Fifty years ago an oil spill united a community and changed the world forever

Official selection:

2019 Santa Barbara International Film Festival; 2019 Bozeman International Film Festival; 2019 LA Femme Film Festival; 2019 Santa Barbara Surf Film Festival

Awards:

Santiago Independent Film Award (August 2019); CineX Independent Film Award (Sept 2019); Finalist, Ted Turner Award for the film that best encourages environmental stewardship, Bozeman International Film Festival; Finalist for Best Documentary, LA Femme Film Festival

Better Together oil spill movie poster - Narrated by Christopher Lloyd

The 1969 Union Oil blowout mobilized the Santa Barbara community to fight for the environment, inspiring the creation of many nonprofit organizations, Earth Day, the Environmental Protection Agency and the first interdisciplinary Environmental Studies program. The legacy of the oil spill continues to inform this community, which keeps coming together, providing local solutions to global environmental problems, exemplified when over 3,000 volunteers joined the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade to dig mud from homes after the deadly 2018 debris flow.

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“We all feel like we’re part of an ecosystem, that there’s an ecology of our relationships, so that what affects one person, affects us all in some way. We’re tied in an inescapable web of mutuality and interdependence." — David Pellow, Chair, UCSB Environmental Studies Program

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Featuring these organizations:

350.org-Santa Barbara; African Women Rising; Chumash Maritime Association; Citizen's Planning Association of Santa Barbara County; Committees for Land, Air, Water and Species; Community Environmental Council; Direct Relief; Environmental Defense Center; Food and Water Watch; Get Oil Out!; Gaviota Coast Conservancy; Habitat for Humanity of Santa Barbara County; Mission Blue; Montecito Trails Foundation; Santa Barbara Audubon Society, Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade; Santa Barbara Channelkeeper; Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue; Santa Barbara Declaration of Environmental Rights; Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network; SB Strong; Sierra Club Santa Barbara; The Solutions Project; UCSB Environmental Studies Program


A MERCURY PRESS INTERNATIONAL PRODUCTION

“BETTER TOGETHER”

A FILM BY ISAAC HERNANDEZ

NARRATED BY CHRISTOPHER LLOYD

MUSIC BY SHEENA BIRRITTELLA

CO-PRODUCERS: ANNE TOWBES, JON ZUBER, HEATHER SMITH WENNERGREN.

ASSOCIATE PRODUCER: ZEGAR FAMILY FUND.

EDITOR AND DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY: ISAAC HERNÁNDEZ.

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: LYNDA WEINMAN, LESLIE SWEEM BUTHANI, LINDA & FREDERICK GLUCK

PRODUCED BY NANCY BLACK.

WRITTEN AND DIRECTED BY ISAAC HERNÁNDEZ

FUNDS PROVIDED IN PART BY BOBBIE AND GERRY RUBIN

Featuring (in order of appearance)
Thomas Tighe
Kathi King
Miguel Zepeda-Rosales
Lynn Kirst
Rick Stein
MacGyver
Linda Eckerbom Cole
Abe Powell
Linda MacNeil
Janna Molder
Liz Beebe
Sofia Arabella Martin
Ashlee Mayfield
Robert H. Sollen
James "Bud" Bottoms
Linda Krop
Paul Relis
Marc McGinnes
Barry Capello
Sylvia Earle
Roderick Frazier Nash
President Richard Nixon
Selma Rubin
Francis Sarguis
Michael Lunsford
Lee Heller
Lee Moldaver
Senator Hannah-Beth Jackson
Kira Redmond
Glenn Russell
Elaine Ibarra
Mia Lopez
David Pellow
Paul Ehrlich
Michelle Sevilla
Marc Chytilo
Katie Davis
Mark Jacobson
Michael Chiacos
Amanda Pantoja
Sigrid Wright

Co-Writers
Heather Smith Wennergren
Jon Zuber
Nancy Black

First Camera Operator
Isaac Hernández

Second Camera Operator
Jon Zuber

Selma Rubin Interview
Susan Epstein
Jon Zuber
David Cowan

First Assistant Editor
Heather Smith Wennergren

Assistant Editor
Jon Zuber

Sound  Mixing Engineer
Nicholas Dobbie

Assistant Sound Mixing Engineer
Aishwarya Raju

Graphic Design
Heather Smith Wennergren
Diego Hernandez-Black

Still photography
Macduff Everton

Songs
"Better Together" © Jack Johnson/Brushfire Records/Universal Music
"O" © Emiliano Campobello
"Elk's Prayer" © Emiliano Campobello

Sponsors
Sofia Martin
Merryl Brown
Stan and Bettie Hatch
Sandy Robertson & Marshall Donovan
Nancy Gifford
Stacy Pulice
Judy Egenolf

