For Filmmakers








Be part of San Francisco's leading movement for films & discussions about people and the planet. Submit your film now to Green Film Fest 2017, April 20-26.

We are seeking compelling and relevant new films on the environment & sustainability. As well as the opportunity to screen your film in the San Francisco Bay Area, being a part of the Festival will connect you with local partners to support the ongoing success of your film.

The festival is open to new or established filmmakers from anywhere in the world and there are no restrictions on length or genre. All entries are eligible for the Festival's Awards.

Earlybird: October 10, 2016
Regular: November 11, 2016
Late: November 21, 2016 

Submit Your Film



Enter the Climate Action Film Contest - open to filmmakers of all ages to tell their climate action message.  

Films should support the San Francisco's Climate Action goals — 0-50-100-Roots — zero waste; 50% of all trips made in sustainable modes of transit; 100% renewable energy; and roots, which refers to capturing carbon and healing the planet.  

Submit 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.



San Francisco Green Film Festival is pleased to announce the introduction of the Green Fire Award for best Bay Area Environmental Documentary Feature as part of Green Film Fest 2017.

This award will include a $5,000 cash prize for the filmmaker and will be decided by an expert Jury, including leaders in the film and environmental fields. The Green Fire Award recognizes the best of Independent documentary filmmaking in the San Francisco Bay Area by honoring innovative storytelling and new perspectives on environmental topics. Submissions from filmmakers who are currently resident in the San Francisco Bay Area or films about the San Francisco Bay Area will be eligible for the award.



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



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



2016   Escape Velocity, James Tralie, USA

2015   Pseudo Evolution, Luisa Gobel and Bruna Almeida, Brazil



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



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



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



The Green Film Network is an association of the leading environmental film festivals worldwide, including Green Film Fest, that supports the diversity and strength of documentary work around the globe. In 2014, we launched the first annual Green Film Network Award as the International award for best environmental documentary of the year. Nominated by GFN member festivals and selected by an International jury, the award includes a prize of 5,000 Euros and award presentation and screening at a GFN festival.

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


The awards are 3-D printed using woodFill PLA - a green, non-toxic, and biodegradable material.


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:

2014-16 Residents: Robert Cortlandt and 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.

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 - Work-in-progress Screenings

Our Work-in-Progress screenings are an opportunity for Bay Area 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 2016 Green Film Fest


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 2015 Green Film Fest


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.


First Cut at 2014 Green Film Fest

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 2013 Green Film Fest

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 2012 Green Film Fest

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 2011 Green Film Fest

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, including SFGFF, 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 our 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 prize of 5,000 Euros and an award presentation & screening at a GFN festival.



Each festival features highlights from our International GFN partners. Past showcases include Interfilm, FilmAmbiente, and GFN Award-winning film Amazon Gold.



Belgrade Green Fest, Belgrade, Serbia

BIFED, Bozcaada, Turkey

Cinema Planeta, Cuernavaca, Mexico

CinemAmbiente, Turin, Italy

Cine’Eco, Seia, Portugal

CMS Vatavaran, New Delhi, India

DokuFest, Prizren, Kosovo

DREFF, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

ECOCUP, Moscow-Saint Petersburg, Russia

Ecozine Film Festival, Zaragoza, Spain

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

EFFA, Tirana-Shkodra-Puka-Vlora-Korça-Përmet-Elbasan, Albania

EFFA, Accra, Ghana

Festcineamazônia, Porto Velho, Brazil

Festival du Film Vert, Switzerland and France

FICA, Goiás, Brazil

FICMEC, Tenerife, Spain

FIFE, Île-de-France, Paris, France

Filmambiente, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

FINCA, Buenos Aires, Argentina

FReDD Festival, Toulouse, France

GFFIS, Seoul, Korea

Glimmerglass Film Days, Cooperstown, USA

Green Image Film Festival, Tokyo, Japan

Green Up, Bruxelles, Belgium

IIGFF, Tehran, Iran

INFF, Innsbruck, Austria

Interfilm, Berlin, Germany

One World, Prague, Czech Republic

PELICAM, Tulcea, Romania

Planet in Focus, Toronto, Canada

REIC - IWFE, Montréal, Canada

San Francisco Green Film Festival, San Francisco, USA

SEFF, Hrvatska Kostajnica, Croatia