watch a short documentary grow tall…

Victor Kaufmann realized a few things were missing from his Washington farmland: trees. Now, at age 85, Victor plants his 10,000th tree.



10,000 Trees @ Artosphere Arts and Nature Festival

10,000 Trees @ Artosphere Arts and Nature Festival

Happy Summer, everyone!  We know it’s been awhile since you’ve heard from us, but we’re still around and so is 10,000 Trees.  In fact, we’re screening our short as a part of Artosphere Documentary Film Night on Thursday, June 20th.  Artosphere, held in Northwest Arkansas, is a two month festival focusing on arts, nature and sustainability.  10,000 Trees will be screening along with Install, a film by my pal Kevin Belli about his long time pal and artist, Craig Colorusso. Craig is an installation artist and has been setting up his most recent piece, Sun Boxes, at various festival locations.  

Get details on Artosphere’s Documentary Film Night here.

In other news, a big ol’ congratulations to Sarah Berkovich on her graduation from Standford University.  I’m proud to have worked with such a talented and driven person.  And…I’ll let you in on a little secret; there HAVE been talks about heading back up to Windgarden to hang out with Victor see how his trees and his story have grown.  

That’s all for now.  

Sarah G.


10,000 things to tell you…

It’s actually right around 5 or 6  things, but it’s a pretty lengthy post so hold on tight.

A wise man and favorite professor of mine, Paul Turano, once told me to not get discouraged over the influx of cold rejection emails from film festivals.  He said that most filmmakers experience about a 10:1 rejection/acceptance ratio.  That’s ten little bundles of your hopes and dreams crumpled up and spit out in your face in exchange for one glimpse of a silver lining.  Like I always say, festivals aren’t the most important thing but they sure are a whole lotta fun.

The following post focuses on our 6 acceptances.  You do the math.

  1. DURANGO Independent Film Festival and hopefully their audience seemed to like us!  10,000 Trees walked away with the Jury Commendation for Documentary Short.  They even sent us our very own laurel:

  2. LA was a short but sweet little adventure.  The Emerson Film Festival was held at the Writer’s Guild in Beverly Hills and showcased a grab bag of films by Emerson Students, including one of my favorites MOVEMENT, made by two of my favorites Matt Figler and John Pouliot.  Current President Dr. Lee Pelton, Former President Jacqueline Liebergott, VMA Chair Jonathan Wacks, and the whole bunch were in attendance, making it close to a full house.  We were honored to be there and shocked to walk away with a gigantic 5K check awarded by Maria Menounos’ non-profit Take Action Hollywood!


Many of my great friends now live in LA and they are really are great because they came out to this screening.  It was wonderful to see a bunch of Emerson faces all at once.  I guess that city really is full of angels.  Thank you, everybody!

3.   POWFest was the third and final stop of my two week movie magic getaway.  Exactly one year after spending a week shooting up at Windgarden,  I found myself sitting at a table with Victor, Ken and the rest of the family.  Because they live in Portland, the Kaufmann family and friends were able to attend our screening.  Victor even got up in front of the audience for the Q&A.


We screened with two other short docs that told stories of “ordinary people doing extraordinary things”.  If you haven’t already, check out this nice write-up by self-proclaimed film nerd Nick Bruno.

4.   UP NEXT:
March 23 – 31: EcoFocus Film Festival is in Athens, GA where we’ll be screening with This Way of Life.
April 11 – 15: Kansas City FilmFest is in, well, Kansas City.  Details coming soon!
April 26 – 29 : NFFTY takes place in Seattle, WA.  Our film will be a part of the NFFTY Earth program.
May 10 – 19: Santa Cruz Film Festival will be in sunny California of course.  More details coming soon!

5.  TRUE/FALSE is not one of the festivals we got into, but it will always be the festival I hold closest to my heart.  People from all over the world trek to the middle of America, my hometown, Columbia, MO.  For four days, T/F attendees are swallowed up by an incredible array of documentary films, foot-stompin’ music, better-than-gourmet food, way too much beer, and all around fun.


Here are some of my top favorites that I suggest you see as soon as possible.

Argentinian Lesson by Woiciech Staroń
Searching for Sugarman by Malik Bendjelloul’s
Gypsy Davy by Rachel Leah Jones
Bully by Lee Hirsch

Actually, just try and see em’ all.  Here’s the program for you.