Friends of the film
Jacquie McMahon
Lynn Kirst
Laurie Siegel
Matthew and Anne Hall
Barbara Burket
Laura Wyatt
Beryl Kreisel
Diane Gilbert
Craig Madsen
Steven Weintraub
Amy Holbrook
Phyllis de Picciotto & Stan Roden
Laura Macker Johnston
Peter Newendorp
India Rose Mattharu-Daley
Marnie Pinkster
John Sener
Diyanna Dobberteen
Shelley Meaney
Wendy Fox

Special thanks for the use of their archives
  Selma Rubin, Bud Bottoms, GOO!
Tamlorn Chase, Shaw Leonard
Ethan Turpin, Brad Schram
Francis Sarguis, Rod Nash, Lee Moldaver
Santa Barbara Channelkeeper
Marco Farrell, Rachel Douglas
Mike Eliason and Matt Udkow/Santa Barbara County Fire Department
California Office of Emergency Services
Santa Barbara Historical Society
Direct Relief, Barry Capello, SB Strong
Special Research Collections UCSB
Community Environmental Council
Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue
Robert H. Sollen,  Marc McGinnes
Santa Barbara Maritime Museum
Santa Barbara Sheriff Department
US Fish & Wildlife Service, National Conservation Training Center, Creative Imagery
California Department of Fish and Game/California State Archives
US National Archives, US Marines, US Coast Guard
NASA, Department of Energy, Library of Congress
Los Angeles Times, Santa Barbara News-Press
Cleveland State University, California Highway Patrol
Nixon Presidential Library, NOAA Fisheries
University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability

Special Thanks
María Herrero, Enrique Hernández Luike
Macduff Everton, Mary Heebner, Lars Nelson
David Gala, Victor Fuentes, Jay Farbman
Diego Hernandez-Black, Quique Hernandez-Black
Mia Donnelly, Lolayna Redmond, Evelyn Hall
Cathy Murillo, Tony Ruggieri, Chris Bell, Nohl Martin
Phil McKenna, Ray Ward, Tom Shepherd, Julia Parker
Ben Pitterle, Eric Werbolowsky, Wesley Roe
 Hannah Eckberg, Mark Goerner, Lauren Trujillo, Michael Redmon
Heather Bennet, Paul Grankowski, Paul Wellman,
Tom Piozet, Home Planet Post,
Tahara Ezrahti, Oscar Carmona,
Carlos, Helena, Luis, Rafa, Antonio, Juan, Quike, Eva...

Special Thanks to these social and environmental justice
organizations born in Santa Barbara

Direct Relief, 1948
Citizen's Planning Association of Santa Barbara County, 1960
Santa Barbara Audubon Society, 1963
Montecito Trails Foundation, 1964
Santa Barbara County Trails Council, 1966
Get Oil Out!, 1969
Community Environmental Council, 1970
UCSB Environmental Studies Department, 1970
See International, 1974
Pacific Pride Foundation, 1976
Environmental Defense Center, 1977
The Fund for Santa Barbara, 1980
Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, 1982
Land Trust for Santa Barbara County, 1985
Santa Barbara Urban Creeks Council, 1986
Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network, 1988
Explore Ecology, 1990
Brenn School of Environmental Science & Management, 1991
Santa Barbara Bicycle Coalition, 1991
Ojai Raptor Center, 1992
The Center for Urban Agriculture at Fairview Gardens, 1994
Gaviota Coast Conservancy, 1996
Chumash Maritime Association, 1996
Wishtoyo Foundation, 1998
Heal the Ocean, 1998
Santa Barbara Car Free, 1998
Santa Barbara Channelkeeper, 1999
Ocean Futures Society, 1999
Wilderness Youth Project, 1999
Save Naples Coalition, 2000
Santa Barbara Permaculture Network, 2000
Santa Barbara County Action Network, 2001
Channel Islands Restoration, 2002
More Mesa Preservation Coalition, 2004
Los Padres Forest Watch, 2004
Cheadle Center for Biodiversity & Ecological Restoration, 2005
Gray Whales Count Santa Barbara Channel, 2005
Doctors Without Walls - Santa Barbara Street Medicine, 2005
African Women Rising, 2006
Africa Schools of Kenya, 2007
Save the Mermaids, 2009
Nature Track, 2011
Santa Barbara Beekeepers Association, 2011
Committees for Land, Air, Water and Species, 2014
Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade, 2018

No animals were harmed in the making of this motion picture, 
although there were animals harmed by the catastrophes featured in the film.

This motion picture is protected under the copyright laws of the United States and other countries  throughout the world. Country of first publication: United States of America. Any unauthorized exhibition, distribution, or copying of this film or any part thereof (including soundtrack) may result in civil liability and  criminal prosecution.

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