FILMS

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THE RIVER AND THE WALL

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The River and the Wall follows five friends on an immersive adventure through the unknown wilds of the Texas borderlands as they travel 1200 miles from El Paso to the Gulf of Mexico on horses, mountain bikes, and canoes.

Conservation filmmaker Ben Masters realizes the urgency of documenting the last remaining wilderness in Texas as the threat of new border wall construction looms ahead. Masters recruits NatGeo Explorer Filipe DeAndrade, ornithologist Heather Mackey, river guide Austin Alvarado, and conservationist Jay Kleberg to join him on the two-and-a-half-month journey down 1,200 miles of the U.S.-Mexico border. They set out to document the borderlands and explore the potential impacts of a wall on the natural environment, but as the wilderness gives way to the more populated and heavily trafficked Lower Rio Grande Valley, they come face-to-face with the human side of the immigration debate and enter uncharted emotional waters.

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Director biography: Ben Masters grew up in West Texas, studied wildlife biology at Texas A&M University, and spent four years working on a border ranch near Laredo. Masters is best known for UNBRANDED, a feature documentary on Netflix, in which he and three friends adopted 16 wild mustangs, trained them, and rode 3,000 miles from Mexico to Canada to inspire wild horse adoptions. He is a published author, a National Geographic photographer, cinematographer, and writer, and his work has received dozens of domestic and international awards including the Audience Award at Hot Docs International Film Festival, the People’s Choice Award at Banff Film Festival, and the Audience Award at Telluride Mountainfilm. Masters represents the interests of wildlife on 31.2 Million acres of federal public land as the Wildlife Management Chair of the BLM’s volunteer Wild Horse & Burro Advisory Board.

  • Director : Ben Masters

  • Principal Cast: Ben Masters, Jay Kleberg, Filipe DeAndrade

  • Country: USA

  • Year: 2019

  • Running Time: 97 minutes

SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKER/COMMENTATOR: BEN MASTER

Pre-taped video welcome and message from Ben.

 

 
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BLUE

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  • Director : Karina Holden

  • Principal Cast: Madison Stewart, Valerie Taylor, Jennifer Lavers, Lucas Handley, Tim Silverwood

  • Country: Australia

  • Year: 2017

  • Running Time: 76 minutes

BLUE is the story our generation need to hear. The industrialization that has occurred in the oceans over the last century, mirrors the events that triggered mass extinctions on land. Industrial scale fishing, habitat destruction, species loss and pollution have placed the ocean in peril. The very nature of the sea is being irretrievably altered. BLUE is a provocative journey into the ocean realm, witnessing this critical moment in time when the marine world is on a precipice.

SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKER/COMMENTATOR DR MIKKI mccomb-kobza

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Dr. Mikki McComb-Kobza is passionate about sharing her love of the ocean, the joy of exploration and the critical importance of science. Her research focuses on the sensory biology and ecological physiology of sharks, skates and rays. Mikki has been a tireless advocate for sharks, highlighting their global declines and framing new directions for their conservation. Mikki has been invited to speak, educate and conduct research at labs and institutions in South America, Africa, Asia and Australia. Her outreach efforts have been documented in film, magazine and radio by the BBC, National Geographic, Discovery Channel's Shark Week, and CBC National Radio Canada. Mikki strives to bridge the gap between research and public engagement. She believes that when people are aware, they care and when they care, they act. Her current position as Executive Director of Ocean First Institute allows her to promote research, conservation, and sustainability. The Institute supports expeditions and a variety of education initiatives which have reached over 100,000 students in 35 countries. Mikki holds a Ph.D. in Integrative Biology from Florida Atlantic University and is the author of numerous scientific publications.

 

 
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CURRENT REVOLUTION

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American Resilience Project’s new film series and associated outreach campaigns tackles the challenge of how the utility, auto, tech and defense industries can help modernize the aging power grid to make it more secure and responsive to the needs of its users, while enhancing environmental performance. With a focus on national security, economic prosperity, and environmental justice, the films and campaigns will show how the nation can embrace smart policies and investments that support grid modernization through distributed renewable energy generation and the development of an electric vehicle infrastructure.

For decades, the utilities industry has been a driving engine of the U.S. economy, contributing significantly to our progress and standard of living with a business model that focused on centralized generation. But now, because of reduced demand from a number of factors, including more efficient energy systems, power companies face a crisis that requires them to capture new market share to survive in the 21st century. The industry has its sights on the transportation sector, which means a chance to catalyze the electric vehicle industry, but which also sets it on a collision course with major petroleum interests. And with the need for a smart, cybersecure grid, the tech and defense industries also have critical roles to play.

