2019 OFFICIAL SELECTION
Directed by Christina D. King (Seminole) and Elizabeth A. Castle (USA), 64 min.
Through a circular indigenous style of storytelling, Warrior Women relates the lifelong struggle of a Lakota mother and daughter in the American Indian Movement’s fight for Native liberation from the 1970s to protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline in Standing Rock, ND in 2016.
Wilder Than Wild: Fire, Forests and the Future
Directed by Kevin White (USA), 56 min.
Fire suppression and climate change have exposed Western forests to large, high intensity wildfires, while greenhouse gases released from these fires contribute to global warming. This vicious cycle jeopardizes our forests and affects us all with extreme weather and more wildfires, some of which are now entering highly populated wildland-urban areas.
Living the Change
Directed by Jordan Osmond and
Antoinette Wilson (NZL), 85 min.
Living the Change is a solutions-focused response to the overlapping crises the world is currently facing. These solutions-which are accessible to us all-are explored through the inspiring stories of people pioneering change in their own lives and in their communities in order to live in a sustainable and regenerative way.
Directed by Micah Smith (ISR), 60min.
Sustainable Nation follows three individuals working to bring sustainable water solutions to an increasingly thirsty planet. The global water crisis has grown severe: one in nine people lack access to safe water. Faced with drought in the 1980’s and 90’s, Israelis developed a unique social consciousness around water conservation that has resulted in homegrown solutions that are now used around the world.
Directed by Susan Scott (ZA), 127 min.
Two first-time filmmakers (Susan Scott and Bonné de Bod) explore the war for rhino horn. Initially setting out on a six-month project, the duo leave their jobs, sell their homes, move in with their mothers and give up nearly four years of their lives to document not just the rhinos but the various people connected to this iconic animal. In this roller-coaster ride between Africa and Asia, the two women embed themselves on the front-lines of a species genocide where they are given exclusive access to the enforcement aspect of the fight. From rangers, pilots and K9 units patrolling the hardest hit national parks to elite police units raiding wildlife trafficking dens in major cities... they find themselves in some hair-raising situations.
Directed by Alex Lowther (USA), 37 min.
takayna / Tarkine in northwestern Tasmania is home to one of the last tracts of old-growth rainforest in the world, yet it’s currently at the mercy of destructive extraction industries, including logging and mining. This documentary, presented by Patagonia Films, unpacks the complexities of modern conservation and challenges us to consider the importance of our last wild places.
Directed by Michael O. Snyder (USA),
The Vision Within tells the story of a group of college students who travel deep into the heart of the Amazon rainforest to meet an ancient ‘dream culture’ living today in much the same way that they have lived for thousands of years. As they return home from their journey, the students must find ways to integrate their profound experiences into meaningful, engaged lives in service of their own inner visions and the future of our planet. The film is an exploration of the critical role that our inner visions can play in our lives, in education, and in awakening a socially just, environmentally sustainable future.
Directed by Britton Caillouette (USA),
The Balkan Peninsula is home to the last wild rivers in Europe. However, a deluge of hydropower development threatens to destroy the culture and ecology of this forgotten region. If fierce local opposition fails, the last undammed watersheds on the continent will be corralled by more than 3,000 proposed hydropower dams and diversions—at a time when dams are being decommissioned throughout much of the developed world. Blue Heart weaves together small, distinct communities in their common fight. Inspiring and artfully created.
Directed by Jordan Manley (CAN),40 min.
Quietly, patiently, trees endure. They are the oldest living beings we come to know during our time on earth. They provide our shelter, our fuel, our companions, and—in some cases—our divinity. They are living bridges into our planet’s enormous past, their obscure stories written into their rings over centuries and even millennia. Treeline takes us to the enshrined cypress groves of Japan, the towering red cedars of British Columbia, and the ancient bristlecones of Nevada, following a handful of skiers, snowboarders, scientists and healers as they move through these giants and explore a connection older than humanity.
by Dave Beck (USA)
A short, interactive historical narrative experience set in a historically accurate 3D environment. Explore the convergence between cultures and the environment across a few hundred years of American history. This "video game" is often referred to as an interactive film or serious game.
