Considering it was Labor Day weekend, the tiny town of Twain Harte, CA remained a surprisingly tranquil place, and made it a perfect small-town venue for a film festival among the pines. The intimate event boasted its share of fantastic cinema, including feature films, shorts, and of course, documentaries.

A brand new 60 minute cut of Wild Lens’ own Scavenger Hunt: An Unlikely Union was shown at 4 PM on Sunday, and the response post screening was enthusiastic. Co-director Eddie Chung was on hand to field questions and shed light on some interesting facts. The film focuses on the responsibilities of hunters and how their choice of ammunition plays a vital role in the lead poisoning issue: while no one in the audience was a hunter themselves, Eddie was quick to point out that almost everyone in the audience knew a hunter first-hand, and had eaten wild game meat before. This underscored the importance of not using lead ammunition, as it affects many more people than we may initially imagine.

Eddie was also quick to point out that condors are such resilient birds that they are able to hold up to three times the amount of lead in their blood than humans can — we would drop dead long before our blood held that high a concentration.

Scavenger Hunt inspired lots of insightful commentary from the audience, who was clearly moved by the issues that the film raised. One woman said, “this is a fabulous film, how can this get out to more people?” Eddie responded that there are many plans for widespread distribution in the future, including possible deals with PBS and the BBC. Another asked, “do you show this to rifle associations?” This prompted Eddie to discuss Wild Lens’ troubles getting access to interviews with such hunter and rifle groups, which have so far been afraid and/or reluctant to address this issue head on.

Based on the large number of passionate questions, it was clear that the screening was a success. The film did what it set out to do — it affected and educated the entire audience, and everyone stepped out into the sunny mountain air a bit wiser having watched it.

Eric Podolsky

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