For Filmmakers

SF Green Film Festival regrets that the 10th Anniversary Festival in September 2020 has been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are committed to prioritizing the health of our communities in this difficult time.

As many of us are binge watching on our small screens right now, it’s clear that storytellers are our lifeline to other worlds and times, and to the future that awaits at the end of this. In the face of seemingly insurmountable problems, we will always focus on the solutions.

Stay healthy, stay safe, stay green. 





Submit Your Film to Green Film Fest

Submissions for the 10th Anniversary SF Green Film Festival are now open until April 5.


Submit Your Film


Your chance to show your environmental film on the big screen! 

Every year, we screen films from young people who are actively protecting our planet and getting involved in documentary filmmaking.

Enter the Young Filmmaker Competition to win cash prizes and a special screening of your film at Green Film Fest in September 2020. From recycling to taking transit to growing a garden, show us how you're making a difference.

The contest is open to young filmmakers age 18 and under. It is free to enter and there are no restrictions on style or genre or how many entries you may submit. Finalists are also entered into competition for our Young Filmmaker Award!

Enter Your Film



Filmmakers are going to great lengths to uncover new territory and provide a new take on the most pressing environmental issues. Each year we honor a number of those films and filmmakers with a Green Film Fest Award.



The Green Fire Award is a juried annual award for Best San Francisco Bay Area Environmental Feature and includes a $2,500 cash prize. The award recognizes the best of independent filmmaking in the SF Bay Area by honoring innovative storytelling and new perspectives on environmental topics. Learn more about the Green Fire Award.

2019   Artifishal, Josh "Bones" Murphy, USA

2018   Wilder Than Wild: Fire, Forests, and the Future, Stephen Most & Kevin White, USA

2017   Tidewater, Roger Sorkin & Nate Birnbaum, USA



For the first time in 2018, the SF Film Critics Circle – a group of Greater Bay Area reviewers and film writers  – presented an award at the festival. The committee bestowed the honor on the work of a first-time documentary feature filmmaker.
2018   Food Coop, Tom Booth, France



2019   PUSH, Fredrik Gertten, Sweden

2018   Anote's Ark, Matthieu Rytz, Canada

2017   RISE: Standing Rock, Michelle Latimer, USA

2016   Catching the Sun, Shalini Kantayya, USA

2015   Bikes vs Cars, Fredrik Gertten, Sweden

2014   DamNation, Ben Knight, Travis Rummel, Matt Stoecker, USA

2013   More Than Honey, Markus Imhoof, Switzerland/Germany/Austria

2012   You’ve Been Trumped, Anthony Baxter, UK



2019   After the Fire, Derek Knowles & Spencer Seibert, USA

2018   Invisible Blanket, Pasha Reshikov, USA

2017   Pangolin, Katie Schuler & Nick Rogacki, USA

2016   Nature Rx, Justin Bogardus, USA

2015   Beyond Recognition, Michelle Grace Steinberg, USA

2014   Sticky, Jilli Rose, Australia

2013   The Story of An Egg, Douglas Gayeton, USA

2012   Coalition of the Willing, Simon Robson, UK



2019   Save Our Planet, Alexis Buggs-Hodgson

2018   Youth Unstoppable, Slater Jewell-Kemker, Canada

2017   The Plastic Bottle Controversy - Explained, Jeffery Chen, USA

2016   Escape Velocity, James Tralie, USA

2015   Pseudo Evolution, Luisa Gobel and Bruna Almeida, Brazil



2019   COOKED: Survival by Zip Code, Judith Helfand, USA

2018   STROOP: Journey into the Rhino Horn War, Susan Scott, South Africa

2017   Dead Donkeys Fear No Hyenas, Joakim Demmer, Sweden/Germany/Finland

2016   Not Without Us, Mark Decena, USA

2015   The Chinese Mayor, Zhou Hao, China

2014   Come Hell or High Water: The Battle for Turkey Creek, Leah Mahan, USA

2013   Thomas Riedelsheimer, Germany (for body of work)

2012   Blood in the Mobile, Frank Piasecki Poulsen, Denmark/Germany

2011   BANANAS!*, Fredrik Gertten, Sweden/Denmark



2019   Franny Armstrong for The Age of Stupid 10th Anniversary

2018   Tom Booth, Founder of La Louve Coop, Paris, for Food Coop

2017   Flo Stone, Founder, Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital

2016   Virginia McKenna & the Born Free Foundation for Born Free

2015   Landfill Harmonic, Brad Allgood and Graham Townsley, USA

2014   Project Wild Thing, David Bond, UK

2013   Bidder 70, Beth and George Gage, USA

2012   Urban Roots, Mark MacInnis, USA



Voted at screenings:

