Green Spotlight: Women at the Helm

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.

Women make up only about a third of today's documentary directors, and are thus still underrepresented in the field.

This year, Green Film Fest 2017 has adopted a new way to celebrate films made by women - as well as films that have significant onscreen female characters.

And that is by stamping them 'F Rated'.

Films with a female director, writer, or on-screen presence will be rated 'F', films with two of these components will be 'Double F', and those with all three are 'Triple F'. 

The 'F Rated' movement, was started a few years ago in the UK as a way to champion women in film, and we are delighted to join in the conversation, encouraging you to think about who is telling the stories you see on screen.

We are proud of the tenacity and creativity of our own female filmmakers, and are impressed by the myriad ways they have come to their craft.

Here is a closer look at four of the women who helm 2017 festival feature films.


Delila Vallot is the director of Can You Dig This, which will be shown on Saturday, April 22, at 8:30pm, in the Roxie.

How many independent film directors start out their show biz careers by lacing up some dancing shoes and leaping across the stage in, say, the national Janes Addiction Tour or the film sets of The Singing Detective and Rent?

Well, there’s at least one -- the multi-talented Delila Vallot -- who has also worked as an actress and print model.

Eventually, this Hollywood native, pirouetted her way into film construction and lunged on to the director’s seat.

Vallot has made both short experimental films, and a suspense-filled feature, Tunnel Vision (2013).

Her latest work, a feature-length documentary called Can You Dig This, packs an emotional wallop.

Both whimsical and deadly serious, the film depicts an effort to tame and transform one of the world’s most crime-ridden urban areas - Vallot’s dad's own South Central LA neighborhood - through community gardening.

Judy Irving is the director of Dark Circlewhich will be shown on Sunday, April 23, at 12:30pm in the Roxie.  

Bay Area filmmaker Judy Irving is best-known for her love of birds, with documentaries like The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill and Pelican Dreams.

She polished her storytelling skills with a BA in Psychology, work as a freelance journalist, earned an MA in Film and Journalism, and won a Guggenheim Fellowship in film.

This year we revisit one of her earliest and most important films, Dark Circle, which examines the history of the nuclear industry and brings up fundamental questions about it’s safety.

Dark Circle was awarded numerous awards, including the Sundance Grand Prize and a National Emmy Award.

Jennifer Galvin is the director of The Memory of Fish, which will be shown Saturday, April 22, at 3pm, in the Little Roxie.

The definition of a Renaissance woman, Dr. Jennifer Galvin is an expert in many seemingly-disparate spheres, including epidemiology and public health, aquatic biology, environmental science, philanthropy, and filmmaking.

Possibly more impressive, she has managed to integrate all of these pursuits into one productive and ever-evolving career.

Regardless of which professional hat she is wearing, Dr. Galvin’s overall goal is to protect the environmentally vulnerable coast and the people living there.

SFGFF is incredibly proud to showcase Dr. Galvin’s newest film project, The Memory of Fish, which depicts one man’s quest to take down a dam and set the river - and it’s salmon - free.

Michelle Latimer is the director of RISE: Standing Rock, which will be shown on Sunday, April 23, at 8:15pm, in the Roxie.

Canadian film-maker Michelle Latimer began her film career in front of the camera - as an actress.

She is best know for a recurring role as a goth teenager in the Canadian soap opera, Paradise Falls, and footnoted her career with a bit part in Resident Evil - Apocalypse.

Luckily for us, though, this gutsy woman of Native American descent went from acting in b-movies to directing socially conscious documentaries, including the feature-length, Alias, which looks at the lives of former gang-members trying to change their lives by becoming rappers.

We are pleased and proud to screen Latimer’s newest, and very timely, documentary series, RISE: Standing Rock, which examines the Dakota Access Pipeline protests.

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