At Bal Ashram, Nobel Peace Prize winner Kailash Satyarthi and his wife Sumedha provide a home and family for boys rescued from child labor. As the boys play and learn, their education is more than simply academic. They learn their rights, and they learn to assert their humanity. From slaves to shock troops in the war against child labor – the children of Bal Ashram fight for their peers still trapped in bonded labor. Please join us for this colorful and hopeful documentary about some of the world’s most compassionate heroes and heroines, and welcome filmmaker Len Morris to Green Lake! Director Len Morris in attendance.
View the Trailer
The film will be preceded by the following short films.
Moyang – inside all of us is an indigenous heart 3 mins.
A short film that takes us deep into Malaysia’s jungles to uncover the secrets to balance, happiness and the fate of our shared world. Director Farhan Umedaly in attendance.
Protecting Tichora Conservancy 6 mins
An inspiring story in Green Lake’s own backyard, this film showcases the efforts of the Green Lake Conservancy, Green Lake Sanitary District and a small group of dedicated volunteers who worked together to save “the land between the lakes.” Produced by Gathering Waters.
Ghost Fleet follows a small group of activists who risk their lives on remote Indonesian islands to find justice and freedom for the enslaved fishermen who feed the world’s insatiable appetite for seafood. Bangkok-based Patima Tungpuchayakul, a Thai abolitionist, has committed her life to helping these “lost” men return home. Facing illness, death threats, corruption, and complacency, Patima’s fearless determination for justice inspires her nation and the world. Directed by Shannon Service & Jeffrey Waldron.
A new HBO documentary produced by Oscar-winner Leonardo DiCaprio, George DiCaprio and Mathew Schmid and directed by Leila Conners, Ice on Fire is an eye-opening story that focuses on never-before-seen solutions designed to slow down our escalating environmental crisis. The film goes beyond the current climate change narrative and offers hope that we can actually stave off the worst effects of global warming. Directed by Laila Conners.
Kifaru follows the lives of two young, Kenyan recruits that join Ol Pejeta Conservancy’s rhino caretaker unit – a small group of rangers that care for and protect Sudan, the last male northern white rhino or Kifaru in Swahili. Spanning over the course of the caretakers first four years on the job, ‘Kifaru’ allows viewers to experience the joys and pitfalls of conservation firsthand through the lens of these men, and view extinction in real-time.
Pre Feature Short – Stolen Apes 18 mins
Playing before Kifaru
A Freeland sting operation in Bangkok saves infant Orangutans from traffickers, but the traffickers remain at large. Daniel Stiles, a detective in the illegal wildlife trade, thinks of new ways to combat illegal great ape trafficking. Director Colin Sytsma in attendance.
A Swazi girl embarks on a dangerous quest to rescue her young twin brothers. This animated African tale is born in the imaginations of five orphaned children in Eswatini who collaborate to tell a story of perseverance drawn from their darkest memories and brightest dreams. Their fictional character’s journey is interwoven with poetic and observational documentary scenes to create a genre-defying celebration of the transformative power of storytelling. Directed by Aaron Kopp & Amanda Kopp.
Note: while sensitively handled, the film deals with challenging family histories, trafficking, and lingering impact of HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa. Ages 10+ recommended.
An intimate, character-driven portrait of conservationists and activists who are struggling to stop forest elephant poaching in Africa’s Congo Basin region. Silent Forests will explore this story through a range of dynamic subjects; including one of Cameroon’s first female eco-guards, a grassroots wildlife law enforcement group, a Congolese biologist studying elephant behavior, a reformed elephant poacher, and a team of anti-poaching sniffer dogs led by a Czech conservationist. As passionate and tenacious as these conservationists are, they are up against huge institutional challenges like corruption and lack of funding that threaten to derail all their attempts to fight for the future of the endangered forest elephant.
Director Mariah Wilson in attendance.
