ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
SFGFF’s mission is to organize and present forward-thinking programs of films and discussions that inspire environmental action and advocacy. The films that we premiere explore the relationship between people and the planet and offer compelling insights into the environmental challenges we face as well as the creative social entrepreneurs who are crafting a vision for a greener future.
2012 FESTIVAL VENUE
In September 2011, the San Francisco Film Society Cinema opened its doors in the supremely stylish state-of-the-art 143-seat theater located in the ultra-contemporary New People building at 1746 Post in Japantown. An integral part of the New People building—the cutting-edge four-story building devoted to contemporary Japanese art, fashion, food and design that opened in 2009, the theater features the finest analog and digital equipment, perfect sight lines and immersive THX-certified surround sound. Amenities in the surrounding neighborhood include plentiful parking and numerous restaurants. Nearby venues will host additional special events.
ABOUT OUR PARTNERS
SFGFF is fiscally sponsored by Green Planet Films, a 501(c)3 non-profit distributor of nature and environmental films from around the globe. As fiscal sponsor, Green Planet Films provides the non-profit status and back office support for SFGFF operations.
SFGFF is a participant in the 2011/2012 Ninth Street Media Arts Incubator Program and is resident in the Ninth Street Independent Film Center. The program provides SFGFF with a work space, use of an 80-seat screening room, and access to other Film Center resources.
THIS YEAR'S FILMS INCLUDE:
Patrick Rouxel's "Alma" USA Premiere. Beautifully shot, alternately joyful and horrifying, Alma captures the ecological, and even spiritual, cost of meat, dairy, and leather production in the Brazilian Amazon. Rouxel (Green, SFGFF 2011) creates a powerful statement about the global industrial economy and the speed with which virgin forests are being cleared for timber and new grazing land. Patrick Rouxel France, 2011, 65 mins.
Blood in the Mobile – with ‘Cradle to Cradle’ panel San Francisco Premiere. Did you know your mobile phone contributes to violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo? Danish director Frank Piasecki Poulsen takes on the Congolese military and warlords to gain access to Bisie, a militia-controlled mine that produces cassiterite, a tin oxide used in cell phones. In this courageous documentary, Poulsen reveals a mineral trade plagued with violence and human exploitation. Frank Piasecki Poulsen Denmark/Germany, 2010, 82 mins.
Cafeteria Man – with ‘Chew the Fat: Reinventing School Lunches’ panel San Francisco Premiere. Follow charismatic chef Tony Geraci on his passionate and tenacious journey to overhaul the school lunch program serving 83,000 students in Baltimore’s public schools. With Geraci’s bold vision, this is a story of what it takes and who it takes to make change and solutions happen. Featuring Michael Pollen, First Lady Michelle Obama and Assistant White House Chef Sam Kass. Richard Chisolm USA, 2011, 65 mins.
Ian Cheney's "The City Dark" Having moved from Maine to New York City, ﬁlmmaker Ian Cheney ﬁnds himself in an environment so ﬂooded with artiﬁcial light that one can scarcely make out a star in the night sky. The City Dark follows Cheney as he seeks to learn the true impact of light pollution on people, animals, and the environment, and shines new light on the meaning of dark. Ian Cheney USA, 2011, 84 mins.
Future of Hope San Francisco Premiere. Future of Hope chronicles a grassroots movement determined to reinvent the Icelandic economy around the principles of sustainable development. Featuring imaginative use of animation, a killer soundtrack (featuring artists from Iceland, Ireland, and the UK including Damien Rice), and Iceland’s ruggedly beautiful landscape, it is a remarkable story of collapse, recovery, redemption, and reinvention to which the rest of the world should pay attention. Henry Bateman UK/Iceland, 2010, 75 mins.
Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time San Francisco Premiere. Local filmmakers Ann and Steven Dunsky (Butterflies & Bulldozers, SFGFF 2011) create a fascinating look into the life of a brilliant individual, Aldo Leopold. Over his lifetime, Leopold developed a theory of land and wildlife conservation based on the interconnectedness of the natural world. Through his work and writings, Aldo Leopold continues to influence the modern environmental movement around the world. Ann and Steven Dunsky USA, 2011, 74 mins.
