Encompass Music & Film Festival
Bridging indigenous cultures and women’s wisdom, and western science.

True stories from Africa, Brooklyn, California, Canada, Ecuador, Tibet, and Ukraine ...

Told through soul-stirring films and paired with inspiring live musical performances that celebrate people preserving our planet.

Experience their art and then meet the filmmakers, musicians, singers and change-makers who are at work on behalf of us all.

Photos from the Festival!

March 2015

Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.
— Albert Einstein

Venue for All Events:

The Engelman Recital Hall
Baruch Performing Arts Center

55 Lexington Ave. (at East 25th St.)
New York, NY 10010

Entrance is on East 25th Street between Lexington & Third Ave.

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Thursday, March 19, 2015 – 7:00 PM


David Schnitter Jazz Quintet with Vocalist Marti Mabin

Special Guest Host!

Exciting Film Previews and surprise short!

Reception with Food & Drink.

We look forward to welcoming you!

Friday, March 20, 2015 – 7:00 PM


La Vita Duo, Giacomo and Jeanai La Vita, classical Guitar & Soprano, performing music of Villa-Lobos, Bernstein, Pete Seeger songs & more.


OCCUPY THE FARM by Todd Darling
Q & A with the filmmaker on Skype.

Riveting true story of two hundred college students and townspeople who fight to save public land for urban farming. They go up against the officials of the University of California, Berkeley, and disrupt plans to build a shopping mall. From tilling soil to police raids, from lawsuits to overgrown harvest, they unite to clip the padlock off the gate and march onto the fields. What happens next will change the fate of the land and reveal a new strategy for activism. (90’)


Saturday, March 21, 2015 - 3:00 PM Matinee


Broadway singer Adrianne Hick takes us on a Musical Sea Trip to delight Children & Families


SECRETS OF THE REEF by Jonathan Bird
Q & A with the filmmaker via Skype.

A captivating and stunningly photographed film that will enthrall viewers of all ages. An epic tale of survival of a sea turtle, a hermit crab, a reef fish, and other ocean life, set against a backdrop of incredible beauty and color. (78’)


Saturday, March 21, 2015 – 7:00 PM


Q & A with the Filmmaker via Skype, and
Ethan Wolf, NYC Board President, The Sea Shepherd organization, in person.

Paul Watson - the famous captain of Sea Shepherd - is going to Skype in!

A compelling portrait of an ecological warrior, Paul Watson. Founder of Greenpeace and The Sea Shepherd, a mission to save the whales, seals and dolphins from illegal poachers by sinking pirate whaling ships and clashing with fisherman on the high seas. (110’)


Saturday, March 22, 2015 – 3:00 PM
Double Feature


Sky Caravan, Ukrainian Violinst, Milena Davidowicz and Russian Pianist, Elena Panova

Tibetan Music


THE WHISPERER by Andrea Odezynska
Q & A with the Filmmaker in person

Spellbinding personal journey of a life-changing encounter with a Shaman woman healer in the Carpathian Mountains of Western Ukraine. Breathtaking sights and sounds evoke a spark of hope found in ancient healing ways. (30’)


PARADISE WITH SIDE EFFECTS by Claus Schenk with Dolma Tsering & Tsewang Lden

Q & A with Helena Norberg-Hodge, Director of the International Society for
Ecology & Culture via Skype.

From a remote village high in the Himalayas, two Tibetan women journey to London, on a reality tour to see what life in the West is really like. Their shocked and deeply insightful perceptions open a doorway to greater understanding of our lives. (40’)


Sunday, March 22, 2015 – 7:00 PM


Adagietto/Presto by Richard Pearson Thomas, composer/pianist from
Montana & Japanese violinist, Naho Parrini



SYMPHONY OF THE SOIL by Deborah Koons Garcia

Q & A with filmmaker via Skype.

Unfolding with gentle joy and an unexpected beauty, this ode to the miracle of the Earth’s topmost layer gives us a newfound respect for the ground beneath our feet. (104”)




African Music and Dance


Directed & Produced by Lisa Merton and Alan Dater

Q & A with filmmaker Lisa Merton on Skype, and Green Belt USA,
the organization that Dr. Maathai founded.

The dramatic story of Wangari Maathai, 2004 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate from Kenya, who rallied thousands of women to plant trees. Her vision grew into a nationwide movement to safeguard the environment, protect human rights and defend democracy. (54’)


Friday, March 27, 2015 – 7:00 PM
Double Feature


Native American Flute played by
Reggie Herb Dancer Ceaser
(Sagamore, Matinnecock Tribal Nation of Long Island/Medicine Chief)


Directed by George Gage and Beth Gage

Q & A with filmmakers via Skype.

