Beautiful RI Showcased at the Nature Video Festival

beeThe 2016 Rhode Island Nature Video Festival is everything you wanted to learn about nature in RI but were afraid to ask…

The Environment Council of Rhode Island (ECRI) organized the first Nature Video Festival to showcase the abundant, diverse and scenic beauty of the natural wonders of Rhode Island. It takes place on Saturday, February 6 at 1pm at Rhode Island School of Design Museum, 20 North Main St, Providence, and it features about four hours of RI-themed nature videos.

All ages captured these videos from all areas and seasons within the state of RI. Video lengths range anywhere from from 30 seconds to 13 minutes with topics ranging from tree talk to tadpoles, from chipper chipmunks to queen bees.

Greg Gerritt, an administrator at The Environment Council of Rhode Island, helped organize the festival with help from other nature oriented sponsors like the Ocean State Bird Club, Save the Bay, Roger Williams Park Zoo and The Nature Conservancy RI. He mentioned that “there is the obvious tie to their work and passions.”

Greg started the festival because he makes videos specializing in tadpoles, like How A Tadpole Eats; he likes to cover all the wildlife in his neighborhood. It just occurred to him that he could not be the only one doing it. Greg thought, “Let’s see who else is out there and what they are doing.” The organization he works for, the Environment Council of Rhode Island, “Seemed like a very good fit for the lead organization as they are a coalition of many environmental groups and this seemed broader than what other organizations would see as their mission, while the wide scope fit us well.”

Greg reached out to community for videographer to participate in the festival by “writing up a letter describing the event and started sending it out to email lists that I have and that ECRI,” and then went online and searched for RI nature videos and followed up with the video makers. He received a number of entrants that way.

As a videographer himself featured in the festival, Greg mentions his specific love and uncovering intimate details on tadpoles and amphibians in general. Greg says, “Tadpoles are telegenic, just plain cute. And their life cycle, including living in both the water and on land and the metamorphosis from legless to legged, water breathing to air breathing is visible for all to see who watch carefully. Amphibians are also bellwethers for the environment. Easily susceptible to the ills of industrialization and development, they are among the most endangered group of animals on the planet, so they tell us much we ought to be thinking about.”

For video locations captured in RI, the bay is quite popular. Since they are seeking nature, more take place in rural areas than in the city, though the cities are not ignored. Greg did not tally, but he would guess that “summer is the most represented season, which is nothing unusual for the Ocean State or for people observing wild animals or forests.”

The videos presented are grouped by categories. Greg mentioned, “Things just seemed to fit together. All the birds together, the travelogues together. Pretty basic, and there were no repercussions if someone thought a video deserved to be in another category.”

The goal for this year’s festival and future festivals is, according to Greg, “To bring the community together.” Greg said, “most folks never see these kinds of videos on a big screen and I thought people might like that.” He says it is a “good tool for the video maker as well.”

Tickets are available online and at the door on the day of the event; videographers featured attend for free. More information about the event including online ticket information is available at http://www.environmentcouncilri.org.

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