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"A Fistful of Rubbish" Documentary Short Film

A modern-day environmental Western set in the Tabernas Desert in Spain. Europe's iconic desert has a new villain...

David Regos

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A Fistful of Rubbish is a short documentary film about a clean-up campaign happening in the Tabernas Desert in Spain. Europe's only desert - an area famous for being the backdrop of many famous Western films - is sadly being trashed. Many people do not care about this unique environment, and instead choose to dump household refuse, building materials and all types of rubbish wherever they like. The local and regional governments have yet to do much to address the problem. But now, with the help of some locals, a new cowboy in town is trying to change the situation.

With a mix of interviews and western stylised cinematography/music, this documentary will show the power of activism and dealing with problems the old-fashioned way; by taking things into your own hands. Literally.

Once completed the film will be submitted to film festivals around the world, and also used as an educational (and entertaining) tool to take to schools to change the consciousness around littering and the environment. It will also be made available for people to watch online.

Julian Philips, "someone has to do something so why not me?"
Julian Philips, "someone has to do something so why not me?"


Litter poses a threat to humans and wildlife, damages the environment, and spoils our enjoyment of our towns and countryside.

Garbage often attracts garbage. Where fly-tipping occurs the waste accumulates, and it causes similar unnecessary behaviour by other people. Wind and rain will disperse the rubbish until it ends up in gutters, forests or other natural areas. It causes pollution, and a large portion ends up in streams, rivers, and in the oceans.

Tabernas, Almeria
Tabernas, Almeria


I believe it is vital that we take action and tell inspiring stories that show the importance of looking after the environment. We need to see how people can affect change in their communities and not rely solely on governments or organisations to do the work.

By highlighting the desert’s beauty and cinematic nature, the documentary in conjunction with social media campaigns will be used as a tool to create interest in the problem of littering and the history and fragility of the area. Local communities can then be mobilised to campaign and provide support for cleanups and art projects.

With the development of supporting educational videos and materials, presentations can be given in schools, colleges and community centres all over, and provide solutions based on the mantra of “Rethink, Refuse, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle”.

By growing a movement in Spain and beyond, more pressure can be put on local and regional governments to enforce the laws, create further awareness and take stricter actions to punish those who are caught dumping.


Badges? We don't need no stinking badges. But if you want some other rewards we have some special gifts to offer. Screening opportunities, original art postcards, limited edition essential oil blends inspired by the desert environment, and a Tabernas desert adventure.


David Regos is a documentary director/producer with twenty years of experience working on various projects. The last feature film he produced, Divide in Concord (2014), is an environmental documentary about banning single-use plastic bottled water in small town USA. It premiered at Hot Docs Festival in Toronto and won awards at festivals around the world. The film is still being screened in communities and schools to encourage a shift away from bottled water. His recent work includes research for the ground breaking climate-change documentary Age of Consequences (2016) and story/field producing for the critically acclaimed doc series produced by LeBron James, Best Shot (2018).

Tyler Freeman Smith is a cinematographer and documentary filmmaker who has worked with broadcasters, creative agencies, large charities, and government agencies across Australia, the Pacific, Southern Africa, South-east Asia and Europe.

Kris Kaczor is an award winning documentary director and editor. His films have screened at festivals around the world and he has edited projects for Mercedes, Glamour, Levis, and Budweiser to name a few.

Producer David Regos & DOP Tyler Freeman Smith
Producer David Regos & DOP Tyler Freeman Smith


Funds are now needed to complete post-production and get the film’s message out into the world. We are looking to raise €7000. The money will go towards polishing off the edit of the film (we have a rough cut), a composer to tie the film’s soundtrack together, colour-correction to give the film that authentic western look, a sound mix, artwork, archival footage licensing fees and festival submission fees. Additionally, funds are still needed for the actual clean-up campaign itself.


If we raise more we can begin to design and implement an educational campaign to take to schools and communities. We will hire a person to do outreach to help take the film to areas affected by trash and pollution.

Javier Arnal aka Toulouse "It
Javier Arnal aka Toulouse "It's a problem of consciousness and education"


The post-production and finalisation of the film will happen in June - August, and will then submitted to festivals with an anticipated premiere by the end of the year. At this stage the rewards will start to be delivered.


