Cinema Verde 2015 Environmental Film Festival
The 6th annual Cinema Verde Environmental Film Festival featured over 30 films and 12 exciting live musical performances over 4 days.
Above All Else
One man will risk it all to stop tar sands oil from crossing his land through the Keystone XL pipeline. Shot in the forests, pastures, and living rooms of rural East Texas as David Daniel he rallies neighbors and environmental activists to join him in a final act of brinkmanship: a tree-top blockade of the controversial pipeline. What begins as a stand against corporate bullying becomes a rallying cry for climate protesters nationwide.
Alegria - A Humanitarian Expedition
Alegria - A Humanitarian Expedition tells the story of an epic solo expedition across the Himalaya that changed the life of thousands of people in need. Supporting leprosy patients and mentally destitute women in India, Christoph von Toggenburg cycled 3200km on the world’s highest tracks pulling a 40kg trailer packed with survival gear. With little air to breathe and facing temperatures between -15°C to +45°C he crossed mountain passes higher than 5500m mastering a total of 50’000m, Christoph fell altitude sick and was hit by rock fall. Crossing Nepal during the Maoist unrests, conflict stricken Kashmir, Christoph encountered wonderful hospitality, found new friends, and saw some of the world’s most spectacular landscapes. He became film-maker, actor, fund-and awareness-raiser in one person capturing this epic adventure entirely by himself.
Two brothers ride recycled bicycles through the American South over two years, seeking radical locality amid rampant globalization. As they learn to survive on the road, several modern homesteading communities take them in, guiding them toward the west coast and turning their idea of the American Dream on its head.
Philip Wollen makes an impactful case against animals on your menus in front of an audience at the St. James Ethics Centre and the Wheeler Centre. Wollen then passes the debate onto a six-person panel, with three members supporting his case and three making an argument to continue to keep animals on the menu.
Following stories about the effects of fracking in Pennsylvania, Colorado, North Dakota, and Montana, an eerie similarity emerges despite the vast differences in geography, personal histories, and different stages of hydro-fracking development that involves increasingly difficult methods of fossil fuel extraction at increasing costs to the people and the environment. Interspersed throughout these human stories are animated illustrations of the bigger “puzzle picture” of which each story is only one small piece.
A Climate of TRUST
A Climate of TRUST is the story of the scientists who developed the scientific prescriptions necessary for climate recovery, the attorney who figured out the legal basis for the right to a healthy atmosphere, and one of OUR CHILDREN'S TRUST's attorneys who is supporting these youth in court.
This fictionalized historical thriller interwoven with Hindi cultural meaning is a tribute to the approximately 250,000 people who lost their lives in the world’s worst, man-made dam disaster in 1975 in China. The story of the collapse of the Banqiao dam was not revealed to the world for over 15 years. With a toll worse than that of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, this film tells that story with The message: The same thing could happen elsewhere in the near future. Dam999, a fact worth waiting for.
Dancing in Jaffa
Pierre Dulaine, four-time ballroom dancing world champion, is fulfilling a life-long dream when he takes his program, Dancing Classrooms, back to his city of birth, Jaffa. Over a ten-week period, Pierre teaches Jewish and Palestinian Israeli children to dance and compete together. The film explores the complex stories of three children, all of whom are forced to confront issues of identity, segregation, and racial prejudice as they dance with their enemy.
Dancing With Thoreau
Explores how and why we, as a Western society, can and should reconnect with our environment. How does a connection with our natural environment strengthen our spiritual, physical, creative, economic, and intellectual pursuits? How can the cultivation of a spiritual practice support a healthy and balanced natural environment? Dancing with Thoreau weaves film and photography together with commentary from renowned teachers, naturalists, farmers, scientists, and spiritual leaders to explore these questions.