360 Coral Reefs- Live Below the Surface
Directed by Hendrik and Claudia Schmitt (DEU), 5 min
Join us on a journey through the Coral Triangle and its magnificent coral reefs. These underwater gardens have the largest biodiversity of life on Earth and can only be compared to tropical rainforests. But as the planet keeps warming, our oceans are changing. Coral bleaching, ocean acidification, overfishing and pollution are threatening the world’s coral reefs and their fragile ecosystems. Our oceans and its reefs must be protected now for the benefit of future generations and the health of our blue planet.
Before the Dam
Directed by Joshua Salyers (USA), 20 min
Experience the Hetch Hetchy valley like no one has in almost a century. “Before the Dam: A Visit to Muir’s Hetch Hetchy” sends viewers back in time to walk through Hetch Hetchy circa 1900 and see the valley as John Muir saw it before it was dammed for San Francisco’s water supply. “Before the Dam” is a virtual reality experience that allows you to traverse the valley floor (an impossible feat today). Along the way, you can read Muir’s journals from his trips to Hetch Hetchy beginning in 1871 and see why Muir fought so hard to preserve this spectacular area.
Sustainable Productivity- Food Waste in India
directed by Aneesh Koorapaty (USA), 10 min.
India is currently the third largest source of greenhouse gas emissions after China and the United States. Over the next 30 years, it is expected to add 400 Million people, placing further stress on its environmental footprint. One of the key drivers of India's emissions is food waste. India wastes 70 Million tons of food per year, which is more than Great Britain produces in a year! This food waste accounts for nearly 175 Million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and $14 Billion of economic loss. Further, ~15% of the population, or 200 Million people are undernourished. This film traces all the sources of food waste in India from the Farm to the point of distribution and highlights some of the ways to solve this problem.
From Farm to Fork- Food Waste in North America
Directed by Lamia Chraibi (USA), 4 min
The United States wastes 60 Million tons of food every year. This amount of wasted food is enough to fill 160 Empire State Buildings and results in ~150 Million Metric Tons of Greenhouse Gas Emissions. This film traces all the sources of food waste from the Farm to the Fork.
Directed by Kaelyn S Maehara (USA),
Activist Siddharth Chakravarty returns home to India to help advocate for the traditional livelihoods under threat by a piece of draft legislation. If implemented, the legislation will open India’s entire 7,500 km coastline to industry and development; leaving the 170 million people who live mostly by traditional fishing means, out of options. The fishing village of Baguran Jalpai, in the north-east of India, is one of the coastal villages that are now fighting for their very existence.
Hear Our Olympics
Directed by Palmer Morse, Matthew Mikkelsen (USA), 8 min
The wild Olympic Peninsula is like nowhere else. It has been recognized as a national park, a wilderness area, an International Biosphere Reserve and World Heritage Site, and the quietest space in the lower 48. Yet, the park’s rare and distinctive soundscape is threatened by new and unnatural noises: Navy electronic warfare training by jet in the skies over the park. Hear Our Olympics examines this threat and the challenges it poses to the park’s soundscape as well as to U.S. military veterans
Cabo Pulmo- a message to the world
Directed by Stefan Andrews (AUS), 12 min.
After decades of intensive fishing, the village of Cabo Pulmo (in Baja, Mexico) took the advice of local scientists and made a drastic decision to stop fishing and enforce the protection of this area. Years later, the marine preserve has been dubbed "one of the world's biggest success stories in marine conservation". The health of the marine ecosystem has been restored and eco-tourism has supported a transition in the economy. An exemplary and inspirational story
Le Grand Pissoir
Directed by A.J. Marson, 8 min.
Le Grand Pissoir is a short documentary film which profiles David Hoffman's creation of a zero waste, self-sustaining, composting toilet that uses worms to digest human waste. Hoffman is a California-based sustainable systems inventor and “Tea Guru”. This film invites viewers to rethink one of our most-used household systems.
Directed by Thomas Rowell (USA), 12 min.
