Cinema Verde films of 2018!

February 8 - 11     Preliminary Line-Up (as of Dec. 28, 2017)

A Crude Injustice (Australia, 26 min) Directed by Jane Hammond. A Crude Injustice is a documentary that looks at the aftermath of the Australian Montara oil spill disaster on the lives of thousands of seaweed farmers and fishermen in West Timor. On August 21, 2009 a wellhead in the Montara oil field 250km off the West Australian coast blew-out causing a major environmental disaster. For more than 70 days crude oil flowed into the Timor Sea creating a slick that covered around 90,000 square kilometres. In a bid to mitigate the impact of the spill the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) poured more than 180,000 litres of chemical dispersants onto the growing slick. Among the chemicals used were Corexit 9500 and Corexit 9527. In 2016 more than 15,000 people from West Timor launched a $200 Million class action in a bid for compensation for the losses incurred and the lives disrupted. A Crude Injustice follows the story from the blowout to launch of the class action. It gives voice to the people impacted by the spill.

Beyond Fordlandia (USA, 82 min) Directed by Marcos Colón, Beyond Fordlandia presents an environmental account of Henry Ford’s Amazon experience decades after its failure. The story addressed by the film begins in 1927, when the Ford Motor Company attempted to establish rubber plantations on the Tapajós River, a primary tributary of the Amazon. This film addresses the recent transition from failed rubber to successful soybean cultivation for export, and its implication for land usage.

Catching the Sun (USA, 75 min) Directed by Shalini Kantayya. An unemployed American worker, a Tea Party activist, and a Chinese solar entrepreneur race to lead the clean energy future. Who wins and who loses in the battle for power in the 21st century? Through the stories of workers and entrepreneurs in the U.S. and China, Catching the Sun captures the global race to lead the clean energy future. Over the course of a solar jobs training program, Catching the Sun follows the hope and heartbreak of unemployed American workers seeking jobs in the solar industry.  With countries like China investing in innovative technologies and capitalizing on this trillion-dollar opportunity, Catching the Sun tells the story of the global energy transition from the perspective of workers and entrepreneurs building solutions to income inequality and climate change with their own hands. Their successes and failures speak to one of the biggest questions of our time: will the U.S. actually be able to build a clean energy economy.

Cycle of Change (Guatemala, 9 min) Directed by Sarah Frei.  Moved by the lack of opportunity for women and youth in her community in El Salvador, Reina Molino ventures to Guatemala to study bici-maquinas-bicycle pedal-power technology. Leaving everything she knows behind, Reina embarks on an inspiring journey of self-empowerment and problem solving. Through the mentorship of Carlos, founder of the social enterprise Bici-Tec and the friendship of Geovany, Reina seeks to find her life purpose and change the lives of the people in her community.

Down to Earth - Chapter One: Hope (10 min) Directed by Michaela Precourt. Michaela Precourt embarked on an epic journey that consisted of a series of five arctic ski expeditions that she hopes will ignite the minds and spirit of the next generation of environmental advocates. This first chapter is about a 12 day expedition. Down to Earth is about how do we find that connection back to earth, to instill that sense of hope, in our communities and school system and our kiddos.

Drain Rangers: Stormwater Engineering Solutions (USA, 5 min) Directed by Transect Films. Too much stormwater can be a big problem! This educational stop-motion animation series illustrates the causes of – and solutions to – dirty stormwater runoff. Join the Drain Ranger team, including Engineer Betsy, Juniper, Sophia and Ben as they discover ways we can all help keep our lakes, rivers and streams clean.

Elephants Can't Jump (Chile, 50 min) Co-directed by Rodrigo Saez & Maria J. Martinez-Conde. A tame elephant is forced to work very hard, either on illegal deforestation or in the tourism business by doing circus tricks, painting with its trunk, carrying tourists on heavy mounts. On the other hand, wild elephants that live in the jungle have to struggle constantly to survive: their habitat is being destroyed by men, whose population has increased at an enormous rate, and has occupied the space that belongs to other species.

