Cinema Verde’s mission is to provide environmental education to the public through film, arts, workshops, events, tours and any other forum or media; to increase public awareness of environmental practices that enhance public health and improve quality of life in urban, suburban and rural settings.

We bring community organizations, businesses and citizens together to help forge sustainable solutions for our future.

Meet Our Team

Trish Riley

Trish is founding director of Cinema Verde, an environmental film and arts festival held in Gainesville, Florida, since 2010. She has been dedicated to helping the world understand environmental issues and sustainable solutions since childhood, when she had the good fortune to grow up playing in the forest, then watching it torn down to make way for houses and pavement.

Trish is a national award-winning investigative and environmental journalist and author, with work published in major newspapers and national and international magazines. Her books include The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Greening Your Business (with Heather Gadonniex, Penguin 2009); The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Green Living (2007); Palm Beach, Miami, and The Florida Keys: A Great Destination (Norton 2009); and The Explorer’s Guide to South Florida (with Sandra Friend, Norton 2009).

She is a past board member of the American Society of Journalists and Authors, a member of the Society of Environmental Journalists, and an honorary member of the Golden Key International Honour Society.

She is the founder of GoGreenNation.org, a website designed to promote green jobs, resources, and businesses; and GoGreenGift.com, an eco-starter kit. She also founded Green Drinks Gainesville, a local chapter of an international networking group open to anyone interested in sustainability issues. More than 1200 area residents have attended Green Drinks meetings.

Christine Heinrichs

Christine Heinrichs writes from her home on California’s Central Coast. She keeps a backyard flock of about a dozen hens. She follows coastal issues, writing a regular column on the Piedras Blancas elephant seal rookery for the San Luis Obispo Tribune. Her narrative on the Central Coast condor flock will appear in Ten Spurs 2021 edition.

Her book, How to Raise Chickens, was first published in 2007, just as the local food movement was starting to focus attention on the industrial food system. Backyard chickens became the mascot of local food. The third edition of How to Raise Chickens was published in January 2019. The Backyard Field Guide to Chickens was published in 2016. Look for them in Tractor Supply stores and online.

She has a B.S. in Journalism from the University of Oregon and belongs to several professional journalism and poultry organizations.

Natalie Heun

Natalie Heun is a fourth-year History and Sustainability Studies major at the University of Florida. She is currently working as the Funding Intern at Cinema Verde, seeking out a variety of grants and other fundraising opportunities to help this organization continue to grow! She has had a deep interest in environmental issues from a young age, and she is so excited to be working with an organization that aligns with these values. In her free time, Natalie enjoys hiking, reading, watching films, and playing with her dog!

Sydney Beil

Sydney Beil is the Video Intern at Cinema Verde. She records and edits interviews, and she also creates graphics and promotional videos for the channel. She is a fourth-year Telecommunication Production student at the University of Florida.

Beil got involved with Cinema Verde because the organization focuses on two of her passions: environmentalism and film. She loves continuing to educate herself on environmental issues through working at Cinema Verde because she believes that we can always continue learning how to help make a sustainable future. Cinema Verde was the perfect fit to continue growing her video editing skills and passion for sustainability.

Nicole Zaldivar

Nicole Zaldivar is a senior at the University of Florida studying Sustainability and International Studies with a focus on Latin America and the Caribbean. She is currently working as a social media intern to help promote awareness of Cinema Verde to the public. Cinema Verde has allowed Nicole to showcase her skills as well as develop new ones. Nicole's interest in environmental education and ensuring that everyone can have access to it is what led her to Cinema Verde. In her free time she enjoys cooking, crocheting, and taking walks outside.

Melanie Marten

Melanie Marten is a PR consultant based in between Berlin, Germany, and Athens, Greece. Guided by the motto "support local, go global", she leads the implementation of social impact activities of brands and companies for a 360° approach in creative campaigns. At Cinema Verde, she ensures that word spreads globally about our festival, our streaming channel, and thus the impactful work of our environmental filmmakers.

Thomas Berning

Thomas Berning is our Technical Director and Webmaster. When he is not maintaining our film archive and website, he enjoys exploring the mountains near his Denver, Colorado home. His favorite thing about working with Cinema Verde is the passion and dedication of the team behind the scenes. Thomas is also the Head of Audio for Opera Colorado, an abstract video artist, and a connoisseur of Indian food.

Working Together

We’ve shared over a decade of memories, creating a healthier world for our children.

Join us to forge
a sustainable future

Our team is always growing.
Become a partner, volunteer, sponsor, or intern today.
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