The Sparwood Public Library is hosting a screening of Eyes in the Forest, a documentary about the nature photography of Jim Lawrence.
The film, which was produced by Small Town Films based out of Nelson, B.C., was released in 2012 and has been screened at various festivals over three years. Producer Miriam Needoba says that the intention of the screening is to showcase Lawrence’s work as well as start a conversation about the fragility of the environment.
“We are going to show the film and Jim is going to show some work and then we’re just hoping to engaged folks in a discussion about the environment and wildlife,” said Needboa. “With all of the things going on with trophy hunting and diminishing wildlife populations around the world, we are going to have a general discussion about our love of wildlife and the environment and what people’s impressions are and what they see happening, especially in the Kootenays, where we all live.”
The Sparwood screening is part of an East Kootenay tour, with stops in Creston, Cranbrook, Kimberley and Invermere as well.
Needboa wanted to make the film because she was impressed with Lawrence’s work and his ability to capture wildlife images.
“My background is in fine arts and photography and filmmaking, and what I noticed right away with Jim’s work is that is spoke so much more to the sort of genre of portraiture – very sort of formally composed and had the eyes as the real feature. I thought it was very interesting and it takes him into a different sort of area in wildlife genre. It’s very much about portraiture,” Needboa said.
Lawrence and Needboa searched for animals in the Selkirk Mountains, where Lawrence lives, roughly 20 times to make the documentary. Needboa received some grant money to help produce the film from The Kootenay-Columbia Cultural Alliance. The Kootenay Library Foundation is supporting the film tour, with the film being screened at the local community libraries.
The screening is free and is open to anyone interested in attending. The film starts at 7 p.m. on Sept. 11 at the Sparwood Public Library, with a discussion following the film.