Evolution of Organic (USA, 87 min) Directed by Mark Kitchell. From filmmaker Mark Kitchell (Berkeley in the Sixties, A Fierce Green Fire) comes a new film: Evolution of Organic. It’s the story of organic agriculture, told by those who built the movement. A motley crew of back-to-the-landers, spiritual seekers and farmers’ sons and daughters reject chemical farming and set out to explore organic alternatives. It’s a heartfelt journey of change – from a small band of rebels to a cultural transformation in the way we grow and eat food. By now organic has gone mainstream, split into an industry oriented toward bringing organic to all people and a movement that has realized a vision of sustainable agriculture. It’s the most popular and successful outgrowth of the environmental impulse of the last fifty years.

Food in the Woods (Paraguay, 30 min) Directed by Andrea Ruffini. In the Paraguayan Chaco region, an area that's facing the fastest deforestation in the world, Aboriginal communities see the source of their foodstuffs, their pharmacopoeia and their mythological tales disappear before their eyes. A documentary unflinchingly exposing the effects of uncontrolled settlement on one of the last virgin territories of the planet.

Fieldworks (USA, 45 min) Produced by RAVA Films. A short documentary series that explores the beauty, rigor, and impact of socially engaged art.

For Your Grandchildren (USA) Directed by Adam Dubbin, Michael Tintner. "People gonna rise like the water, gonna face this crisis now; I hear the voice of my great granddaughter, we’re gonna shut this pipeline down."This is the song of those fighting to stop the construction of and halt the destruction caused by the Sabal Trail Pipeline. The 515 mile 'fracked' natural gas conduit is claimed by its investors and proponents to bring well-paying jobs and clean energy to Florida. But is the cost too high? The $3.2 billion project leaves in its wake an ugly scar across three states cutting through numerous wetlands and tunneling under waterways including the historic Suwannee, Withlacoochee and Santa Fe Rivers. The pipeline threatens the Floridan Aquifer-the primary source of drinking water for more than 20 million Floridians and a significant reason for the state's robust tourism industry. For Your Grandchildren explores what motivates people to take action against this environmentally destructive pipeline.

Hidden Secrets of Florida Springs (USA, 59 min) Director: Bob Giguere. There are over 1,000 freshwater springs in Florida, more than any other region in the world.  Native Americans worshiped them as sacred, while many visitors today regard them as enchanted. Not only do these springs fuel rivers and nurture a wonderland of plants and wildlife, they flow from an Aquifer that provides drinking water for 90 percent of Floridians. Their value for recreation, real estate, and potable water is measured in billions of dollars. Florida would suffer an enormous aesthetic—and economic—loss if its springs were degraded. Equinox Documentaries will explore the mysteries of these springs with rare footage—revealing labyrinthic limestone chambers, rare and endemic animals, and prehistoric fossils of mastodons and other Ice Age animals. But it will also bring to light more treacherous “secrets” that show how the flow of major springs has been steadily declining over the last 50 years, and why the once-pure waters often are clogged with nitrates. The most closely held secret is that humans may have done more damage to our magical springs in the last half century than others have done in the last ten thousand years. Website:

Huicholes del Tabaco (México, 10 min) Directed by Cesar Rodriguez. Year after year, family members of the indigenous ethnic group of Huicholes, from the Sierra Madre of Nayarit and Jalisco, leave their communities in search of jobs as tobacco laborers in the northern coastline of the state of Nayarit. Most of them come with their entire family,including pregnant women, children and new born babies.

Ice Dwellers (USA 13 min) Directed by Barbara Klutinis. Inhabitants of arctic and antarctic regions wander through landscapes of dwindling ice.

Immondezza (Italy, 41 min) Directed by Mimmo Calopresti. A documentary about Keep Clean and Run, a race against the abandonment of waste, through which two testimonial athletes walk paths, parks, and squares collecting the waste and telling people the reasons for their gesture and their commitment.

Into the Forest I Go (Finland, 91 min) Directed by Anu Kuivalainen. The film delves into the soul of the forest people, the Finns. Entirely set in the forest, the protagonists sleep under spruce trees, make art, hunt with their dogs, hold techno raves in the summer night and earn living as forest owners. As the film progresses, we begin to gain a more and more versatile view of the forest as a biological organism, as a spiritual retreat for humans, a source of inspiration and a complete living environment supporting us all.

