2014 Award Winners

Cinema Verde is pleased to announce the following awards made to the films shown at the 2014 Environmental Film and Arts Festival:

Audience Choice: Scott Camil Will Not Die; Director: Georg Koszulinski (USA)

Best in Show: The Wisdom to Survive: Climate Change, Capitalism & Community; Directors: John Ankele and Anne Macksoud (USA)

Best Solution: Growing Cities; Director: Dan Susman (USA)

International College Film Competition Winner: As We Grow; Director: Tyler Lee (USA)

Best High School Film: From Farm to Table; Director: Gabrielle Giacomo (USA)

Cinema Verité Award: Bhopali; Director: Van Maximilian Carlson (US/India)

Most Engaging: Who’s Afraid of the Cape Cod Bear?; Director: Maryanne Galvin (USA)

Most Revealing: Terms and Conditions May Apply; Director: Cullen (USA)

Animal Award: Speciesism; Director: Mark Devries (USA)

Earth Award: Trashed; Director: Candida Brady (UK)

Education Award: The Paw Project; Director: Jennifer Conrad (USA)

Energy Award: Do the Math; Produced by 350.org (USA)

Health Award: The Human Experiment; Directors: Dana Nachman and Don Hardy Jr. (USA)

Food Award: GMO OMG; Director: Jeremy Siefert (US/Haiti/Norway)

Local Award: Hungry for Justice: Spotlight on the South; Director: Shellie Rogers (Gainesville, FL USA)

Peace Award: Reactor; Director: Ian MacKenzie (Canada)

Sustainable Business Award: In the Magic of the Green Mountains; Director: Scott Chamberlin Hoyt (USA)

Whistleblower Award: Monsters; Director: Melissa Thompson (USA)

Other 2014 Festival Selections:

Sea the Truth, Directed by Claudine Everaert (The Netherlands)

De Haas in de Marathon (The Pacer in the Marathon), Directed by Joost de Haas (The Netherlands)

Une Philosophie Des Yeux Fermes, Le Corps Comme Reserve Naturelle, Directed by Sacha Kullberg (Belgium)

A Will for the Woods, Directed by Amy Browne (USA)

A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet, Directed by Mark Kitchell (USA)

Cape Spin!, Directed by Daniel Coffin (USA)

The Atomic States of America, Directed by Don Argott and Sheena M. Joyce (USA)

Gasland II, Directed by Josh Fox (USA)

Reynaldo, Directed by Dan Childs and Nick Werber (UK)

International College Film Competition Winners:

Tailings, Directed by Sam Price-Waldman (Chapman University, USA)

Agua Mala, Directed by Ryan Perez-Hicks (Universidad del Sagrado Corazón, Puerto Rico)

A Simpler Way, Directed by Michael O. Snyder (Frostburg University, USA)

We Are the Land, Directed by Lauren Lindberg (Chapman University, USA)

Cinema Verde 2013 Film Awards 

Film synopses included below award list

Audience Choice: Radio Love; Director: Hideyuki Tokigawa (Hiroshima, JAPAN)

Best in Show: We Are Water; Director: Jill Heinerth (High Springs, FL)

Best Solution: Ground Operations: Battlefields to Farmfields; Director: Dulanie Ellis (USA)

Best College Film: Borders of Wilderness; Director: Gabriella Garcia-Pardo (USA)

Best High School Film: A Quest for Peace: Nonviolence Among Religions; Director Matthew J. Evans (USA)

Cinema Verité Award: Growthbusters; Director: Dave Gardner (USA)

Most Engaging: A Fierce Green Fire; Director: Mark Kitchell (USA)

Most Revealing: The Hidden Debt; Director: Edu González (SPAIN)

Animal Award: Scars of Freedom; Director: Celine Cousteau (USA)

Earth Award: Grow; Directors: Anthony-Masterson (USA)

Education Award: School’s Out: Lessons from a Forest Kindergarten; Director: Lisa Molomot (USA)

Energy Award: Fukushame; Director: Alessandro Tesei (ITALY)

Health Award: Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare; Directors: Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke (USA)

Food Award: Symphony of the Soil; Director: Deborah Koons Garcia (USA)

Local Award: From Waterway to Greenway; Director: Darren Preston Lane (Gainesville, FL)

Peace Award: 1948 and Counting; Director: Steve McGuire (USA)

Sustainable Business Award: Coal Rush; Directors: Lorena Luciano & Filippo Piscopo (USA)

Whistleblower Award: You’ve Been Trumped; Director: Anthony Baxter (UK)

For film trailers and additional info:http://www.CinemaVerde.org/films/

Congratulations and Thank You to All!


