The Portland EcoFilm Festival is the premier environmental film festival in the US Pacific Northwest, showcasing the very best films about nature, the environment, outdoor pursuits and eco-conscious living.

The Portland EcoFilm Festival is a program of The Hollywood Theatre, Portland, Oregon's historic non-profit art house cinema. Our festival's mission is to showcase the very best environmental films, help filmmakers by building support for newly released films, and use the art of cinema to connect audiences to organizations and community leaders focused on environmental conservation and advocacy.


2016 FESTIVAL FILM SELECTIONS and SPECIAL GUESTS:

Winner of the 2016 Portland EcoFilm Festival's Best Feature Film Award

WHEN TWO WORLDS COLLIDE

Directed by: Heidi Brandenburg & Mathew Orzel

Presented in partnership with 350PDX

WHEN TWO WORLDS COLLIDE brings audiences into the line of fire between two powerful, opposing Peruvian factions: the Peruvian government and President Alan Garcia, who begin aggressively extracting oil, minerals, and gas from untouched indigenous Amazonian land - and fierce opposition from the indigenous people living in the Amazon jungle, led by Alberto Pizango, whose impassioned speeches against Garcia’s destructive actions become a rallying cry.


Winner of the 2016 Portland EcoFilm Festival's Best Short Film Award

BEING HEAR

Directed by Palmer Morse & Matthew Mikkelsen 

Presented in partnership with Save The Giants

Gordon Hempton, an Emmy Award-winning nature sound recordist and acoustic ecologist, has traveled around the world in search of sound—but in recent years, an ever-increasing intrusion of noise pollution from human activity has interfered with his work. Being Hear is about the epidemic extinction of quiet places on Earth.


Winner of the 2016 Portland EcoFilm Festival's EcoHero Award

Jon Betz and Taggart Siegel, filmmakers of Seed:  The Untold Story

SEED:  THE UNTOLD STORY

Presented in partnership with Oregon Film and the Center For Food Safety

Few things on Earth are as miraculous and vital as seeds. Worshipped and treasured since the dawn of humankind. SEED: The Untold Story follows passionate seed keepers protecting our 12,000 year-old food legacy. In the last century, 94% of our seed varieties have disappeared.


Festival Special Guests

Iris Ho, Wildlife Program Manager at Humane Society International (HSI), global affiliate of the Humane Society of the United States, the largest animal protection organization in the US

Save Endangered Animals Oregon / Yes on 100 campaign

A special evening of short films and conversation in support of the Save Endangered Animals Oregon, a grassroots political campaign and voter ballot measure that will save 12 highly-trafficked wild animal species by making it illegal to sell critically threatened or endangered species or products made from these species within Oregon.

 

Festival Special Guest

Arthur Bradford,  O. Henry Award-winning writer, Emmy nominated filmmaker, NPR's The MOTH GrandSlam winner and founding member and president of Save The Giants.

Presented in partnership with Save The Giants

Arthur Bradford presents an evening of multi-media about the virtues of large trees, and the people who advocate for them.  A portion of the event's proceeds will be donated to Save The Giants, a non-profit that supports the results of Portland tree advocates who saved a stand of giant sequoias from destruction, and turned the land into a public park showcasing the trees.  More info at: Save The Giants


REVERENCE: THE MONARCH PROJECT

Directed by Jean-Nicolas Orhon

Presented in partnership with Save Endangered Animals Oregon

Reverence: The Monarch Project exploreds the synergy between art and science. Two artists collect thousands of traces of monarch butterflies found in their natural environment, by capturing their movements on paper. Hundreds of volunteers assemble the traces on paper to create a unique portrait of these insects and raise awareness about their threatened survival.


TROUBLEMAKERS: The Story of Land Art

Directed by James Crump

Presented in partnership with the Skyline Tavern Project/Black Dog Art Ensemble

Troublemakers unearths the history of land art in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The film features the renegade New York artists who sought to transcend the limitations of painting and sculpture by producing earthworks on a monumental scale in the desert spaces of the US southwest. Land art was rife with contradiction and conflict, a site where architecture, landscape, sculpture, technology, archaeology and photography converged.


NDZOU CAMP

Directed by Densie Dragiewicz

Presented in partnership with Save Endangered Animals Oregon

As elephant populations are increasingly squeezed for space, they often eat and destroy local crops, which results in farmers losing their livelihood and elephants losing their lives. In Mozambique, Ndzou Camp has an innovative solution: wire fences that include beehives triggered by elephants' movements. This invention allows man and wildlife to live in peaceful tandem.