  • Director : Roger Sorkin

  • Country: USA

  • Year: 2018

  • Running Time: 40 minutes

SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKERS/COMMENTATOR LESLIE Glustrom and Ken Regelson

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Leslie is trained as a biochemist and has spent over 30 years working at the interface of science and society including a long history of activist work on a variety of environmental issues, including working on climate change and clean energy issues at the local, state and national levels.  

In 2004, Leslie resigned from her job managing a biochemistry research lab at the University of Colorado-Boulder to work full time on climate change. She is a founding member of Clean Energy Action, served as the Director of Research and Policy for several years and is now serving on the Board of Clean Energy Action,

 She has spoken throughout Colorado and the country on the environmental and economic imperative of accelerating the transition to the post fossil fuel world, has written extensively about the US coal industry and has won many awards for her environmental work.

SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKERS/COMMENTATOR JONATHAN KOEHN

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Jonathan is the Senior Sustainability Policy Advisor for the City of Boulder, where he works to implement the city’s sustainability agenda, specifically in relation to climate action and waste reduction, but more broadly across the complete spectrum of the city’s sustainability goals.  He began his tenure in Boulder as the Environmental Manager for the city in 2006, with over fifteen years experience working with state, regional and local governments and their constituencies domestically and internationally to develop strategic and tactical solutions to energy, economic and climate challenges. Since 2009, he has been focused on the various aspects of Boulders energy efforts, primarily, the city’s municipalization exploration project and aspects of emissions reduction strategies.

Jonathan came to Boulder with a diverse background with roles such as creating and directing an environmental non-profit organization, river guide, serving as a national park ranger and a dolphin trainer. Most recently, he worked for the city of Flagstaff, Arizona where he served as the Conservation Manager.  Jonathan holds degrees in Environmental Science, Biology and Marine Sciences.

SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKERS/COMMENTATOR Ken Regelson

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Ken Regelson is an analyst and advocate for high levels of renewables. He is the founder of EnergyShouldBe.org, EnergyFreedomCO.org, and a co-founder of EmpowerOurFuture.org. He was COSEIA’s (now COSSA) - the solar installers of Colorado - policy consultant at the PUC and legislature for 5 years. Ken has given many presentations on achieving high levels of renewable energy. He is noted for explaining difficult concepts clearly. He has a masters in Electrical Engineering.

 
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SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKERS/COMMENTATOR MICAH PARKIN

Micah Parkin is a founder and Executive Director of 350 Colorado, a nonprofit organization, affiliated with the global 350.org climate movement, that is working to solve the climate crisis and transition to a sustainable future. Micah has 23 years of experience as a climate and clean energy advocate, community organizer and nonprofit director. Micah serves on the City of Boulder’s Clean Energy Technical Team and the Empower Our Future coalition, which is focused on municipalizing Boulder's electric power in order to transition from fossil fuels to clean renewable power.  She serves on the national 350 Network Council, and on the boards of 350CO Action, Colorado Rising, Community Fruit Rescue, and Earth Guardians. 

Micah was recognized as a 2017 “City of Boulder Hometown Hero” and received a 2014 "FearLess Women Leading GREEN" award, Sierra Club's 2007 Delta Chapter Black Bear Award, and 2014 BVSD Superintendent's Honor Roll for creation of a model Greenhouse & Garden to Table Program at Columbine Elementary. She is the mother of two daughters who fuel her passion to build a powerful climate and clean energy movement, create resilient communities and transition to a sustainable future.


 
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INTO THE CANYON

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In 2016 filmmaker/photographer Peter McBride and writer Kevin Fedarko set out on a 750-mile journey on foot through the entire length of the Grand Canyon. Directed by Pete McBride and produced by Insignia Films, INTO THE CANYON is a story of extreme physical hardship that stretches the bonds of friendship and a meditation on the timeless beauty of this sacred place. It is an urgent warning about the environmental dangers that are placing one of America’s greatest monuments in peril and a cautionary tale for our complex relationship with the natural world.

Director biography: Pete McBride is an award-winning photographer, writer and filmmaker who lives in Colorado. He has worked in too many countries to count and he likes to focus his cameras on issues that are close to his heart. They often involve narratives around fresh water challenges -- a theme that often gets overlooked but deserves more content. He loves still and motion imagery... as much as a well crafted written script.