2013 Film Synopsis

Voices of Transition . Voices of Transition is an enthusiastic documentary on farmers- and community-led responses to food insecurity in a scenario of climate change, peak oil and economic crisis. Concrete examples from Cuba, France and the UK tell us of a future society where our monoculture deserts will once again be living soil, where fields will be introduced into our cities, and where independence from oil will help us to live a richer, more fulfilling life.

Radio Love. A charismatic radio DJ in Hiroshima, is so disillusioned he wants to quit his job. One day, the radio DJ saves a young girl who is about to fall off a bridge. This girl pleads with him not to leave radio because the radio helps connect people. But he doesn’t believe her. But then a series of strange events that revolve around even stranger characters occur, and he is forced to a realization. The radio DJ start opening to the invisible connection between the radio and the people of Hiroshima in a magical way.

Fukushame: The Lost Japan. “A travel both into the No Go Zone of Fukushima and in Japanese people’s feelings and beliefs after the reaction to nuclear disaster. Seven months after the disaster photographer Alessandro Tesei succeeded in entering the forbidden area. Fukushame has gathered images from Tesei’s trip, numerous interviews of both common people and politicians and special contributions of scientific explanations of great significance.”   *World premiere.

Ground Operations: Battlefields to Farmfields.  Ground Operations: Battlefields to Farmfields‘ tells the stories of combat vets who are restoring their lives and serving their communities through new careers in organic farming and ranching. America needs a million new farmers. Veterans want the job!  *World premiere

Scars of Freedom. This short documentary is the story of the repercussions of human negligence juxtaposed with the incredible power of human compassion. An entangled humpback whale, left for dead; a fishing net, her anvil. Untrained for such missions, we nonetheless set off to her rescue and captured incredible up-close footage. Beautiful images of humpbacks swimming through the protected blue waters off Hawaii offer a contrast to the story, concluding with a powerful statement; ‘Change begins with the heart.’  *World premiere

School’s Out: Lessons from a Forest Kindergarten. No classroom for these kindergarteners. In Switzerland’s Langnau am Albis, a suburb of Zurich, children 4 to 7 years of age, go to kindergarten in the woods every day, no matter what the weatherman says. The filmmakers follow the forest kindergarten through the seasons of one school year to make their documentary film ‘School’s Out: Lessons from a Forest Kindergarten‘. This eye-opening film looks into the important question of what it is that children need at that age. There is laughter, beauty and amazement in the process of finding out.  *World premiere

Up On The Farm. A meditation on urban green spaces and the post-industrial cityscape,Up On The Farm explores a one-acre rooftop organic farm in New York City. Connecting the built and natural environments, this video documents an imaginative experiment in green urban redevelopment, and takes a look at an attempt to transform the roof of a century-old former factory into a sustainable, pastoral haven.  *World premiere

We Are In The Field.  Filmed in a fly-on-the-wall style, this raw and inspiring documentary follows 26 year old Manoj Gautam, a modern day, third world hero on a passionate quest to protect animals and wildlife from cruelty and extinction. Inspired by the work of his mentor Dr. Jane Goodall, with minimal resources and no formal training he is creating a network of allies across the country, busting animal smugglers, protecting fragile ecosystems, rescuing abused animals, and galvanizing an environmental movement.

