About the Film

12 title page

What people are saying about TRAILHEAD:

“It’s spectacular.”
Chip Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle

“TRAILHEAD is a tremendous tribute to the beauty of Oakland.”
BB Borowitz, Oakland resident

“WOW…an amazing video that will promote our park and our
outdoor culture for a long time to come.”

Emily Rosenberg, Chair, Friends of Joaquin Miller Park

“It left us both swelled with pride.”
Bryan Beyer, Oakland Realtor

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TIMELINE: This film project was conceived in November, 2014. In partnership with the Oakland Parks & Recreation Foundation, and with the generosity of the surrounding community, fundraising was brisk and filming was accomplished over 15 days in March, 2015. The film premiered at the Chabot Space & Science Center on October 7, 2015, and after more than 30 public screenings in 26 Bay Area venues, it was released online on April 18, 2016.

THE STORY: This 20-minute film features the City of Oakland’s largest wildland trail system that connects neighborhoods to redwood forests and more than five hundred miles of trails that span the entire East Bay. Trail users, historians, creek restoration experts, local merchants, and park volunteers are among those interviewed during a typical park day that begins predawn in Oakland’s Dimond District, and concludes at sunset from a Joaquin Miller Park ridge overlooking downtown Oakland and San Francisco Bay.

Sausal Creek watershed map 2015
View a map of the featured trail system.

Summary of Production:

Intended for Oakland residents and visitors alike, this documentary explores the unique urban to rural trail system that connects Oakland neighborhoods to the Bay Area Ridge Trail and beyond. The film highlights:

  • the history of Dimond Park, Dimond Canyon Park, and Joaquin Miller Park
  • the multiple uses of the trail system – hiking, mountain biking, dog walking, youth education, etc.
  • recent improvements to the trail system by volunteers working in collaboration with the City of Oakland
  • the accessibility of the trail system to Oakland neighborhoods and business districts

Interview Subjects:

  • Dennis Evanosky – Oakland historian, author, and publisher
  • Michelle Krieg – Restoration and Nursery Manager, Friends of Sausal Creek
  • Stan Dodson – Manager, La Farine Bakery in Dimond, trail volunteer
  • Jordan Brown – Group Leader, Brothers on the Rise
  • Emily Rosenberg – Chair, Friends of Joaquin Miller Park
  • Mike Udkow – President, Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay
  • Jim Townsend – Trails Development Manager, East Bay Regional Park District
  • Deidre Joyner – Realtor, Red Oak Realty

Past Screenings:

10/07/2015: Chabot Space & Science Center World Premiere
10/16/2015: New Parkway Theater
11/04/2015: Oakland High School
11/04/2015: Oakmore Homes Association
11/08/2015: New Parkway Theater
11/18/2015: Independent Brewing Company
12/02/2015: Dimond Improvement Association
12/14/2015: Oakland City Hall
01/13/2016: St. Paul’s Towers
01/21/2016: Sequoia Diner
01/24/2016: Sunday Assembly at Oakland Peace Center
01/25/2016: Chabot Space & Science Center (PPNA Annual Meeting)
01/27/2016: Urbano Cellars Winery
02/01/2016: New Parkway Theater
02/10/2016: Grand Lake Theater
02/11/2016: Grand Lake Gardens
02/25/2016: Octopus Literary Salon
02/26/2016: Oakland Museum of California
03/15/2016: EBRPD Volunteer Trail Safety Patrol
03/20/2016: Albany Filmfest
03/25/2016: City Commons Club
03/31/2016: deFremery Recreation Center (OPR Foundation Annual Meeting)
04/04/2016: Berkeley High School
04/17/2016: San Francisco Green Film Festival
04/18/2016: Released on-line (OaklandTrails.org/watch)
04/23/2016: Ale Industries Taproom
05/03/2016: Glenview Neighborhood Association
05/11/2016: Oakland Main Library
05/21/2016: Nature Friends Tourist Club
05/24/2016: Friends of San Leandro Creek
06/16/2016: REI Berkeley
06/22/2016: Dimond Recreation Center
06/27/2016: KTOP-TV10
07/07/2016: KTOP-TV10
07/22/2016: San Francisco Frozen Film Festival
08/02/2016: Sustainable Lafayette “Open Space” Film Series
08/21/2016: Lindsay Wildlife Experience “Nature Speak” Series
09/09/2016: Oakland’s Short, Short Film Festival
09/12/2016: California Independent Film Festival
09/16/2016: New Parkway Theater
09/17/2016: New Parkway Theater
09/22/2016: REI Berkeley
10/20/2016: Epworth UMC, Older Adult Ministries
10/25/2016: Dorothy C. Wong Senior Center
03/28/2017: Hillside Gardeners of Montclair
04/10/2017: Montclair 4-H Club

Production Team

Emily 2014Emily Fraser Co-Director/Producer, Cinematographer, Editor

Emily Fraser is a San Francisco Bay Area documentary filmmaker committed to finding poetry in the everyday while provoking discussion around pressing social and environmental issues. Her work has been shown around the country and the globe, with screenings at Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, Doc NYC, Columbus International Film + Video Festival, the University Film and Video Association Conference, the Water Environment Federation, and the Pacific Film Archive, among others. Emily has served as a filmmaker for the Southern Environmental Law Center, the Revs Program at Stanford, and the Boy Scouts of America, and as the coordinator of the Stanford Environmental Humanities Project’s annual environmental film series. In a previous life, she worked as an environmental consultant, focusing on projects in conservation, resource management, and alternative energy. She holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental policy and art/architecture from the College of William and Mary and an M.F.A in Documentary Film and Video from Stanford University. Emily lives and works in Oakland, CA as an independent filmmaker and is in development on her next documentary project, “Ghost Town.” http://emilyelizabethfilms.com/

HenryWienerHeadshot-590x786Henry Wiener Co-Director/Producer, Cinematographer, Editor

Henry Wiener, born and raised in Jackson, MS, received his undergraduate degree from Columbia University, majoring in American Military History. After living and working in New York City for 5 years, Henry completed his MFA in Documentary Film at Stanford University in 2014. His films cover an eclectic group of subjects: Bay Area gun rights activists, a 21 year old female NASCAR driver, a Minor League baseball churro vendor, and a traveling Rabbi. All of these films tell stories of people who pursue life with special passion and energy, across a spectrum of American culture. Henry currently lives and works in Oakland, CA as an independent filmmaker. http://henrywiener.com

cropped profileStan DodsonExecutive Producer, Volunteer

Stan Dodson, manager of La Farine Bakery in Oakland’s Dimond District, and past board member of the Dimond Improvement Association and Friends of Joaquin Miller Park, has worked as a volunteer to promote, maintain, and enhance the trail system that connects Dimond Park to the Bay Area Ridge Trail since 2008. As founder and executive director of OaklandTrails.org, Stan continues to provide leadership for community involvement up and down the hill, including producing the TRAILHEAD documentary, co-founding Oakland Volunteer Park Patrol, offering free hiking tours, and leading ongoing trail maintenance and enhancement projects in Oakland’s wildland parks. Through these efforts, Stan strives to inspire outdoor recreation and park stewardship while shining a bright light on the City of Oakland.