  • Director : Pete McBride

  • Written By: Benedikt Erlingsson, Ólafur Egilsson

  • Principal Cast: Pete McBride, Kevin Fedarko

  • Country: USA

  • Year: 2019

  • Running Time: 84 minutes

SPECIAL GUEST SPEAKER/COMMENTATOR NANCY SMITH

Nancy Smith, The Nature Conservancy’s Director of External Affairs for the Colorado River Program

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Nancy Smith has worked for 20 years with The Nature Conservancy, developing, implementing, and managing conservation strategies to protect critical land and water resources. Currently, as Director of External Affairs for the Colorado River Program, she works on strategies for revitalizing the Colorado River Delta in northern Mexico as well as policies to promote water security and resilience throughout the Colorado River Basin. Previously, as Director of the Sustainable Food and Water Program for the Conservancy Colorado Program, she led a team dedicated to developing and testing innovative approaches to meeting the food and water needs of people in a manner that supports a thriving natural environment. While with the Conservancy’s California Program, she worked with wine producers in Northern California to keep water in rivers to support endangered salmon populations. She also led the effort to secure protective environmental provisions in California’s 2016 marijuana legalization ballot initiative. She specializes in private/public sector partnerships such as the Shortgrass Prairie Initiative; she managed the team that developed and implemented this national award-winning effort, securing a $5.5 million contract to provide habitat mitigation services to the Colorado Department of Transportation by conserving 27,000 acres of critical shortgrass prairie habitat. She is a second- generation Colorado native with a law degree and MBA from University of Colorado in Boulder.

 

 
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ARTIFISHAL

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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.

Director Josh "Bones" Murphy successfully exposes opposing sides of a salmon crisis by pitting the narratives of ecologists and conservationists against the human tendency to engineer and control, probing into the psychology of a lucrative hatchery industry. In this instance, the fingerprints lie across the weakened genetic makeup of thousands of hatchery-bred salmon, interbreeding and competing with wild salmon in rivers and oceans across the Earth. Woven among artistic shots of pristine natural forests and rivers of America's Western coast is the story of a sacred relationship between Native Americans and salmon. As recited in accordance with Yurok belief, "If we don't take care of this world, and there are no more salmon, then there will be no more need for Yurok people." If hard-earned photos from the aftermath of Washington's Cypress Island Atlantic Salmon open-water pen breach isn't enough to incite a call to action, we're taken to Norway, where the repulsive reality of farm-raised salmon health is revealed by journalist Mikael Frodin Angler. This documentary does well to inspire an appreciation for nature's unhindered perfection while fueling a disdain for human hubris.
Director Biography
Co-founder of Liars & Thieves, a San Francisco-based production company, Josh "Bones" Murphy is a director and producer whose career began with the award-winning, action-sports documentary series "Unparalleled," and now spans commercial, branded content, television and feature film. His recent feature documentary, Artifishal (2019), premiered at 2019 Tribeca Film Festival in April.

  • Director: Josh “Bones” Murphy

  • Principal Cast: Carl Safina, Gary Meffe, Amy Cordalis, Dylan Tomine, Mikael Frodin Angler

  • Country: USA

  • Year: 2019

  • Running Time: 75 minutes

 

 
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THIS MOUNTAIN LIFE

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The awe that mountainous landscapes evoke is universal. Yet in a province that is 75% mountains, most of us seldom venture into true wilderness. Living amongst us is a special breed of people. They are undefined by age, gender, profession or background, but for them, the draw of the mountains is so strong that their lives must revolve around it. Martina Halik and her 60-year-old mother Tania attempt a bitterly cold 2300-kilometer ski trek from Canada to Alaska through the treacherous Coast Mountains; a journey that has been completed only once before, and never by a female duo.

Their adventure is interspersed with beautifully crafted portraits of high-altitude human endurance: the gripping story an avalanche burial; a group of nuns who inhabit a mountain retreat to be closer to God; an impassioned alpinist; a focused snow artist; a couple who has been living off grid in the mountains for nearly 50 years. Shot in cinematic detail, This Mountain Life is a riveting examination of human passion set high in the peaks of British Columbia, Canada.

