arranging this, that is absolutely mindblowing. I would never have expected such an experience from just the online presence. We feel so blessed to have shown our film at the 2023 Festival and are feeling motivated to apply every single year now to come back to beautiful Nevada City.

    February 2023
  • Carrie Highman

    We were incredibly impressed by the community surrounding this film festival. The festival team communicated clearly and efficiently and went above and beyond to make our experience as filmmakers positive and smooth. It was inspiring to be around so many like-minded people looking to make a difference in the world. We are looking forward to going back for future events!

    February 2023
  • This was my first time attending Wild & Scenic and certainly won't be my last! From the top-notch communication by the festival crew to the choice of films, this film festival was one of the coolest that I've attended to date. I love that it was low key but very impactful. Everyone I spoke to at Wild and Scenic was there because they wanted to celebrate people who are trying to make a positive impact on our planet. And most folks that I spoke to were also making strides to do the same via their own channels and methods. I left this festival incredibly inspired.

    February 2023