A (motion) picture is worth a thousand thrills — and, organizers hope, a few thousand dollars for Coast Unified School District, courtesy of a fundraiser Friday and Saturday, Oct. 17 and 18, at Hearst Castle.
Actually, make that two motion pictures. The double bill of “Grand Canyon: River at Risk” and “Mystery of the Nile” will play on the Castle’s giant IMAX screen at 7 p.m. both nights.
Both films focus on the hot topic of the day: water.
“Grand Canyon: River at Risk” spotlights a team of explorers rafting down the Colorado River in an effort to bring attention to the world’s growing shortage of water. The film features music by the Dave Matthews band and stars Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Kick Kennedy, Wade Davis, Tara Davis and Shana Watahomigie. Robert Redford narrates the film.
In “Mystery of the Nile,” a group of adventurers led by Pasquale Scaturro and Gordon Brown travel more than 3,200 miles from the headwaters of the Blue Nile to the delta where it empties into the Mediterranean Sea.
“Both films do have a global water theme to them, and the Cambria Education Foundation board certainly felt like it was a relevant topic,” said Heather Stephenson, event coordinator and foundation board member. “What we like about both films, in addition to the incredible cinematography, is that they are both entertaining and educational.”
The event is sponsored by the Cambria Education Foundation, a nonprofit that donates all the money it raises to Cambria’s schools in the form of a grant-selection process. It’s the foundation’s largest fundraiser of the year. In previous years, it’s been held in November, but organizers moved it up for 2014 to coincide with the Scarecrow Festival.
“What we love about this event is that it has something for everyone,” Stephenson said. “The films are packed with action and adventure, history, science and of course natural beauty.”
Educational and fun activities will take place in the lobby before the show and during intermission, Stephenson said. Among them: a “wrap the mummy” activity and a table where kids will be able to create their own bookmarks with Egyptian hieroglyphic stamps.
In addition, students from the Santa Lucia Middle School YMCA film institute will staff a photo and video booth for those who would like to climb into a kayak and “shoot some river rapids.” Walk for Water, a group seeking to raise awareness of the need for global water conservation, will also have a booth in the lobby.
“The larger-than-life films we are able to show at movie night are always incredible — they bring the majesty and adventure of the outdoor world right here to Cambria,” Stephenson said. “This event is one of the few nights of the year when the magnificent Hearst Castle Theater is used to show a film other than ‘Building the Dream,’ ” the documentary produced specifically for the Castle and its guests.
Organizers say the event routinely sells out, so advance ticket purchase is recommended.
IF YOU GO
Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for children 17 and younger, who must be accompanied by an adult. Organizers say the event routinely sells out, so advance purchase is recommended.
What: Hearst Castle Movie Night
When: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Oct. 17 and 18
Where: Hearst Castle, San Simeon
Tickets: $10 for adults, $10 for children 17 and younger accompanied by an adult; available at the Cambria Chamber of Commerce or www.CambriaEducationFoundation.org.