The Blue Note hosts environmental documentary film festival

Friday, February 10, 2012 | 3:46 p.m. CST; updated 3:51 p.m. CST, Friday, February 10, 2012

COLUMBIA — Removing 1,201 bags of trash, 493 tires, 21 refrigerators and freezers and five messages in bottles has made the Missouri River free of 60 tons of trash.

Last fall, Missouri River Relief hosted the Big Muddy Clean Sweep, a month-long cleaning effort to beautify the banks of the river. In the process 1,473 volunteers removed more than 100,000 pounds of debris.

The sweep toured the Missouri River across the state; it started in Kansas City on Sept. 10 and ended in St. Louis on Oct. 29. The tour celebrated ten years of relief efforts to clean the river.

"The clean up was based off of a barge," Steve Schnarr, organizer of the sweep said. "It was kind of a unique one-time opportunity with that equipment, but we are looking in to doing it again in the future."

Jodi Pfefferkorn was one of seven volunteers who lived on the barge for the six-week trip.

She chronicled the volunteers' experiences of staying on the barge and cleaning the River then turned it into a film, also called, "Big Muddy Clean Sweep." It will premiere Saturday, Feb. 11 at The Blue Note.

The film will run as part of the traveling section of the Wild & Scenic Film Festival. The festival originated in Nevada City, Calif., but invites organizations across the country to host traveling portions.

Pfefferkorn said her film has two purposes.

"I want people to watch it and see the point of the barge trip and the volunteer efforts," she said. "I also want it to be a way for the seven of us who lived on the barge to relive those memories."

This is the second year the Missouri River Relief has brought the festival to Columbia.

"All of the films have the common theme of exploring the connection people have with nature," said Schnarr. "It matches with our mission, which is to explore the connection people have with the Missouri River."

The film festival is Saturday, Feb. 11, at The Blue Note. Doors open at 1 p.m. and films will run from 2-5 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased at The Blue Note's box office. They are $8 in advance and $10 at the door; children under eight are admitted free.

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