Directed by Emmanuel Cappellin and Anne-Marie Sangla (USA), 104 min.
ONCE YOU KNOW is the intimate journey of director Emmanuel Cappellin across the abyss of a world at the edge of climate-induced collapse. His voyage into this uncharted territory is that of a whole generation turning to climate scientists, local democracy, grassroots initiatives, and mass rebellion in a desperate search for an exit. Trailer
This is a true story on the meeting between Frost, a beautiful polar bear mother, and Asgeir Helgestad, a Norwegian wildlife filmmaker. It is a four-year journey on Svalbard. Rising temperatures, are responsible for dramatic changes in Frost’s ecosystem as the ice is melting at record speed. From complete darkness to the absolute light of the midnight sun, Svalbard transforms from a cold and inhospitable place to the most joyous and lively scenery for ice algae, fish, birds and animals. But alongside these seasonal transformations, the disappearing sea ice forces life to new limits. Fjords that were once full of ice and seals, get abandoned pushing Frost further away. Asgeir is determined to find her and document all that is being lost, but his task is far from easy. This film explores the question “this planet is home to all of us, can we afford to ignore it?” Trailer
Eighty-two-year-old Firouzeh is not afraid of hard work. From dawn to dusk, the fiercely independent herder takes care of her beloved cows in the mountains of Northern Iran, without any access to electricity, gas or phone. Married at a young age to an older man, she's long been a widow, and none of her 11 children ever come to visit. But she enjoys her solitary life in harmony with nature, and won't hear the well-meaning advice from nearby villagers that maybe it’s time to retire. No matter the difficulties, this indomitable woman will always choose her hard-won freedom over comfort among people. Trailer
This moving film tells the story of Marisol, a young mother striving to make a life for herself and her young daughter. Marisol poses as her friend and borrows her car to take fares on a ride-sharing app. But when a passenger accuses Marisol of being undocumented, her world unravels. A necessary and pointed glimpse into the uncertainties of being undocumented. Trailer
BEST VIRTUAL REALITY
Before the Dam: A Visit to John Muir’s Hetch Hetchy
Created by Joshua Salyers and Mike Wurtz (USA)
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 conservationist John Muir did before it was dammed for San Francisco’s water supply. “Before the Dam” is a virtual reality experience that allows the viewer to step inside the pages of Muir’s journals and onto the valley floor at the turn of the century (an impossible feat today) to see why Muir fought so hard to preserve this spectacular resource.
Artifishal is a film about people, rivers, and the fight for the future of wild fish and the environment that supports them. It explores wild salmon’s slide toward extinction, threats posed by fish hatcheries and fish farms, and our continued loss of faith in nature. Trailer
This film is a powerful reminder of how closely environmental issues are linked to human needs. Filmed along the Arctic Coast- the northernmost point on American soil-the film explores the intimate relationship between the people there and the caribou, the inseparable bond between mother and child, the sacred and fragile moments after birth and the importance of protecting the place "Where Life Begins". Trailer
Increasing pollution, overfishing and climate change are only a fraction of the threats facing our oceans worldwide. Join conversations with key players in the field of politics, environmental research and commerce to fully understand the urgency of the situation, and what all of us-across sectors-can do to save our fragile ecosystem. Visits local change-makers who are actively fighting to ensure the livelihood of millions of people around the world who depend on the ocean for their survival. Beautiful and inspiring images of our ocean beacon all of us to fight for these sacred waters. Trailer
How a Song Saved
Directed by Rémi Cans (FRN), 2 min.
In the 60’s, commercial whale hunting caused the whale population to fall by an estimated 90% from what it had been in the 19th century. The environmentalist Roger Payne and his team made the first recording ever of a humpback whale singing, which they turned into an immensely popular album, Songs of the Humpback Whale. These songs revealed the intelligence of whales and birthed a global movement ultimately leading to a moratorium on industrial whaling.
A voice says "I would like to make you feel nice and comfortable, and to empty your mind of every single thought..." Thus begins the story, with an invitation to make you fall asleep, in a calm, deep, and peaceful rest, while a chaotic landscape, crowded with people, sets up on the screen. The crowd doesn't seem to have anywhere to go, but they are actually sleeping and they need to dream.
Gorongosa National Park in Mozambique has become one of Africa’s most celebrated wildlife restoration stories. After a decade of renewed protection, Gorongosa’s large mammal population has increased 10-fold to over 100,000 animals. The film reveals how the Park is resolving conflicts between the animals and the people living in surrounding communities. Trailer
Directed by Austen McCowan, Will Hewitt (UK), 13 min.
Pianos are being thrown away at a tremendous rate – hauled away, set on fire and their valuable heavy metal sold for scrap. Tim, Leon and their team of inspired artists, musicians and volunteers have reclaimed these unloved instruments to build the world’s first 100-seat amphitheatre made entirely from up-cycled pianos. Balancing the artistic integrity of Tim’s vision with Leon’s practicality and realism tests the strength of their relationship as they race to complete the Pianodrome for its debut at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Trailer
A high-rise roof somewhere in Berlin. From the rooftop you can see the whole city. It is summer. On the roof is a group of refugees from Syria. The depth below reminds them of the depth of the sea. Above them is only sky. On this roof, they feel like they are back on their journey across the Mediterranean - lost on a small rubber boat. They begin to reenact the most dramatic situation they have survived during their flight: crossing the Mediterranean between Turkey and Greece. They try several times but the Turkish Coast Guard prevents them. During an attempt, water begins to swamp the boat - the refugees save themselves by swimming for hours. Trailer
BEST DOC SHORT
Directed by Fanny Texier, Martin Loper (USA) 14 min.
This is a film about environmental justice. Between 1929 and 1971, Monsanto dumped millions of pounds of PCB’s in Anniston, Alabama, which led to its being labeled the most toxic town in the country. The film features conversations with activists and survivors who are still living with this legacy. It reveals the human face of those who have lost loved ones because of this contamination, and the resilience of those who fought to confront the corporate greed that devastated a community.
BEST YOUTH FILM
Directed by Keanu Frith, Tess Moretti-Hill, Gabriel Jeffers, Māhea Dunn (USA), 3 min
This infomercial parody pokes fun at the overuse of pesticides and herbicides and the psychology used to market them. This short film was directed and produced by students with the Maui Huliau Foundation's youth filmmaking program.