$400,000 has been raised as of May 2012. Our deepest thanks to the people who make it all possible:

Signature Sponsors (gift of $3,000 to $100,000)

Gould Family Foundation
Sundance Documentary Fund/Wallace Global Fund
California Council for the Humanities
Wallace Alexander Gerbode Foundation
Farvue Foundation
Anonymous foundation
LEF Foundation
Fred Gellert Family Foundation
Nu Lamba Trust
Anonymous donor
Charlie Pendergast/Riskpress Fdtn
Tides Foundation
Pohaku Fund
Marion Hunt/ R.A. Hunt Foundation
Dan Gabel
Samuel & Betty Kitchell
Fleishhacker Foundation
Resource Renewal Institute, Huey Johnson
Laney Thornton Foundation
Susan Druding
Susan Schindler
Kitchell cousins – Kaaren, Jane, Jon, Ann Denk and Suki Edwards


Supporting Donor (gift of $500 to $2,999)

Lucius & Eva Eastman Fund
Tracy Gary and the Women's Forest Sanctuary
Andrew Norman Foundation
Jeffrey Faden
Peter Whitehead
David A. Long
Patricia Durham & Douglas Hammer
Peter Stern & Holly Badgley
Corrine Ford-Peden
Gary & Linda Zellerbach
Milla McConnell-Tuite
Traci Hickson in honor of (web radio for the web of life)

A modest inheritance from Charlotte Kitchell got things started.

Three loans helped us make it to Sundance on time.


Now we are raising completion funding -- mainly to cover licensing costs but also for final narration, adding to the ending, a bit of editing and then mastering the film. $100,000 is the total budget for this phase. Close to half of that has been raised. So finishing the film is a matter of $50,000 more.

If you would like to consider becoming a Signature Sponsor for a donation of $3,000 or more or a Supporting Donor for between $500 to $2,999 or would like to give to the film:

Tax-deductible donations may be made to the San Francisco Film Society.

Here’s the link to their website:

There’s also a button on the home page of this website.

Or you can send a check payable to San Francisco Film Society (please put A Fierce Green Fire on the memo line) to A Fierce Green Fire at 1016 Lincoln Blvd #10, San Francisco CA 94129.


Feel free to call or email us:

Mark Kitchell             (415) 515-0785             This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Celia Kitchell             (415) 516-2892             This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Tracy Gary of Inspired Legacies, who is helping to bring the film home, can be reached at (415) 377-9447, or email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. '; document.write(''); document.write(addy_text35829); document.write('</a>'); //-->n This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

A Fierce Green Fire premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2012 and is playing festivals around the world. Plans are for a broad release in the fall of 2012. Now the film is being completed. Just a few tasks remain:

Recording final narration with five narrators. Robert Redford has voiced the first act. Ashley Judd agreed to do the second. Others associated with the cause are being asked to do the remainder.
Adding to the end of the film a call featuring activists of today – up to twenty of the best and brightest on the cutting edge of environmentalism, sketching what they are fighting for.
Licensing and mastering archival material. Much of this work is done. All that’s left are commercial sources and fair use questions. We’re also clearing music, seeking songs like Big Yellow Taxi.

Modular by design, A Fierce Green Fire can be seen as a film of 110 minutes; segments of 22 minutes, ideal for classroom or activist use; or a series of half-hours. Soon there should be a television cutdown of 55-60 minutes. We’re pursuing a companion book and this website will grow to include additional video, follow-ons and updates. Think of it as a package of media resources for a multi-platform world.

Plans to put the film out in the world combine traditional distribution with grassroots outreach and engagement. Release will begin on three fronts simultaneously:

• Theatrical, non-theatrical and festival screenings, a first run of a few hundred playdates
• Educational markets, both classroom use and campus events open to the public
• Grassroots screenings organized by and for environmental groups and community activists

Broadcast and consumer video we want to hold back to build awareness of the film, develop its uses and audiences. (That means the best way to get a DVD of the film now is to donate $50 or more.) We will experiment with streaming and downloading, all the new digital delivery channels. Eventually the film will be available to everyone everywhere. Our hope is it will be evergreen, become one of the defining films about the biggest movement the world has ever seen.

A Fierce Green Fire can educate and inspire new generations; energize activists; give purpose to the movement; even shape its identity going forward. We’re committed to spending two years working with groups large and small – not just doing screenings and sales to their members and partners, but using the film as a tool for campaigning around an array of issues. Already we are discussing plans with Lois Gibbs’ CHEJ; the Sierra Club and its chapters; NRDC;; the National Wildlife Federation, which reaches into the heartland; local groups fighting fracking in Pennsylvania and New York; Eradicating Ecocide, a campaign to make environmental damage an international crime; Waterkeeper Alliance and International Rivers; Greenpeace and Oregon Wild; Occupy groups and Imazon in Brazil; food and water activists... the list goes on.