Symphony of the Soil. Drawing from ancient knowledge and cutting edge science, Symphony of the Soil is an artistic exploration of the miraculous substance soil. By understanding the elaborate relationships and mutuality between soil, water, the atmosphere, plants and animals, we come to appreciate the complex and dynamic nature of this precious resource. Filmed on four continents, featuring esteemed scientists and working farmers and ranchers, Symphony of the Soil is an intriguing presentation that highlights possibilities of healthy soil creating healthy plants creating healthy humans living on a healthy planet.  *World premiere

1948 and Counting. Reports on Costa Rica’s ability to manage without a military since 1948, despite invasions based in Nicaragua. Addresses the role of private armies serving multinational corporations, and whether the country’s civil guard is a military by another name. Touches on the colonial history and explores whether Costa Rica depends on US military backing, and whether it is able to maintain independence from the US.  *World premiere

Coal Rush.  A documentary-film that takes place in West Virginia, yet serves as a cautionary tale for a world heavily relying on fossil fuels that come with a hefty price for society. The film, bringing to light one of the worst yet least publicized US industrial contamination disasters, focuses on courageous Appalachians who fight to defend their human right to clean water — and persevere in their quest for truth and justice. Coal Rush dramatizes the human and societal costs a democracy faces when it relies on cheap energy, and rings an alarm bell on the environmental hazards potentially affecting any of us – rural or urban.

A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Livable Planet. The first big-picture exploration of the environmental movement – grassroots and global activism spanning fifty years from conservation to climate change. From halting dams in the Grand Canyon to battling 20,000 tons of toxic waste at Love Canal; from Greenpeace saving the whales to Chico Mendes and the rubbertappers saving the Amazon; from climate change to the promise of transforming our civilization… the film tells vivid stories about people fighting – and succeeding – against enormous odds.”

  • Official Selection at Sundance Film Festival, 2012
  • Official Selection at Environmental Film Festival, 2012
  • Official Selection at Sheffield Doc/Fest, 2012
  • Official Selection at Newport Beach Film Festival, 2012

We Are Water. An imaginative, entertaining, and enlightening documentary, illustrating the fragile relationship between our planet’s endangered freshwater resources, and the ever increasing needs of our expanding population.”   Finalist of eDward – The Young Filmmaker’s Award, 2010

You’ve Been Trumped. “American billionaire Donald Trump has bought up hundreds of acres on the northeast coast of Scotland, and he needs to buy out a few more locals to make the deal come true. In a land swimming with golf courses, Trump is going to build two more – alongside a 450-room hotel and 1,500 luxury homes. The trouble is, the land he has purchased occupies one of Europe’s most environmentally sensitive stretches of coast, described by one leading scientist as Scotland’s Amazon rain forest. And the handful of local residents don’t want it destroyed.”

  • Scottish Screen Archive Prize For Best Feature Documentary, 2011
  • Green Award- one of top environmental awards for UK documentaries, 2011
  • Audience Award at DaKINO International Film Festival, 2011
  • Maysles Brothers Award, Denver International Film Festival, 2011
  • Special Prize at Hamptons International Film Festival, 2011
  • Director’s Choice Award at Sedona International Film Festival, 2011
  • Sheffield Green Award at Sheffield International Documentary Festival, 2011

Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare.  Exposes the perverse nature of American healthcare, contrasting the powerful forces opposing change with the compelling stories of pioneering leaders and the patients they seek to help. The film is about finding a way out. It’s about saving the health of a nation.”

  • Kathleen Bryan Edwards Award for Human Rights at Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, 2012
  • Achievement Award at Newport Beach Film Festival, 2012
  • Best Documentary Feature at Ojai Film Festival, 2012
  • React to Film Social Issue Award at Silverdocs Documentary Festival, 2012

Growthbusters . Water shortages, hunger, peak oil, species extinction, and even increasing depression are all symptoms of a deeper problem – addiction to unending growth in a world that has limits. GrowthBusters: Hooked on Growth goes way beyond prescribing Band-Aids to slow the bleeding. This film examines the cultural barriers that prevent us from reacting rationally to the evidence current levels of population and consumption are unsustainable.

The Happy Movie. HAPPY takes us on a journey from the swamps of Louisiana to the slums of Kolkata in search of what really makes people happy. Combining real life stories of people from around the world and powerful interviews with the leading scientists in happiness research,HAPPY explores the secrets behind our most valued emotion.

  • Winner of Audience Choice at Arizona International Film Festival, 2010
  • Winner of Best Documentary at Mexico International Film Festival, 2010
  • Winner of Grand Jury Prize at Amsterdam Film Festival, 2010

The Hidden Debt. Nowadays, a great deal of the material we consume is brought from far away. Many of the products we consume and produce in the North come from Southern or impoverished countries where contaminating and hiring workers with precarious employment conditions is easier and cheaper. All of the environmental and social impacts taking place in Southern countries due to our economic activity and consumption rate involve a debt: the ecological debt.

