by Andrea Newell

Times Correspondent

The Riverside Stories series returns Thursday with the environmental showcase EarthxFilm at the Surf Hotel’s Ivy Ballroom, 1012 Front Loop in Buena Vista.

Doors open at 6 p.m., and the show begins at 7 p.m.

The film division of EarthX of Texas, EarthxFilm brings a showcase of “films and emerging media that explores conservation, climate change and the environment while honoring the heroes working to protect our planet,” Zach Mahone, Surf Hotel marketing director, said.

The event will consist of two short films and one feature film. The first short, “Feel of Vision,” follows blind Indiana outdoorsman Lonnie Bedwell’s kayaking adventures on the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.

The second short, “Grizzly Country,” focuses on Vietnam vet Doug Peacock, who observes, writes about and fights for protection of grizzly bears and their habitat after finding a healing solace in their presence.

After an intermission, the feature film will begin. Directed by Ben Masters, a big name in the documentary world, “The River and the Wall” will take viewers on a 2½-month, 1,200-mile journey with five friends along the U.S.-Mexico border. While documenting the wilderness, the group explores potential impacts of a wall on the environment and encounters the human side of the immigration debate.

“When I put together Riverside Stories, I wanted to put together a series that had a documentary every month for the winter,” Mahone said. “I have a relationship with David Holbrooke out of Telluride, who used to be the executive director of Mountainfilm. He recommended a couple of these organizations to me.”

In addition to a monthly documentary festival, Mahone wanted to broaden the series to include different topics instead of just focusing on one, like outdoor recreation. “I wanted to round the whole series,” he said. “I’m trying to have a different feel each month for the series.”

The Riverside Stories series is presented by South Main Arts and Parks Trust, a nonprofit organization dedicated to bringing arts, culture and recreational events to Buena Vista.

Mahone encourages people to come and experience an evening of activism and support the works of cutting-edge documentary filmmakers.

Tickets are $10.

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