Staff Report


The NatureTrack Film Festival will debut March 23-25 in Los Olivos with more than 50 films dedicated to outdoor themes, wildlife and nature content.

Passes and punch cards are on sale now at

Films will screen at three venues: the Santa Ynez Valley Grange, the Gates Foss Community Center at Los Olivos School, and St. Mark’s In-The-Valley Episcopal Church.

The festival kicks off on Friday, March 23, with an opening reception at the historic and newly reopened Mattei’s Tavern prior to screenings that day.

A full slate of films will be offered on Saturday, and the festival will conclude on Sunday with a half day of programming and a closing reception at The Bear and Star restaurant at Fess Parker’s Wine Country Inn.

Filmmaker “meet and greets” are planned for local food and wine establishments, along with special bonus screenings and an outdoor free family movie night.

NatureTrack will also offer docent-led hikes for those wishing to take advantage of the valley’s abundant natural beauty, and the festival also includes a falconry demonstration.

More than 1,500 long and short films, both live-action and animated, from around the world were submitted to the festival in categories of Student, Adventure, Conservation, Kids Connecting With Nature, and “Outdoors and Out of Bounds.”

Juried awards will be given for audience favorite, best student film, best in category (feature or short), best depiction of children connecting with nature, and overall best in festival.

NatureTrack is a nonprofit organization that provides free, curriculum-coordinated field trips for Santa Barbara County school-age children, using trails and beaches throughout the county.

NatureTrack aspires to instill students with leadership skills, attitudes and habits for lifelong learning, inspiring them to be respectful stewards of the natural world.

Since its founding in 2011, more than 14,000 students have had the opportunity to experience a NatureTrack field trip.

For information on the festival, visit