GENERATION ON THE WIND
Mar
22
7:00 PM19:00

GENERATION ON THE WIND

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Writer, Director, Producer and Editor: David Vassar
Academy Award Nominee | Best Documentary Feature
Best Documentary | American Film Festival
Best Environmental Documentary | San Francisco Int’l Film Festival

In 1978, the price of oil soared and domestic reserves plummeted resulting in long lines at gas stations. President Carter declared an 'energy crisis'. When David Vassar learned about a group of backyard mechanics, artists and environmentalists who were building a windmill to generate electricity on a remote island off the coast of Massachusetts, he sensed a story. It was an engineering story as well as a story of the American Spirit, but most of all it was a story about generating power from a renewable resource. In 1979, the Cutty Hunk windmill was the largest wind turbine ever constructed for the generation of electricity.

Considered lost for many years, in 2016 the film was lovingly restored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This beautiful film restoration was on the big screen for the first time in decades.

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YOSEMITE: Headwaters of the Park Idea
Oct
5
7:30 PM19:30

YOSEMITE: Headwaters of the Park Idea

David Vassar presents a set of clips from his documentary films that frame Yosemite as the birthplace of the National Park idea. Highlights include the passage of the Yosemite Grant in 1864, John Muir in Yosemite 1868 to 1913, the loss of Hetch Hetchy Valley in 1923, and the creation of the National Park Service in 1916.

“A great presentation! Superb! We received enthusiastic feedback about your brilliant program and wonderful talk.”
Brian Mayall, Program Producer, Rae Dorough Speaker Series
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A Walk in the Park                 with David Vassar
Feb
9
7:30 PM19:30

A Walk in the Park with David Vassar

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To celebrate the National Park Centennial, Presidio Dialogues presents a film retrospective of Oscar®-nominated and Emmy®-winning writer and director, David Vassar. Join us on an epic journey through some of the nation’s most magnificent parks where David has written and directed more than a dozen films. Film clips from Yosemite, Grand Canyon, Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Death Valley National Parks will be presented.

“David’s work all begins in his deeply personal responses to the parks, but these exquisite selections from his three decades as an award-winning documentary filmmaker are universal in their appeal. Our capacity crowd at the Officers’ Club was inspired, delighted, surprised, and moved.”                                                  ~ Brad Rosenstein, Program Producer, Presidio Trust
“David Vassar is a riveting and distinctive storyteller, both in person and on the big screen. He is a champion of these great lands which we, the people, own.”
Spreck Rosekrans, Executive Director, Restore Hetch Hetchy
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A Walk in the Park with David Vassar
Jan
17
7:30 PM19:30

A Walk in the Park with David Vassar

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“Sometimes there is no better way to evoke wonder in an audience than to simply dazzle them with images of the natural world, and David’s retrospective did exactly that. The audience in our theater left his presentation in a state of reverie, filled with a sense of the transformative power of our national parks. It was one of the highlights of our NATtalks season.”
~ Robert Rutherford, Program Producer, San Diego Natural History Museum

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Green When It Was Just Another Color
Jan
13
12:00 PM12:00

Green When It Was Just Another Color

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David presents a live multi-media program exploring the source of inspiration for environmental films and how the idea becomes a cinematic experience that can move an audience to action. Many of David’s films present environmental issues that were far ahead of the popular zeitgeist and off the radar of the larger culture. During this presentation of clips from his most memorable films, David provides the backstory – at times personal, at times technical, and at times anecdotal – sharing memories of behind-the-camera moments. It is a look back at his catalog of work and the evolution of what a ‘Green Film’ was and has become.
At this year’s Festival David received the ‘John de Graff Award’ recognizing his life long commitment to producing environmental films.


“David Vassar’s multi-media presentation, Green When it Was Just Another Color, meaningfully explored the source of inspiration for environmental films and how an idea becomes a cinematic experience that can move an audience to action.  Using clips and stories from 30 years of filmmaking our audience saw the evolution of ‘green film’ through his eyes and left inspired to create change in their own way.”     
Melinda Booth, Director, Wild & Scenic Film Festival
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A Walk in the Park with David Vassar
Aug
25
7:30 PM19:30

A Walk in the Park with David Vassar

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"’A Walk in the Park’ provides a stimulating look at one man’s filmmaking over 40 years, so much of it driven by a vital connection to nature and by a dedication to tell the story of our magnificent but threatened natural world.                   
John Knox, Executive Director - Earth Island Institute

“As an audience member myself, I enjoyed hearing the stories of past projects. Even more though, it was great to watch other attendees responses. The smiles, laughter, and overall joy filled the Goldman Theater with a warmth akin to a living room. Truly a special evening full of special moments!”                           
Laurie Rich, Executive Director, David Brower Center

 

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A Walk in the Park with David Vassar
Mar
9
7:30 PM19:30

A Walk in the Park with David Vassar

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“David's presentation was an inspiring overview of his career as an environmental filmmaker, drawing a packed audience to the Warner Brothers Theater at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. He's a gifted filmmaker, a powerful speaker, and a great advocate for protecting America's parks and wilderness.”   
~ Chris Head, Director, Environmental Film Festival

"Throughout his career, Vassar’s films have sought to expand the viewers’ imagination: deepening their understanding of the interplay between natural processes and human history; building an awareness of the spiritual and emotional dimensions of National Parks; and inspiring a greater sense of caring and responsibility toward these shared national treasures of ours. This retrospective survey interspersed compelling films clips from Vassar’s five decades of environmental filmmaking with his eloquent and insightful introductions. Several members of the enthusiastic audience considered it the highlight of the entire citywide festival."
~ Jeffrey Stine, Curator of Environmental History, National Museum of American History

 “’A Walk in the Park with David Vassar’ serves as a perfect celebration of the National Park Centennial. It not only inspires the audience to visit these magnificent parks, but it provides a powerful understanding of their historical context and highlights the importance of preserving these places for future generations.”      
~ Will Shafroth, President, National Park Foundation

“We expect films about wilderness to be beautiful; after all, the subject abounds in beauty. It is rather David’s awareness of how wilderness acts as a cultural construct that sets his films apart. Against the argument that we have too much wilderness, he reminds us why we have never had enough.”                                              
~ Alfred Runte Ph.D. National Park Historian and Author

 

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California Forever; the Future of Our State Parks
Sep
13
12:30 PM12:30

California Forever; the Future of Our State Parks

  • Horace Albright Lecture in Conservation (map)
  • Google Calendar ICS
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“CALIFORNIA FOREVER beautifully integrates the history of the ‘park idea’ with a balanced treatment of current challenges to park management of competing visions and austere finances. Stunning visuals, thoughtful interviews, and insightful narration would engage any student that cares about the relationship between social well-being and the natural world.”
- Keith Gilless, Dean, College of Natural Resources

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