Oil’s True Cost: Exploring Solutions, Oakland, Calif.


Who pays the true cost of oil development?

Equitable Origin presents a special screening of the documentary Oil & Water, followed by Q&A with the film’s directors and subjects and a panel discussion of how consumers and social entrepreneurs can make oil and gas development more responsible. Filmed over eight years, Oil & Water follows two boys coming of age amid devastation from decades of irresponsible oil development in Ecuador. Hugo fights for the survival of his Amazonian tribe, while David attempts to revolutionize the oil industry.

After the screening, directors Francine Strickwerda and Laurel Spellman Smith, along with the the film’s subjects David Poritz and Hugo Lucitante, will take questions from the audience. The Q&A will be followed by a panel discussion of how to best address the negative social and environmental impacts of oil and gas development depicted in the film.

Ticket sales will benefit Hugo Lucitante’s Cofan Community Health Project

Buy Tickets: http://www.eventbrite.com/e/oils-true-cost-exploring-solutions-tickets-15272348004
$2 discount with code “[email protected]” until February 11

6:30 pm Doors open
6:45 pm Film begins
7:45 pm Q&A with directors and subjects of the film
8:05 pm Panel discussion (participants below including Leila Salazar-Lopez, Amazon Watch)
8:45 pm Panel wrap-up


David Poritz is President and Co-Founder of Equitable Origin, a stakeholder-based social and environmental certification, certificate trading, and eco-label system for the oil and gas industry. David’s interest in the impacts of oil development on the environment and Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon rain forest began at the age of 12, and led him to make dozens of trips to the region in the following 13 years. His experiences there as a human rights advocate and socially-positive entrepreneur led him to found Equitable Origin in 2009, the world’s first organization dedicated to the certification of responsibly-produced oil and gas. David was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University and holds an undergraduate degree from Brown University where he was a Harry S. Truman Scholar.

When Hugo Lucitante was 10 years old, his tribe made a desperate decision. Fearing extinction, they sent Hugo to be educated in the U.S., in hopes that he would return to lead them into a better future. A decade later, Oil & Water follows Hugo as he returns to the Ecuadorian Amazon to meet his destiny, armed only with a high school diploma. Hugo currently lives in Washington State with his family and frequently visits his home village in Ecuador to lead community development projects. Proceeds from the event will help fund Hugo’s Cofan Community Health Project.

Francine Strickwerda is an award-winning director, writer and producer of documentary films and Web sites. She co-directed Oil & Water for PBS, as well as Busting Out, a feature documentary about the history and politics of America’s obsession with the female breast, which aired on Showtime. An expert film fundraiser and grant writer, her work has been funded by the MacArthur Foundation and the prestigious Independent Television Service (ITVS) and many others. She produced and executive edited national PBS Web sites including Don’t Buy It, Videogame Revolution and Exploring Space, and was a senior producer at HealthTalk.com. She currently runs Hullabaloo, a Seattle production company with her husband, and she has created videos for clients including the United Nations, Fortune 500 companies and the Seattle Fire Department. Francine began her career as a reporter for newspapers in Washington and Idaho. She has a degree in journalism from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University.

Laurel Spellman Smith is a two-time regional Emmy Award-winning producer of national and local programs for PBS including The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer and the documentary Faith & Fear: The Children of Krishna. She became an independent producer in 2003 and in addition to Oil & Water she co-directed and produced the women’s health documentary Busting Out which aired on Showtime and the Iraq War documentary The Corporal’s Diary, seen on PBS stations, Al Jazeera English and Link TV. She is also a fan of other people’s films and is an annual juror for the News and Documentary Emmy Awards. Laurel grew up in Los Angeles and Kauai before making a home in Seattle with her husband and cat. She graduated from The Evergreen State College, where she studied film and cultural anthropology, pursuing her interest in the latter by traveling to over 100 countries. When not on the road or in the edit room, she manages a vacation rental house on a remote island in The Bahamas and is a personal dresser at Dress for Success and for her fashion-challenged filmmaker friends.


  • JUST ADDED: Leila Salazar-Lopez, Interim Executive Director at Amazon Watch
  • Briana Mordick, Land and Wildlife Program Staff Scientist at Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
  • Roger McElrath, Associate Director, Advisory Services at Business for Social Responsibility (BSR)
  • David Poritz, social entrepreneur, humanitarian activist, President and Co-Founder of Equitable Origin (EO)
February 26, 2015 at 6:30pm
Impact Hub Oakland
2323 Broadway
Oakland, CA 94612
United States
Google map and directions
$7.00 USD · Purchase tickets

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"A crucially important documentary."
Alexa Dalby, Dog and Wolf