Jumbo Wild, a film produced by Patagonia and Sweetgrass Productions, will premiere in Fernie on Dec. 9. It covers a decades-long fight over a proposed ski resort in British Columbia.
The area nestled in the heart of the Purcell Mountains is a beloved wilderness area, a place of sacred cultural significance for the local First Nation Community and a section of one of North America’s most important grizzly bear corridors.
Wildsight, a local non-profit that works toward protecting biodiversity and sustainable community practices in the Columbia and Rocky Mountain regions, has been working to protect the Jumbo area for 24 years. Patagonia has supported Wildsight over the past few years and has helped to carry the banner for Jumbo Wild’s cause.
“The Jumbo Wild film is part of their “New Localism” campaigns and we are working very closely with Patagonia on this effort,” said Robyn Duncan, Wildsight representative in an interview with The Free Press. The film highlights the importance of wild places, of democratic process in land-use decisions and in the extreme importance of the area to the Ktunaxa Nation, for whom the Jumbo Valley is sacred territory. It encourages people to get involved and take action to leep Jumbo Wild.”
The film was released in the fall and has toured across the globe. Starting in Invermere, moving to New York City and eventually making its way to Europe, Japan, Australia, South Korea, South America and more. It has sparked a movement to protect the area, banding together the local residents, skiers, riders, alpinists, grizzly bear advocates and the Ktunaxa Nation with viewers and supporters from the films many screenings to strongly oppose the corporatization of their beloved backcountry wilderness
“Every day, new screenings are added, whether hosted by community groups or in film festivals,” said Duncan. “The response to the film has been incredible – sellout crowds and thousands of people motivated to take action to keep Jumbo wild. Wilderness, wild places, grizzly bears – these are core values shared by people around the world.”
The film has been an incredible catalyst to spark discussion and engagement in not only Jumbo, but in other local land-use issues. People care deeply about what happens on the land, about what happens in their backyard.”
There is an eight-minute short version of the film available through Patagonia’s website. The company has also used its resources like marketing and international networks to share the message. Wildsight has also received financial support from Patagonia in an effort to “keep Jumbo Wild.”
“I’ve spent a number of weeks on the road touring with the film this fall, bringing it to theatres across B.C. and Alberta. The film does an incredible job of telling the story of this 24-year campaign that has become part of the fabric of Kootenay life over the decades,” said Duncan.
The film will be screened on Dec. 9 at 6 p.m. at the Art Station.