Better Together


Better Together PosterThe 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. So when there’s a crisis, when someone is in need, we should all pitch in and help that person. If someone out there is hurting, what affects them directly, affects all of us indirectly. We’re tied in an inescapable web of mutuality and interdependence." — David Pellow, Chair, UCSB Environmental Studies Program

Director Isaac Hernández (Madrid, Spain) offers a poetic and hopeful look at what’s possible at a global level through local action, featuring many solutions generated in Santa Barbara, from the birth of curbside recycling to the first microgrid in the continental United States at Direct Relief’s headquarters.

Funding was provided in part by Bobbie and Gerry Rubin. Executive Producers include Lynda Weinman (Diving Deep, 2019; The Tale, 2018; Unrest, 2017), Leslie Sweem Bhutani (Lutah, 2014) and Linda & Frederick Gluck. 

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Sponsor the Film

The community behind these local nonprofit organizations share a history lesson for our children, showing the power of working together despite great odds. Now we're working to cut the film for educational screening in elementary school classrooms, after demand arose. 

Donations are tax-deductible, thanks to Art Without Limits, our nonprofit arts fiscal sponsor.  Checks can be made to fiscal sponsor Art Without Limits, with Better Together in the memo line, mailed to: 816 Chelham Way, Santa Barbara, CA 93108. Art Without Limits also has a direct deposit account with the Santa Barbara County Office of Arts and Culture. Please memo "Better Together".

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2019 Santiago Independent Best Feature Documentary

2019 Finalist, Best Special Focus Documentary, LA Femme International Film Festival 

2019 Finalist, Ted Turner Award for Film that Best Encourages Environmental Stewardship

2019 Official Selection, Santa Barbara International Film Festival

2019 Official Selection, Bozeman International Film Festival

2020 Official Selection, The Earth Day Film Festival

2020 Official Selection, San Luis Obispo International Film Festival

2020 Official Selection, Nature Track Film Festival