Our Classics with a Conscience series presents this 1973 film starring Charlton Heston. The year is 2022. Earth is overpopulated and totally polluted. Its natural resources have been exhausted and the nourishment of the population is provided by Soylent Industries, a company that makes a food consisting of plankton from the oceans. A Soylent member of the board is murdered and Detective Thorn (played by Heston) investigates and meanwhile discovers a bizarre and disturbing secret of the ingredient used to manufacture Soylent Green. Directed by Richard Fleischer.
Tigers are the subject of myths and folktales, poetry and art. Half a century ago, in the jungles of India, a young forest officer rallied the world to save tigers from extinction. Today, the creed is carried on in Far East Russia by the guardians of the last Siberian tigers, who risk everything to save the species. Directed by Academy®-Award winning filmmaker Ross Kauffman (Born into Brothels) and produced by Oscar® winner Fisher Stevens (The Cove), Tigerland is the story about our relationship with one of the world’s most revered creatures. Directed by Ross Kauffman.
Dying from diseases like ALS and Alzheimer’s is a tormenting process. These diseases are on the increase worldwide. Aided by climate change and pollution, scientists believe a substance in the environment, produced by some of the smallest organisms on Earth is the culprit. This is a medical detective story, a hunt for the hidden killer, following scientist Paul Cox and his team on a worldwide quest to find a cure. The team believe they have found something. Narrated by Harrison Ford & Directed by Bo Landin. Subject Dr. Renee Richer in attendance.
Pre-Feature Short – Becoming Ocean 9 mins
When climate-change journalist Eiren Caffall was diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, she realized that, like the planet, she was slowly drowning. Directed by Scott Foley.
With new, never-before-seen archival footage “From Mass to the Mountain – Director’s Cut” takes you to Eastern Panama, where decades of government corruption and neglect have impoverished the region. But thanks to the tireless efforts of one priest to build infrastructure, protect watersheds, and conserve the rainforest, life is looking up for the locals. Directors Colin Sytsma & Kurt Sensenbrenner & subject Father Wally & Tim Lyke in attendance.
Interconnections: Everything is Connected 15 mins
Do you ever wonder if what you as an individual do really makes a difference? This short film weaves together inspiring stories about the Ripple Effects of our actions in an Interconnected world. Directed by Rose Madrone.
Flying with Spider Monkeys 8 mins
The population of spider monkeys is decreasing in Southern Mexico due to habitat encroachment and wildlife trafficking for the pet trade. Conservation scientist Denise Spaan and her multidisciplinary team of scientists are exploring a new way to detect and count the monkeys using drones equipped with thermal cameras. Through their research they will discover that algorithms used by astrophysicists to count stars will be a breakthrough for the conservation and preservation of the species. Director Luis Palomino in attendance.
Faith, Hope, Love 5 mins
Zino Chan, a singer-songwriter from New Zealand, wrote and performed the song “Faith, Hope, Love” based on the experiences of a sex trafficking victim. This is one woman’s hopeful story of how she escaped. Directed by Sylvia Yu Friedman.
See the World’s Largest Bat Colony 1 min
Bats aren’t confined to living in caves or haunted mansions. They also can thrive in urban environments. Enjoy this super short about the world’s largest urban bat colony in Austin, Texas. Director Kurt Sensenbrenner in attendance (winner of Freeland’s 2018 Audience Award).
City Swim 9 mins
A documentary that chronicles the first open river swim in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 75+ years. The film celebrates the renewed health of the Milwaukee River ecosystem, while telling the stories of those who participated in this historic swim. Directed by Joseph Brown (winner Freeland’s 2018 Best Local Filmmaker Jury Award).
The Mexican Galapagos (La Isla Galápagos Mexicanas) 13 mins
In the middle of the Chihuahuan Desert, an incredible discovery has been made. There is an archipelago of lagoons that hosts the oldest organisms living on our planet. Due to the biological diversity that exists in these waters, scientists compare them with the Galapagos Islands. This place is currently under threat. Directed by Tania Claudia Castillo.
