San Francisco Green Film Festival

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San Francisco Green Film Festival
LocationSan Francisco, California;  United States
No. of films70
Festival dateSeptember 6–13, 2018

San Francisco Green Film Festival is an environmental film festival which was first held in March 2011.


According to the festival's official website, the San Francisco Green Film Festival's mission is "to educate and connect communities through forward-thinking programs of environmental films, dialogues, and action opportunities."


The first festival[1] in 2011 featured the Brazilian documentary film Hauling directed by Sean Walsh, and the film Happy People: A Year in the Taiga by Werner Herzog.[2] Author Margaret Atwood appeared for a satellite Q&A after the screening of In the Wake of the Flood, a new documentary by Ron Mann on Atwood's book tour for her novel The Year of the Flood. French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand presented a screening of Home. The German documentary The Fourth Revolution: Energy Autonomy had its U.S. premiere at the festival. The festival's 2011 Green Tenacity Award was awarded to Swedish director Fredrik Gertten for the film Bananas!*.

The 2012 festival[3] included The Island President by Bay Area Filmmaker Jon Shenk, and British director Anthony Baxter’s You've Been Trumped in a double bill with the 1983 Bill Forsyth classic Local Hero. Prizewinners included Baxter and Blood in the Mobile by Danish director Frank Piasecki Poulsen.

Films and guests at the 2013 festival[4] included environmental activist Tim DeChristopher at Bidder 70,[5] Bay Area director Nancy Kelly at the Opening Night premiere of Rebels with a Cause,[6] director Ben Kalina at the West Coast Premiere of Shored Up, Sundance winner A River Changes Course from director Kalyanee Mam, a spotlight of acclaimed German director Thomas Riedelsheimer (Rivers and Tides) including films Breathing Earth and Garden in the Sea, and an outdoor screening of Tiny - a story about living small with a solar-powered projector in Annie Alley in downtown San Francisco. Swiss director Markus Imhoof received the Best Feature Award for his documentary More Than Honey.

The 2014 Festival took place from May 29 to June 4 at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco's Mission district. According to the Festival program, there were more than 60 new environmental films; guests included filmmakers, environmental experts and leaders such as author Jonathan Franzen for Emptying the Skies, marine scientist David Ainley for The Last Ocean, and agriculturalist Cary Fowler for Seeds of Time.

The 2015 festival was the 5th Annual San Francisco Green Film Festival and took place from May 28 to June 3. In 2015, the theme was Changing Cities. The 2015 Festival Program brought together films and discussions exploring ideas around transit, housing, food, quality of life, and innovative ways create a better, more livable city for everyone. The festival theme was explored in seven programs ranging from Bikes vs Cars; Museum of the Hidden City, a 'live' performance piece with actors and film projections; The Chinese Mayor. Speakers at the 2015 festival of over 96 filmmakers and guests included writer Dan Koeppel, Greenpeace’s Annie Leonard, Pixar’s Ralph Eggleston, City Hall’s Bevan Dufty, OPS’ Louie Psihoyos and many local scientists, academics and activists.

The 6th Annual San Francisco Green Film Festival took place from April 14 through April 20, 2016. The theme was Keep It Wild - "from the highest mountain tops, to the deepest forests, and the parks in between, Green Film Fest 2016 is bringing you characters that are taking on fierce battles and beautiful adventures to protect their bit of wild and prove the outdoors is for everyone".[7] The Festival opened with the new film from Josh Fox, How To Let Go Of The World (and love all the things climate can't change) at the Castro Theatre and closed with the 50th Anniversary screening of Born Free with actress/activist Virginia McKenna in attendance.[8] There were 68 films, with over 100 guests and filmmakers throughout the Festival at venues across the San Francisco Bay Area.[9]

The 2017 Green Film Fest was held in April 20–26 as a citywide celebration for Earth Day (April 22).

Green Film Fest 2018 will take place in September[10] to align with the Global Climate Action Summit, an event that will bring international leaders to San Francisco in support of the Paris Climate Agreement.



Best Feature Award[edit]

Best Short Award[edit]

  • 2017 – Pangolin directed by Katie Schuler & Nick Rogacki
  • 2016 – Nature Rx directed by Justin Bogardus
  • 2015 – Beyond Recognition directed by Michelle Grace Steinberg
  • 2014 – Sticky directed by Jilli Rose
  • 2013 – The Story of An Egg directed by Douglas Gayeton
  • 2012 – Coalition of the Willing directed by Knife Party

Green Fire Award[edit]

New juried award introduced in 2017 for Best Bay Area Environmental Feature with $5,000 prize.[11]

  • 2017 – Tidewater directed by Roger Sorkin

Green Tenacity Award[edit]

  • 2017 – Dead Donkeys Fear No Hyenas directed by Joakim Demmer
  • 2016 – Not Without Us directed by Mark Decena
  • 2015 – The Chinese Mayor directed by Zhou Hao
  • 2014 – Come Hell or High Water: The Battle for Turkey Creek" directed by Leah Mahan
  • 2013 – Thomas Riedelsheimer (for body of work)
  • 2012 – Blood in the Mobile directed by Frank Piasecki Poulsen
  • 2011 – Bananas!* directed by Fredrik Gertten

Inspiring Lives Award[edit]

Audience Award[edit]

  • 2017 – Yasuni Man directed by Ryan Killackey
  • 2016 – The Babushkas of Chernobyl directed by Holly Morris and Ann Bogart
  • 2015 – Landfill Harmonic directed by Brad Allgood and Graham Townsley
  • 2014 – Seeds of Time directed by Sandy McLeod
  • 2013 – La Source directed by Patrick Shen
  • 2012 – Sushi: The Global Catch directed by Mark Hall

Young Filmmaker Award[edit]

  • 2017 – The Plastic Bottle Controversy - Explained directed by Jeffery Chen
  • 2016 – Escape Velocity directed by James Tralie
  • 2015 – Pseudo Evolution directed by Luisa Gobel and Bruna Almeida

Green Film Network[edit]

The Festival is a member of the Green Film Network,[12] an association of worldwide environmental film festivals.


External links[edit]