Green Spotlight: Returning Filmmakers

The San Francisco Green Film Festival aims to provide as varied a program as possible, giving voice to filmmakers with a kaleidoscope of perspectives, styles, and stories.

We feel a special affinity for those filmmakers who have created a splash with their work at past festivals, and are truly excited to see what these 'alums' will do next.

This year, Green Film Fest welcomes back six directors with new and exciting offerings. We hope you love their newest efforts as much as we do.


Mischa Hedges, Women's March (Of the Sea, 2016 festival)

Mischa Hedges' award winning documentary Of the Sea: A Film About California Fishermen, which we screened at last year's festival, explores the challenges of converting the fishing industry into a sustainable model through the perspectives of five different fishermen. In this year's offering from Hedges, the story is also told through five individual voices.

But this time, the lens has moved from fishing boats to pussy hats: Hedges asks what makes protestors march. Filmed at a variety of locations during the January 21st Women's March, the filmmaker has hustled to bring this timely tale to our screening room.

Women's March will be shown on Sunday, April 23, at 5 pm, in the Little Roxie 

Kristin Tieche, Vello Visionaries - Alicia Tapia (Vello Visionaries - Chris Carlsson, 2016 festival)

San Francisco Filmmaker Kristin Tieche is also an avid bicyclist. What better way to combine her two passions than interviewing and filming erudite and even revolutionary cyclists, while both she and her subject are (mostly) out pedaling? As Tieche explains it, the shorts are about "great thinkers of today's global bicycle culture from the point of view of the person behind the handlebars." 

Last year, the festival showed her bicycle chat with author and historian Chris Carlsson who helped found the monthly mass cycling event, 'Critical Mass'.

This year we will feature her discussion with Alicia Tapia, a children's librarian and digital literacy instructor who is beloved for her bibliobicicleta - a free book-bike mobile, where she visits neighborhoods throughout San Francisco and distributes books to anyone who wants one.

Vello Visionaries - Alicia Tapia, screens on Monday, April 24, 6:30, in the Little Roxie

Anthony Baxter, You've Been Trumped Too (You've Been Trumped 2012 festival, A Dangerous Game 2015 festival)

You've Been Trumped Too, is the third installment of director Anthony Baxter's trio of documentaries looking at the damage wreaked from the construction of luxury golf resorts.

It is also the third of Baxter's films shown at SFGFF, with You've Been Trumped winning best Feature at the 2012 Festival, and A Dangerous Game screening at the 2015 Festival. You've Been Trumped, Too is a direct follow up to the first movie, zeroing in once again on the Trump golf course in Aberdeen, Scotland.

Five years after the course' opening, the Trump organization is still engaged in it's lying and bullying campaign against the locals. This time the film focuses on an elderly woman, Molly Forbes, who has been denied running water in her home. Her struggle is juxtaposed against the backdrop of Trump's presidential run, and all his adoring fans.

You've Been Trumped, Too will be shown on Saturday, April 22, at 4:50 pm, in the Little Roxie.

Peter Young, The Art of Recovery (The Last Ocean, 2015 festival)

The last time Green Film Fest audiences encountered director Peter Young's work was for his gorgeous, sonorous meditation on saving Antarctic's Ross Sea, The Last Ocean, rippled across our screening room.

He's been a busy man in the interim, however, directing The Art of Recovery, a documentary bursting with energy about the resurrection of his home town, Christchurch, New Zealand, from a devastating earthquake (Feb. 2016).

The tone of the two films could not be more different, but Young's strong intellect, emotional resonance, and quiet humor connect the projects.

The Art of Recovery screens on Monday, April 24, at 6:30 pm, in the Little Roxie.

Roger Sorkin, Tidewater (The Burden, 2016 festival)

Imagine the United States military as green avengers, cleaning up the environment and saving the world. No, it's not a new Marvel comic series. Director Roger Sorkin investigates the possibility of a military/enviornmental confluence and comes up with some info and ideas that actually might the give the world a chance.Last year, we screened The Burden, which examines the military's thirst for clean energy and the potential role it could play in finally ending our dependence on fossil fuels.

This year we present his latest offering, Tidewater. Here he exposes what's being done to save the Tidewater region of Virginia and North Carolina, from global warming and rising seawater. Spoiler alert: the good sailors from Naval Station Norwalk, which is located in the region, come up with some intriguing solutions and just might save the day. 

Tidewater screens Sunday, April 23, 2:45 pm, in the Little Roxie. 

Dan Goldes, Arrested (Again) (5 Blocks work-in-progress, 2016 festival)

Local filmmaker Dan Goldes is, in fact, hyper-local: He's one of our neighbors here at the SFGFF, working with the Incubator program at the Ninth Street Independent Film Center, which is where the Festival headquarters is located. Even more exciting, his film 5 Blocks, part of which we screened last year, documented the ongoing attempts to revitalize our own neighborhood, the Central Market Street area.

This year, Goldes' film offering, Arrested (Again), focusses on one of the Festival's heroes, Karen Topakian, who also serves on our film screening committee. This lifelong activist and Greenpeace board member has been arrested dozens of times for using nonviolent civil disobedience to protest nuclear proliferation, human rights abuses, environmental issues, and war. Most recently, she was arrested hoisting a giant 'Resist' banner over the White House from a crane.

Arrested (Again) will be screening on Sunday, April 23, at 12:30, in the Roxie.

Find out more about the 2017 Green Film Fest, which takes place at the Castro Theatre, Roxie, and venues across the city.