Elemental. Tells the story of three individuals united by their deep connection with nature and driven to confront some of the most pressing ecological challenges of our time. Separated by continents yet sharing an unwavering commitment to protecting nature, the characters in this story are complex, flawed, postmodern heroes for whom stemming the tide of environmental destruction fades in and out of view – part mirage, part miracle.

  • Official Selection at Austin Film Festival
  • Official Selection at India International Film Festival

Himalayan Meltdown. A 45-minute documentary film co-produced by the UN Development Programme, Discovery Asia, and Arrowhead Films. The movie examines the human development impact of the glacial ice melt on communities in Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, India and Nepal. It shows the plight of the affected countries and the ways they are adapting, adjusting and preparing for tomorrow’s inevitable changes in the Himalayan glaciers.  Platinum Award for Broadcast Documentary at Worldfest International Film Festival, 2012

Las Semillas.  Las Semillas is an Argentine production depicting the conscious and subconscious energies that each one of us has, which have the ability to influence others, ourselves and our surroundings positively and negatively. We all have seeds from our past and it is up to us to work to make them conscious and transform them positively. Our energy can be passed on to others, to close ones, strangers and places with a strength that we do not realize. It is an invisible force, which we are not always aware we have or that it has the power of changing the world and its environment. It is up to individuals and human society to channel this energy to allow our future earth to be healthy and prosperous.

Grow. It’s not just ‘Old MacDonald’ on the farm anymore. All across the U.S. there is a growing movement of educated young people who are leaving the cities to take up an agrarian life. Armed with college degrees, some are unable to find jobs in the current economic slump. Fed up with corporate America and its influence on a broken food system, they aim to solve some of the current system’s inequities by growing clean, fair food. Mostly landless, they borrow, rent or manage farmland in order to fulfill their dreams of doing something meaningful with their lives.

  • Winner of Best American Documentary at Rome International Film Festival, 2011
  • Winner of Best Documentary Short at Asheville Cinema Festival, 2011
  • Winner of Audience Choice at Atlanta Docufest, 2011
  • Winner of Best Feature at Colorado Environmental Film Festival, 2012

Beyond the Myth. Unfairly known as violent killers, Pit Bulls have suffered from the stigma of negative media coverage that has lead to city-wide bans across the country. This breed-specific legislation has torn pets away from families, and killed thousands of innocent dogs in cities like Denver, Miami, Cincinnati, and San Francisco. The film investigates the myths associated with these breeds, challenges the idea that they are inherently vicious, and presents eye-opening research regarding the media’s role in influencing people’s opinion on dog attacks.

From Waterway to Greenway. Multiple interviews, thousands of miles of traveling and countless hours of editing. It is not another documentary that spoon feeds its audience, nor is it pandering to the lowest common denominator. The final story is one that will tell the viewer of a piece of Florida history that never came into be. From Waterway to Greenway will have you asking the question of how other states and countries are preserving their lands.

In The Same Boat. Set in the rugged landscape of coastal Newfoundland, Canada and the spectacular ranchlands of Southern Alberta, Canada, “In The Same Boat” is an intimate portrait of one of Newfoundland’s last remaining inshore cod fishermen and the lessons he has to share with Alberta’s farmers.  Through the stories of Bill Molloy and Norm Watmough we will gain a new understanding of the value of living off the land and the sea. And the consequences of taking both for granted.Set in the rugged landscape of coastal Newfoundland, Canada and the spectacular ranchlands of Southern Alberta, Canada, “In The Same Boat” is an intimate portrait of one of Newfoundland’s last remaining inshore cod fishermen and the lessons he has to share with Alberta’s farmers.