Intraterrestrial (56 min) Directed by Alexander and Nicole Gratovsky. The Shore and the Ocean. The frozen and the fluid. The artificial and the genuine. Humans and dolphins. Two ways of life. Two mentalities. A dialogue about two world-systems. Is contact possible between them? Intraterrestrial - inhabitants of the Earth - not us OR them, but us WITH them.

It Ain't Easy Being Green (USA, 35 min) Directed by Crystal Fortwangler. In the U.S. Virgin Islands, green iguanas are dramatically increasing in number and spreading. The situation has left most humans and iguanas scratching their heads about how to get by in the fast-changing island environment. The film engages in a lively debate about when and where animals are welcome, and if it is possible to create environments where it is easier for humans and all species to coexist. Of mounting concern is the challenges to balance local agricultural production and space for the iguanas.

Job 1 (1 min) A puppet animation about employment.

Lake Victoria: An Ecosystem in Turmoil (Australia, 37 min) Directed by Benj Binks. Lake Victoria: An Ecosystem in Turmoil explores how the environmental degradation of Lake Victoria is affecting the people and communities who call the lake and basin their home. Produced with local journalists in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, the film features a series of personal stories that reveal how the quest to make a living in the basin is impacting negatively on the lake. With dwindling fish stocks leading to clashes between fishermen, farmers tainting the waters with chemicals, and miners washing mercury into the food chain, the film provides an in-depth overview of just how under siege Lake Victoria’s ecosystem is. Interviews with scientists, environmentalists and experts give an insight into the scope of the challenges and outline some of the solutions at work to prevent the loss of Lake Victoria.

Lost Springs (USA, 40 min) Directed by Matt Keene. Lost Springs follows the inimitable artist Margaret Ross Tolbert as she experiences the magic and beauty of a series of freshwater Florida springs forgotten by the state and left to decay behind a nearly fifty-year-old failure of big government spending. Every three or more years, the water behind the Kirkpatrick Dam in north-central Florida is lowered, exposing an environment that is still raw with both tragedy and hope. This lowering of the water known as a 'drawdown' allows more than 20 springs to cough back to life for a short few months before the weight of the water comes back and smothers their flow again. The film explores themes of loss, wonder and experience in nature as Tolbert joins local and regional experts on a boat trip up the long-fabled Ocklawaha River to witness this newly-revealed, transient landscape and to find the lost springs of the Ocklawaha. The film defends the uniqueness of a free-flowing river and its historical, cultural and recreational importance to the state of Florida. It celebrates the wonder of Florida springs through Tolbert's original paintings of springs seen only during this short period of time every several years and captivates the viewer with a first-ever filmed cave dive by cave-diving experts Mark Long and Tom Morris.

My Garden, No Longer (USA, 17 min) Directed by Scott E. Schimmel. The people of Vanuatu, a country once dubbed the happiest place on earth, struggle to maintain their culture and traditions as climate change takes hold. This documentary short explores the impacts that climate change is having on the people of Malekula Island in Vanuatu, as told through conversations villagers have with each other as they go about their daily lives.

Nerve (USA, 61 min) Directed by Ben Evans. After returning from the Vietnam War, Craig Williams looked forward to some normalcy as a cabinetmaker. But in 1984, when he discovered that the Department of Defense planned to incinerate over 500 tons of the world’s deadliest nerve agents and chemical weapons stockpiled in his small Kentucky hometown, Williams began the fight of his life. “NERVE” tells the remarkable David vs. Goliath story of the Kentucky Environmental Foundation - a small band of ordinary people who, led by Williams' three decades of creative determination, focus, and coalition-building, stood up to the world’s most powerful bureaucracy - building an international movement from the ground up, transforming the way nations destroy their chemical weapons, winning the 2006 Goldman Environmental Prize, and continuing to empower citizens around the world to stand up for their environmental rights.

Polly the Hip Polyp (USA, 2 min) Directed by Polita Glynn. “Now, I think I'm the coolest of the creatures in the sea but sometimes it's confusing - even just for me! 'Cause I'm a little polyp -  maybe not what you call 'hip,' they named me a 'cnidarian' - who knows, but some librarian??”