Living with Bees 1 min
Shot entirely on a cellphone, an indigenous Mayan woman follows the tradition of Melipona beekeeping in Mexico, helping to preserve this endangered species. Director Molly Ferrill in attendance.
Being with Elephants 12 mins
Throughout the Siana region of the Maasai Mara, local rangers must monitor and react to the shrinking elephant corridors in order to prevent future collisions of man and beast. Being with Elephants follows a group of local Maasai rangers who educate their community about the importance of elephants to the ecosystem as well as methods to coexist on the land that they all live upon. Directed by James Martin.
Chabon 28 mins
Much of Haiti’s forests have been destroyed as poverty forces many to risk their lives to illegally cut down trees to produce charcoal. Unlike other films produced on the matter, Chabon interviews the men and women directly involved in the sale and production of charcoal, providing insight into the genesis of an industry that continues to put the lives of desperate Haitians at risk while destroying the nation’s ecosystem. Environmentalist Kevin Adaire offers new solutions. Directed by Samuel Tyler Powers & Jack Powers. Subject Kevin Adair in attendance.
Saving Son Tra 20 mins
Son Tra mountain, an island of green in an otherwise developed landscape in central Vietnam, is under intense threat from development. This development is pushing the already endangered wildlife that lives there, including the stunning red-shanked Douc Langur, ever closer to the brink of extinction. The heroine of the story began her research in Vietnam in the early 1970s when war was raging around her. Shen eventually went on to form The Douc Langur Foundation has been working to protect this place and provide its wildlife denizens with a safe haven. Directed by Ryan Deboodt.
Your Rivers Need You 6 mins
The Red River in Kentucky was slated to be dammed in the early 1960s, and young landowner Joe Bowen supported it. He even gave a speech in favor of the dam against Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas and the Sierra Club. Not anymore. “In 75 years of living, I’ve changed my attitude about this wild river. The river is ours. So if it’s ours, then it’s also our responsibility.” Produced by the US Forest Service.
Lush Cosmetics Presents: Trophy 28 mins
Where does trophy hunting cross the line into unsustainable wildlife trade? Each year, trophy hunters in British Columbia kill hundreds of grizzly bears for their heads, paws and hides. Those that support the hunt claim it’s necessary to maintain balance in nature and provide economic advantages, yet some conservationists and activists say otherwise. Trophy challenges this controversial hunt that exists across North America and asks: can we truly justify killing these animals for sport and ornaments? Produced by Lush Cosmetics.
The Sun on Top of the House 14 mins
The indigenous Haida have lived on Haida Gwaii since time began. With European exploration came the demise of their people and indigenous ways of life along with the island’s dependency on diesel fuel for electricity. This is the powerful story of how the Haida have taken back control of their sacred lands and become leaders in renewable energy. Director Farhan Umedaly in attendance (winner Freeland’s 2018 Best Short Filmmaker Jury Award).
Welcome to Sixtinction 3 mins
A short film about our choices, our actions, our legacy and our ability to cope with critical issues this planet is facing. Every day, 200 species disappear. This is jeopardizing the lives of our children. Directed by Chiara Cant.
Meet the Pill Bug 1 min
Have you ever seen a pill bug or a roly-poly in your backyard? I never gave these bugs much thought before but I got intrigued, did some research, and decided to share what I learned by making this video in my backyard. Director Kurt Sensenbrenner in attendance (winner of Freeland’s 2018 Audience Award).
Protecting Tichora Conservancy 6 mins
An inspiring story in Green Lake’s own backyard, this film showcases the efforts of the Green Lake Conservancy, Green Lake Sanitary District and a small group of dedicated volunteers who worked together to save “the land between the lakes.” A former church camp and Boy Scout camp, today this protected land is known as Tichora Conservancy. Produced by Gathering Waters.
Crannog 15 mins
A heartfelt documentary about a young woman who cares for 48 rescued and sick animals, staying with them when they die. A tender contemplation on life, death and kindness. Directed by Isa Rao.