Each year, San Francisco’s Green Film Festival features the year’s best environmental films that inspire us all to live a little greener. One in particular, Catching the Sun, left us feeling a little brighter, so to speak. A documentary by Shalini Kantayya, Catching the Sun tells the story of the global energy transition, with solar power as solution to the energy crisis, climate change and income inequality the United States is facing today.

Opening with chilling footage of the burning Chevron oil refinery in the impoverished Northern California town of Richmond, the film presents a stark reminder of the country’s ongoing dependency on coal and oil, and need for a clean energy future. From there, the film chronicles the journeys of an unemployed U.S. worker, a Tea Party activist, and a Chinese solar entrepreneur, as we see how the fight for clean, affordable energy affects them on personal, political and professional spectrums.

With countries such as China investing in innovative technologies and capitalising on this trillion-dollar opportunity, Catching the Sun poses the burning question of who will come out on top in the battle for power in the 21st century? Regardless of whether you’re in the Bay Area or China, the film comprehensively connects the larger need for clean energy, both nationally and globally.


“A must-see film. An eye-opening look at workers and entrepreneurs on the forefront of the clean energy movement that will transform, and enliven the way you see the future. What is clear is the wonderful opportunity the transition to clean energy represents.”  – MARK RUFFALO