Lisa Fragala, organizer of the Eugene Environmental Film Festival, originally moved to Oregon to work for the Forest Service surveying threatened and endangered species like the Marbled Murrelet and Spotted Owl. She fell in love with the woods in Oregon and grew to understand what a precious resource it is and how important it is to protect it. She understands that environmental politics are deeply rooted in social justice issues. Communities of color & indigenous communities are impacted at a much higher rate by environmental degradation and will be much more impacted by climate change. As a citizen of planet Earth she feels a deep responsibility to not only protect the planet, but also to think about the people who are most impacted by what is happening.
Melissa Cox has been an independent documentary filmmaker and visual journalist for over a decade. Melissa creates character driven cinematic media that illuminates the root causes of injustice. Melissa’s work has taken her throughout the Americas to document grassroots resistance to state violence, militarization of society, extractive industries, free trade agreements, extractive economies, and the climate crisis. Melissa’s documentary film roles span cinematographer, editor and producer. She has worked on award winning short and feature length documentaries that have been publicly broadcast and selected for national and international film festivals, including recently DEATH BY A THOUSAND CUTS which had its world premier at the Hot Docs Film Festival in Toronto and won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the Seattle International Film Festival. Melissa’s work has appeared in outlets and platforms including Democracy Now, Amazon Prime, Vox Media, Vimeo Staff Pick, and Truth-Out, among others. She is currently shooting a feature length documentary on the Wet’suwet’en struggle for sovereignty, with the working title YINTAH (2021).
Haley Case-Scott is a member of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, and a descendant of the Klamath Tribes, Yurok Tribe, and the Sakoagan Band of Chippewa Indians. She was born and raised in the Klamath Basin, and moved to Eugene in 2014 to attend the University of Oregon. Four years later, Haley received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science with a minor in Native American Studies. Prior to working as the Climate Justice Grassroots Organizer, Haley served as a Research Assistant with the Pacific Northwest Tribal Climate Change Project and the United States Forest Service. She is dedicated to ensuring that diverse perspectives are considered and respected in the development of climate policy.
Jan Haaken is professor emeritus of psychology at Portland State University, a clinical and community psychologist, and documentary filmmaker. From refugee camps, shelters, war zones, and mental hospitals to drag bars and hip-hop clubs, Haaken’s documentary films focus on people and places on the social margins, drawing out their insights on the world around them. Jan will focus on taking direct action, civil disobedience and other legal tactics in the climate movement–themes central to the NECESSITY story.
Carol Van Strum is a writer, ruthless editor, and seasoned troublemaker. During the 1960s she was co-publisher and editor of Oyez Press and co-owner of Cody’s Books in Berkeley, California. Publications include “A Bitter Fog: Herbicides and Human Rights” (Sierra Club Books, 1983, 2014), “The Oreo File” (Jericho Hill books 2016), “No Margin of Safety” (Greenpeace 1987), and “The Politics of Penta (Greenpeace 1989). She has written for The Washington Post, The New York Times, USA Today, and other publications. The documentary film in this festival, The People vs. Agent Orange, draws heavily from her experience and book, A Bitter Fog, about the battle to stop U.S. Forest Service aerial spraying of Agent Orange in our forests. She has been a toxics and legal researcher for environmental lawyers since 1975, was sole editor for The Department of the Planet Earth, and until recently copy editor for Mongabay.com, and Tropical Conservation Science Journal. In 2018 she was awarded the international David Brower Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding environmental and social justice work.