In a move that reflects his life-long love of birds, director Wes Craven recently joined the Audubon California Board of Directors. The organization is the California field program of the National Audubon Society, and is devoted to the conservation of birds and habitat. “I’ve been fascinated by birds my whole life,” said Craven, who is currently wrapping up work on “My Soul to Take,” his latest writing/directing effort to be released October 29th, as well as prepping “Scream IV.” “Audubon California not only does important work protecting birds and the environment, but also connecting young people to the beauty of nature. I’m glad to be a part of that.”
Craven – best known for films such as “The Last House on the Left,” “Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Scream” – became familiar with Audubon California through his support of the Audubon Center at Debs Park. The Highland Park nature center serves the largely underserved communities of Northeast Los Angeles.
“It’s difficult to get kids – particularly urban kids – interested in the natural world, because there’s so much concrete around them, so many distractions, such as television,” Craven said. “But it’s tremendously important to help kids make that connection to nature, and the folks at Audubon California are serious about doing it.”
Craven joins the Audubon California board at a time when the organization is making a significant mark in the state’s conservation movement. Recently, Audubon California was instrumental in brokering a landmark deal to preserve up to 240,000 acres of significant habitat on the Tejon Ranch, released groundbreaking scientific research into the impact of climate change on California birds and is one of the driving forces behind a ballot initiative to save California State Parks.
“Wes brings a great love of birds and nature to our board and our organization,” said Graham Chisholm, executive director of Audubon California. “A lot of people who might only know him through his movies might be surprised that he is such a tremendous advocate for nature.”
Since joining the board, Craven has enjoyed visiting some of Audubon California’s conservation sites with his wife, Iya Lubunka, who shares his passion for birds and nature. Craven’s interest in birds can be seen by the frequent appearance of birds in his movies. His upcoming “My Soul to Take,” in fact, features a 16-year-old lead character, Bug (Max Theriot), who’s love of the endangered California Condor leads to one of the highlights of the film – a wild and hilarious classroom show & tell that will end forever kids thinking of condors as anything but thrilling.