Distribution is coming together now. Potential partners include: First Run Features; Bullfrog Films; and Active Voice, led by Ellen Schneider. Sales representatives are: The Film Sales Company for North America; and Louise Rosen Ltd for international. Jeffrey Winter of The Film Collaborative is managing international festivals. See the Contact page for more information.

A Fierce Green Fire tells stories of environmental activism – people trying to save the planet, their homes, the future. It chronicles grassroots and global movements building over five decades; connects all the causes; explores how we got here and where we’re going. It is the first film to create a big-picture overview of the environmental movement, bring together all its parts and eras from conservation to climate change. Our approach differs from the usual in two ways. First is our focus on activism; it’s more engaging and impassioned. Second is our emphasis on synthesis, exploring broader ideas and deeper meanings.

A Fierce Green Fire unfolds in five acts, each twenty-two minutes. E.O. Wilson, eminent biologist and advisor to the film, said focus on five of the most dramatic and important events and people. In developing those main stories and characters, we discovered each was emblematic of an era and a part of the environmental movement. So we devised an hourglass structure for each act. They begin with broader context. Then they focus in on the main story, more fully told. Finally they open up again to explore ramifications.

• Act 1 focuses on the conservation movement of the ‘60s, David Brower and the Sierra Club’s battle to halt dams in the Grand Canyon. It grows out of three earlier battles to halt dams: Hetch Hetchy, which was lost; Dinosaur Monument, which was won; and Glen Canyon, which was sacrificed. Saving the Grand Canyon looks like a lost cause until David Brower places ads denouncing the dams. The IRS retaliates and the uproar becomes front-page news. Opposition grows so fast and furious that Congress bows to pressure – canceling and finally prohibiting dams. It is the biggest victory yet, a pivotal battle that brings the flowering of conservation. However, Brower is soon forced out of the Sierra Club. He is coming to a larger vision – just as Earth Day heralds a new environmental consciousness.

• Act 2 looks at the new environmental movement of the ‘70s with its concerns about pollution, focusing on the battle led by Lois Gibbs over Love Canal. First we connect Rachel Carson and Silent Spring to the golden era of environmental legislation and groups like NRDC that arose to enforce regulations. But it takes Love Canal to put toxic waste on the map. Lois Gibbs leads angry housewives in a two-year battle to save their children from 20,000 tons of toxic chemicals. They are relentless, protesting and conducting health studies and demanding relocation, even taking EPA officials hostage until President Carter agrees to buy them out. However it is only the beginning. Reagan counterattacks. Grassroots activists fighting toxics in their own backyard arise all over the country. Environmental racism gives birth to an environmental justice movement.

• Act 3 is about alternative ecology strands, with the main story being Greenpeace’s campaign to save the whales. We begin with going back to the land, building ecological alternatives and exploring renewable energy. Greenpeace brings together the anti-war and ecology movements. Putting themselves in front of harpoons to stop whaling launches Greenpeace on the wildest ride of any environmental group. Soon they are fighting on every front all over the world. Paul Watson, thrown out of Greenpeace for tossing a sealer’s club in the water, is reborn as Sea Shepherd and takes on whalers. Everyone comes together to campaign for a moratorium on whaling – one of environmentalism’s greatest victories. This act ends with the growth of green issues in Europe.

• Act 4 explores global resource issues and crises of the ‘80s, focusing on the struggle to save the Amazon led by Chico Mendes and the rubber tappers. They fight ranchers and roads, then start a movement to establish extractive reserves. The pivotal battle is over a plantation called Cachoeira. Chico wins – but is assasinated. However his death proves to be the turning point, to reserves that now total a third of the Amazon. Yet relentless pressures threaten to turn it into a semi-desert. We expand to look at movements across the global south, from Chipko in India and Wangari Maathai’s Greenbelt Movement to water wars in Bolivia and arguments over equity and sustainability.

• Act 5 concerns climate change. First we look at scientific origins. Then comes a twenty-year story of political frustration, from Rio to Kyoto to Copenhagen. We explore opposition; the movement’s difficulty in dealing with the issue; and the role of disasters like Hurricane Katrina in bringing it back. COP15 ends in failure and our focus shifts from top-down politics to bottom-up movements. Paul Hawken relates his Blessed Unrest revelation: two million groups working at the grassroots, humanity’s immune response. We turn to the future, explore environmentalism as civilizational transformation, reinventing the way we make and do everything – then close with hope and the realization that we have all become environmentalists. As Bob Bullard says, “There’s no Hispanic air. There’s no African-American air. There’s air! And if you breathe air  -- and most people I know do breathe air – then I would consider you an environmentalist.”

