Global Extraction Film Festival
9-12 September 2021

The Global Extraction Film Festival (GEFF), launched last year by Esther Figueroa (Vagabond Media) and Emiel Martens (Caribbean Creativity), has announced the selection of over 150 films for GEFF2021. The festival, which will be available online for free from September 9-12, aims to bring attention to the destructive impacts of extractive industries and to highlight communities across the world who are bravely defending against annihilation while creating livable futures.

GEFF2021 will feature 4 programs with over 150 documentaries and urgent shorts from over 40 countries, with a wide range of compelling topics that everyone needs to think about. Where, how and by whom is the food we eat, water we drink, clothes we wear, materials in our technology, the energy that powers our lives produced and transported? What are we to do with the billions of tons of waste we create daily? What is our relationship to other species and all life on the planet? Extraction has caused the anthropocene; the climate crisis is real and cannot be wished away or solved by magical technologies based on extraction.

Our General Selection film program, Global Perspectives, offers 26 feature documentaries and urgent shorts that focus on interrelated issues affecting the world, such as the climate <crisis, water, food, energy, mining, overtourism, colonial legacies. Selected films include Bright Green Lies, which exposes the extraction dependent and ecologically destructive reality of “green” technological solutions; Grit, which tells the story of Dian, who at 6 years old, along with 60,000 displaced people, suffered from an industrial accident in Indonesia, and later becomes a political activist fighting for justice; Gather and Final Straw, Food, Earth, Happiness, which present ancient alternatives to industrial agriculture; Sustenance and The Superfood Chain,which explore the food we eat, where it comes from and the consequences of global food chains; and Eating up Easter and Crowded Out: The Story of Overtourism, which demonstrate that tourism is a highly extractive industry.

This special Focus on the Americas is our most extensive and prominent GEFF2021 film program offering over 100 feature documentaries and urgent shorts from 30 countries in the Americas, from Argentina in the South to Canada in the North and across the Caribbean islands. The Americas are central to the creation of the modern world. This is because the ecocidal and genocidal pillaging and settlement of the Americas by European Imperial powers led to the wealth of Europe (and later North America), and to the extraction intensive industrial revolution that accelerated the anthropocene and caused the climate emergency in which we are now living. Understanding extraction in the Americas is requisite for understanding the global political economy. Understanding the Americas is also essential to realizing there are Indigenous alternatives to planetary destruction, that communities throughout the Americas have been resisting erasure for centuries, and continue to protect and defend that which is necessary to all life.

over 10 feature documentaries and urgent shorts about the relationship between humans and animals, and the impact of the extractive industries on animals. Humans are animals who dominate the planet and decide which other animals have value, are our food, our friends, our enemies, are pests, can be sacrificed, made extinct. For example, selected feature Artifishal – The Fight to Save Wild Salmon, shows the devastating impact of dams and farmed salmon on wild salmon populations., while The Last Male on Earth tells a tale of extinction.

This special selection offers 8 feature documentaries and urgent shorts produced by Patagonia Films about people fighting for environmental and food justice, to protect last wild places and species, to find community based solutions. For example, DamNation – The Problem with Hydropower chronicles the United States of America’s nationally promoted narrative of man’s domination of nature, then decades later, the realization that humans are completely dependent on nature, that large-scale dams are one of our very worst inventions and should be removed. Two other selected Patagonia films, Public Trust – The Fight for America’s Public Lands and Lawqa – Que el Parque Vuelva a Ser Parque show how public lands and national parks in the USA and Chile have been handed over to extractive industries, removing the people, plants and animals who used to be there, and polluting and degrading the environment.

Along with these four Film Programs, there will be panel discussions about extractive industries and their impacts on specific places and peoples, as well as Q&A with filmmakers. These events are hosted by GEFF’s partners including Deep Green Resistance, London Mining Network, Asia-Pacific Ecological Network, Red Thread, Freedom Imaginaries.


Emiel Martens:

Esther Figueroa:


Note: DGR is organizing two events for GEFF2021.  The first is a discussion on Bright Green Lies with Director Julia Barnes at 4 PM (Pacific Time) September 11. You can find the Facebook page here. The second is a discussion with director on how films can be used for resistance at 5 AM (Pacific Time) September 11. You can contact DGR Asia Pacific to join the event.