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Witness to the Future: 25th Anniversary Screening

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May 5, 2021 All day

Witness to the Future still

Twenty-five years after its release, Witness to the Future’s focus on so-called “ordinary” citizens turned environmental activists has more relevance than ever before! Here’s an interview with producer Branda Miller on the WOOC Hudson Mohawk Magazine as part of the build-up to this event.

It’s time to watch this video again!

Then, watch the Q&A with WTTF filmmaker Branda Miller and co-producer Robin Oppenheimer speaking with interviewer Corinne Carey of WOOC 105.3 FM’s Hudson Mohawk Magazine before this 25th anniversary screening.

Branda Miller’s “Witness to the Future” is an experimental documentary video project about individuals who have been transformed from so called “ordinary” citizens into activists who struggle for environmental and social change.

“Witness to the Future” seeks connections that unite people of all cultures, communities, races, and economic classes as they struggle for environmental and social change. Represented are people from three regions of the U.S.: the “downwinders” of Hanford, WA, including Native Americans; “whistleblowers” and white-collar workers from the nuclear reservation; rural African American, poor, and working-class communities in “Cancer Alley,” LA; and Latino and Hmong farmworkers and mothers in the San Joaquin Valley, CA.

Reviews of “Witness to the Future

The Economist

“Environmentalist may be leery of some modern technologies, such as genetic engineering and nuclear power. Yet one new technology promises to make their movement much more powerful. This CD-ROM demonstrates how recent advances in computing and the internet can be used for dramatic political effect. The enemies of the greens – the firms and governments that greens accuse of neglecting nature – aught to watch out.”


“If you seek thought-provoking material for an environmentally inclined friend, look no further.

I.D. Magazine

“It will change the way you think about [Image] consumerism and the industrial infrastructure that supports it.

WorldFest International Film and Video Festival

Gold Award – Interactive Educational / Adult Category
Silver Award – Ecology / Environment / Conservation Category

Dr. Nicholas J. Smith-Sebasto

“When I experienced Witness to the Future, I was left literally NUMB. My initial impression was one of complete shock. Branda has created something that appears to be truly revolutionary. Those interested in the Environmental must be made aware of her production and more important, must be trained in how to use it.” (National Association of Environmental Educators)

Pacifica Network & Democracy Now!
Segment about “Witness to the Future,” December 29, 1997

About the Filmmaker

An action shot of Branda Miller, with her fist raised wearing a mask and sunglasses.

Branda Miller is a media artist and educator, dedicated to art, ecology and community interdisciplinary arts. She is the Arts and Education Coordinator at The Sanctuary for Independent Media, where she has developed numerous media literacy/community arts/youth media and creative place-making projects. She is a Professor of Media Arts at Rensselaer, teaching courses in documentary, art, community and technology, and independent art production.  Miller is an Emmy award-winning editor who worked in the media industry of L.A. and N.Y.C., and whose media art works have been screened, exhibited and broadcast nationally and internationally. Branda Miller has three decades of experience in participatory design and praxis, and a history of transdisciplinary collaborations created to stimulate cultural animation, build community, and create dialogue around freedom of expression and environmental justice.

About the Producer

A headshot of Robin Oppenheimer, wearing a yellow tank top and smiling at the camera.

Robin Oppenheimer is a Seattle-based internationally recognized media arts historian, curator, educator, and scholar who has worked in the field since 1980. She was Executive Director of media arts centers in Atlanta (IMAGE Film/Video 1984-89) and Seattle (911 Media Arts 1989-95). Earning a PhD in Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University in 2011, she was a Lecturer at the University of Washington Bothell (2008-2015) and adjunct faculty at Cornish College of the Arts (2014-16). Recent projects include working as a media arts historian/writer for Google’s Artist and Machine Intelligence group in Seattle . Her areas of research include media arts histories, with an emphasis on 1960s collaborative art & technology projects (light shows, E.A.T.), participatory media, and media activism.

Branda Miller giving a presentation at the Sanctuary for Independent Media.

We are committed to lowering the barriers to access for events at The Sanctuary for Independent Media. For people who are hard of hearing or deaf, blind or low-vision, or whose physical limitations can interfere with a satisfying experience, let us know two weeks in advance so we can make appropriate arrangements.

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We use art and participatory action to promote social and environmental justice and freedom of creative expression.

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