All Claudia Kanne did was have her wool blankets dry-cleaned and life as she knew it disappeared forever. She unknowingly ingested the toxic dry-cleaning solvent, tetrachloroethylene, aka perchloroethylene, until her body reached its 'saturation point' and could no longer fight back. A burden to her husband, she crawled away like an elephant going to a graveyard, to spend her last days in a motel with nothing but the clothes on her back, to find out what was killing her. After fighting for six years, Claudia's efforts helped establish the first banning of the chemical in the U.S., and the beginning of Greener Cleaners.
Exploring Glen Springs
Local water activists explore Gainesville’s fresh waterways and how they have been integrated into the city – even crawling beneath behemoth stores to follow the waters.
Fleming's Legacy tells the story of agricultural entrepreneur David Thomas Fleming and his role as an early conservationist on Maui. The film also shares the efforts of his granddaughter and others to carry on his work in the native plant arboretum that bears his name.
This exposé traces the efforts to defeat the $4 trillion global supermarket industry by an intrepid group of Florida farm workers who create an ingenious Fair Food program, which partners with growers and retailers to improve working conditions for farm laborers in the United States.
Since the 1970s Majuli islander Jadav Payeng has been planting trees in order to save his island. To date, he has single-handedly planted a forest larger than Central Park NYC. His forest has transformed what was once a barren wasteland into a lush oasis.
From Billions to None: The Passenger Pigeon's Flight to Extinction
This film reveals the compelling story of the unlikely extinction of the passenger pigeon and explores the pigeon’s striking relevance to conservation issues today, such as the alarming depletion of shark species worldwide. For centuries, the sleek long-distance flier was the most abundant bird in North America and perhaps the world. On September 1, 1914, Martha, the last passenger pigeon in captivity, died in the Cincinnati Zoo, marking the end of the species, and the upcoming centenary of the extinction event.
In His Own Home
Heavily armed officers of the University of Florida police department in Gainesville, FL, responding to a 911 call from a neighbor who heard screams, break into the campus apartment of Ghanaian graduate student, Kofi Adu-Brempong. Clad in SWAT gear and ready to attack, they see the disabled doctoral student, sitting with a metal table leg in his hand and within a minute of entry, shoot the unarmed man in the face. Adu-Brempong, who because of childhood polio, needed a cane to walk, and had been suffering from mental illness, now has severe facial injuries, and is charged with resisting arrest. He is guarded outside his hospital door, his legs shackled together when going to the bathroom. The officer who shoots Kofi, and who had previously been caught cruising through town throwing eggs at residents of a Black neighborhood, is not suspended or fired. Student protests lead the administration to drop charges but calls for revoking SWAT-like teams on campus go unheard. Kofi’s shooting is not an isolated incident but part of an ongoing pattern of police brutality against Blacks and a stark reminder of the dangers of increasingly militarized campuses nationwide. In His Own Home came out of outrage by a small group of concerned community members committed to seeing social justice happen on a local level. This documentary is an educational and organizing tool, especially calling for our communities to be safe from violence by racist and over-armed police.
Into the Gyre
Thirty-four volunteer researchers, scientists, and sailors participated in a 5-week long adventure to the remote Sargasso Sea, east of Bermuda. Sailing on a 135-foot tall ship, the SSV Corwith Cramer, operated by the Sea Education Association. The film closely follows four of the scientists as they collect, count, and archive the plastic they collect out of the sea. Along the way, the film examines the history of plastics, the adverse effects it is causing in the ocean, and possible solutions to this problem.
Just Eat It
Filmmakers and food lovers, Jen and Grant, dive into the issue of waste from farms, through retail, all the way to the back of their own fridge. After catching a glimpse of the billions of dollars of good food that is tossed each year in North America, they pledge to quit grocery shopping cold turkey and survive only on foods that would otherwise be thrown away. In a nation where one in 10 people is food insecure, the images they capture of squandered groceries are both shocking and strangely compelling.