P3 Ambiental


There are no shortage of environmental cowboys in the deserts of Spain. We already have another short film, For A Few Olives More, that we are keen to start developing. It is about a battle going on over the over-exploitation of water resources by the large-scale commercial olive producers in the only oasis in Europe, just down the road from the Tabernas Desert. The Good, The Bad and The Plastic will look at the Plastic Sea of Almeria, the 430 km2 area of greenhouses that provides 80% of Europe’s produce. Not only a stew of fertilizers and pesticides and waste runoff into the Mediterranean, many of these greenhouses employ migrants from northern Africa, paying them below minimum wage and subjecting them to hazardous working conditions.

Filming trash in the desert
Filming trash in the desert


There are none published yet.

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  • guillevalles


    about 5 years

    Muchas gracias

  • daniii.bg

    Daniel Briongos Gil

    about 5 years

    Mucho ánimo!!

  • Silvia Araque Navalón

    Silvia Araque Navalón

    about 5 years

    Queda muy poquito para llegar al objetivo!!!ya veréis como sale!!!animo

  • Popmaster


    about 5 years

    Keep up the good fight Dave! Xx love Pia

  • Eve


    about 5 years

    So inspired by you. Can’t wait to see it.

  • DuskyLemur


    about 5 years


  • mikeclay


    about 5 years

    Looks great, you guys!

#04 / Upcoming Screenings - Próximas Proyecciones

Hola amigos y amigas,

Este sábado 23 de octubre, a las 19:30, vamos a proyectar (en directo!) en Madrid. Es a parte del festival medioambiental "Another Way."

Entradas y los detalles - https://www.anotherwayff.com/event/rueda-por-el-cambio-v/

Hi friends!

As noted above we will be screening (in person!) in Madrid this Saturday. This will be the first time director David Regos has seen the film on the big screen and he is very excited.

The film will also be playing in California at the end of the month at the United Nations Associations Film Festival.


And very soon, we will be launching the film for all to see online...

Hasta pronto!

#03 / Earth Day Update

Hi friends,

I hope that you and your loved ones are well.

50 years ago, the first Earth Day was proclaimed as people took to the streets demanding action for the planet. Today, as the majority of us are locked indoors, the outside world is breathing a sigh of relief. As pollution levels drop and animals roam the streets, this strange passage of history gives the human species a moment to pause and reflect. While many of us are eager to get back to "business as usual", this pause in over-production, consumption, waste and lack of proper care for the planet allows for an opportunity to re-examine how as individuals and a society we choose to live. What actions can we all take to protect our Mother Earth?

This short film we made about Julian Phillips and his team of volunteers cleaning up the Spanish Tabernas Desert has been programmed for… read more

#02 / World Cleanup Day Update

Hi Friends,

Hope you are well.

As today is World Cleanup Day, seems like an auspicious time to update you on the status of the film.

We have finished the editing and this week the soundtrack should be completed. The artwork is done (see below!) and soon we will start with the sound mix and colour. We are starting to submit to festivals and will keep you posted on when the film will start its public life. Then the rewards will start to be sent out.

Happy Climate Week!

Hola Amigos,

Hoy es el día de limpieza mundial, entonces es un buen momento para dar noticias.

El montage ya esta terminado, y esta semana la banda sonora va a acabar. El arte ya esta hecho (vea abajo!), y pronto vamos a empezar con la mezcla de sonido y color. Estamos empezando solicitar a los festivales y os diré cuando la pelí va a estrenar. Luego, las recompensas van a enviar.

Feliz Semana por el Clima!

Poster Art!
Poster Art!

#01 / It's happening!


I am very pleased to report that we have reached our goal and raised the funds we need to complete the documentary.

The last month or so has been a wild ride. There has been a lot of media attention about the issue since launching the campaign.

The Ecologist
The Local
Zero Waste Europe
El Periodico
Diario de Almeria
Conde Nast

We can see that this project is already having an effect as today, World Environment Day, the Ayuntamiento of Tabernas embarks on a cleanup campaign with students from the town. The message we are sending is clear - we all have a responsibility to care for this planet and can take action and contribute.

By the time the film is completed and screening, the desert might be clean. Progress is already being made. We are going to show the world that when communities come together anything can be achieved. We hope it will inspire other grassroots campaigns all over the planet.

read more

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