THEIR LAND: THE LAST OF THE CARIBOU HERD

Directed by Mike McKinlay and Isabelle Groc

Presented in partnership with Save Endangered Animals Oregon

In the South Peace region of Northern British Columbia, logging, oil, gas and coal extraction industries have significantly altered the landscape, opening up the forest and pushing mountain caribou away from their traditional range. In the face of imminent extinction, First Nations communities are taking extreme measures to save their last caribou herds.


CANYON SONG

Directed by Amy Marquis & Dana Romanoff

Within Canyon de Chelly, two sisters learn about their Navajo culture and history. Although they compete in pageants by singing songs in Navajo, their culture is fading throughout the region. This film illustrates efforts to define identities in modern and traditional worlds and the inseparability of culture and place.


AMONG GIANTS

Directed by Christopher Cresci, Ben Mullinkosson and Sam Price-Waldman

Presented in partnership with Save The Giants

Risking injury and incarceration, an environmental activist disrupts the clear-cutting of an ancient redwood grove by sitting a hundred feet up in the tree canopy.  Three years into the tree-sit when filming began, AMONG GIANTS blends vérité cinematography with intimate personal reflection to create a vivid picture of life in the trees and unwavering dedication.


EVERY DROP COUNTS

Directed by Dhimant Vyas

Presented in partnership with 350PDX

For most, drought is something seen in media, creating an emotional distance from the people, animals and landscapes affected by it. This film is an attempt to help us all understand our impact!


MUERTE ES VIDA

Directed by Ali Alvarez

Monarch butterflies have brought hope to people in the darkest times of loss. In Mexico, when they arrive for Day of the Dead, they are thought to be souls of the departed. Muerte Es Vida is a documentary about the connection between death and nature.


SAVING JAMAICA BAY 

Directed by David Sigal

Presented in partnership with Neighbors For Clean Air

For more than a century, Jamaica Bay is where New Yorkers put the things they didn’t want. Garbage. Sewage. It’s the largest open space in the city– 30 times the size of Central Park – and home to a wildlife refuge. Jamaica Bay is now cleaner than it has been for generations,  yet there is still a long way to go. Narrated by Susan Sarandon.


CONTROMANO (BIKE REPAIR SHOP)

Directed by Stefano Gabbiani

Presented in partnership with River City Bicycles

As Turin, Italy, home of Fiat Automobiles, emerges from an era of automobile industry, the owners of two bicycle repair shops benefit from the city's newfound interest in cycling - and recycling. Contromano is and intimate cinéma verité view into two distinctly different bike shops - their wildly unique cultures, staff and approach to their craft.


FINconceivable

Directed by Lily Williams

Presented in partnership with Oregon Wild

What happens if sharks disappear? FINconceivable explores the important role sharks play in our world and what could happen if the ocean's fiercest predators ceased to exist.


KAZIRANGA

Directed by Mariah Wilson - filmmaker in attendance!

Presented in partnership with Save Endangered Animals Oregon

Kazirang National Park contains the world's highest density of the endangered Asian One-Horned Rhino. Its also ground zero for poaching and the illegal trade of rhino horn. Local journalist Uttam Saikia uses his community influence to gather intelligence on poachers' and stop their hunt, and to offer the poachers support for reforming them in this economically-challenging region, often plagued by civil unrest.


RED WOLF REVIVAL

Directed by Roshan Patel - filmmaker in attendance!

Presented in partnership with Save Endangered Animals Oregon

Red Wolf Revival centers on the last remaining population of red wolves, the historic recovery effort in Eastern North Carolina and the state's declared intent to drive the species to extinction. The film documents the multifaceted struggle to reintroduce one of the rarest animals on earth in the face of cultural, economic and biological challenges.


THE ART OF FLYING

Directed by Jan van Ijken

Presented in partnership with the Skyline Tavern Project/Black Dog Art Ensemble

A short about “murmurations”: the mysterious flights of the Common Starling. It is unknown how thousands of birds are able to fly in dense swarms without colliding. When a warm winter led starlings to stay in the Netherlands instead of migrating south, filmmaker Jan van IJken seized the opportunity to film one of the most spectacular natural phenomena on earth.


SMALL PEOPLE. BIG TREES

Directed by Vadim Vitovtsev

Presented in partnership with Save The Giants

In The Central African Republic's sub-panel rainforests, lives the shortest people on Earth: the Baka pygmies. For hundreds of years, they have relied on the gifts of the forest they are an integral part of, praying to the spirits of the forest and teaching their children to respect it. But their traditional way of life is changing under the pressures imposed by "Big World" culture.


