Part of the beauty of renewables is their availability: we all get some sun, wind or geothermal heat and we can harvest that energy – no power company or massive centralized plant needed. That’s the theme underlying this independent documentary produced in the Ithaca, N.Y. area. The directors were originally drawn to the topic of natural gas fracking, but preferred to make a film about something positive. That “something” turned out to be the community of energy do-it-yourselfers in the area: folks using sun, wind, biofuels and energy efficiency upgrades to power their lives. Energy’s not the only thing that doesn’t need massive infrastructure and money behind it: the creators of this film demonstrate that professional filmmaking can also come from a small-scale independent approach. Directed by Shira Golding Evergreen. Produced by Suzanne McMannis.

Empowered: Power from the People

2011 US 76 min
Festival Year: 2013
Types: Documentary
Topic: Energy & Resources, Environmental Advocacy and Justice, Sustainable Living