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Coming to the 2012 Festival



Click to download 2012 Festival Program Guide [PDF]

Click to go to the online box office

The Island President

Jon Shenk's "The Island President"


THURSDAY, MARCH 1

7:00 PM OPENING NIGHT: THE ISLAND PRESIDENT

Jon Shenk
USA, 2011, 101 mins.

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San Francisco Premiere. In person: Jon Shenk, Director, Richard Berge, Producer, and Bonni Cohen, Producer.

Bay Area filmmaker Jon Shenk spends a year with President Mohamed Nasheed of the Maldives as he confronts a problem greater than any other world leader has ever faced – the literal survival of his country and everyone in it, due to the devastating impacts of climate change. Witness the first chapter of his global environmental fight, a fight which, following his forced resignation on February 7th, has clearly only just begun…

Read Op-Eds in the Feb 8th New York Times by ousted President Nasheed and the film’s director Jon Shenk.

Screening followed by the Opening Night Party.



FRIDAY, MARCH 2nd

5:00 PM WHO BOMBED JUDI BARI?

Mary Liz Thomson and Darryl Cherney
USA, 2012, 93 mins.

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World Premiere. In person: Mary Liz Thomson & Darryl Cherney, filmmakers; Elyse Katz, Exec. Producer; Sheila Laffey, Co-executive producer.

As an activist, Judi Bari popularized protests against clear-cutting together with EarthFirst! in the 1980′s. On May 24th, 1990 in Oakland, CA, a bomb explodes in Judi’s car and she suffers debilitating injuries alongside confidant Darryl Cherney. Produced by Darryl Cherney, this film chronicles a movement, the false accusations and court struggles that follow the blast leading to a surprising resolution.

You've Been Trumped

Anthony Baxter's "You've Been Trumped"

7:45 PM YOU’VE BEEN TRUMPED

Anthony Baxter
UK, 2011, 95 mins.

Special double bill presentation with LOCAL HERO

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San Francisco Premiere. In person: Anthony Baxter

Courage abounds in this film that risks life and limb to penetrate the operation of Donald Trump and his designs on Aberdeen, Scotland and its precious sand dunes (Bill Forsyth’s classic 1983 film LOCAL HERO was made here). Called, “deeply troubling, amusing and rousing all at the same time…” by Starz Film Festival Jury, this film is a constant juggle of humor, confrontation, espionage and strange, compelling characters (Trump included).

9:45 PM LOCAL HERO
Bill Forsyth, UK, 1983, 111 mins.

Special double bill presentation with YOU’VE BEEN TRUMPED

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Bill Forsyth’s whimsical tale of sweet-natured corporate rapacity features standout performances by Burt Lancaster and Peter Riegert. Knox Oil and Gas Company wants to buy, raze and replace a sleepy Scottish seaside village (in reality the village of Pennan in YOU’VE BEEN TRUMPED) with refineries and deep-water docks. They send their top deal-maker and trouble-shooter to handle the negotiations. But things don’t go as expected…



SATURDAY, MARCH 3

1:00 PM PANEL: THE FUTURE OF FILM FUNDING

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Documentary filmmaking has come of age and the ways docs are funded is changing rapidly. From bootstrapped productions and crowd-sourced micro-financed films to projects funded by traditional grants and donations to increasingly bigger budgeted productions funded using complex “hybrid” business ventures, the options available to filmmakers and opportunities available to donors and investors have exploded in recent years. Our distinguished panelists will share their experiences and offer their insights about the future of documentary film funding.

1:00 PM SUSHI: THE GLOBAL CATCH – with ‘Sushi, Sustainability, and the Fate of Fish’ panel

Mark Hall
USA, 2011, 75 mins.

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San Francisco Premiere. In person: Mark Hall

How did sushi become a global cuisine? What began as a simple but elegant food sold by Tokyo street vendors has become a worldwide phenomenon. Shot in five nations, the film explores the tradition, growth and future of this popular cuisine. As ocean predators such as Bluefin Tuna are auctioned at astronomical rates, we see that sushi is big money and these fish are gold.