Resilience (USA, 30 min) In an age when the world's power grids are vulnerable to war, terrorist attack, and an increasing rate of extreme weather events, how can communities stay safe in the face of such dangers? “Resilience” tells a forgotten story of the destruction of a a vast power grid serving five million people during  a devastating natural disaster in 1998. Twenty years later researchers from the heart of that disaster are developing a new kind of power grid designed to withstand the coming threats. Based in part on the book “The Grid and the Village,” this short documentary takes us inside the zone of darkness of that crushed grid and provides a look ahead at a more resilient future.

Sprayed (USA, 39 min) Directed by Craig Leon. This documentary explores what happens when different communities get sprayed from above. Whether it is Naled sprayed on Miami residents for the War on Zika, or the neurotoxin Agent Orange sprayed over the Vietcong in the War on Vietnam, or the release of GMO mosquitoes over Brazilians with pyriproxyfen added to their drinking water in the War on Dengue, what are the results for nature and humanity? Sprayed brings the viewer to the Vietnamese detoxification and rehabilitation centers to meet Agent Orange survivors, parents the babies born with microcephaly that triggered the global response to Zika, and to sprayed Florida residents. Perspectives of doctors, scientists, and politicians are balanced with voices of with ordinary citizens and victims to explore their concerns about the the potential impact on future generations.

Standing Rock Take Me From The River (USA, 29 min) Directed by Denny Rauen. For many citizens a line had been crossed, inspiring thousands from across the political spectrum traveling to Standing Rock and joining the resistance to Dakota Access Pipeline. This story follows the experience of a few of those citizens from Milwaukee, Wisconsin with members of the Overpass Light Brigade and Michael Bootzin making for this "brew city" journey into water protecting. In the Spring of 2016, the call went out, no one would have guessed that by November the camp would grow and the movement would gain so much support around the world. This film is a glimpse into our future. Over 850 citizens were arrested during this resistance to protect the water. The fight is not over, the sacred fire has been kicked out, but the embers have traveled the world and are again ablaze! Today water protectors can be found in cities everywhere including Water Protectors of Milwaukee as Native Americans lead the important challenges to protect our environment.

Steroids Are Bad For The Brain (USA, 4 min) Directed by Gabriel Tyner. One man quits the steroid prednisone and takes up alternative medicine to save his mind.


Straws (USA, 33 min) Directed by Linda Booker. With colorful straw history animation and segments narrated by Oscar winner Tim Robbins, Straws leaves audiences with a clear understanding of the problems caused by plastic pollution and empowers individuals to be part of the solution. It's estimated that each day in the U.S., over 500,000,000 straws are used once and tossed. Ocean Conservancy ranks plastic straws as the number five most popular found item on beaches and the vast majority of them aren't recycled, so they wind up in landfills, litter streets and add to the estimated 8.5 metric tons of plastic debris in oceans annually.

Streams Of Plastic (France, 4 min) Directed by Gary Bencheghib. Rivers and creeks are like arteries that flow to our heart, the Ocean. Plastic pollution is like cholesterol trying to get to the heart, downstream. "Streams of Plastic" is a short film about the impact and rivers have on the quality of our water in the ocean, and what we can do about it. Join us for a journey to Central America and Southeast Asia where groups are helping to stop the flow of the community's "cholesterol" - plastic pollution, before it impacts those further downstream, or once at sea and along our coastlines and reefs.  Everyone in any watershed community or coastline can use the power of the Global Alert app/platform to help inspire cleanups and long term solutions to slow the flow of trash in their waters.

The Activists: War, Peace, and Politics in the Streets (USA, 60 min) Directed by Melody Shemtov. The Activists: War, Peace, and Politics in the Streets is a documentary film that brings to life the stories of ordinary people who tried to stop and end the U.S. wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  It introduces, among others, a young man who joined the military during high school and then later became a leading opponent of U.S. foreign policy; a grandmother who asked to go to Iraq instead of her grandchildren; a woman who confronted the Secretary of State with "blood" on her hands; college students at a dance party to "funk the war"; and a woman who has been an activist since she grew up attending "ban the bomb" rallies in the 1950s. The film shows that activists come from many different walks of life.

