In organizing the San Francisco Green Film Festival, executive director Rachel Caplan has several things she’d like to see come out of the six nights of film from September 24 to the 29th—including getting people fired up, inspiring them, and igniting change. 

The theme of this year’s festival, the ninth, is “home”: what it means to you and what to do to protect it. 

“We hope the films spark conversations,” Caplan said. ”There are many important ideas including affordable housing and habitat loss with 60 films and 100 guest speakers from 21 countries from Senegal to Sweden.”

Caplan called the opening night movie, Push, a real world conspiracy thriller about the global housing crisis. This is Swedish filmmaker Fredrik Gertten’s fourth film at the festival after Bananas!*Big Boys Gone Bananas!*, and Bikes vs. Cars, and it follows Leilani Farha, the UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, as she travels the world, trying to understand who’s being pushed out of cities and why. Both Gertenn and Farha are expected at the September 24 screening at the Castro Theater.  

At the festival’s preview at San Francisco’s SPUR offices, Caplan talked about some of the other movies they will be screening. There are several films set at the Mexico-United States border, including Ay Mariposa set in the Lower Rio Grand Valley in Texas about the divineness of the border wall, and The River and The Wall, with friends traveling by canoe, horses and bike along the southern border to document the potential impacts of the border wall on the natural environment. 

The movie Anthropocene: The Human Epoch, about the reengineering of the planet, will have its San Francisco premiere on September 25 at the Roxie Theater, a UN Climate Action Summit national screening event. 16 Sunrises, the closing night film on September 29, also at the Roxie, is set aboard the International Space Station, where astronauts witness an evolving planet.

“We wanted to end in space,” Caplan said  “There’s so much going on on the planet, we wanted to take a cosmic perspective, where they see 16 sunrises every day and have a unique perspective on home.”

The festival is more than movies, Caplan said – it is a movement, with an activist center with happy hours, and a partnership with the Consulate General of Switzerland, Swissnex, and the Exploratorium. The festival has collaborated with these organizations to take over Piers 15 and 17 on September 26, with a fog bridge and a labyrinth of interactive eco- arts exhibits. 

SAN FRANCISCO GREEN FILM FESTIVAL
Sept. 24-29

Various locations
Tickets and more information here