Last Rush for the Wild West
Exposes how impending tar sands and oil shale mining would destroy massive landscapes in Utah and put the already imperiled Colorado River Watershed at risk. Utah has approved the USA’s precedent-setting tar sands mine despite widespread health impacts of similar projects in northern Canada.
More action adventure than traditional documentary, this film follows the world’s most ambitious and daring animal rescue, with a narrative compiled from film, interviews, conversations, and reactions as events unfolded. How attitudes toward animals were changed in Bolivia, illegal circuses pursued and closed, and 25 lions airlifted to freedom.
Once upon a time, through almost every city, rivers flowed. Why did they disappear? How? And could we see them again? This documentary tries to find answers by meeting visionary urban thinkers, activists, and artists from around the world.
Love Thy Nature
Narrated by Liam Neeson in the role of Sapiens, a homo sapiens representing all humankind facing possible death due to the severity of Earth’s environmental crisis, this film takes viewers on an awe-inspiring cinematic journey into the beauty and intimacy of our relationship with the natural world. Inspired by experts’ insights, Sapiens awakens to the realization that a renewed connection with nature holds the key to a highly advanced, new era in human evolution.
Moving Mountains tackles the destructive effects of large-scale mining on the lives, culture and environment of communities in the Cordilleras. After playing host to these big mining companies, they remain poor, their resources depleted and their communities destroyed. The film also presents the inspiring story of an indigenous tribe in Kalinga province that has kept large mining companies away from the area and has allowed the community to determine how to manage its mineral resources.
Of the Land
New technologies and scientific ingenuity have given rise to genetically modified organisms (GMO) and other novel foods. Some people have raised concerns about the safety of GMOs in our food supply, given their incredible dominance in the majority of our diet. This film looks at our current food system as well as a variety of smaller, organic options available to consumers who want to support sustainable farming methods.
On the Brink: Sea of Cortez
The Sea of Cortez is one of the most lush, bio-diverse seas on this planet. Or at least it was. Located between mainland Mexico and the California Baja Peninsula, the Sea of Cortez has been called the “Aquarium of the World” being home to over 950 varieties of fish and 30 species of marine mammals. But this maritime treasure and the creatures that call it home are in danger.
One River, Many Relations
The Alberta Oil Sands are one of the world’s most controversial industrial developments. They are the target of high profile protests and debate around the globe. One essential voice is excluded from any discourse on the issue; the voice of downstream indigenous communities. One River, Many Relations is a hard-hitting film that profiles the experiences and insights of the Mikisew Cree First Nation and the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation Dene. Two years in the making, it documents both the benefits and damages associated with living in proximity of the oil sands.
PINKY - El Satyakatha
Story of an award winning woman athlete who was charged with rape and accused of being a male. A brief glimpse into the political machinations that are hurting Indian sports in the present day.
Remember Your Roots
Using stunning high resolution images from a DSLR camera, this team of high school students show the change in our relationship to Hawaiʻi's natural resources over time. Part of the story is told from the perspective of an endemic Koa tree in Waikamoi Forest Preserve.
Restoring Our Piko
Filmed by students during a four day trip to Kahoʻolawe, this film outlines the history of environmental degradation on the island, the restoration efforts of Kahoʻolawe Island Reserve Commission and the role of a county-funded solar installation in making the island more sustainable.
Return of the River
A group of people attempt the impossible: Change the opinion of a town and eventually the nation to remove two dams. The community comes to consensus, launches the largest dam removal in history, and in the process shows the way to a more sustainable future. Infused with hope, the film explores an unlikely victory for environmental justice and restoration that led to the demolition of dams on the Elwha River in Washington State in August 2014.
Continuing the story of an adventurous journey around the world, this film is inspiring humanity to change the world and save our planet. Along with world renowned experts, the director learns that past evolutions can help solve some of our current and future environmental problems. Startling, beautiful, and provocative.
