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Rachel Caplan is an environmental film programmer, festival producer, and impact campaigner based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Her personal mission is to build resilient communities of people from all walks of life through the catalytic power of cinema. She has curated numerous successful film programmes, produced festivals and events across the USA and UK, and designed impactful campaigns for various films. Her passion lies in the transformative power of film, especially in driving meaningful social and environmental change.

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Currently, as the Co-Founder and Director of the Montrose LandxSea Film Festival, Scotland’s first environmental film festival launched in 2023, Rachel has had the opportunity to contribute meaningfully to the industry. She brings over 25 years of experience in film exhibition and distribution to the launch of this exciting new festival in Scotland.

 

Previously, she held roles with leading film organisations in the UK and USA, including the Edinburgh, BFI London, and SFFILM International Film Festivals. She also worked as a studio publicist for Paramount and Universal, supporting international campaigns for numerous titles including Love Actually, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, 8 Mile, and Shaun of the Dead. In her role at Intermedia Films, she contributed to the awards campaign for Iris, starring Kate Winslet and Judi Dench, which won multiple awards, including an Oscar, a BAFTA, and a Golden Globe.

 

Throughout her career, Rachel has curated and produced events featuring over 800 environmental films with over 1,000 guest speakers. She was first introduced to the power of environmental cinema as the Festival Director of the International Ocean Film Festival (2007-2009), North America’s largest showcase for marine films. This experience inspired her to found a new festival that exponentially expanded the definition of environmental film to encompass social justice and a multitude of issues. In 2010, Rachel launched the San Francisco Green Film Festival, the region's first environmental public programme of any kind, with the vision of bringing communities together to share urgent stories about the climate crisis and other pressing environmental topics. Serving as the Festival Director for a decade (2010-2020), she transformed it into a globally influential event, pioneering community engagement and impact models for issue-driven documentaries.

 

After moving to Scotland in 2021, Rachel produced Scotland’s Climate Festival, a nationwide community events programme funded by the Scottish Government to engage the public with the 26th UN Climate Change Summit (COP26); and in 2022, she implemented the impact campaign for Emma Davie’s The Oil Machine, a new documentary about North Sea oil & gas, funded by BBC Scotland.

 

Rachel holds an MA in Cinema from the British Film Institute (BFI) and is a voting member of BAFTA. Rachel was a regular guest lecturer on Environmental Communications at UC Berkeley (2013-2019) and has been an active committee member of the Green Film Network since 2013, a global association of film festivals that supports the diversity and strength of environmental filmmaking worldwide. Recently, she returned to her hometown of Edinburgh after nearly two decades in California, embracing new opportunities to support artists, audiences, campaigns, and causes. Her work extends locally, in the EU, US, and globally.

Photo Credit: CidLang Media

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