In The King’s Keeper we meet two characters, Prahlad-a former elephant trainer in the Indian circus and Gajraj- a seventy year old tusker who spent nearly fifty years of his life in chains and who’s name means “King of the elephants.” Prahlad now works at an Elephant Conservation and Care Center where they “work for elephants.” The relationship between the two is characterized by reciprocity, respect, and tenderness.
Directed by Annie Sullivan Kopcsó, Lisa Sullivan (USA) 29 min.
Saving ‘Ōhi’a -- Hawaii's Sacred Tree highlights the significance of Hawaii's native tree species, and "Mother of the Forest," ‘Ōhi’a, and the current threat of Rapid ‘Ōhi’a Death that is impacting thousands of acres of forest throughout Hawai'i. This film provides an in-depth look into the cultural and ecological importance of Hawaii's keystone species -- and the potential impact of the current epidemic. This film is the documentary debut of filmmaking sisters Annie Sullivan Kopcsó and Lisa Sullivan
Directed by Andrea Trivero (ITA) 19 min.
A portrait of Daniel Balima, a horticulturist from Tenkodogo, a small town in Burkina Faso. Daniel contracted Polio as a child and despite losing the ability to use his legs, followed his father around the family nursery on his hands. "I could take two paths: begging or taking my life in hand and devoting myself to work with dignity." Through his 50+ years of cultivation, he has nurtured a relationship of intimacy and reciprocity with the plants, and shares the abundance of his garden with community members in need. The plants do not see ‘disability’, and in this they remain open to Daniel’s humble offering of love
Directed by Raul O. Paz Pastrana (USA), 30 min.
Filmed in the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon in the Yasuni biosphere, OME: Tales From a Vanishing Homeland offers incredible access to the unique and ancient way of life of the Huaorani, one of Ecuador's most isolated indigenous groups. OME explores the intricacies of the Huaorani way of life, highlighting their connection to land and family, while raising questions about their future survival as oil companies encroach upon Ome, their homeland.
in the Water
Directed by Daniel Villanueva (UK), 8 min.
Caddo Lake is the only natural lake in Texas, but it's delicate ecosystem is threatened by a seemingly unstoppable invasive species of floating fern: Giant Salvinia. There's Something in the Water is an animated documentary featuring interviews with people who live and work on the lake, demonstrating the damage that has been caused, and how everyone can work together to try and fix it. Utilizing a clever fusion of animation and real footage, this short film is highly memorable and engaging.
Directed by Danny Copeland, Jaclyn Aliperti, J.P. Lawrence, Tanya Martinez (USA), 5 min.
Researchers rely on finding snow tracks of animals like the charismatic lynx to estimate their distribution, which often leads to a lot of work without conclusive results. Scientists Jessie Golding and Tommy Franklin repurpose an old technique in a way that may revolutionize how we study threatened species and manage our landscapes. This film highlights the importance of conservation through collaboration by bringing together the scientific minds of two distinct branches of The U.S. Forest Service.
Visions of the Lost Sierra
Directed by Matt Ritenour (USA), 14 min.
People need free-flowing rivers and wilderness for solitude and inspiration. This film presents a look into the past, present and future of the Middle Fork of the Feather River, one of the first 8 rivers designated as Wild & Scenic in 1968. Visions of the Lost Sierra showcases the unique history and beauty of the Feather River through interviews with local historians, ecologists, conservationists and outdoor recreation enthusiasts. The film aims to increase awareness of threats to the Feather River and other rivers in the region and inspire viewers to protect public lands. Warning; this film will make you fall in love with this river and all wild places
Your Rivers Need You
Directed by Jim Pattiz, Will Pattiz (USA), 6 min
The Red River in Kentucky was slated to be dammed in the early 60’s and a well-known young local named Joe Bowen supported it. He even gave the speech in favor of the dam against Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas and the Sierra Club.Not anymore. “In 75 years of living, I’ve changed my attitude about this wild river. The river is ours. So if it’s ours, then it’s also our responsibility. I want my great grandchildren to see what I have seen.” In 1993, the Red River received Wild & Scenic River Designation. Discover the incredible story of Joe Bowen and the magic of the Red River, in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act.
