2020 SOOW Final Selections

The 2020 Final Selections have been made!

See the full list below:

Project TitleSynopsis
Methow Headwaters: Permanently ProtectedIn 2014, a Canadian mining company proposed to drill for copper at the headwaters of the Methow River in Washington’s North Cascades. Five years later, on March 12, 2019, The Methow Headwaters Protection Act was signed into law, permanently protecting 340,079 acres of public land from mineral exploration and development. It’s a remarkable achievement by a formidable coalition of community members, advocacy organizations and elected representatives. This film examines how a diverse community came together to stand up for a common vision and why, in regions across the West, the economy depends on access to public lands. Maggie Coon summarized it well: “The Methow isn’t this way by accident. It has required a whole community for decades and decades, caring and acting on behalf of this incredible place.”
Restoring the TualatinThe Tualatin River Watershed Council explores opportunities for salmonid recovery on the East Fork of Dairy Creek. Steve Trask explains the importance of anchor habitats and working with small landowners to perform restoration activities which give salmon access to thermal refugia.
Shape of a RiverThe Shape of a River casts the story of the Mighty Yellowstone through the eyes of those whose lives intersect with it in ways that run deep. Through them, we find a river that is fierce yet fragile, robust yet at risk. At its core, this film celebrates the River as both partner and provider, ever-shaping the land and lives of those along its course and binding us to the very spirit of wildness.
Song of the SalmonLike humans, wild fish seek out a specific mate with whom to procreate. This romantic selectivity might be one reason wild salmon are more robust than their hatchery-bred cousins, who have no choice. This short film is a poetic exploration of the salmon nation and future generations of salmon as told from the perspective of native Coastal Band Chumash poet, Luhui Whitebear.
River LootersThree river surfers become obsessed free divers, reuniting lost belongings and unearthing the water logged history of the Deschutes River.
This Wild Land

Over the past 3 years, we have been developing a short documentary film centered around protecting the Boundary Waters. The film's focus is on the people who help spread appreciation for the land and carry on, in their own individual ways, the legacy of Sigurd Olson, a writer and conservationist who was responsible for the area's National Forest designation in 1978.

The goal of the film is to reiterate the importance of human interaction with nature and preserving the places on earth that still allow for it. Threats to the Boundary Waters have taken many forms over time, but the dedication to keeping them safe has endured.

Today, more than ever, we must realize what is at stake if we fail to protect these wild lands. We each carry our own ability to protect this place, just as Sig did. With enough understanding and enthusiasm to protect these lands, the generations to come will not hesitate in picking up right where Sig left off.

StreamkeepersThis very short film captures Melody Charlie, a Nuu-chah-nulth woman, reciting a prayer to the Creator to help find a path in caring for the natural world. Melody's chilling words are spoken in her traditional language and are reflected by images taken throughout the traditional territory of the Nuu-chah-nulth peoples.
A Gentle GiantKnown to grow to the size of a small dog and live to 40 years old, the giant Tasmanian freshwater lobster is the largest of its kind in the entire world, but its home is being destroyed by sediment runoff from logging. However, there is hope – Todd Walsh the lobster man has grown up with this crayfish that gently inches its way around the northern rivers of Australia's southern-most island. This is his plea to protect a rare and remarkable creature.
Common GroundConservation is the common thread between the tribes, farmers, and environmental organizations. This story shows the power of collaboration.
Can the Blueback Survive?Members of the Quinault Indian Nation relied on the blueback salmon for as long as they can remember – until they couldn’t.

The Quinault Division of Natural Resources has been fighting for decades to recover the iconic fish from habitat degradation, but now finds itself at ground zero for the environmental impacts of climate change.

Can the Blueback Survive? tells the stories of Quinault tribal fisherman Butch Pope, policy representative Ed Johnstone and President Fawn Sharp, who all grew up eating blueback salmon.

Amateur Films: Honorable Mentions

The Conservation KidCash tells a short story of how he is working to save the ocean from a landlocked states in Tennessee.
AYEOIn the midst of a desolate wasteland, a farmer boy hopes and dreams that he may one day see a real live bird. Amidst the wreckage of climate change and on the heels of mass extinction, little AYEO represents the future of humanity if climate change is not addressed. In the parlance of the Internet, AIO means "All In One". Spelled a little differently, little AYEO represents the reality of our interconnectedness and our need to behave as one people.
TidesFilmed on the beautiful Pacific Northwest Coast of Canada, Tides is an experimental short-documentary that plunges us into the forms, colors and sounds of the ocean, amplified by a deep and meditative soundtrack (James Forest), to provide the viewer an immersive look at water. Far from the traditional narrative, this film is an invitation to observe and explore the complexity of the interaction between humans and water.