Two elderly Native American sisters battle the U.S. government for land rights after their livestock herds are seized and they are sued for trespassing. (33’)


Directed by Christopher McLeod


Q & A with filmmaker via Skype.

In the Russian Republic of Altai, traditional native people create their own mountain parks, to rein in tourism and resist a gas pipeline that would cut through a World Heritage Site. In northern California, Winnemem Wintu girls grind herbs on a sacred medicine rock, as elders protest U.S. government plans to enlarge one of the West’s biggest dams and forever submerge this touchstone of a tribe. Winona LaDuke (Anishinaabe) Oren Lyons (Onondaga), Satish Kumar and Barry Lopez provide insights on a growing global indigenous movement for human rights and environmental protection. (56:27).


Saturday, March 28, 2015 – 3:00 PM Matinee
For Families & Children



Ashley Jennifer Jackson

Harp Soloist, Ashley Jennifer Jackson


SAVING LUNA Directed by Michael Parfit and Suzanne Chisholm
Q & A with the filmmakers on Skype.

Award-winning documentary tells the true story of a lone baby orca named Luna, wh tried to befriend people o n the west coast of Vancouver Island. (92’)


Saturday, March 28, 2015 – 7:00 pm



Native American Flute played by
Reggie Herb Dancer Ceaser
(Sagamore, Matinnecock Tribal Nation
of Long Island/Medicine Chief)


OLDER THAN AMERICA by Georgina Lightning

Q & A with filmmaker Georgina Lightning in person. 
Reception to follow. (See special ticket pricing.)

A woman's haunting visions reveal a priest's sinister plot to silence her mother from speaking the truth about the atrocities that occurred at a Native American Boarding School. Riveting drama, inspired by true stories. (102’)


Filmmaker Georgina Lightning, member of the Cree Nation and long time advocate of Native Indian advancement in the film industry, co-founded Tribal Alliance Productions, a company committed to telling important stories from a native prospective; she also formed Native Media Network, a group dedicated to the advancement of Native Indian talent. She is currently working on post production for her new film, Fantasies of Flying, with the Robert Redford Story Initiative in Santa Fe. Starring Adam Beach, Bradley Cooper, and Georgina Lightning.

Sunday, March 29, 2015 – 3:00 PM Matinee



La Vita Duo 
Classical guitarist & Soprano, they performed for the UN Stockholm Convention Concert on the Environment in Geneva, Switzerland


OIL AND WATER directed by Francine Strickwerda & Laurel Spellman Smith

Q & A with filmmakers via Skype.

True story of two boys coming of age as they each confront one of the world’s worst toxic disasters. Hugo and David were born on opposite ends of the oil pipeline. Hugo comes to America to fight for the survival of his Cofan tribe in the Ecuadorian Amazon, while David goes to Ecuador to launch the world’s first company to certify oil as “fair trade.” Their journeys lead them to explore what could be a more just future. (78’)


Sunday, March 29, 2015 – 7:00 PM
Double Bill


The Whiskey Spitters - Guitar, Bass, Mandolin, Violin, Banjo Band from Brooklyn



GROWING CITIES by Dan Susman and Andrew Monbouquette

Q & A with the filmmakers via Skype.

Searching for answers, the filmmakers take a road trip and meet men and women who are challenging the way America grows and distributes its food, one vacant city lot, rooftop garden, and backyard chicken coop at a time. They discover that good food isn’t the only crop these urban visionaries are harvesting; they’re producing stronger and more vibrant communities, too. (97’)


BROOKLYN FARMER by Michael Tyburski

Q & A with the filmmaker in person.

A portrait of urban agrarians who are committed to transforming the city’s relationship to fresh, healthy, locally-produced food, despite considerable challenges and setbacks. (27’)



Encompass Opera thanks Environmental Education Fund
for providing the films and speakers and for inspiration and assistance.

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Encompass New Opera Theatre

creates and produces adventurous new music drama and opera that explores our place in the universe and the inter-connection of nature through compelling human stories. Angel of the Amazon, about protecting the rain forest, The Astronaut’s Tale about science and religion, and The Theory of Everything, exploring quantum physics and indigenous cosmology were produced in its Science & Arts program

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Environmental Education Fund (EEF)

EEF’s EcoCinema program provides training, mentoring and resources to help individuals and organizations plan and hold an environmental festival. Creative mediums such as film help to spread awareness and the discussions following the films often inspire collaborations that lead to solutions. A new awareness is key to solving our complex environmental crisis.


A Thank You to Our Sponsors: