BROKE: The Santa Barbara Oil Pipeline Spill of 2015

On May 19, 2015, Plains All-American Pipeline spilled 140,000 gallons of crude oil onto the Gaviota coast and into the ocean. I started filming at Refugio State Beach that afternoon. Crude oil tumbled in the surf, sent toxic fumes in the air, and killed sea life as the Coast Guard mobilized to respond.The film highlights the reaction of citizens who came together in protest marches and healing ceremonies, rescued birds and marine mammals, cleaned the oil off our beaches, and demanded more stringent spill prevention and response. The community's actions stand in stark contrast to the insensitivity of the oil industry and particularly Plains All-American Pipeline, Ltd.  Plains still faces both criminal and civil lawsuits.

  • Gail Osherenko
    Dark Side of the Loon
  • Gail Osherenko
  • Debra Piot, Associate Producer
  • Margarita Del Valle, Consulting Producer
  • Sandra Falkowski
  • Margarita Del Valle
  • Sandra Falkowski
  • Project Type:
  • Genres:
  • Runtime:
    55 minutes 40 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 15, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    45,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    HD, 4K
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Santa Barbara International Film Festival
    Santa Barbara
    United States
    February 4, 2018
    World Premier
    Official Selection
  • IndieFEST

    2017 Humanitarian Award
  • San Luis Obispo Film Festival
    San Luis Obispo
    United States
    March 14, 2018
    Official Selection
Director Biography - Gail Osherenko

Gail Osherenko is an independent documentary film maker. Long-time environmental activist. BA Principia College, 1969; Juris Doctor, University of California, Davis Law School, 1975. Past jobs include legislative assistant in California State Senate and US House of Representatives, appellate attorney for Department of Justice, lecturer in environmental law and policy, University of California Santa Barbara and Dartmouth College. Her prior documentaries include: Dark Side of the Loon, Arctic Expedition, and Loon Chick's First Summer.

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Director Statement

This film is for everyone living near an oil or hazardous liquid pipeline, and everyone who lives near or cares about a coastline threatened by oil development. This is a story of what happens when the oil spills. The Trump Administration has just announced plans to lease more offshore area for new oil drilling and is reducing or eliminating environmental and safety regulations. I made this film to spark discussion about the risks of fossil fuel. Living in Santa Barbara where fires in December and mudslides in January are rocking our community, we hope others communities will wake up to the perils of climate change and the need to shift away from fossil fuels.