2019   Motherload, Liz Canning, USA

2018   Patrimonio, Lisa F. Jackson & Sarah Teale, USA

2017   Yasuni Man, Ryan Killackey, USA

2016   The Babushkas of Chernobyl, Holly Morris and Anne Bogart, USA

2015   Landfill Harmonic, Brad Allgood and Graham Townsley, USA

2014   Seeds of Time, Sandy McLeod, USA

2013   La Source, Patrick Shen, USA

2012   Sushi: the Global Catch, Mark Hall, USA



SF Green Film Festival was the first USA host of the Annual International Green Film Network Awards. GFN is an association of the world's leading environmental film festivals to support the diversity and strength of documentary work around the globe, and is partnered with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). The award winners are nominated by the 39 worldwide member festivals and decided by a global jury. Gaetano Capizzi, President of the Green Film Network, presented the awards.

2019 GFN Award:   Ghost Fleet, Shannon Service, USA
2019 GFN Short Award:   The Lost World, Kalyanee Mam, USA

2018 GFN Award:  Genesis 2.0, Christian Frei & Max Arbugaev, Switzerland
2018 GFN Short Award:  Water Warriors, Michael Premo, USA

2017 Green Cinema Award:  Plastic China, Jiu-liang Wang, China
2017 Green Vision Award:  24 Snow, Mikhail Barynin, Russia

2016   Landfill Harmonic, Brad Allgood and Graham Townsley, USA

2015   La Mujer y el Agua, Nocem Collado, Spain/India

2014   Amazon Gold, Reuben Aaronson, USA


Green Film Fest awards are 3-D printed using woodfill PLA – a green, non-toxic, and biodegradable material – in a zero waste process.


Filmmaker Residency

SF Green Film Festival supports Ninth Street Independent Film Center's annual Media Arts Incubator Program, to nurture the work of local filmmakers and nurture groundbreaking independent media projects.


Filmmakers with projects that align with the San Francisco Green Film Festival's mission are encouraged to apply.

The Filmmaker Residency offers:

  • Private workspace in the Ninth Street Independent Film Center
  • Access to Ninth Street IFC’s facilities, including meeting space and 80-seat screening room
  • Knowledge sharing with SF Green Film Festival, as well as other Ninth Street IFC organizations and resident filmmakers
  • Outreach opportunities through SF Green Film Festival’s networks, marketing, and events

This annual residency is offered through generous support in funding from the San Francisco Film Commission.

For more information, guidelines and application form, visit:

2014-18 Resident: Dan Goldes, 5 Blocks

Currently in production, 5 Blocks is a documentary film about the transformational changes taking place on San Francisco’s Mid-Market Street. Through the collection of voices of the often under-represented residents, this project draws attention to the issues of displacement and gentrification as a consequence of the revitalization efforts of Mid-Market, and surrounding neighborhoods. 5 Blocks was presented as a work-in-progress screening at the 2016 Green Film Fest. The World Premiere of 5 Blocks was sold out at the 9th annual Green Film Festival in 2019. 

2014-16 Residents: Cynthia Wade and Sasha Friedlander, Mudflow 

Mudflow follows Indonesia's recent Presidential election, set against the backdrop of one of the largest man-made environmental disasters in recent history, the Lapindo mud catastrophe in East Java, Indonesia. The film raises an array of complex and difficult questions about justice, democracy, and under-regulated corporate greed, all critical questions of our time. In 2014, the film received a MacArthur Award and in 2016 the filmmakers participated in the Sundance Documentary Edit & Story Lab.

2012-14 Resident: Lise Swenson, Saltwater

Saltwater is an independent narrative feature film by Bay Area artist, filmmaker and educator Lise Swenson. It is set in the stunning visual backdrops of San Francisco and the Salton Sea. The film is being produced in collaboration with City College of San Francisco using an educational community-based model. Saltwater was presented as a work-in-progress screening at the 2013 Green Film Fest.