It’s been exciting and rewarding to actually see people see this film.  This is what we wanted from the beginning, to share Victor’s story, a story that inspired us, with others.  Because of you and the love you’ve given to this project, 10,000 Trees has been able to reach its little branches all over the place.  Thank YOU to the moon and back.


Sarah G.

The Big Weekend Part 1: Los Angeles

I cannot express how crazy, hectic, and exciting this weekend has been so far. Here are some of the highlights:

  1. After a week of intense editing of my winter film, I had a good in-class critique, then rushed to the airport and barely caught my flight to LA
  2. My mom drove up from San Diego to come to the Emerson LA Film Showcase
  3. We saw Gwen Stafani when we were eating dinner in a restaurant in Beverly Hills
  4. I got to catch up with many old friends, classmates, and teachers, as well as do some networking with alums
  5. We got to share 10,000 Trees with a wonderful audience at the Writer’s Guild Theater
  6. Last, but certainly not least, Sarah Ginsburg and I won the “Take Action Hollywood” award for social action filmmaking, and we got to take home a giant-sized check for $5,000!!!

It was an amazing experience to be part of, and I felt so honored that we won the award. I can’t believe that almost exactly a year ago, Sarah G. and I were running a Kickstarter campaign and flying to Portland to shoot our film. I feel like so much has happened in this past year, and I’m incredibly grateful for all the opportunities I have been given and the people who have supported me.

Now Sarah G. and I are off to Portland, to screen 10,000 Trees at the Portland Oregon Women’s Film Festival! It will be the first time that it’s screened in a theater with my entire family present. I’m just as excited to participate in the festival as I am to see my grandparents and celebrate the occasion. I can’t wait!

-Sarah B.

Same little movie, NEW whopping post!

So it’s been months since we’ve last updated you, but everybody goes into hibernation this time of year…even if it winter hasn’t acted like winter normally does.

BUT…we’ve got a lot to tell you about, so I’ll give it to you list style so you don’t have to sift through paragraphs of nonsense to find out the real news.

But first…

1) PORTLANDIA – Yes, GREAT show!  Hilarious!  And yes, we’re going.  We’ve been accepted into the POW Fest.  Nothing to do with prisoners or war, and everything to do with Portland Oregon Women’s Film Festival. Victor, Ken and the family will also be attending, Portland is their neck of the woods after all.  10,000 Trees will be screening Saturday, March 10th at 3pm.

2)  LA LA Land – Before we get ahead of ourselves with the land of Portland, we’ll be in Los Angles for 12th Annual Emerson Film Festival.  Our film is screening along with pals, Matt Figler, John Pouliot, Rachel Globe , and others.  At the screening, there will be a celebration around the groundbreaking of the new Emerson College Los Angeles campus, which is also occurring on Thursday, March 8th!  Alumni, brace yourself, you’re about to be hit with a wave of jealousy.  Can we do college again?

3) DURANGO – We won’t be there, but our film will.  Sarah B. is knee deep in grad school and never in a million years would I miss attending my hometown fest: True/False, so we decided to pass on attending Durango Independent Film Festival.  Our first real acceptance means a lot and we’re excited to be a part of this one, even if we can’ t physically be there.

4) the GREEN – Participating in all of these exciting events costs quite a bit of money.  If you never got around to making a donation to this project, now is a perfect opportunity to help us out with the costs of burning blu rays, plane tickets, and finishing up the audio mix.  We’ve even said goodbye to Bank Of America and hello to Cambridge Savings Bank.  DONATE HERE!

5) LAST MINUTE MIXINGBradford Krieger, founder of New Neighbor Records, has graciously stepped up to the plate and filled the shoes of our original audio connoisseur Austin Plocher who left us for Brooklyn.  Brad, Pro Tools, and I have been slaving away, cleaning up the mix before we screen at the upcoming festivals.  This guy is truly a life saver and I highly recommend you check out the work he’s done on a bunch of different projects.

6) SCREENINGS PAST & FUTURE – We had a great screening, organized by Bob Nesson, in December at the Museum of Science in Boston.  We screened along with other environmental works, including poetry, short stories, and comedy sketches.  If you’re in the Boston area and still haven’t seen the film, this program will be going on TOMORROW, January 31st, at 7pm in the Bright Family Screening Room.

