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“Rappahannock” Wins Environmental Documentary Film Contest

The Rappahannock River. Photo copyright Ed Sandtner.

“Rappahannock,” a 45-minute film about the history and ecology of the Rappahannock River, has won the 2015 RVA Environmental Film Festival Environmental Documentary Film Contest.

The award carries a cash prize of $1,000 and top billing for the final day of the film festival. “Rappahannock” will be shown at 3 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 8, at the historic Byrd Theatre, 2908 West Cary St., in Richmond.

The film was commissioned by Friends of the Rappahannock (FOR), the Fredericksburg-based non-profit whose mission is, “To be the voice and active force for a healthy and scenic Rappahannock River.” It was produced and directed by Oscar-nominee and Fredericksburg resident Bayley Silleck, co-produced by Ed Sandtner, and edited by Rob Cleaton, also Fredericksburg residents.

Watch the trailer of “Rappahannock” on Vimeo

The first half of the film features the history of the Rappahannock watershed, beginning with the American Indians who lived there before the arrival of Europeans, and includes details about the Civil War in the region and the advent of commercial fishing. The second half explores the ecology of the river and the environmental challenges it faces in the 21st century.

Silleck said producing the film was a labor of love. “The Rappahannock River is an icon of American history and culture, as well as a critical resource to all who live in its watershed. That, combined with the heroic conservation work of Friends of the Rappahannock over the past 30 years, inspired me to undertake the project.”

The RVA Environmental Film Festival (RVA EFF) runs Tuesday, Feb. 2, through Sunday, Feb. 8, showcasing local and national films selected to raise awareness of environmental issues. It is free and open to the public. A complete schedule is available on the RVA EFF website

Purchase the Film

“Rappahannock” is available for purchase on DVD and hi-definition Blu-Ray. “We have a membership special going on right now where folks who get a membership can buy the movie at half-price,” said Woodie Walker, FOR Community Conservationist. In addition, current members may purchase them for 20 percent off the regular price of $15.74 for the DVD and $26.27 for the Blu-Ray. See the Friends of the Rappahannock website for details.

Fredericksburg Showing February 15
A free showing will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 15, at Gari Melchers Home and Studio and Belmont, 224 Washington St., in Falmouth. In addition, John Odenkirk, regional fisheries biologist with the Virginia Department of Game and Inland Fisheries, will speak about the health of the Rappahannock River and the impact of the Embrey Dam removal 10 years ago.

Related Story

Kathleen Harrigan to Head Friends of the Rappahannock

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