First Cut: Works-in-Progress

Our Work-in-Progress screenings are an opportunity for filmmakers to present a workshop & screening that will help them get to the next stage of completing and distributing the film.

Every year we provide a creative platform for filmmakers to experiment with their ideas in diverse and creative ways. The goal is to help them get the support and feedback they need to get their films completed. 

First Cut at Green Film Fest 2017


Flint, Anthony Baxter

A work-in-progress preview of this new feature documentary from Anthony Baxter (You've Been Trumped, Best Feature GFF 2012; A Dangerous Game, GFF 2015) about the lead in drinking water crisis in Flint, Mich.

Baxter first heard about the water contamination crisis while participating in Michael Moore's Traverse City Film Festival. "This just wasn't a case of people having their water cut off for not paying their bills. They were paying for poisonous water. It was shocking."

Flint's 100,000 residents have been without safe drinking water since 2014, when local officials started diverting water from the Flint River to cut costs. Baxter has been on the ground in Flint, chronicling how local residents are pulling together to try to get through this.

Baxter shared exclusive footage from the film collected during more than two years of documenting one of the worst mass poisonings in American history.


First Cut at Green Film Fest 2016


5 Blocks, Robert Cortlandt & Dan Goldes: A work-in-progress sneak peek from SFGFF’s 2016 Filmmaker Residents. 5 Blocks explores current transformation on San Francisco’s central Market Street. Over the decades, many attempts have been made to revitalize the area – none successful. Now, can the Arts and Technology come together to bring economic development while lifting up the poor and marginalized who already live and work there?


First Cut at Green Film Fest 2015


The Fire Next Time, Kevin White & Stephen Most: A documentary work-in-progress from Bay Area filmmakers Kevin White and Stephen Most. When the Rim Fire burned 256,000 acres of the Stanislaus National Forest and Yosemite National Park in 2013, it exposed the impacts these high-intensity wildfires are having on watersheds, wildlife, and carbon storage. It also forged a coalition of environmentalists, loggers, scientists, officials, and land managers who need to know how to respond to this megafire and forestall the next one.

Preview and discussion with filmmakers Stephen Most and Kevin White; Malcolm North, Fire & Forest Ecologist, U.S. Forest Service; Mary Ellen Carroll, Director of Emergency Planning & Security, SF Public Utilities Commission.


Dirt Rich, Marcy Cravat: A documentary work-in-progress from Bay Area filmmaker Marcy Cravat (Angel Azul, SFGFF 2014). Dirt Rich explores strategies around the world to prevent runaway global warming - and soil could be the surprising answer. By drawing carbon out of the atmosphere and back to the soil, we have the means to grow our way to a healthier future.

Both of these films - Wilder Than Wild: Fire, Forests, and the Future by Kevin White & Stephen Most (Green Fire Award Winner)and Dirt Rich by Marcy Cravat - showcased their finished productions at the 2018 Green Film Festival.


First Cut at Green Film Fest 2014

Beyond Recognition, Michelle Steinberg: A documentary work-in-progress from Bay Area filmmaker Michelle Steinberg. After decades struggling for her tribe, their homeland buried by the Bay Area's sprawl, an Ohlone woman leads an occupation to protect a sacred site from development.

Preview and discussion with Michelle Steinberg, filmmaker; Robyn Bykofsky, producer; Corrina Gould & Johnella LaRose, community organizers.

"It offered us a unique forum to gauge audience response to the footage we have thus far and attain viewer perspectives on the most engaging ways to proceed. In addition, it provided both the filmmakers and some of the main characters with a chance to educate the public about the critical issues involved in the project." ~ Michelle Steinberg, Beyond Recognition


First Cut at Green Film Fest 2013

Green Streets, Sophie Constantinou: Documentary work in progress from Bay Area production company Citizen Film. Green Streets follows 27-year-old entrepreneur Tyrone Mullins and his friends as they turn trash into cash in the distressed San Francisco housing projects where they live. The screening included clips & panel discussion with director and characters from the film.

Saltwater, Lise Swenson: An independent narrative feature film by Bay Area artist, filmmaker and educator Lise Swenson, set in the stunning visual backdrops of San Francisco and the Salton Sea. The film is being produced in collaboration with City College of San Francisco using an educational community-based model. Clips & discussion with director and Salton Sea scientist.