Mark Kitchell Director/Producer

Mark Kitchell is best known for Berkeley in the Sixties, which won the Audience Award at the 1990 Sundance Film Festival, was nominated for an Academy Award, and won other top honors. The film has become a well-loved classic, one of the defining documentaries about the protest movements that shook America during the 1960s. In the twenty years since that film he has worked in non-fiction television, made films for hire, taught at UC Santa Cruz, done freelance production and developed A Fierce Green Fire. He went to NYU film school, where he made The Godfather Comes to Sixth St., a cinema verite look at his neighborhood caught up in filming The Godfather II – for which he received another (student) Academy Award nomination.

Marc Weiss Executive Producer

Marc Weiss is best known as creator and Executive Producer of P.O.V., the award-winning documentary series now preparing for its 25th season on PBS. He has been a leader in the independent media movement for forty years as a filmmaker, journalist, organizer and innovator in the use of the internet to engage people on social issues -- with P.O.V. Interactive in the mid-‘90s and Web Lab in 1997.  In 2011, Marc produced When Strangers Click with Robert Kenner and Gun Fight with Barbara Kopple, both for HBO.

Ken Schneider – Editor

Ken Schneider has many distinguished documentaries to his credit: Have You Heard From Johannesburg?; Sowing the Seeds of Justice; Orozco: Man of Fire; Freedom Machines; Ralph Ellison: An American Journey; The Good War and Those Who Refused to Fight It; Born in the USA; Regret to Inform; School Colors; Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin; and many more. With his wife Marcia Jarmel he produced and directed Speaking in Tongues and now they are at work on Ballz about baseball, Cuba and family ties past and present.

Veronica Selver & Jon Beckhardt
Editors, Rough-Cut Phase

Veronica Selver, a veteran, and Jon Beckhardt, a newcomer, co-edited the rough-cut. Selver directed the seminal film about gays in America, Word Is Out. She also made KPFA on the Air and edited great documentaries: On Company Business; You Got to Move; Coming Out Under Fire; Blacks and Jews; and Berkeley in the Sixties. Beckhardt is a graduate of Oberlin. He worked as animator on Mark Kitchell’s previous project, Integral Consciousness. A Fierce Green Fire was his first big editing assignment.

Vicente Franco

Vicente Franco’s credits include: The Storm That Swept Mexico; Waiting to Inhale; The Most Dangerous Man in America: Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers; Speaking In Tongues; The Judge and the General; California and the American Dream; Thirst; and Freedom on My Mind. He also produced and directed three films with Gail Dolgin: Cuba Va; Daughter From Danang; and The Summer of Love for American Experience.

James Gowdey
Assistant Editor

Tamara Alexa
Associate Producer / Outreach Coordinator

Alyssa Martin, Betsy Bayha

Consulting Editor: Gary Weimberg

Assistant Editor: James Gowdey

Archival Researchers: Betsy Bayha, Alyssa Martin, Lynn Adler, Jessica Berman-Bogdan

Additional Archival Research: James Gowdey, Celia Kitchell, Michael Dolan, Matthew Lesny

Associate Producers: Tamara Badgley-Horowitz, Craig Phillips


Original music for the film:

- George Michalski and Dave Denny for the theme song A Fierce Green Fire and The Party’s Over (lyrics by Mark Kitchell)

- Sonya Kitchell for the closing ballad A Fierce Green Fire

- Garth Stevenson scored twenty cues throughout the film

- Randall Wallace stepped in to help with scoring in the rush to Sundance



- Zoetrope Aubry Productions did online editing, graphic design, mastering archival material and digital conversion to HD – Kim Aubry, Ri Crawford and Mike Fleming

- Gary Coates did color finishing

- Berkeley Sound Artists did sound editing and mixing – Dan Olmsted, Patti Tauscher and Chase Keehn


Get on the list

“Oscar-nominated filmmaker Mark Kitchell (Berkeley in the Sixties) winningly spans the broad scope of environmental history in this comprehensive doc, connecting its origins with the variety of issues still challenging society today.”
Justin Lowe, The Hollywood Reporter

"The material is vast, and it’s an incredibly dynamic film. It’s shaping up to be the documentary of record on the environmental movement.
I think it’ll be hugely successful."

– Cara Mertes, Director, Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program