River Angels

4 films in this block • 64 minutes

The Films

River of Angels

  • Year 2022
  • Country United States
  • Runtime 11 min
  • Director Peter Goetz

Family Friendly, Staff Pick, Representative in Attendance

Most people think of it as a sewer, but the Los Angeles River is just like any other river: a vital natural habitat that must be protected and revitalized. Through the eyes of local fly fishermen and women, as well as a local infrastructure agent, and members of a non-profit focused on the LA River, we see the waterway in a new light, as it is revealed that sections of the river are loaded with fish, ducks, and other wildlife.

School of Fish

  • Year 2023
  • Country United States
  • Runtime 19 min
  • Director Oliver Sutro, Colin Arisman

Michigan Premiere

Indigenous people and salmon have been intertwined for thousands of years in Bristol Bay, Alaska. Today, kids learn from elders to fish but must also learn to fight, as pollution from Pebble Mine threatens this pristine ecosystem. Can the next generation defend the most prolific salmon run left on earth?

Mussel Grubbing: A Citizen Science Treasure Hunt

  • Year 2022
  • Country United States
  • Runtime 7 min
  • Director Jason Lindsey

Family Friendly, Filmmaker in Attendance, Michigan Premiere

Following a citizen scientist’s journey of discovery, the film explores the treasure hunt for finding freshwater mussels in the upper Sangamon River. Everyday people in Illinois are supporting science in ways that are important to the well-being of their local environment.

Restoring Aquatic Ecosystems

  • Year 2022
  • Country United States
  • Runtime 27 min
  • Director Joe VanderMeulen

Has Subtitles, Family Friendly

Restoring Aquatic Ecosystems shines a light on Michigan’s first indigenous-led, multi-agency collaborative created to restore and protect the ecology of streams and rivers across an entire region. Led by the Grand Traverse Band (GTB) of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians, the Tribal Stream and Michigan Fruitbelt Collaborative includes over a dozen nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies working together to remove blockages to the natural flow of water in Michigan’s streams and rivers – often called ”the arteries of mother earth.”
Working in relative obscurity, this little-known Collaborative has already received over $18 million in federal grants from the USDA’s Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) and more than $30 million in local matching funds. The work completed so far has included the replacement of undersized culverts with timber bridges, the removal of old and failing dams, and the purchase of conservation easements to prevent urban development on farmland – particularly fruit farms.
Restoring Aquatic Ecosystems was filmed in over a dozen locations across Northwest Lower Michigan in the rivers, along the streams, and with drones from the air. Viewers will see the detrimental impacts of undersized culverts and old dams on stream flow as well as improvements made by restoration projects completed in locations from in the Carp Lake River and Maple River in the north to the Boardman, Platte, Betsie, and Manistee Rivers to the south.
The film includes conversations with 15 different biologists, ecologists, engineers, and government leaders about the Collaborative’s approach and the challenges we still face to restore and preserve aquatic ecosystems for insects, fish, and wildlife.