By TODD GOTTULA
KEARNEY – A documentary highlighting life on New Mexico’s Gila River and its importance to those who rely on it will premiere at the upcoming Santa Fe Independent Film Festival.
“Life on the Gila” will be screened at 6:15 p.m. Mountain time Oct. 20 and 1 p.m. Oct. 22 at the Center for Contemporary Arts in Santa Fe, N.M.
Directed and produced by University of Nebraska at Kearney communications faculty Jacob Rosdail and Mary Harner, the 25-minute film documents residents’ connections to the river and their visions for its future.
Nestled in southwestern New Mexico in the headwaters of the Colorado River system is the upper Gila River, one of the most dynamic and natural rivers remaining in the world. Within this semi-arid landscape, availability of water is critical for supporting a diverse community of people, livelihoods and ecosystems.
The fate of the Gila River is uncertain, however, as planning progresses for large water-development projects. Filmed in 2016, “Life on the Gila” captures multiple perspectives during early stages of planning for water projects.
“Our aim is to present balanced, varied views of a regional story with universal themes related to how people reconcile use and protection of natural resources,” said Harner, associate professor of communication and biology at UNK.
The film is the product of a Research Services Council University Seed Grant awarded to Rosdail and Harner in 2016. Rosdail directed the film, and Rosdail and Harner are co-executive producers. Rosdail and Harner conducted interviews featured in the film in May 2016, and the film was finalized during the 2016-17 academic year.
Students in Nanette Hogg’s multimedia directed study course at UNK created a website associated with the film, which will be launched in the coming weeks.
Writer: Todd Gottula, Director of Communications, 308.865.8454, firstname.lastname@example.org
Source: Mary Harner, Associate Professor Communication and Biology, 308.865.8639, email@example.com
Source: Jacob Rosdail, Assistant Professor Communication, 308.865.8735, firstname.lastname@example.org