Interwine A River Between Us

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"A River Between Us"
Written and Produced by Jeff Martin and Jason Atkinson
Directed by Jeff Martin
5 p.m. doors, 6 p.m. movie | Free admission | All ages welcome

"A River Between Us" depicts how 42 adversarial organizations came together to conserve the longest, most controversial river in America. This documentary film brings to light a bitter, century-old, sociopolitical battle over water rights and the historic coalition that rose to end it, driving the largest conservation project in American history.

"We created this film to be a cinematic call to action on behalf of the largest restoration project in American history," Atkinson said. "Our goal for it is to provoke the White House into taking part in it." Focused on the Klamath River Basin, which is comprised of nearly 16,000 square miles east of the Cascade Range stretching from southern Oregon well into northern California, A River Between Us captures the end of nearly a century of "water wars" in the region, wherein farmers, Native Tribes, local and regional industry, and environmental activists have been pitted against each other for rights to the Klamath River, the longest river in the United States. "Water is the oil of our times," Atkinson said. "A limited, precious natural resource.

Atkinson and co-producer Jeff Martin, an award-winning documentary filmmaker (Lord, Save Us from Your Followers), shot the film over two years along the entire Klamath River, conducting 70 individual interviews throughout Oregon and California with farmers, who need the Klamath's water for irrigation; Pacific Power, who manages the dams; the Klamath Basin Rangeland Trust, who problem-solve for water use; historic and modern fishermen; members of the Native Tribes who have lived and worked along the Klamath for centuries; federal, state and local politicians; and environmental advocates. The coalition that comes together over the course of the film is made up of 42 different - many historically adversarial - organizations. But as the disparate groups put aside their differences to sign a landmark agreement of compromise, the collective movement begins an entirely new approach to conservation, one that views community as a crucial part of the natural habitat, where people are an extension of the river, rather than its controlling interest.
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By: McMenamins Mission Theater

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