Emily James's "Just Do It" – a tale of modern-day outlaws USA Sneak Preview In 2009, director Emily James was given access to a group of environmental activists seeking results through direct action campaigns throughout England. What resulted was a film that gives you a unique look into the world of illegal activism, including its successes and failures, through animated, endearing characters and their interviews, all with the same goals in their hearts – to fight capitalism and raise awareness about the environment. Emily James UK, 2011, 90 mins.
Minds in the Water 5 years in the making, this beautiful documentary chronicles professional surfer Dave “Rasta” Rastovich’s path to protect dolphins, whales and their ocean environment. Rasta’s latest campaign – a 660km sailing expedition along Australia’s Gold Coast – provides the backdrop for this evolution. His quest to gather support from professional surfers, seek guidance from Sea Shepherd’s Paul Watson, and visit with California’s first coastal tribe, leads to a showdown in Taiji, Japan, made notorious in The Cove. Justin Krumb USA, 2011, 90 mins.
On Coal River Described by Variety as a story of “Hillbilly Davids” besting a “corporate Goliath”, On Coal River does an extraordinary job of capturing the struggles of ordinary people fighting to save what remains of an Appalachian valley that they and their families have called home for generations. In the process, it beautifully captures the true human and environmental costs of “cheap”, dirty energy. Francine Cavanaugh and Adams Wood USA, 2011, 81 mins.
Mark Hall's "Sushi: The Global Catch" Sushi: The Global Catch – with ‘Sushi, Sustainability, and the Fate of Fish’ panel San Francisco Premiere. How did sushi become a global cuisine? What began as a simple but elegant food sold by Tokyo street vendors has become a worldwide phenomenon. Shot in five nations, the film explores the tradition, growth and future of this popular cuisine. As ocean predators such as Bluefin Tuna are auctioned at astronomical rates, we see that sushi is big money and these fish are gold. Mark Hall USA, 2011, 75 mins.
Taste the Waste San Francisco Premiere. Valentin Thurn’s timely and startling documentary on global food waste (did you know that on the way from the farm to the dining-room table, more than half of all food ends up in the garbage?) is both a call to arms and a how-to for doing our best to eliminate this major problem. Valentin Thurn Germany, 2010, 92 mins.
Urban Roots Against all odds, in the boarded-up shops, empty lots and defunct factories, seeds of change are taking root in Detroit. With the most vacant lots in the country, citizens are reclaiming their spirits by growing food. A small group of dedicated Detroiters have started an urban environmental movement with the potential to transform a city after its collapse. Mark MacInnis USA, 2011, 93 mins.
Gary Hustwit's "Urbanized" Urbanized – with ‘Our Future in Urban Sustainability’ panel The third part of Hustwit’s design film trilogy, joining Helvetica (2007) and Objectified (2009), is a captivating and lively look at the design of cities. Urbanized examines how major urban environments are adapting to the challenges of today and tomorrow, particularly climate change and population growth. This eye-opening film looks at the issues and promises facing some of the world’s important cities. Gary Hustwit USA/UK, 2011, 82 mins.
Waking the Green Tiger: The Rise of a Green Movement in China USA Premiere. Waking the Green Tiger is an electrifying account of a group of villagers and farmers close to China’s Tiger Leaping Gorge on the verge of losing everything to a massive dam project. Banding together with activists and journalists, the film taps into a broadening sense of community and environmentalism that grows beyond their single issue with remarkable results. Gary Marcuse Canada, 2011, 78 mins.
Who Bombed Judi Bari? World Premiere. As an activist, Judi Bari popularized protests against clear-cutting together with EarthFirst! in the 1980′s. On May 24th, 1990 in Oakland, CA, a bomb explodes in Judi’s car and she suffers debilitating injuries alongside confident Darryl Cherney. Produced by Darryl Cherney, this film chronicles a movement, the false accusations and court struggles that follow the blast leading to a surprising resolution.
Mary Liz Thomson and Darryl Cherney USA, 2012, 93 mins.
Anthony Baxter's "You've Been Trumped" San Francisco Premiere. Courage abounds in this film that risks life and limb to penetrate the operation of Donald Trump and his designs on Aberdeen, Scotland and its precious sand dunes. Called, “deeply troubling, amusing and rousing all at the same time…” by Starz Film Festival Jury, this film is a constant juggle of humor, confrontation, espionage and strange, compelling characters (Trump included). Anthony Baxter UK, 2011, 95 mins.