Better Together

Better Together: Through Oil, Mud and Fire

Currently in consideration with the 2019 Santa Barbara International Film Festival

The 1969 Santa Barbara Oil Spill brought people together in an effort to protect the beaches and the environment. Earth Day, the Environmental Protection Agency, UCSB’s first-ever Environmental Studies program and a host of nonprofits were born in its wake, inspiring community activism and participation. This is a story of citizens generating solutions, and of how love for a place connects, strengthens and unites people into a powerful, resilient force for the common good.

Become a Sponsor

“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. In some very selfish way, I understand that if someone out there is hurting, then 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

We hope to have the honor of presenting our World Premiere to coincide with the 50th anniversary of the Santa Barbara Oil Spillthe 49th anniversary of the Santa Barbara Declaration of Environmental Rightsand the first anniversary of the Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade

For the latest news, check Better Together on Twitter and Facebook


Sponsor the Film

This documentary is a love letter to Santa Barbara and you can help us finish it! The community behind these local nonprofit organizations share a history lesson for our children, showing the power of working together despite great odds. 

All sponsors before December 12, 2018 will receive film credit. Donations are tax-deductible, thanks to Art Without Limits, our nonprofit arts fiscal sponsor.  

All film producers, sponsors and friends get film and media credit and are invited to a gathering of like-minded friends at a reception to follow the World Premiere

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".


$10,000 Executive Producer

$1-5,000 Associate Producer

$0-$999 Friend

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Thank you for supporting and sharing this love letter

Fiscally sponsored by

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Featuring these organizations:

350.org, Santa Barbara

African Women Rising

Chumash Maritime Association

Committees for Land, Air, Water and Species (CLAWS)

Community Environmental Council

Direct Relief

Environmental Defense Center

Get Oil Out! (GOO!)

Gaviota Coast Conservancy

Habitat for Humanity of Santa Barbara County

Mission Blue

Montecito Trails Foundation

Santa Barbara Bucket Brigade

Santa Barbara Channelkeeper

Santa Barbara County Search and Rescue

Santa Barbara Wildlife Care Network

UCSB Environmental Studies Program

The Solutions Project


MERCURY PRESS INTERNATIONAL PRESENTS

“BETTER TOGETHER”

A FILM BY ISAAC HERNANDEZ


FEATURING: SYLVIA EARLE, THOMAS TIGHE, DAVID PELLOW, ABE POWELL, KATHI KING, RICK STEIN, MIGUEL ZEPEDA-ROSALES, CEDRIC SMITH, LINDA MACNEIL, LINDA ECKERBOM COLE, LYNN KIRST, LIZ BEEBE, ASHLEE MAYFIELD, JENNA MOLDER, BUD BOTTOMS, ROBERT H. SOLLEN, FRANCIS SARGUIS, SELMA RUBIN, MARC MCGINNES, LINDA KROP, SELMA RUBIN, MARC CHYTILO, MICHAEL LUNSFORD, PAUL RELIS, ROD NASH, ELAINE IBARRA, JULIA PARKER, SENATOR HANNAH-BETH JACKSON, GLENN RUSSEL, MIA LOPEZ, AMY DONNELLY, APRIL PRICE, LEE HELLER, MICHELLE SEVILLA, MARK JACOBSON, MICHAEL CHIACOS, SIGRID WRIGHT, PHIL MCKENNA AND KIRA REDMON. 

EXECUTIVE PRODUCERS: LESLIE SWEEM BUTHANI AND LYNDA WEINMAN.

PRODUCED BY NANCY BLACK. EDITED BY ISAAC HERNANDEZ. NARRATION BY JON ZUBER. MUSIC BY EMILIANO CAMPOBELLO. DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY ISAAC HERNANDEZ. STORY BY ISAAC HERNANDEZ, NANCY BLACK, JON ZUBER AND HEATHER WENNERGREN. DIRECTED BY ISAAC HERNANDEZ.
©2018 MERCURY PRESS INTERNATIONAL

SPECIAL THANKS FOR THE USE OF ARCHIVAL IMAGES AND FILM CLIPS COURTESY OF: MIKE ELIASON AND MATT UDKOW / SANTA BARBARA COUNTY FIRE DEPARTMENT, BRAD SCRAM, SANTA BARBARA CHANNELKEEPER, JON ZUBER, DAVID COWAN, SUSAN EPSTEIN, SELMA RUBIN, BUD BOTTOMS, GOO!, ROBERT H SOLLEN, MARC MCGINNES, ETHAN TURPIN, BARRY CAPELLO, FRANCIS SARGUIS, ROD NASH, SANTA BARBARA WILDLIFE CARE NETWORK, HANNAH APRICOT ECKBERG, SANTA BARBARA COUNTY SEARCH AND RESCUE, SANTA BARBARA HISTORICAL SOCIETY, MARCO FARRELL, WALLY GOBETZ, SPECIAL RESEARCH COLLECTIONS AT UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA SANTA BARBARA, DIRECT RELIEF, COMMUNITY ENVIRONMENTAL COUNCIL, THE CLIMATE MOBILIZATION, NASA, CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF FISH AND GAME / CALIFORNIA STATE ARCHIVES, US FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, NATIONAL CONSERVATION TRAINING CENTER, CREATIVE IMAGERY, US DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY, US NATIONAL ARCHIVES, US COAST GUARD, US AIR FORCE, US NATIONAL GUARD, US NAVY, US MARINES, CLEVELAND STATE UNIVERSITY, CALIFORNIA HIGHWAY PATROL, AND THE NIXON PRESIDENTIAL LIBRARY.