3:30 PM ON COAL RIVER

Francine Cavanaugh and Adams Wood
USA, 2011, 81 mins.

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Described by Variety as a story of “Hillbilly Davids” besting a “corporate Goliath”, On Coal River does an extraordinary job of capturing the struggles of ordinary people fighting to save what remains of an Appalachian valley that they and their families have called home for generations. In the process, it beautifully captures the true human and environmental costs of “cheap”, dirty energy.

4:30 PM PANEL: STORYTELLING FOR CHANGE

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Socially and environmentally responsible businesses and non-profits are using film and media to inspire and motivate their customers and supporters. By telling the stories of their people, practices, products and potent issues for which they advocate, these organizations are connecting in a meaningful, human way that creates positive change. Moderated by Mischca Hedges and Iliani Matisse of TrimTab Media the panel will discuss how the use of this new medium has helped reach a new audience and better achieve the mission of their organization.

5:30 PM WAKING THE GREEN TIGER

Gary Marcuse
Canada, 2011, 78 mins.

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USA Premiere. In person: Gary Marcuse

Waking the Green Tiger is an electrifying account of a group of villagers and farmers close to China’s Tiger Leaping Gorge on the verge of losing everything to a massive dam project. Banding together with activists and journalists, the film taps into a broadening sense of community and environmentalism that grows beyond their single issue with remarkable results.

Screening supported by the Consulate General of Canada in San Francisco & Silicon Valley.

The City Dark

Ian Cheney's "The City Dark"

8:00 PM CENTERPIECE: THE CITY DARK

Ian Cheney
USA, 2011, 84 mins.

In person: Ian Cheney

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Having moved from Maine to New York City, filmmaker Ian Cheney finds himself in an environment so flooded with artificial light that one can scarcely make out a star in the night sky. The City Dark follows Cheney as he seeks to learn the true impact of light pollution on people, animals, and the environment, and shines new light on the meaning of dark.



SUNDAY, MARCH 4

1:00 PM PANEL: GAMING FOR GOOD

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“Gaming for Good” will feature an introduction to the gamification of sustainability – the use of gaming techniques in non-game environments to promote fun, engage participants, and incentivize the adoption of sustainable behaviors. The panel will explore the ways that businesses, government, and non-profits have used gaming techniques to achieve their sustainability goals through community activities such as contests and reward systems.Join us for an exciting discussion on the future of gamification and how it can help your organization achieve its sustainability targets.

1:00 PM CAFETERIA MAN – with ‘Chew the Fat: Reinventing School Lunches’ panel

Richard Chisolm
USA, 2011, 65 mins.

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San Francisco Premiere. In person: Richard Chisolm

Follow charismatic chef Tony Geraci on his passionate and tenacious journey to overhaul the school lunch program serving 83,000 students in Baltimore’s public schools. With Geraci’s bold vision, this is a story of what it takes and who it takes to make change and solutions happen. Featuring Michael Pollan, First Lady Michelle Obama and Assistant White House Chef Sam Kass.

3:00 PM BLOOD IN THE MOBILE – with ‘Cradle to Cradle’ panel

Frank Piasecki Poulsen
Denmark/Germany, 2010, 82 mins.

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San Francisco Premiere. Did you know your mobile phone contributes to violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo? Danish director Frank Piasecki Poulsen takes on the Congolese military and warlords to gain access to Bisie, a militia-controlled mine that produces cassiterite, a tin oxide used in cell phones. In this courageous documentary, Poulsen reveals a mineral trade plagued with violence and human exploitation.

Alma

Patrick Rouxel's "Alma"

5:00 PM DIRECTOR’S CHOICE: ALMA

Patrick Rouxel
France, 2011, 65 mins.

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USA Premiere. Beautifully shot, alternately joyful and horrifying, Alma captures the ecological, and even spiritual, cost of meat, dairy, and leather production in the Brazilian Amazon. Rouxel (Green, SFGFF 2011) creates a powerful statement about the global industrial economy and the speed with which virgin forests are being cleared for timber and new grazing land.