College Films

The Borders of Wilderness. USA World Premiere. From a series of outwardly inconvenient moments during my first time truly camping and doing so alone, I had the time to discover questions I wanted to bring to light. The Borders of Wilderness is as much a personal exploration as it is an essay, ode to an island, and a poetic cracking open of ironies. I went to Cumberland Island at a strange point in my life with the idea of unearthing the controversy around the wild horses and retained rights. What I found, however, was an amazing contradiction in how we envision wilderness. I began the film during the end of my junior year of college and continued the piece as my senior thesis. It is not about right or wrong, black or white or supplying a definite answer. The short is simply an attempt to allow us to step back for a moment and think about the wild. To truly look at an idea we may think we so clearly understand, to question our preconceived notions and examine about how we use our words. Thank you for your time, Gabriella Garcia-Pardo

The Vanishing Herds: The Fate of the America Mustang. USA WORLD PREMIERE.  Asks one simple question: Why are wild horses, an iconic symbol of the American spirit, disappearing? This student-produced documentary is a thought-provoking and riveting exploration into the government’s controversial removal of wild horses from America’s public lands.

High School Films

La Huerta, just round the corner.  Spain WORLD PREMIERE.  In Europe, measures to protect the native nature-rich landscapes have broad public support. However, the historical environments of agriculture, which traditionally supplied to towns and villages do not seem to have that same public support. Rarely, measures are implemented to preserve a landscape and a way of agricultural life seriously threatened by the globalized system of food exploitation. The region of La Huerta of Valencia has one of the world’s most fertile soils and composes a unique environment both for its scenic beauty and heritage assets. It has a unique and fundamental feature: reflects a historical and equitable system of the use of water for irrigation that still remains since its creation in the high middle ages. At present, the future of this characteristic Mediterranean landscape is at stake.

A Quest for Peace: Nonviolence Among Religions.  USA WORLD PREMIERE.  Young filmmaker, Matthew J. Evans, takes a look at one of the most pressing issues in our modern society: violence among religions. Through discussions with Arun Gandhi, grandson of M.K. Gandhi, and local religious leaders from the Central Coast of California, Matthew learns powerful lessons about nonviolence, acceptance, and cultural understanding. As Gandhi has said, ‘We must become the change we wish to see in our world!’ This film helps us understand how we can make these changes.

Cinema Verde Festival 2012


The 2012 Cinema Verde Film Festival presented 8 days of award winning environmental films to festival goers February 24 – March 2, 2012. Films included professional environmental feature films, documentaries, shorts, and winners of national and international film competitions.

2012 Cinema Verde Film Awards

Best in Show: Deep Green; Director: Matt Briggs
Audience ChoiceConfessions of the Eco-Terrorist; Director: Peter Brown
Earth Award: Scarred Lands and Wounded Lives; Directors: Alice and Lincoln Day
Energy AwardThe Pipe; Director: Richie O’Donnell
Whistleblower AwardPricele$$; Director: Steven Cowan
Best Local Issue: Cash Mob @ Alachua County Farmer’s Market; Director: Shelley Rogers
Best Water Issue: Bottled Life – Nestle’s Business with Water; Director: Urs Schnell
Best Air Issue: Silent Snow; Director: Jan Vanderberg
Best Animal Issue: The Dolphin Defender; Director: Hardy Jones
Best Food Issue: Vegucated; Director: Marisa Miller Wolfson
Best Solution: Burning in the Sun; Directors: Cambria Matlow and Morgan Robinson
Most Revealing: Scientists Under Attack; Director: Bertram Verhaag
Most Engaging: Mad City Chickens; Directors: Tashai Lovington and Robert Lughai
Best Dramatization: Dog in the Manger; Director: Renzo Zanelli
Global Warming Award: Miss South Pacific; Director: Mary Lambert
Cinema Verité Award: Precarious; Director: Marilyn Fairskye

International College Competition
Gold Star: Among Giants; Directors: Chris Cresci and Sam Price-Waldman
Silver Star: A Wild Idea; Director: Veronica Moscoso

National High School Competition
Best Young Filmmaker:
 Cardboard; Director: Tara-Nicole Azarian
Hope Award: Echoes of Exxon; Director: Lauren Lindberg
Promise Award: Green Waste; Directors: Denise M. Stilley, Bridget Johnson, Derek Coats, Kayla Peterson

Gainesville sculptor John Patterson and Molly Seebol, Cinema Verde arts interns from
Santa Fe College, collaborated to create customized awards .

Cinema Verde 2011 Festival Program

Cinema Verde 2010 Festival Program