Building a Movement at SBIFF

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Date & Time

Thu, Mar 03 8:10 AM - 9:30 AM

Address (map)

618 State Street, Santa Barbara, CA 93101

Building a Movement:

50 Years of Environmental Studies at UCSB

World Premiere at Santa Barbara International Film Festival

Premiere Screening: March 3, 8:10 am

with Santa Barbara Shorts

An inspiring look at the past and future of the environmental movement through a revolutionary program, its graduates, and faculty

(Santa Barbara) The 1969 Unocal Santa Barbara Oil Spill triggered the creation of the National Environmental Protection Act and the federal Environmental Protection Agency, as well as the multidisciplinary Environmental Studies Program at UC Santa Barbara. “Building a Movement”, a 28-minute documentary, presents the voices of faculty and graduates sharing the program’s 50-year history. The film documents the evolution of the program and of the environmental movement itself to express current priorities, including educating future activists. As Associate Professor Simone Pulver, Director of the Environmental Leadership Incubator, puts it, “we’re inspiring students to be solution generators and solution agents”.

“Building a Movement: 50 Years of Environmental Studies at UCSB” is the second documentary by director Isaac Hernández de Lipa and could be considered a sequel to “BetterTogether”, a documentary narrated by Christopher Lloyd (“Back to the Future”), about the community of Santa Barbara coming together in the face of environmental disasters, including the 1969 Santa Barbara Oil Spill and 2015 Refugio Oil Spill, as well as the 2018 Thomas Fire and Debris Flow, including climate change.

Students in the film include influential scientists, activists, and entrepreneurs, from 1973 graduate and NASA scientist Merrilee Fellows to Michelle Sevilla (class of 2016), Field Representative at California State Assembly and Network Manager of the Central Coast Climate Justice Network. The faculty members included are no less impressive, including a recovered interview with the late Dr. William Freudenburg, as well as current and retired faculty. Besides David Pellow, the current Department Chair, Dehlsen Professor and environmental justice expert, there are a number of former Chairs interviewed, including some who are still part of the faculty: Joshua Schimel, Professor of Microbial Ecology; Ed Keller, Professor in Environmental and Engineering Geology and Carla D’Antonio, Schuyler Professor who teaches Ecosystem Restoration and Ecology, Restoration Biology, and who also served as production supervisor for the film.

The film is produced by Nancy Black and Isaac Hernández de Lipa of Mercury Press International for Cafe Solo Films, narrated by Jon Zuber with an original score by Sheena Birrittella. Chris and Malin Fletcher are the Executive Producers. “Building a Movement” will celebrate its World Premiere at the Santa Barbara International Film Festival (SBIFF), with the premiere screening on March 3, 2022, 8:10 am at Metro 4, Theatre 2, 618 State Street, SB, CA 93101.

“We have to find ways of saying yes to positive, transformative, inspiring, sustainable, and equitable policies and practices because they’re all around us, and we need to multiply them a thousandfold. This isn’t about politics or political power or political parties. This is about common sense. This is about doing what we need to do to make sure that we have a future on planet Earth. And I think there’s still time. It’s departments and communities like ours that are at the forefront of making that happen.”  – David Pellow, Chair, UCSB Environmental Studies Program

“So if you ask little questions, you’ll get little answers. And we want to ask the big questions, what are we going to do about sustainability? How are we going to move into the next century?” – Ed Keller


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