We’ll also be screening 9pm Monday, February 6th at Lorem Ipsum Bookstore in Inman Square with Roses On My Table, a short documentary by Ethan Lolerstein on the Wingnut Anarchist Collective.  Check out the Facebook event page here!

7) FAMILY TREE – Lastly, I’d like to plug a project my aunt, Paula Ginsburg, has been working on for as long as I can remember.  The book is called One Simple Thing, and while it may appear to be a story of children, it brings up a big truth that all ages need to acknowledge and act on.  Check out the book’s blog here, and if you like what you see, purchase it here!

I hope the first month of this new year has treated you kindly.  Thank you for reading!

Sarah G.

sGREENings in Autumn

…why yes, you can find a little green in the fall.

1) The Waynflete School visit went splendidly and I was quite honestly blown away by the work of the 8th grade students.  After we screened the film in the school’s beautiful theater, I was taken on a tour of a gallery filled with ceiling to floor, hand cut, paper trees.  The students’ tree unit also incorporated historical research and a wide array of quotes about what trees provide for humans.  Below, you can watch the students watch the film (it’s not as boring as it sounds), and experience the gallery for yourself.

2) Our What’s Up? Docs and Music event at River Gods was also a success.  We packed the house with eager ears and eyes and had a great night.  After the films, Kristina Blanchflower and Joseph Bear of Old Bay Records (and composers of the 10,000 Trees score) wooed the crowd with their own music.  If you didn’t make it, you can thank your lucky stars. I’ve thrown together a little timelapse accompanied by audio recorded LIVE at the show.

Enjoy this little slideshow of stills from BOTH events!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

3) My last bit of NEWS for you is a different and exciting bit.  My roommate, co-worker, and dear friend Jennifer Burpee is a dance teacher and has asked if she can choreograph a competition piece to the “Working Theme” from the 10,000 Trees score!  First I fainted, and then I said “Holy smokes, OF COURSE!”   We then discussed things we could do with the piece after the competition, including projecting the film, Victoresque costumes, and the list could go on.  I’m excited that our little film is dipping it’s toes in all kinds of places.

Thank you Waynflete School for inviting us to be involved in your tree unit.  Thank you for everybody who helped organize and came to What’s Up? Docs and Music night.  And thank you 10,000 Trees family for being our roots and support.



Sarah G.


Things are happening…here’s what:

1) We’re holding a screening of 10,000 Trees at River Gods in Central Square, Cambridge, MA this coming Sunday, October 16th.  If you have a short attention span, love music, cozy bars, and short docs, then this little event was made for you.  We’re screening our film with another short documentary made by my two dear friends Matt Figler and John Pouliot.  Where does the music come in?  Well, the masterminds behind the score of 10,000 Trees will be performing LIVE at RiverGods before, between, and after the films.  Head to the event page to find out more.

What's Up? Docs and Music

What's Up? Docs and Music

2) Kickstarter DVDs have been mailed out and delivered.  If you haven’t received your copy yet, it should be in the mail.  If you don’t receive it in the next week or decide you want a copy, email us at and we’ll get one to you.

3) ACCEPTANCE!  10,000 Trees has officially been selected to be a part of Yosemite International Film Festival.  We’ve also submitted to a handful of other fests and should be hearing back from those over the next 3-4 months.

I’m planning a trip up to Maine to screen our film for a little school who found our project through Kickstarter.  Waynflete school is in Portland, Maine and their 8th grade students have been studying tree planting in their city, “Forest City”.  On October 12th, the installation in their Gallery, Arboretum, will open and will feature art work, quotes about our relationship with trees, and other projects done by the 8th Grade class.  How fitting!

I hope everybody has been enjoying the beautiful transition into Autumn.  Don’t forget to pick up a leaf and press it in a book.

Sarah G.

10,000 DVDS. Well, not that many …

but there sure are a lot here.  We don’t advise judging books by their covers, but we’re labeling the Kickstarter Exclusive Backer Reward DVDs in the prettiest (and most cost effective) way we know how.  Sit tight, and there will soon be one in your hand.  Until then, here’s a little preview:



If you’re regretting your past decisions and would like to get your paws on a T-Shirt or DVD, it’s never too late.  Email and we’ll work out a little deal.  Nothing too sketchy, just a 15 dollar donation for the Tshirt and the same amount for a DVD.


All my best,

Sarah G.