Directed by Itandehui Jansen (MEX),
A powerful story of economic migration between rural and urban Mexico. Soledad is a matriarch and traditional healer whose daughter Adele left their village to work in Mexico City leaving behind her infant son. Years later, Soledad and her grandson Jose share a strong bond rooted in their love of culture and land. As she continues to pass on her knowledge and teachings to him, she receives an unexpected call that her daughter is getting married and intends for Jose to join them in the city. Fearing an uncertain future for them both, Soledad struggles to cope with her impending heartbreak as she awaits her daughter’s return. In Times of Rain is an intricately woven story of family, community, redemption, forgiveness, ancestral wisdom, and our connection to the Earth.
Directed by Laurent Firode (FRA), 11 min.
Earth Hour paints the story of an environmentalist couple who are wholly and perhaps blindly committed to their cause. Satirical and a touch absurd, this story points out what happens when we go too far, without taking away the importance of environmental activism.
The Little Fish and the Crocodile
Directed by Stefanie Plattner (DEU)
The little Fish and the Crocodile is a fable from the rainforest in the Odzala National Park in the Republic of Congo told by the children of the Sanza Mobimba Kindergarten. Vibrant, colorful cinematography with a playful story. An invitation into imagination and non-linear narrative.
The Last Embrace
Diirected by Saman Hosseinpuor (IRN),
A moment in time of an Iranian family at home. A little girl wants to show her drawing to her family, but all are lost on their screens. She finds the connection she is yearning for in an unlikely companion. Brief, simple, poignant and relatable. A gentle finger pointing to a reality of our time.
Alycce in Wonderland
Directed by Casey Kiernan (USA
A unique, kaleidoscope of a film made in Joshua Tree National Park. This creative piece invites viewers to be mystified and awed by the bazarity of Earth.
Cantabrico Parte 2
Directed by Juan Carlos Cortina Martin (SPN), 5 min.
A compilation of timelapse taken along a 200 km stretch of coast in Spain. Mirroring the arc of a single day, the beginning of the film is placid and calm, with subtle movements of camera over landscapes between fog at dawn. As the film progresses, the strength and ruggedness of the rock formations provide the film with greater drama. In its final part, the film depicts the magic of the night light on the sea.
Directed by Manolo Mendieta (USA),
A look below the surface at one of the most feared and ancient creatures on Earth. They are peaceful creature by nature, yet are at risk for extinction. How can we change our view of the natural world, understanding our survival depends on its survival?
Directed by Catherine Chalmers (USA),
Leafcutters is an unusual collaboration with millions of wild ants. Focusing on four supposedly unique human traits – language, ritual, war and art – the narrative aims to blur the boundaries between culture and nature. Leafcutter ant colonies have eerie parallels to human society and this is the inspiration for the video. Leafcutters accentuates the ingenuity of these miniature, yet mighty civilizations that inhabit the Neo-tropical rainforest.
Directed by Brian Ng (USA), 3 min.
Terrarium is an animated short film that takes an intimate look at the essential movements of nature in relation to water. A terrarium is typically an object that is used to contain and observe the growth of diverse plant and animal life. Through close observation into the habitat surrounding the Telaggio Valley in Italy, this piece seeks to question the way in which all forms of life are bound together through the flow of water and currents of wind. The piece animates the interactions between moving waters, rocks, plant, clouds and rain; to create a unique interplay between all these various elements.
Tribute to a Conscious World
This non-verbal film is a tribute to the beautiful and sacred. Authentic videography is set to an original soundtrack with creative production that invites an immersive, contemplative experience. Tribute to a Conscious World is an allegory, a visual description of what a person might experience on the path to awakening the human spirit -- these are experiences that range from isolation to communion, and emotions that range from trepidation to bliss. The film can have a meditative effect on viewers due to the type of music, imagery, and production techniques used — all of which combine to create a inner sense of the sacredness of nature and the bliss of awakening the human spirit.
Mni Wiconi: Water is Life
Directed by Miguel Antonio Genz and Jeremias Galante (USA), 3 min.
A short, black and white hand-drawn film on the environment, the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), and the links between the fossil fuel industry and climate change. The intention of the film is to create social awareness regarding contamination of natural resources. This film is dedicated to Standing Rock Sioux Tribe Dakota Territory.