Announcing Green Film Fest 2017

Green Film Fest 2017

MEDIA RELEASE: San Francisco Green Film Festival Announces Line-Up For Seventh Edition, April 20 - 26, 2017

  • Green Film Fest 2017 returns for a week of 70 acclaimed environmental films and conversations with filmmakers and environmental experts.
  • Green Fire Award jury announced for new cash prize for San Francisco Bay Area filmmakers.
  • Festival spotlight on food justice and sustainability, films that make us ask the question: What’s on Your Plate?

SAN FRANCISCO, March 22, 2017 - San Francisco Green Film Festival announced today the complete lineup for the 7th edition of the festival, which will return to San Francisco Thursday, April 20 through Wednesday, April 26, 2017. The city-wide celebration of environmental films and conversations for the week of Earth Day.

Sharing factual, inspiring environmental stories from around the world is going to be more vital than ever in the year ahead. As the West Coast's leading green doc destination, Green Film Fest brings audiences independent films on the most pressing environmental issues. The Festival will present 70 internationally acclaimed films, with over 90 visiting filmmakers and guest speakers on topics including energy, water, food, cities, trash, and wildlife.


Green Film Fest will host the World Premiere of San Francisco based filmmaker Mark Kitchell’s (BERKELEY IN THE SIXTIES; A FIERCE GREEN FIRE) new documentary EVOLUTION OF ORGANIC, which looks at the motley crew of back-to-the-landers who rejected industrial farming and spawned a renewed connection to food and the land. The film presents a celebration of California’s organic farming told by the people that started it thru to a new generation who continue to reinvent the food system. Mark Kitchell and several of the subjects in the film will be on-hand for the premiere Opening Night. (Mark Kitchell, USA, 2017, 82 mins) Thursday, April 20 at Castro Theater at 7:30pm


Director Michelle Latimer will be attending the SF Premiere of her documentary RISE: STANDING ROCK which looks at the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakota. The film, part of Viceland’s RISE docuseries, is an absorbing look at the fight to stop the pipeline. Winner of Green Film Fest 2017 Best Feature Award. (Michelle Latimer, Canada, 2016, 110 mins) Sunday, April 23 at Roxie Theater at 8:30pm

Closing Night: TWELVE PIANOS

Mauro ffortissimo’s piano installations are the focus of San Francisco based filmmaker Dean Mermell’s documentary TWELVE PIANOS which will make its World Premiere Closing Night. The film captures the sights and sounds of this passion project, which draws world-class musicians, enthusiasts and novices to come and play pianos in unusual surroundings, including the cliffs of Half Moon Bay and SF Botanical Garden. (Dean Mermell, USA, 2017, 64 mins) Wednesday, April 26 at Castro Theater at 8:30pm 


The following films will be in competition for the Festival’s Green Fire Award, a new juried award with a $5,000 cash prize for the Best Bay Area Environmental Feature.

  • 4 WHEEL BOB (dir. Tal Skloot), which will make its USA Premiere at the festival, follows intrepid adventurer Bob Coomber, who sets out to be the first wheelchair hiker to cross the 11,845 foot peak of Kearsarge Pass in the Sierra Nevada.
  • Opening Night Film EVOLUTION OF ORGANIC.
  • TIDEWATER (dir. Roger Sorkin), which looks at the effects of rising sea level on the community of Hampton Roads, Virginia, home to the world’s largest naval base and 2 million citizens.
  • Closing Night Film TWELVE PIANOS.

The Green Fire Award Jury brings together leading experts in the film industry: Mark Decena, Founder/Director, Kontent Films (WATERSHED, NOT WITHOUT US); Maribel Guevara, Director of the Ecuadorian Green Film Festival; Anastasia Laukkanen, Founder & Program Director, ECOCUP Green Film Festival in Russia; Steve Michelson, Executive Director, Fund for Sustainable Tomorrows; Louie Psihoyos, Executive Director, Oceanic Preservation Society; (THE COVE; RACING EXTINCTION); Flo Stone, Founder, Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital.


