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February 12, 2008

New film examines Florida's troubled wild side

New film examines Florida's wild side

The new Costa Del Mar/Costafari film "Finding Wild Florida" recently won top honors at the Florida ART Film Festival in Gainesville, Florida. The film will soon be screened at the Sunscreen Film Festival in St. Petersburg, Florida, and is of interest to anyone who loves Florida's wild places....

Below is a summary of the film and a trailer from Costafari Films.

It was a journey that started with one simple question:  is Florida still "wild?"

Every year, hundreds of thousands of people move to the Sunshine State, looking for a piece of paradise. But as the population explodes, and development encroaches further into nature, how does the environment cope? After a century of man's impact, are there any places, adventures or experiences left that can really be called "wild?"

Part road movie, part fishing trip, "Finding Wild Florida" is an attempt to answer these questions. For over 30 days, filmmaker Stephen Mick, photographer Chris Ross and a cast of guides, surfers and conservation experts explored Florida, trying to discover whether any part of Florida remains "wild."

The journey began in the Everglades, a symbol for many of both Florida's wilderness and the damage development and "management" can do. From there the team explored the ocean waters off Miami, looking for sailfish and examining the impact of growth. Traveling up the coast, the journey then moves inland through north-central Florida before heading back to the Gulf Coast. There we delve into the effects commercial longline fishing can have on an ecosystem and what can be done to reverse them. Finally, civilization is left behind for a trip out to the Dry Tortuga Islands, where nature takes a backseat to a truly unexpected adventure.

What the film shares is a world of experiences both familiar and unpredictable, a journey that ultimately leads all of us to redefine the meaning of "wild."