Young Orcas filmmaker returns with premiere at Wild and Scenic Film Festival

Local youth filmmaker Dylan D’Haeze will premiere his second documentary in his three-part “Kids Can Save the Planet” series at this year’s Wild and Scenic Film Festival at Orcas Center on Friday, Sept. 22. The film is called “Tipping Point” and is about climate change.

“Where do you go after you make a really popular film? You should make another one!” said D’Haeze. “I’m excited to see how they react to the new film.”

He entered the documentary world earlier this year with the release of his 19-minute film, “Plastic is Forever.” In April, 400 Orcas Island school students gathered at the Orcas Center for a screening of the film, and since then, it has brought in six awards and has been featured at festivals internationally. He was chosen as for this year’s “Local Hero” award from the Friday Harbor Film Festival.

Entering its fifth year on the island, the Wild and Scenic Film Festival is co-sponsored by Orcas Center and the San Juan Preservation Trust. This year’s theme is centered around the “next generation of change-makers.” Tickets are $15 for adults and $9 for students and are available from the Orcas Center box office and The film showings start at 7:30 p.m. You can also enjoy tacos and tamales from Cocina Latina at 6:30 p.m. and during intermission in the Madrona Room.

Sneak preview of some of the films

“Pale Blue Dot”– Set to the words of Carl Sagan, “Pale Blue Dot” situates human history against the tapestry of the cosmos through an eclectic combination of art styles woven seamlessly together through music and visuals, seeking to remind us that regardless of our differences, we are one species living on Earth.

“Destiny’s Bay” – As a 17-year-old high school senior, Destiny Watford organized her community to prevent construction of the nation’s largest incinerator in a Baltimore neighborhood less than one mile from her high school–and won the Goldman Environmental Prize for her work in 2016.

“Devotion: Libby Peter” – Libby Peter is one of the UK’s most respected rock climbers, with years of experience in expeditions, instructing, coaching and guiding around the world. Throughout her astounding career, Libby has been consistently committed to fulfilling her personal and professional objectives while raising her daughters Ruby and Zoe in the climbing hub of North Wales, UK. Libby reflects on how – quite unintentionally – climbing has shaped her life.

“My Haggan Dream” – On the island of Saipan, a young girl’s mysterious dream about a haggan, or green sea turtle, leads her to investigate the sea turtles that live around her home. Join her adventure to find turtles, which leads to a birthday wish.

“Canyon Song” ­– A Navajo family balances modern life with the traditional “Navajo Way,” teaching their children their language, culture, and ceremony within the sacred walls of Canyon de Chelly National Monument. This is the second film in the National Park Experience film series. Best Shorts Competition, Award of Merit, Native American/Aboriginal Peoples.

“We are especially excited that Dylan D’Haeze will be back onstage at Orcas Center to introduce his new film, after the tremendous success of ‘Plastic Is Forever,’” said SJPT Executive Director Tim Seifert in press release. “The evening’s focus on our next generation of conservationists brings a fresh twist to this year’s Wild and Scenic program.”

D’Haeze is a 14-year-old homeschool student, and his parents own and operate Rock Island Media. He and his parents traveled the west coast, the east coast and Hawaii interviewing scientists and conservationists from the Environmental Protection Agency to the Whale and Dolphin Conservation for his first film, and re-interviewed some of them for the newest one. Currently, the third documentary in the series is in post-production and is expected to be released in October.

“I never thought that it would get this big and (I would be) going to all these film festivals,” said D’Haeze. “I thought it would just be a little homeschool project, and then it blew up into all of this.”