The Green Fire Award is one of seven film awards at the Festival to honor filmmakers who go to great lengths to uncover new stories and a new take on environmental issues. 2017 awardees include:

  • Best Feature Award:               Michelle Latimer, RISE: STANDING ROCK
  • Best Short Award:                   Katie Schuler & Nick Rogacki, PANGOLIN
  • Green Tenacity Award:           Joakim Demmer, DEAD DONKEYS FEAR NO HYENAS
  • Inspiring Lives Award:           Flo Stone, Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital
  • Young Filmmaker Award:       Jeffery Chen, THE PLASTIC BOTTLE CONTROVERSY-EXPLAINED


Green Film Fest will highlight a visual feast of films & conversations that are shaping the story of food. Our dinner plates hide a million stories. Filmmakers are getting into our complex food system with the farmers, chefs, food-lovers and campaigners that are challenging the status-quo. They are showing us that what we eat has an impact beyond our own appetite.

Program highlights include: SF Premiere of Peter Svatek’s THEATER OF LIFE, about renowned chef Massimo Bottura’s soup kitchen that turns waste food into delicious meals for Milan’s homeless; West Coast Premiere of RANCHER, FARMER, FISHERMAN, based on Miriam Horn’s best-seller and spotlighting unlikely conservationists, stewards of the land and sea who are becoming the new environmentalists; North American Premiere of DEAD DONKEYS FEAR NO HYENAS, Joakim Demmer’s investigation into the new wave of colonialism hitting Africa - land grabbing; and, THE MEMORY OF FISH from Jennifer Galvin & Sachi Cunningham, is a portrait of one man’s fight to save the Elwha River and bring the salmon home.


Green Film Fest will screen three classic environmental films, including two with strong Northern California ties.

  • The Emmy Award winning documentary DARK CIRCLE will have a special 35th anniversary screening as part of the festival. Directed by local filmmakers Judy Irving, Chris Beaver and Ruth Landy, the film crafts a human-interest story about Plutonium’s deadly intentional and unintentional effects. DARK CIRCLE will be shown on 35mm.
  • The festival will screen a newly restored version of local filmmaker David Vassar’s Academy Award nominated 1979 documentary GENERATION ON THE WIND. The film documents a group of young artists, mechanics and environmental activists who set out to build the largest electrical windmill in the world during the 1978 oil crisis.
  • The festival will show Stanley Kubrick’s classic 1964 cold-war satire DR. STRANGELOVE OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB


Green Film Fest 2017 will also present the West Coast Premieres of: CHESHIRE, OHIO (dir. Eve Morgenstern) taking you to a coal country town where residents are fighting for their health, the environment, and their home; LAST OF THE LONGNECKS (dir. Ashley Scott Davison) exploring the plight and extinction of giraffes and the implications of their demise in our rapidly changing world; SAMUEL IN THE CLOUDS (dir. Pieter van Eecke) following Samuel, an old ski lift operator in Bolivia, as he looks out of his window on the rooftop of the world.

And additional San Francisco Premieres include: ATOMIC: LIVING IN DREAD AND PROMISE (dir. Mark Cousins) an impressionistic kaleidoscope of our nuclear times with music by Scottish post-rock band Mogwai; THE AGE OF CONSEQUENCES (dir. Jared P. Scott) showing the consequences that climate change has for U.S. national security and global stability; THE ART OF RECOVERY (dir. Peter Young) after the devastating earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, community members use newly vacant city land for art and gardens; DEATH BY A THOUSAND CUTS (dir. Juan Mejia Boterol, Jake Kheel) revealing the tension between Haiti and the Dominican Republic over mass deforestation; A PLASTIC OCEAN (dir. Craig Leeson) an epic global adventure discovering the shocking impact plastic is having on our oceans; RIVERBLUE (dir. David MacIlvride, Roger Williams) journeying through some of the world's most polluted riverways to reveal the dark side of the fashion industry; YASUNI MAN (dir. Ryan Killackey) an incredible expedition through Ecuador’s Yasuni exploring the impact of oil development on the biodiversity of the rainforest and its people.


Green Film Fest 2017 is proud and honored to have exceptional support from Premier Sponsor Kaiser Permanente and Lead Sponsor Patagonia Provisions. A full list of our 2017 sponsors and partners is at


The Opening Night & Closing Night Premieres (April 20 & 26 respectively) will take place at the Castro Theatre, the Festival’s main venue is Roxie Theatre from April 21 through 25. Other Festival Venues include: FestHQ at 518 Valencia; Koret Auditorium at the San Francisco Public Library Main Branch; Bayview Opera House; Goldman Theater at the David Brower Center in Berkeley.

Tickets are $15 per screening or $225 for a full pass to the festival’s over 70 films, workshops, and social events. The full program and tickets available at

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