Catching The Sun, clean energy for a new American Dream

The journey to make ‘Catching the Sun‘ began because I was looking for hope. In post-industrial cities like Richmond, California, the dream of upward mobility is eroding. The oil economy has created monopolies and concentrated wealth and power in the hands of the few. I was fascinated by the idea that solar power could democratize and decentralize energy in a way that creates economic opportunity for workers and entrepreneurs, in a way that rebuilds the American Dream”.

With these words Shalini Kantayya, director of the documentary film Catching the Sun, tells us about the origins of the project, created in partnership with Executive Director Leonardo DiCaprio.


Catching the Sun follows the hope and heartbreak of unemployed American workers seeking jobs in the solar industry. An unlikely ensemble of characters contrast with preconceived notions about who is at the forefront of a transition to clean energy” Shalini continues. To race for the leadership towards he transition and- as Leonardo DiCaprio said- shine “a light on a clean energy future” there are, in fact, an unemployed American worker, a Tea Party activist, and a Chinese solar entrepreneur.


The documentary film premiered globally on Earth Day 2016, making it accessible to 70 million viewers in 35 languages. Appreciated all over the world, Catching the Sun was awarded as Best Feature at San Francisco Green Film Festival 2016, member of the Green Film Network.

Documentaries are a powerful way to bring people together, engage conversation, and inspire real change. Catching the Sun is being released at tipping point in a global transition to renewable energy. Clean energy solutions like solar are becoming more affordable and accessible than ever, and it has utility companies shaking in their bootsthe director says.


All over the globe, battles are being waged for who will control power in the 21st century.
An informed public, lead by ordinary citizens, can push for the local and national policies that can transform our economy. Transitioning to powering our economy off renewable energy isn’t only about creating the life-saving solutions that we desperately need to combat climate change. It’s about unleashing human imagination, innovation, national competitiveness, and the largest wealth creation opportunity of our time”.

Through an engaging style, Catching the Sun asks fundamental questions about these times. “By telling personal, emotional stories that deal with the universal theme of hope for a better life, set against the urgent struggle to build a ‘green economy’, Catching the Sun tells the story of environmental transformation primarily from perspective of workers, and their successes, failures, and challenges speak to one of the biggest questions of our time: will America actually, in a nuts-and-bolts way, be able to build a clean energy economy?

We’ll see. The recent political alternation at the White House with Donald Trump’s victory (it’s commonly known that the new President is skeptical about global warming) makes this question even more accurate and licit.