SAN FRANCISCO—After 10 years of bringing environmental films to San Franciscans, the San Francisco Green Film Festival will close for good due to financial losses caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The decision by the Festival’s Board of Directors comes following their cancellation of the 10th Anniversary Festival scheduled for September 2020.
“This was a difficult, heartbreaking decision.” says Rachel Caplan, the festival’s founder & CEO. “Launching the San Francisco Green Film Festival and then leading it for over a decade has been my greatest joy, and I’m proud of all that our small team achieved in bringing complex environmental conversations and ideas into the mainstream. In 2011, the first year of the festival, we never thought it would be possible to have a full house at the magnificent Castro Theatre to watch an environmental documentary,” reads a news release from the Green Film Festival.
The festival managed to bring people together to share environmental stories, raise awareness for environmental justice, and strengthen local communities. The festival has shown over 600 environmental films and hosted about 800 esteemed guests, featuring leaders like poet Margaret Atwood and Native American civil rights leader Madonna Thunder Hawk.
Kaiser Permanente was the main sponsor of the Green Film Festival. Many other sponsors and non-profit partners such as SF Grants for the Arts helped financially back the festival. Additionally, the Green Film Festival partnered with the United Nations Environment Programme in 2017 to help their sustainable development goals and in 2018 served as a partner for San Francisco’s Global Climate Action Summit.