  • Director : Grant Baldwin

  • Written By: Grant Baldwin, Jenny Rustemeyer

  • Country: USA / CANADA

  • Year: 2019

  • Running Time: 76 minutes

Special guest speaker : Martina Halik

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Tania and Martina Halik are part of a unique family. At 60 years old, an age where most ladies are happy to retire to gentler pastimes, Tania Halik a paramedic from Invermere, BC undertook the biggest expedition of her life. Martina at 30, quietly put her job as a professional photographer and avalanche technician on hold, deciding to take on the greatest challenge she’d ever faced. The story of their daunting five-and-ahalf-month long journey on skis through BC’s remote Coast Mountains during one of the coldest winters on record inspired thousands of people. The expedition was not about boosting egos in a woman vs. nature scenario, promoting a brand or product, or “conquering” a remote mountain range. Instead, it was a journey into the self. Conquering personal fears and discomforts, and above all else attempting to navigate safely through hazards like crevasse fields, avalanche terrain, and river crossings. Their definitions of “challenge”, “suffering” and “impossible” were redefined along the way. They took on what was for them a monumental challenge, and somehow found peace and beauty amongst the relentless daily adversity. Their story is about teamwork, family bonds, chasing your dreams, and never, ever, giving up.

 

 
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INSPIRING ECO/OUTDOORS SHORT FILMS PROGRAM

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A program of inspiring short films with environmental/ nature/ outdoor themes. Some of our selections:

CLIMBING OUT OF A DISASTER
USA / Duration: 9 mins
Directed by: Dominic Gill

Bryant Huffman spent his days deep water soloing, sport climbing and bouldering as founder of Climbing Puerto Rico. Then Hurricane Maria dropped a nuclear bomb of water and wind, which destroyed much of the island. With his work as a guide temporarily suspended, Huffman and his climbing buddies put their skills to good use by morphing into emergency arborists. And out of the devastation comes a glimmer of something positive. The hurricane peeled huge chunks of limestone from cliffs, creating scores of new routes. Climbing Out of a Disaster is about shifting your perspective to see the silver lining in calamity.

AKUNA
USA / Duration: 6 mins
Directed by: Jess Colquhoun

“I didn’t think I had a future,” Will Robinson says of coming home from Iraq with PTSD and injuries. For 12 years, he endured the dead ends of medication-and-alcohol abuse and ineffective therapy. Then inspiration struck. He tackled the Pacific Crest Trail, then the Appalachian Trail, walking 3,800 miles on his own path to recovery. “Hiking gave me the ability to be the person that I always was, the confident person who was capable of doing anything,” says Robinson, whose trail name is Akuna. He’s already eyeing his next objective: The Continental Divide Trail.

THE THEORY OF HUMAN MOTIVATION
USA/ Duration: 3:15 mins
Directed by Duct Tape Then Beer

What gets you up in the morning? There are fundamentals: water, air, food. But from there it gets deeper. If you’re like us, it’s a need to thrive, grow, to become the person we dream of being. We wake up to close the gaps between the supposed to do’s and the want to do’s.

TERRARIUM
USA/ Duration: 3 mins
Directed by Brian Yulo Ng

2019 Official SelectionThis animated short film 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 of the habitat surrounding the Telaggio Valley, Terrarium 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 these various elements.

GOLDEN
USA/ Duration: 7mins
Directed by Dan Holz

Peering out her tall bedroom windows to the highway below, Caitlin Davis dreamed of life as an ecologist. When she saw mountains for the first time on a backpacking trip after college, her fate was sealed. Today, in Idaho’s demanding sagebrush country, the raptor biologist spends her days rappelling into golden eagle nests studying how human impact affects their reproduction and productivity.

AIR TRANSIT and PARTICULATE MATTER
USA/ Duration: 7:09 mins and 3.09 mins
Directed by Keely Song and Scott Cook


Environmental Dance Film advocating public transit for clean air. Air pollution and its effects on the body.

INMANENCIA
CUBA/ Duration: 5:17 mins
Directed by Natasha Deganello Giraudie

Filmed in Cuba, Inmanencia is a poetic sensory ecologically and spiritually charged artwork that slowly unfolds in a series of stunningly filmed oblique cinematic moments that fill the screen with pastoral calm.

Natasha Deganello Giraudie is a mother, a filmmaker and a teacher of nature practice. She helped to pioneer the micro-documentary genre for humanitarian movements, filming in more than 30 countries and reaching expansive audiences with her work. Her current series of short films, One Word, was selected by Robert Redford and the Redford Center as a powerful voice at the intersection of youth, indigenous wisdom and environmental change.