Song from the Forest
As a young man, American Louis Sarno heard a song on the radio that gripped his imagination. He followed the mysterious sounds all the way to the Central African rainforest and found their source – the Bayaka Pygmies, a tribe of hunters and gatherers. Louis did not return home until 25 years later. Carried by the contrasts between rainforest and urban America, the stories of Louis and his son, Samedi, are interwoven to form a touching portrait of an extraordinary man and his son.
Since 2001 over 280,000 women have been sent to the Middle East to serve in the War on Terror. Often traumatized by their experiences, many return home with PTSD, unable to cope with the daily rigors of life. Terra Firma weaves together the stories of three women veterans who were among the first to deploy, serving in Afghanistan, Kuwait and Iraq. After years of struggling, each has found ways to heal the hidden wounds of war through farming.
The Chikukwa Project
Gillian and her brother visited a Shona Africa community in Zimbabwe, an area that has been practicing permaculture for over 20 years. The community has pulled 7,000 Shona Africans out of hunger and malnutrition using permaculture farming techniques and bottom up social organization.
Inspired by Dr. Suess's The Lorax, this claymation by our new middle school students uses 667 images to show how irresponsible shoreline development can impact our precious reef ecosystem.
The Life and Mind of Mark DeFriest
Once known as Houdini for his multiple and improbable jailbreaks, Mark DeFriest was condemned to Florida’s worst prison after a lone psychiatrist reversed four court appointed psychiatrists and declared Mark was faking mental illness. Over 30 years later, Mark is still struggling to understand how to survive a rigid and unforgiving system, whilst his remaining supporters forge an unlikely alliance to argue for his freedom in front of the Florida Parole Commission.
The Lost Bird Project
Gone and nearly forgotten in extinction, the Labrador Duck, the Great Auk, the Heath Hen, the Carolina Parakeet, and the Passenger Pigeon leave holes not just in the North American landscape but in our collective memories. Moved by their stories, sculptor Todd McGrain set out to create memorials to the lost birds—to bring their vanished forms back into the world. The Lost Bird Project follows the road-trip that McGrain and his brother-in-law, Andy Stern, take as they search for the locations where the birds were last seen in the wild and negotiate for permission to install McGrain’s large bronze sculptures there.
Weir the Sockeye
A weir is an obstruction to redirect or capture fish. This film shows the day-to-day work involved in managing a weir in southeast Alaska.
A State of Emergency
A short documentary discussing the drought in California, particularly how water shortages are affecting Southern California farmers, local relationships with policy-makers, and the environment. Through interviews and verite scenes with a local Ventura County farmer, with The California Secretary of Natural Resources, and with an environmental activist from The Surfrider Foundation, this film delves into a deeper understanding of how the drought is affecting Californians on a personal level, and how they plan to address the drought as it comes closer to a point of no return.
Two brothers and a friend set sail from Mexico with a dream to circumnavigate the world and surf. In their 3-year 40,000-nautical mile journey crossing all the major oceans of the world and visiting some 40 countries, they discover endemic plastic pollution on ”pristine” beaches. The films shows how the local and global effects of the ocean’s pollution are intertwined and explores solutions.
TRUST of Alaska
Meet Nelson Kanuk, a 17-year old who learned how climate change was affecting his community. Nelson explains that the main problem facing the northern parts of the world is winter coming later and later. This increases erosion due to permafrost melt, increases flooding due to warmer temperatures, and intensifies storms because sea ice forms too late in the season now to provide a natural barrier for our coastal communities.
Vibrance and Abundance: A Future for Maui's Reefs
This documentary explores the formation of the Maui Nui Marine Resources Council and their community-based efforts to restore vibrance and abundance to Maui's reefs.
Who Owns Water?
It's a conflict once unthinkable in the deep green South. Three states are locked in battle over the diminishing fresh water that saw Atlanta go from a small town to the largest growing city in the US. In this stunningly-shot, award-winning documentary film, brothers Michael and David Hanson return to the source of their childhood river and paddle it to the Gulf of Mexico to take you deep into the Water Wars.