Meet the team: How a film about plastic bags hooked me into the green movement

Heather Louie has been a big part of the Festival team since 2011 and is a valued member of our Board of Directors. By day, she is a Sr. Technical Associate & Lead Auditor, SCS Global Services. Here she describes what hooked her into the Festival.


Having just moved to the city, I was eager to get involved in the environmental community and to find like-minded people.

I found an ad for an SFGFF film screening of Bag It! at the SF Public Library - one of the Festival’s many community partners - and was intrigued. That day, about 20 other people packed into a small conference room to watch a movie about the dangers of BPA, a chemical found in plastic bags.

By the end of the film the whole audience - myself included - was part of an engaged and lively discussion about BPA and how to avoid it.  Inspired, I decided to apply to volunteer as soon as I got home.

Before I knew it I was researching films and launching the Festival’s Take Action! resources. Three years later, I’m still screening films for the Festival and am now a proud member of the newly formed Board.

In retrospect, Bag It! was such a great film to hook me into the Festival. I saw first-hand how impactful film can be. It's one thing to tell/nag/inform your loved ones of an issue, but it's another to have compelling visuals and sound bites to accompany new and oftentimes shocking information.

I love how films encapsulate information.  

They're a great way to satisfy my curiosity on a wide variety of topics.  Some films speak to what I’m already interested in (Urbanized - city planning, Terra Blight - electronics waste) while others introduce completely new topics (The City Dark - light pollution, Lost Rivers - uncovering urban waterways).  

By volunteering, I have tremendous access to a wealth of information not only in the form of films, but also to environmental experts and passionate people.  There is so much to learn!

You can join us too!

We’re in the middle of our end of year campaign, your donation, however small, can have a huge impact. And we are always looking for people to give a little time and play a big part in getting these powerful films to new audiences.