1st San Francisco Green Film Festival

The first-ever San Francisco Green Film Festival, March 3-6, 2011 – the Bay Area’s new, leading festival for innovative film, television, & digital media that explore green and sustainability issues. The Festival presented over 90 premieres from around the globe during four days of film showcases, panels, workshops, networking & special events. 


• 23 feature and 72 short film premieres
• Q&As, panels and workshops with 35 filmmakers and 32 guest speakers
• Interactive and transmedia projects
• Free screenings and events
Free programs for Middle & High School students
• Eco-art installations and live music
• Parties, galas, networking Happy Hours, and free Festival Hub events


Photos by: Bag it!; Tommy Lau. Photo at top: Tommy Lau

Highlights included: Live satellite Q&A with iconic writer and environmentalist Margaret Atwood following the screening of Ron Mann’s In the Wake of the Flood; the West Coast premiere of Werner Herzog’s new feature documentary Happy People: A Year in the Taiga; a special screening of HOME and Q&A with Yann Arthus-Bertrand; the Green Tenacity Award presented to Fredrik Gertten for Bannanas!*; and 65 visiting filmmakers and guest speakers from Sweden, UK, Canada, Brazil, Germany, Fiji, France, and across the USA; a spectacular Opening Night Green Carpet Gala, and more...

A Spectacular Opening Night: The 1st San Francisco Green Film Festival launched on March 3, 2011 with the Bay Area premiere of Bag It at the Landmark Theatres Embarcadero Center Cinema. Following the film, the festivities continued with the festival’s Opening Night Green Carpet Gala at the beautiful and historic Bently Reserve. The evening had a “plastic pollution theme” and included a bicycled-powered DJ set, local sustainable food and beverages, live music, art, and special guests!

San Francisco premiere screenings of over 90 world-class international films that explore living sustainably on this planet. The inaugural line-up included award-winners and audience favorites from Sundance, Berlin, SXSW, Venice, Tribeca, Toronto, Telluride and HotDocs. 

Happy People: A Year in the Taiga
West Coast Premiere. Werner Herzog presents a picturesque documentary about the life of the indigenous people living in the heart of the Siberian Taiga. “A mesmerizing ‘Walden’-like ode to wilderness life.” ~ Variety

In the Wake of the Flood
West Coast Premiere. Spend 100 days on the road with author and environmentalist Margaret Atwood on her recent eco book tour. Screening will be followed by a live satellite audience Q&A with Margaret Atwood.

Bay Area Premiere. The film Dole Food Co. doesn’t want you to see!  Filmmaker Fredrik Gertten sheds new light on the global politics of food.

The 4th Revolution: Energy Autonomy
Bay Area Premiere. “Possibly the most inspirational, solutions-based environmental film out there” ~ Vancouver International Film Festival.

Into Eternity
Bay Area Premiere. Captivating, wondrous and extremely frightening, INTO ETERNITY takes viewers on a journey never seen before into the underworld and into the future.

Bay Area Premiere. Multi-award winning film exploring the ecological impact of the palm oil industry on Orang-utan habitat in Indonesia.

USA Premiere! A recycling adventure in Sao Paulo, Brazil, with Claudines  – and his 27 children.

Sola: Louisiana Water Stories
Personal stories from the Gulf of Mexico examining the fragile relationship between man, wildlife and water – a balance disrupted by the 2010 BP oil spill.

Butterflies & Bulldozers
Bay Area Premiere. The global dilemma of economic growth versus species preservation seen through the fight over San Bruno Mountain.

Back to the Garden
Bay Area Premiere. A time-lapse view of back-to-the-land “hippies” — living off-grid, insulated and isolated from mainstream culture — and their moving personal stories of non-conformity and political activism, with lots of freedom but little cash.

Many of the film directors were in attendance for Q&As after their screening.

~ Inspiring and informative panels and workshops with leading filmmakers and green experts focusing on science,technology, conservation, and the arts. Highlights include discussions around green film production, new media, and the United Nations International Year of Forests 2011.

~ A green-activist hub for audiences to discuss, share, and get involved with our partner organizations, with each film to include a special Q&A with leading experts and a call to action on how you, as a filmgoer, can get involved and make a difference.

~ Special arts programs, exhibitions, demonstrations, and installations to take place throughout the festival venues.

~ Free sessions for educators and middle and high school students.

