Small Town, Big Vision Film Festival

By Soncirey Mitchell
Reader Staff

Project 7B and the Idaho Chapter of the American Planning Association hope to inspire the community with their new Small Town, Big Vision Film Festival on Thursday, April 18 at the Heartwood Center, by showing short and feature-length films that teach responsible land use and development.

“Land use and planning have been the focus of much concern in recent years as our area experiences pretty intense growth pressure,” wrote P7B Board Member Susan Drumheller, who helped organize the event. “The hope is that these films will be entertaining and engaging enough to help people better appreciate and engage in a process that can sometimes seem like an abstract, bureaucratic exercise.”

Films are intermixed with group discussions so that attendees can explore how the ideas presented might translate into action in Bonner County. The two groups of films — divided by their focus on either rural and urban living — explore ways to maintain the aesthetics of an area while dealing with practical concerns like sprawl, parking and the proliferation of vacation homes.

The night ends with the feature film Citizen Jane: Battle for the City, about journalist Jane Jacobs, who changed the course of U.S. urban planning and fought to save historic neighborhoods in New York City. Her story emphasizes the impact just one motivated individual can have on their community.

“There’s something for everyone who has questions about the way growth is happening in and around Sandpoint — whether you are concerned about sprawl in the county, or wondering how we can save our small town vibe,” Drumheller told the Reader in an email. “All the videos are short, and the full-length feature film is at the end, so you can pick and choose what you want to watch.”

The event is FREE and runs from 5-9 p.m. on Thursday, April 18 at the Heartwood Center, 615 Oak St., 208-263-8699. For more information, visit or

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