Staff Report

The NatureTrack Film Festival, based in Los Olivos, was honored with the “Best in Fest” award for Best Charitable Film Festival at the recent FestForums conference at the Hilton Santa Barbara Resort.

The barely one-year-old film festival, which launched earlier this year with a focus on nature-related films, was recognized for its educational and charitable alignment with the NatureTrack Foundation.

Addressing cutting-edge technology, talent, ticketing, sponsorships, scheduling, merchandising, operations, sustainability, charitable work, innovation and safety, FestForums brings together leaders of festivals and events of all sizes for collaboration, professional development and entertainment.

The concept of a film festival dedicated to the outdoors and situated in the stunning natural setting of the Santa Ynez Valley originated with Sue Eisaguirre, the festival founder and director, who considered a nature-based film festival an extension of the nonprofit NatureTrack Foundation that she started in 2011.

NatureTrack introduces children to outdoor spaces in Santa Barbara County by providing cost-free outdoor field trips. Using local trails and beaches throughout the county, NatureTrack instills students with leadership skills, attitudes and habits for lifelong learning, inspiring them to be respectful stewards of the natural world.

Since 2011, more than 18,000 students have taken a NatureTrack field trip, and demand has increased every year.

The NatureTrack Film Festival is in the final stages of reviewing hundreds of film submissions from around the world for the second festival on March 22 – 24. Through Dec. 1, fans can get a 20 percent discount on tickets at