~ Professional networking opportunities in our festival lounge, filmmaker brunches, and evening events for exhange of ideas, skills, and connections.

Filmmakers & Guest Speakers:

Yann Arthus-Bertrand, director, Home; Of Forests and Men; 6 Billion Others – Climate Voices

Margaret Atwood, writer

Brian Back, Founding Editor and Publisher, Sustainable Industries

Lincoln Bandlow, lawyer, Bananas!*

Chris Bauer, producer, KQED Quest, Albino Redwoods; California's Lost Salmon

Michael Behrens, producer, My Garbage, My Neighborhood

Soumyaa Kapil Behrens, director, My Garbage, My Neighborhood

Debbie Brubaker, producer, La Mission

Ambessa Cantave, Alliance for Climate Education

Maria Centano, student filmmaker, What Has This World Come To?

Kevin Connelly, Associate Director, Earth Island Institute

Teri Cundall, CEO, Propville Directory

Dawn Danby, Sustainable Design Program Manager, Sustainability Initiative, Autodesk, Inc.

Alice & Lincoln Day, directors, Scarred Lands & Wounded Lives: The Environmental Footprint of War

Helen De Michiel, director, Lunch Love Community

David Donnenfield, director, A Simple Question: The Story of Straw

Ed Dunn, Executive Director, H.A.N.C. Recycling Center

Ann Dunsky, director, Butterflies & Bulldozers

Steven Dunsky, producer, Butterflies & Bulldozers

Tom Dusenberry, director, Global Focus VII - The New Environmentalists

AshEL Elrige, rapper, Plastic State of Mind; Alliance for Climate Education

Carl A. Fechner, director, The 4th RevolutionEnergy Autonomy

Cathy Fischer, Senior Content Producer, ITVS

Alisha Fowler, Alliance for Climate Education

Deborah Koons Garcia, director, Soil in Good Heart

Douglas Gayeton, The Lexicon of Sustainability

Jack Gescheidt, The Tree Spirit Project

Fredrik Gertten, director, Bananas!*

Jen Gilomen, director, Deep Down, and The Virtual Mine in Second Life

Michael Green, Executive Director, The Center for Environmental Health

Matt Harnack, student filmmaker, Fossil Fuel Free Film

Michelle Hill, producer, Bag It

Mike Hudson, Founder, Salmon Aid

Steven Johnson, director, Delta Blues

De’Anthony Jones, Brower Youth Award Winner 2010

Fred Kaplan, director, River Under the City of Angels

Judy Kaplan, producer, Back to the Garden: Flower Power Comes Full Circle

Tanya Keen, Program Manager, Google Earth Outreach

Michael Kuehnert, director, Save the Farm

Choom Lam, director, Rethink Happiness

Hillary Lehr, Grassroots Action Manager – Forests Program, Rainforest Action Network

Ross Mirkarimi, San Francisco Board of Supervisors

Nicole Newnham, The Revolutionary Optimists/Map Your World

Jenni Perez, singer, Plastic State of Mind

Erica Priggen, Production Manager, Free Range Studios

Heidi Quante, The Story of Stuff Project

Qwest, rapper, California Water

Nick Raslan, producer, Happy People: A Year in the Taiga

Mark Rauzon, producer, California Water

Emma Robens, director, The Coral Gardner

Christina Samala, Director of Social Media and Online Strategy, The Story of Stuff Project

Steve Schecter, student filmmaker, California Water

Hester Schell, director, Colony Collapse

Larry Schlessinger, Industry Outreach Chair, Producers Guild of America NorthWest

Adam Scow, California Campaigns Director, Food & Water Watch

Nicholas Sherman, director, Soundtracker

Elizabeth Pepin Silva, director, Slow the Flow

Jan Southworth, butterfly expert, East Bay Regional Park District

Kevin Tomlinson, director Back to the Garden: Flower Power Comes Full Circle

Alex Yamamoto, Program Manager, Adobe Youth Voices

Sean Walsh, director, Hauling

Elizabeth White, director/producer, BBC Natural History Unit, The Coral Gardner

Kevin White, director, A Simple Question: The Story of Straw

Denise Zmekhol, director, Children of the Amazon

Ben Zolno, director, Plastic State of Mind

Thank you, to everyone that made the 1st San Francisco Green Film Festival such an amazing success!