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"Couper Was Here" is about a homeless woman in San Francisco, Couper, age 45. She is a former firefighter who got injured on the job and lives on a small monthly disability stipend. After her injury and a divorce, she could not afford an apartment in the Bay Area, and subsequently found herself living in a tent.

On the street, she has developed a lifestyle in the encampments with a unique spirit. She employs her paramedic skills for fellow encampment residents who do not seek medical help from hospitals for a variety of reasons, such as feeling shamed by hospital staff for being homeless or on drugs. She regularly administers Narcan to people to stop overdoses and sews up wounds. “I feel I have a purpose on the street. I’ve saved lives out here.” This film follows Couper in her caring for fellow tent-dwellers, and in her quest to find permanent housing in San Francisco.


Director and Executive Producer: Nicole Foley
Producer: Evan Mueller
Cinematographers: Helena Gonzalez, Megan Hague, Eric Herron, Anna Karewicz
Camera Operators: Kelley Cutler, Nicole Foley, Peter Menchini, Evan Mueller
Editors: Eric Herron, Evan Mueller
Sound Engineer: Bethany Herron
Sound Design and Re-recording: Jeremiah Moore
Animator: Adrian Martinez
Colorist: Jack Chavez
Story advisors: David Byars, JR Foley, Sandra Salas, Sharon Wood





In California’s Central Valley, there is a crisis. Not only are communities running out of water, but over the last few years, they’ve seen an increase in dangerous forms of drilling for oil and gas. To make matters worse, the historic drought fueled by climate change is exacerbating existing health issues, water scarcity, and poor air and water quality. Luckily, the Central Valley’s history of resistance hasn’t faded. Communities are rising up against a hypocritical Governor who claims leadership on issues that are hurting communities in California today.

Growing Resistance: Drought, Oil & Climate Change in California shares the stories of communities on the front lines who are rising up against not only the immediate health impacts of the oil and gas industry, but against the growing climate impacts that are disproportionately impacting some of the most vulnerable in the state. This film was produced by the Survival Media Agency in partnership with and the Center on Race Poverty & Environment.


Producer and Director: Shadia Fayne Wood

Cinematography: Bunker Seyfert

Cinematography, Interviews, and Translation: Helena Gonzalez Martinez

Editor: Erin Whiteson