MEDIA RELEASE: March 12, 2018

KC Thompson

Los Olivos Becomes Film Festival Country as NatureTrack Debuts Inaugural Event March 23-25

The wine country town of Los Olivos is quietly being transformed into the setting for the three-day NatureTrack Film Festival (NTFF) coming to the Santa Ynez Valley March 23-25. Mattei's Tavern will host the opening reception for the NTFF, and the Fess Parker Wine Country Inn is the location for the closing reception and presentation of filmmaker awards. Many tasting rooms in town are also getting involved as sites for filmmaker "Meet & Greets." Films will screen at three venues: The Grange, St. Mark's In-The-Valley Church, and the Gates Foss Community Center at Los Olivos School. Each of the three movie sites will feature a commercial theater-quality projection, screen, and sound set-up for the 59 films selected from over 20 countries.

Passes and punch cards for the NatureTrack Film Festival are available now at Individual tickets to film blocks will go on sale at the NTFF headquarters, 2445 Alamo Pintado Avenue, Los Olivos, beginning at 10:00am Thursday, March 22.

Here are the Top Ten reasons you should attend the first NatureTrack Film Festival, dedicated to igniting passion for nature through film:

1) Location! Location! Location! The NTFF is timed to take place as spring bursts into view in the bucolic Santa Ynez Valley. Docent led hikes will take film-goers right up to the Poppies and Lupin adorning the nearby foothills of the San Rafael Wilderness.

2) Music! The NatureTrack Film Festival is excited to feature the popular band O.n.E at the opening reception, Friday, March 23, 4:00-6:00pm, at Mattei's Tavern, and sax player, Joe ShaShaty, performing at the Fess Parker Wine Country Inn for the closing reception, Sunday, March 25, 3:00-4:30pm. The NTFF is also proud to announce the official Music Video of the inaugural 2018 NatureTrack Film Festival, "If You Love Her," by The Ruben Lee Dalton Band. Limited commemorative DVDs of the beautiful song and video will be available for sale throughout the film festival in the NTFF headquarters at 2445 Alamo Pintado Avenue.

3) Meet the Filmmakers! Festival-goers will have ample opportunity to "Meet & Greet" filmmakers, who are traveling from as far away as Pakistan to attend the NatureTrack Film Festival. "Meet & Greets" will take place at Zinke Tasting Room, Stolpman Tasting Room, Larner Tasting Room, Torretti Family Tasting Room, Sanger Family Wines Tasting Room, the Bakery Farmstand, Global Gardens, Community Craft, and Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co.

4)  How Did They Do That? Why Did They Do That? While watching a movie, have you ever wondered, how did they get that shot?! Of course, we all have. Here’s your chance to attend a filmmaker panel discussion which answers that question and discusses the challenges of filming outdoors in wild, extreme conditions, while also doing something wild and extreme outdoors! You won’t want to miss what these daring filmmakers, and film subjects, have to say about risking life and limb to “get the shot.”

5) Fly with Falcons and Drones! Take a break in between films to attend one or both of these fascinating demonstrations featuring flying creatures of the avian and man-made kind. We are thrilled to have a falconer on hand, with raptor on arm, to demonstrate the ancient sport of falconry at Lavinia Campbell Park in the heart of Los Olivos on Saturday, March 24 at 1:30pm. Just a few yards away, as the falcon flies, a Drone demonstration will take place on the field adjacent to St. Mark’s Church at 2:30pm, Saturday March 24. Come see how these flying cameras are being used to capture sweeping aerials, and gaze at a bird’s eye view of yourself too!

6) Try on Salomon hiking boots and hit the local trails!  Mountain Air Sports will be on scene Saturday with demo shoes and hiking boots from Salomon for anyone who would like to give them a spin on the local trails. Catch them at the trailhead, Saturday, March 24, 8:00-9:00am and 10:00am-6:00pm at the North Face tent near NTFF headquarters. Docent led hikes will be offered on both Saturday and Sunday mornings for those wishing for a more immersive outdoor experience to complement their film viewing.

7) Wine! Beer! Food! Oh my! The NatureTrack Film Festival takes place in one of California’s most acclaimed and picturesque food, wine and beer destinations. Los Olivos is a delightfully walkable small town that perfectly lends itself to strolling from film venue, to tap room, to bistro, to tasting room and back to the movies!  Come see what all the fuss was about in “Sideways!”

8) 59 Films from over 20 countries! The sheer number of nature focused films showing, is exceeded only by the astounding quality of the films that will debut at the NatureTrack Film Festival. Over 1,500 films were submitted from around the world in the categories of Adventure, Conservation, Student Produced, Kids Connecting to Nature, and an extreme outdoor adventure category called, Outdoors and Out of Bounds. Movie-goers will definitely be treated to the very best of nature cinema, in multiple genres collected from around the world, and each of the three movie sites will feature commercial theater-quality projection, screen, and sound.

9) Free outdoor movie night! On Saturday, March 24 at 8:15pm, the Corner House Cafe will be the setting for a free-to-the-public outdoor screening of "Under An Arctic Sky," a visually stunning and heart-pounding film about surfing in the ice-filled waters off Iceland. Bring the family, blankets and beach chairs and join us on the patio of the Corner House Cafe for this fun evening of cinema under the stars.

10) Go Wild at Bottlest! A very special Winemaker/”Wild Kingdom” dinner is the centerpiece event of the NatureTrack Film Festival on Saturday, March 24, 6:00-8:00pm at Bottlest Winery, Bar & Bistro in Buellton. Chris Jenkins, UCSB Head of Production Film & Media Studies Lecturer, will discuss the legacy of the iconic Mutual of Omaha program, “Wild Kingdom,” during a dinner demonstration of the original cameras used to shoot the groundbreaking TV show. Only a very limited number of seats remain for this special dinner so reserve yours now at Bottlest!

The NatureTrack Film Festival is proud to partner with the following businesses and organizations:

VisitSYV; Terravant Wine Company; Bottlest Winery, Bar & Bistro; Living Vehicle; M. Special Brewing Company; Mattei’s Tavern; Fess Parker Wine Country Inn; Noozhawk; El Rancho Marketplace; Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton; Honey Paper; the Community Environmental Council; Union Bank; Dos Carlitos Restaurant & Tequila Bar; Santa Ynez Valley Foundation; St. Mark’s In-the-Valley Church; Rabobank; Tilton Engineering; Mountain Air Sports; Community Craft; Corner House Cafe; Global Gardens; The Bakery Farmstand; Larner Vineyards & Winery; Figueroa Mountain Brewing Co; Sanger Family of Wines; Stolpman Vineyards; Torretti Family Vineyard; Zinke Wine Company; Los Olivos School and SYV Grange #644.