2013 Student Films

Alex Rivera speaking

In 2013, visiting artist-in-residence Alex Rivera and UW professor Gregg Mitman taught an environmental filmmaking class: From Ecotopia to Ecopocalypse -- Telling Digital Stories About the Environment that led upper-level undergraduate and graduate students through the process of creating short fiction films on a theme of environmental futures. Kaitlin Fyfe assisted in teaching the technical components of the course. The results are the student projects below that cut across multiple issues and tell innovative fiction and science fiction stories, using a combination of student footage and "found footage" available in the public domain. These eight films were shown as trailers at Tales from Planet Earth 2013.

click to learn more about 24-7B


Directed by Melissa Charenko

In a world of scarcity where national parks are being protected from people, a simple act from childhood has grave consequences for a man trying to teach his son the habits he learned from his father.

click to learn more about Bee Guardian

Bee Guardian

Directed by Mallika Nocco

Bee Guardian explores the growing movement to preserve bee habitat by keeping honey bees without the honey production element. The film's fiction accelerates the ongoing demise of honey bee populations to imagine a near future without bees, where strawberries have become a rare, precious commodity.

click to learn more about Dying for Happiness

Dying for Happiness

Directed by Chris Limburg

In the near future, a spider-silk futures trader goes to the clinic for happiness treatments. When the doctor injects him with nanobots to modulate his autonomic nervous system, things go sideways. The results are beautiful . . . and surprising.

click to learn more about Memory Paste

Memory Paste

Directed by Diana Macias

Memory Paste explores the consequences of solutions to growing population and food production and distribution systems that focus on efficiency, cost, and physical nourishment. Set in an unknown time, a young girl and her mother live in a world in which they struggle to survive the elimination of knowledge and cosmology embedded in food no longer available to them.

click to learn more about Necessity


Directed by Lulu Maslowski

In the future, energy is a precious and regulated commodity.

click to learn more about The Translator

The Translator

Directed by Jojin Van Winkle

A sonic translator working for the Biodomes' Living Archives receives an unusual shipment. A mini film by Jojin Van Winkle, first year MFA graduate student in UW's Department of Art. Actor, Martha E. White.

click to learn more about Two Planets

Two Planets

Directed by Hua Ming

Utopia and dystopia, dream or reality? Hua Ming received her master's degree from the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. Fascinated by filmmaking, she wants to continue telling environmental stories using many film languages.

click to learn more about Uproot


Directed by Kat Cameron

Earth has become an ecotopia. In the face of climate change, people voluntarily took on the challenge to adapt and mitigate its effects and live more sustainably. Everyone except for the few who refuse until government intervenes and forces them to assimilate.