THE FARM
USA/ Duration: 29:43 mins

They only knew the life of a soldier. Now, their next battle begins on home soil. This powerful new documentary follows a group of veterans through a rigorous 6-week farming school. Presented by Tribeca Studios in partnership with Prudential.


 
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THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM

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Hard lessons await John and Molly Chester as they leave Los Angeles to build an organic, biodynamic farm amid the Ventura County foothills in this eloquent, exquisitely shot autobiographical documentary, which stands a testament to the power of Mother Nature and the human spirit alike. (And also to the awesomeness of pigs.)

John, who happens to be an Emmy-winning TV director/cinematographer, doesn’t deny his and his wife’s naïveté as they embark on their quest for agricultural nirvana: The 200-acre property they’ve purchased is virtually infertile thanks to a historic drought. Over the course of eight years, their doggedness gradually trumps their inexperience, and the ecosystem of Apricot Lane Farms begins to teem with flora and fauna—but setbacks continue to meet progress at every turn as the couple comes to terms with the fact that, sometimes, acceptance of failure is a form of success, surrender a type of control.

  • Director : John Chester

  • Written By: John Chester, Mark Monroe

  • Principal Cast: John Chester, Molly Chester, Matthew Pilachowski

  • Country: USA

  • Year: 2019

  • Running Time: 101 minutes

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Special guest speaker: Ethan Steinberg

Ethan is a startup growth expert who is focused on turning ideas into reality. He is a Managing Partner & Co-Founder at Propagate, an agroforestry analytics & project development company focused on bridging the capital and operational needs for the integration of tree crops to farmland. Propagate is on a mission to make agriculture work for 100% of humanity, one farm at a time.


Ethan has helped scale ventures both domestically and internationally in industries such as the sharing economy, consumer packaged goods, and B Corp businesses. He holds a B.A. in Social Justice & Sustainability from Miami University and is an Advisory Board member at Purpose + Sport.

Ethan is passionate about building purpose-driven businesses and enjoys living at the intersection of regeneration and technology.

At Propagate, Ethan leads business development, marketing and growth strategy. He is also the editor of Propagate.org, a curated news hub on regeneration. 

Special guest speaker: Marcus McCauley

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Farmer & Founder of Mccauley Family Farm

Marcus McCauley is a farmer and founder of Picaflor Live-Culture, a fermented condiment brand based in Boulder, Colorado. He runs McCauley Family Farm, a 40-acre holistic whole farm system that produces unique peppers, pasture raised chicken, lamb, and pork, and other seasonal produce. He is a leader in the regenerative farm movement and an advocate for sustainable agriculture practices and collaborative bioregional food production.

 

 
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WOMAN AT WAR

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Halla is a fifty-year-old independent woman. But behind the scenes of a quiet routine, she leads a double life as a passionate environmental activist. Known to others only by her alias “The Woman of the Mountain,” Halla secretly wages a one-woman-war on the local aluminum industry. As Halla prepares to abandon her role as saboteur and savior of the Highlands to fulfill her dream of becoming a mother, she decides to plot one final attack to deal the aluminum industry a crippling blow.

Director biography: Benedikt Erlingsson was born on May 31, 1969. He is an actor and writer, known for Woman at War (2018), Of Horses and Men (2013) and Naglinn (2008).

  • Director : Benedikt Erlingsson

  • Written By: Benedikt Erlingsson, Ólafur Egilsson

  • Principal Cast: Halldóra Geirharðsdóttir, Jóhann Sigurðarson, Juan Camillo Roman Estrada

  • Country: Iceland

  • Year: 2018

  • Running Time: 101 minutes

Special guest speaker: Leslie Glustrom

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Leslie is trained as a biochemist and has spent over 30 years working at the interface of science and society including a long history of activist work on a variety of environmental issues, including working on climate change and clean energy issues at the local, state and national levels.  

In 2004, Leslie resigned from her job managing a biochemistry research lab at the University of Colorado-Boulder to work full time on climate change. She is a founding member of Clean Energy Action, served as the Director of Research and Policy for several years and is now serving on the Board of Clean Energy Action,

 She has spoken throughout Colorado and the country on the environmental and economic imperative of accelerating the transition to the post fossil fuel world, has written extensively about the US coal industry and has won many awards for her environmental work.