7:00 PM MINDS IN THE WATER

Justin Krumb
USA, 2011, 90 mins.

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In person: Justin Krumb, Director, Jonny Vasic, Producer.

5 years in the making, this beautiful documentary chronicles professional surfer Dave “Rasta” Rastovich’s path to protect dolphins, whales and their ocean environment. Rasta’s latest campaign – a 660km sailing expedition along Australia’s Gold Coast – provides the backdrop for this evolution. His quest to gather support from professional surfers, seek guidance from Sea Shepherd’s Paul Watson, and visit with California’s first coastal tribe, leads to a showdown in Taiji, Japan, made notorious in The Cove.



MONDAY, MARCH 5

5:30 PM GREEN FIRE: ALDO LEOPOLD AND A LAND ETHIC FOR OUR TIME

Ann and Steven Dunsky
USA, 2011, 74 mins.

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San Francisco Premiere. In person: Ann & Steven Dunsky.

Local filmmakers Ann and Steven Dunsky (Butterflies & Bulldozers, SFGFF 2011) create a fascinating look into the life of a brilliant individual, Aldo Leopold. Over his lifetime, Leopold developed a theory of land and wildlife conservation based on the interconnectedness of the natural world. Through his work and writings, Aldo Leopold continues to influence the modern environmental movement around the world.

Urbanized

Gary Hustwit's "Urbanized"

7:45 PM URBANIZED – with ‘Our Future in Urban Sustainability’ panel

Gary Hustwit
USA/UK, 2011, 82 mins.

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The third part of Hustwit’s design film trilogy, joining Helvetica (2007) and Objectified (2009), is a captivating and lively look at the design of cities. Urbanized examines how major urban environments are adapting to the challenges of today and tomorrow, particularly climate change and population growth. This eye-opening film looks at the issues and promises facing some of the world’s important cities.



5:30 PM TASTE THE WASTE

Valentin Thurn
Germany, 2010, 92 mins.

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San Francisco Premiere. Valentin Thurn’s timely and startling documentary on global food waste (did you know that on the way from the farm to the dining-room table, more than half of all food ends up in the garbage?) is both a call to arms and a how-to for doing our best to eliminate this major problem.

Screening sponsored by Recology.

8:00 PM URBAN ROOTS

Mark MacInnis
USA, 2011, 93 mins.

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In person: Mark MacInnis

Against all odds, in the boarded-up shops, empty lots and defunct factories, seeds of change are taking root in Detroit. With the most vacant lots in the country, citizens are reclaiming their spirits by growing food. A small group of dedicated Detroiters have started an urban environmental movement with the potential to transform a city after its collapse.

Screening sponsored by East Bay Regional Park District.



WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7

5:30 PM FUTURE OF HOPE

Henry Bateman
UK/Iceland, 2010, 75 mins.

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San Francisco Premiere. Future of Hope chronicles a grassroots movement determined to reinvent the Icelandic economy around the principles of sustainable development. Featuring imaginative use of animation, a killer soundtrack (featuring artists from Iceland, Ireland, and the UK including Damien Rice), and Iceland’s ruggedly beautiful landscape, it is a remarkable story of collapse, recovery, redemption, and reinvention to which the rest of the world should pay attention.

Screening sponsored by New Resource Bank and Presidio Graduate School.

Just Do It

Emily James's "Just Do It"

7:30 PM CLOSING NIGHT: JUST DO IT – A TALE OF MODERN-DAY OUTLAWS

Emily James
UK, 2011, 90 mins.

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USA Sneak Preview. In person: Emily James.

In 2009, director Emily James was given access to a group of environmental activists seeking results through direct action campaigns throughout England. What resulted was a film that gives you a unique look into the world of illegal activism, including its successes and failures, through animated, endearing characters and their interviews, all with the same goals in their hearts – to fight capitalism and raise awareness about the environment.

Screening followed by the Closing Night Wrap Party.

Click to download 2012 Festival Program Guide [PDF]

Click to go to the online box office

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