Filmmakers: Kristi Jacobson, Roger Ross Williams
Runtime: 39 min
On New York’s Governor’s Island, an unprecedented program has an ambitious goal: to restore once-bountiful oysters and the environmental benefits they bring to New York Harbor. What’s more, the foot soldiers of this environmental movement are an unlikely group–high school students at a remarkable public school that teaches stewardship of the waterways alongside math and English. TAKE BACK THE HARBOR highlights the stories and work of these extraordinary students and their inspiring teachers as they persevere to turn the tide on decades of neglect and bring back the health of New York City waterways.
About The Filmmakers
Kristi Jacobson, Director/Producer & Founder of Catalyst Films, is a NY-based Emmy Award-winning filmmaker whose films capture nuanced, intimate, and provocative portrayals of individuals and communities. Her latest feature film, SOLITARY, takes an unprecedented look at life inside a supermax prison, premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival and is now available to watch on HBO. The film received several accolades including an Emmy Award for Outstanding Investigative Documentary and an Independent Spirit Truer Than Fiction Award. Previous films include the critically-acclaimed TOOTS, which won the National Board Review 2007 Top Documentary Award and voted 100% on Rotten Tomatoes, and American Standoff (HBO) produced by two-time Oscar winner Barbara Kopple. Jacobson is represented for commercials and branded content by NY-based production agency C41 Media.
The first film that Roger Ross Williams directed was Music by Prudence, which won the 2010 Academy Award® for documentary short subject. He is the first African American director to win an Academy Award. Williams next directed the feature documentary God Loves Uganda, was shortlisted for a 2014 Academy Award. Williams is currently working on several projects including a feature documentary about the prison industrial complex for CNN Films and the BBC, a documentary about the legendary Apollo Theater, and a VR series based on his personal story called Traveling While Black for The New York Times. He is also the chief storyteller for Johnnie Walker whisky. His latest film Life, Animated has received countless accolades including over a dozen awards at film festivals around the world, DGA and PGA nominations, and was most recently nominated for the 2017 Academy Awards. Williams serves on the board of Docubox Kenya, and recently, Williams became the trustee of the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa; the first major museum in Africa dedicated to contemporary art. Williams serves on the Alumni advisory board of the Sundance Institute and the Board of Governors for the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences.