Now in its sixth year, the annual San Francisco Green Festival will screen 70 new films about the environment at venues throughout the city April 14 to 20. More than 90 filmmakers will discuss their work and world-renown speakers will raise cutting edge environmental issues. The event is timed to be a focal part of Earth Day celebrations in the city.
The festival theme is “Keep It Wild” and many of the films are about preservation of wilderness. At 6:30 p.m. April 20 “Born Free” will screen at the Castro Theater, 429 Castro Street, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the first film to focus on a conservation issue. Virginia McKenna, who told the world the story of Elsa the Lioness, and leads the Born Free Foundation to protect lions, will be present and honored with the 2016 Inspiring Lives Award.
In honor of the National Parks Centennial, a series of shorts called “Keep It Wild” will screen at 1 p.m. April 17 at the Roxie Theater, 3117 16th Street. The San Francisco premiere of “A River Between Us,” which chronicles the struggles to keep the Klamath River wild, will screen at 1 p.m. April 16 at the Roxie.
The Centerpiece film for the theme is “An American Ascent” which screens at 8:30 p.m. May 17 at the Roxie. This film follows nine African-Americans as they scale Denali, America’s highest peak, in an effort to encourage future generations to preserve wild places. The film’s star, Scott Briscoe, will attend the premiere.
Climate change is the topic of the opening night film, “How to Let Go of the World (and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change)”. The film screens 7:30 p.m. April 14 at the Castro Theater. Director Josh Fox goes to 12 countries on six continents to examine the challenges posed by climate change. Fox will attend the premiere.
Climate change is also the topic of the closing night film, “Not Without Us” which screens 9:15 p.m. April 20 at the Castro Theater. Director Mark Decana goes to Paris with seven international grassroots activists for the UN Climate Talks. Decana and the activists will attend the screening. He will receive the 2016 Green Tenacity Award.
The Green Film Fest will also screen the winning three-minute films made in response to a challenge to illustrate positive solutions to climate change. The four films will screen 6:30 p.m. April 19 at the Roxie.
Another standout film focusing on environmental activism is “Dear President Obama” which screens twice, at 5:30 p.m. April 17 at the Roxie and at 4 p.m. April 18 at Banatao Auditorium, Sutardja Dai Hall, UC-Berkeley. The film appeals to the President to join the anti-fracking movement. Jan Bowermaster will lead a panel discussion after showings.
Other topics include radiation in Chernobyl, polluted water in Mexico City, the Trans-Alaska pipeline, an attempt to save a 5,000-year-old archaeological site in Afghanistan from Chinese copper mining, rubber production in Cambodia and oil consumption by the U.S. military.
A number of films focus on soundscapes, the drive the retain areas where natural sounds can be heard. Others investigate species such as the grizzly bears of British Columbia and the parrots of San Francisco’s Telegraph Hill.
The Fest also includes FestHQ, a chance to discuss films and attend workshops and parties, at 518 Valencia Street, from 5 to 9 p.m. April 15, noon to 9 p.m. April 16 and 1 to 9 p.m. April 17.
A full festival pass is $250 general and $200 members, and includes all films and events. Premieres and receptions range from $15 to $55 each. Six-film vouchers are $80. Individual films are $15 to $7.50. A limited number of complimentary tickets for school and youth groups are available by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
For information about film schedules and other events contact www.greenfilmfest.org or 415-552-5580. For information about memberships, contact www.greenfilmfest.org/membership.