First Cut at Green Film Fest 2012

Pelican Dreams, Judy Irving: Rough cut preview & discussion with Bay Area filmmaker, Judy Irving (The Wild Parrots of Telegraph Hill, 2003). The film was in theaters October 2014.


First Cut at Green Film Fest 2011

Colony Collapse, Hester Schell: A staged reading of the screenplay with professional actors, followed by a script development discussion.

My Garbage/My Neighborhood, Soumyaa Kapil Behrens: Clips & panel discussion on recycling at H.A.N.C. with the director and people from the film. The event was live blogged on our website.


Green Film Network

gfn_logo.pngThe Green Film Network (GFN) is an association of the leading environmental film festivals worldwide that supports the diversity and strength of documentary work around the globe.

The network aims to coordinate the events of associated festivals, promote and distribute films worldwide, and encourage initiatives and projects that increase awareness of environmental issues. Find out more at



The Green Film Network Award is the International award for best environmental documentary of the year. Nominated by each of the GFN member film festivals and selected by an international jury, the award includes a special presentation & screening at a GFN festival.



Each Green Film Fest features highlights from our International GFN partners. Past showcases include EcoCup (Moscow), Filmambiente (Rio de Janeiro), Interfilm (Berlin) and GFN Award-winning film Amazon Gold.



BEFF, Borneo Eco Film Festival, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia

Belgrade Green Fest, Belgrade International Green Culture Festival "Green Fest", Serbia

BIFED, International Festival of Ecological Documentary, Bozcaada, Turkey

Cinema Planeta, Festival Internacional de Cine y Medio Ambiente de Mexico, Cuernavaca, Mexico

CinemAmbiente, Environmental Film Festival, Turin, Italy

CineMare, International Ocean Film Festival Kiel, Germany

Cine’Eco, Seia, Portugal

CMS Vatavaran, International Environment & Wildlife Film Festival and Forum, New Delhi, India

DCEFF, Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital, Washington D.C., USA

Deauville Green Awards, International Festival of Film Productions on Sustainability and Eco-Innovations, Deauville, France

DokuFest, International Documentary and Short Film Festival, Prizren, Kosovo

DREFF, Dominican Republic Environmental Film Festival, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

ECOCUP, Green Documentary Film Festival, Moscow-Saint Petersburg, Russia

Ecozine Film Festival, Festival Internacional de Cine y Medio Ambiente de Zaragoza, Spain

EFFA, Environmental Film Festival in Albania, Tirana-Shkodra-Përmet-Skrapar, Albania

Ekofilm, Prague, Czech Republic

Festcineamazônia, Festival Latino Americano de Cinema Ambiental, Porto Velho, Brazil

Festival du Film Vert, 60 different cities, Switzerland and France

Festiver, Barichara Green Film Festival, Barichara-Santander, Colombia

FICA, Festival Internacional de Cinema e Video Ambiental, Goiás, Brazil

FICMEC, Festival Internacional de Cine Medioambiental de Canarias, Garachico, Tenerife, Spain

Filmambiente, International Environmental Film Festival, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

FINCA, Festival Internacional de Cine Ambiental, Buenos Aires, Argentina

FReDD Festival, Film, Recherche et Développement Durable, Toulouse, France

Glimmerglass Film Days, Cooperstown, New York, USA

GMIFF, Green Montenegro International Film Fest, Danilovgrad-Nikšić-Bečići, Montenegro

Green Image Film Festival, Tokyo, Japan

Green Screen, Internationales Naturfilmfestival Eckernförde, Germany

Greenpeace Film Festival, Online Film Festival, Global

IIGFF, Iran International Green Film Festival, Tehran, Iran

INFF, Innsbruck Nature Film Festival, Austria

Interfilm, Berlin International Short Film Festival, Germany

International Nature Film Festival Gödöllő, Hungary

One World, Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, Prague, Czech Republic

PELICAM, International Film Festival, Tulcea, Romania

Philadelphia Environmental Film Festival, Pennsylvania, USA

Planet in Focus, Environmental Film Festival, Toronto, Canada

REIC-IWFE, International "Water and Film" Events, Montréal, Canada

Rural FilmFest, Spain

San Francisco Green Film Festival, California, USA

SEFF, Seoul Eco Film Fest, South Korea