THE GROUPER MYSTERY

Directed by Gil Kébaïli

Presented in partnership with Oregon Wild

Every year, thousands of groupers gather in the Southern pass of Fakarava in French Polynesia - followed by hundreds of sharks. Photographer/diver/biologist Laurent Ballesta and his team filmed a record-setting 24 hour underwater dive, at 20 metres deep, to find out what makes these fish wait until the exact day of the full moon to spawn all at once.


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SILENT RUNNING - shown in 35mm!

Directed by Douglas Trumbull

A 35mm film presentation of the 1972 environmental science fiction film starring Bruce Dern. After the end of all botanical life on Earth, an ecologist maintains a greenhouse on a space station in order to preserve various plants for future generations.


IN MY NATURE

Directed by Craig Parker

Presented in partnership with Save The Giants

A short cinematic piece which delves into the intimate relationship between humanity, trees and wood.


2016 FESTIVAL FILM SERIES SELECTIONS:

UNLOCKING THE CAGE

Directed by Chris Hegedus & D A Pennebaker

Acclaimed filmmakers Chris Hegedus and D A Pennebaker and film subject and President of the NonHuman Right Project, Steven Wise in attendance!

UNLOCKING THE CAGE follows animal rights lawyer Steven Wise in his unprecedented challenge to break down the legal wall that separates animals from humans. After 30 years of struggling with ineffective animal welfare laws, Steve and his legal team, the Nonhuman Rights Project (NhRP), are making history by filing the first lawsuits that seek to transform an animal from a “thing” with no rights to a “person” with legal protections.

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SUNÚ

Directed by Teresa Camou Guerrero

Presented in partnership with the Soil Not Oil Coalition

"Corn is so much more than a crop. It is a way of being, an identity. Corn is being threatened at the center of its origin:  Mexico." Seen through the eyes of small, midsize and large Mexican maize producers, SUNÚ journeys into the heart of a country where people realize their determination to stay free, work the land, cultivate their seeds, to be true to their cultures and spirituality.

Special guest musician Edna Vazquez plays a live, pre-film set! Community Partners:  Biosafety Alliance and Soil Not Oil Coalition.

TAKING ROOT: THE VISION OF WANGARI MAATHAI

Directed by Lisa Merton and Alan Dater

Presented in partnership with Friends Of Trees

TAKING ROOT: THE VISION OF WANGARI MAATHAI tells the dramatic story of Kenyan Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Wangari Maathai, whose simple act of planting trees grew into the Green Belt Movement, a nationwide movement led by women and girls that safeguards the environment and protects human rights, social justice, and peace. Since its founding in 1977, the Green Belt Movement has planted over 51 million trees.

Benefit for our community partner: Friends Of Trees! 50% of all box office proceeds donated to them. Presented as part of Feminist March, the Hollywood Theatre's month-long tribute to women in media arts.

BARAKA - shown in 70mm!

Directed by Ron Fricke

Presented in partnership with the Hollywood Theatre's 70mm Film Program.

“Baraka” is an ancient Sufi word, which can be translated as “a blessing or the breath or essence of life from which the evolutionary process unfolds.”  Featuring no conventional narrative and no dialogue, BARAKA takes viewers around the globe to witness a variety of spectacles in both natural and technological realms, from chaotic cities to barren wilderness.  Filmed in 152 locations in 25 countries on six continents, BARAKA brings together a series of stunningly photographed scenes to capture what director Ron Fricke calls “a guided mediation on humanity.” At the time of its release (1992), BARAKA was the first film in more than twenty years to be photographed in the 70mm Todd-AO format.

photo by paul K. Anderson / www.paulkanderson.com

photo by paul K. Anderson / www.paulkanderson.com

OUR SACRED OBLIGATION

Directed by Freddie Lane

Lummi Nation filmmaker Fred Lane and Master Carver Jewell James in attendance.  Presented in partnership with The Sierra Club, Oregon Chapter, Friends of the Columbia Gorge, and Power Past Coal Coalition.

OUR SACRED OBLIGATION is a documentary film about the 2014 Totem Pole Journey hosted by the House of Tears Carvers of the Lummi Nation. The totem pole's creation and its 22 day-long journey connected tribal nations and non-native communities along the proposed coal-train path to Xwe’chienXen, the ancient Lummi village site and burial ground - and the proposed site for a coal terminal.

Thanks to our filmmakers, sponsors, audiences and to the community members/organizations who were featured at our films and event panel discussions

Participants included: Save Endangered Animals Oregon/Yes on 100 campaign, Humane Society International, Save The Giants, 350PDX, Center For Food Safety, Skyline Tavern Project/Black Dog Art Ensemble, Sierra Club, Oregon Chapter, Friends of the Columbia Gorge, Power Past Coal Coalition, Friends Of Trees, Soil Not Oil Coalition, Oregon Wild, Velo Cult, Oregon Film