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A documentary at Tampa Theatre will raise awareness for saving the Florida Wildlife Corridor

Following the screening, there will be a discussion about efforts to conserve the Florida Wildlife Corridor with the film director and representatives from the National Geographic Society.

A new documentary on saving migration pathways for the state's wildlife is being featured at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the Tampa Theatre. A panel discussion will be held after the screening of "Saving the Florida Wildlife Corridor."

Filmmaker Tori Linder says this latest documentary on the Wildlife Corridor highlights meeting a Native American conservationist whose family has lived in the Everglades for generations.

boat cruising under storm clouds
Carlton Ward Jr.
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A clip from "Saving the Florida Wildlife Corridor"

"I think we were really fortunate in this experience to have such a great cast of characters, who opened their gates, opened their docks — in Betty Osceola's case, opened her chickee (hut) — to us and shared their story and their narrative," Linder said, "and convinced us we could do a feature documentary on each of them."

The documentary first aired locally last month on WEDU. Among those speaking after the Tampa Theatre screening will be be Tampa nature photographer Carlton Ward Jr., who has helped lead the movement to protect the corridor.

Betty Osceola
Carlton Ward Jr.
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Betty Osceola

Linder says the documentary looks into saving parts of the state's unique landscapes through the eyes of farmers, fishermen, ranchers and conservationists.

"This film really takes you on a visual road trip from the north to the south of Florida following the day to day work of Floridians who depend on this landscape," she said." We really are dependent on what our neighbors upstream or downstream are doing."

"It's really a view of Florida that's seldom brought to the screen," Linder said. "One in which the survival of people and nature is no longer a mutually exclusive idea. Through the voices of farmers, fishermen, ranchers and conservationists, the film offers a glimpse into one of America's most unique and complex conservation opportunities. It also highlights the need to collaborate to insure its survival."

Map of the Florida Wildlife Corridor
Florida Wildlife Corridor Foundation
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Map of the Florida Wildlife Corridor

Steve Newborn is a WUSF reporter and producer at WUSF covering environmental issues and politics in the Tampa Bay area.