The End Game (Canada, 29 min) Directed by Duane Sharman. Coral bleaching, driven by rising sea temperatures, has grown from isolated, regional events to become a global threat.  Dr. Ruth Gates leads a team of scientists in Hawaii, in the race to save coral reefs.

The Global Connection: Saving Florida's Springs (USA, 39 min) Directed by Sami Kattan. The Global Connection - If we observe and listen closely, our world communicates to us. Local filmmaker, Sami Kattan, and producer, Tessa Skiles, have been traveling the Springs Heartland for a year, exploring the hidden gems of Florida and seeking out the opinions of leading experts on the current state of Florida's water resources. From springs hunting, to mystical mermaids, to interviews with National Geographic Explorers, the goal behind this film is to bring the people of Florida together, to educate them on the threats facing the water they consume on a daily basis, how they can change the future of a growing water crisis, and to show why Florida springs are a looking glass into the health of our most vital natural resource, water.

The Invisible Mammal (10 min) Directed by Kristin Tieche. The Invisible Mammal is a film series about the struggle that bats face to survive, specifically in North America, where white nose syndrome is causing sharp decline in populations of certain bat species. The series will also address issues like climate change and habitat destruction, and the role that humans must take to save bats from extinction.

The Stolen River (India, 39 min) Directed by Krisztina Danka Yamuna, a sacred river in India, at a certain point suddenly disappears, to be replaced by an open flow of sewage, killing all living organisms within and making millions ill who rely on the water. The most vulnerable ones, infants, young children and farm animals are dying by the thousands. But when the situation appears hopeless, a few unlikely heroes emerge to try to save this “stolen river.”

The Thinking Garden (Canada, 35 min) Directed by Christine Welsh. This is a film about resilience – three generations of older women in a village in South Africa who came together in the dying days of apartheid to create a community garden. In the midst of severe drought and political turmoil, older women with limited access to land and little political voice joined together, beyond the household, beyond their kin, to make something new. They named their garden Hleketani – “thinking” in the local xiTsonga language – a place where women gather to think about how to effect change. The garden provides affordable vegetables to local people, nourishes those living with HIV/AIDS, and offers land, community, and opportunity for women. In short, the garden has helped restore the lives of people pushed to the edge. Filmed against the backdrop of a new drought gripping southern Africa, The Thinking Garden tells the remarkable story of what can happen when older women take matters into their own hands, and shows how local action in food production can give even the most vulnerable people a measure of control over their food and their futures.

The Trees Around You (Canada, 23 min) A short documentary aimed to bring awareness about the old-growth forests on Vancouver Island and the indigenous people that live among them. Many of the areas that were shot in this film have already been logged and this footage is some of the last to see them in their full glory.

Water Warriors (USA, 22 min) Directed by Michael Premo. Water Warriors is the story of a community’s successful fight to protect their water from the oil and natural gas industry. In 2013, Texas-based SWN Resources arrived in New Brunswick, Canada to explore for natural gas. The region is known for its forestry, farming and fishing industries, which are both commercial and small-scale subsistence operations that rural communities depend on. In response, a multicultural group of unlikely warriors–including members of the Mi’kmaq Elsipogtog First Nation, French-speaking Acadians and white, English-speaking families–set up a series of road blockades, preventing exploration. After months of resistance, their efforts not only halted drilling; they elected a new government and won an indefinite moratorium on fracking in the province.

What Matters (11 min) What Matters is a film about Dan Broun and Al Long, two talented wilderness photographers who are passionate about the wilderness that surrounds them. Dan and Al are deep in the Tarkine rainforest exploring small rivers and landscapes documenting the extraordinary beauty of a wild Tasmanian landscape. They discuss what inspires them as individuals and their role in the Bob Brown Foundation artist initiative to help protect and save the Tarkine wilderness. The film is a combination of personal profiles, the wilderness and ‘Tarkine in Motion” the artist movement designed to save the beautiful Tarkine area.

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