The Green Flash

  • Director

    Ethan Payne, Jodi Cash

  • Country, Year, Length

    United States, 2023, 01:54:29

  • Category

    Documentary Feature

  • Format


  • Festival Year


The Green Flash crew is proud to partner with Last Prisoner Project, a nonprofit dedicated repairing the harms of the criminalization of cannabis through intervention, advocacy, and awareness.

Film Screening & Ticket Information

When & Where to See this Film!

THE GREEN FLASH: A complex, funny, sad, and strange portrait of an old man clinging to his legacy.

April 20, 2024 @ 12:30PM • MoMI – Bartos


In St. Pete Beach, FL, 70-year-old Steve Lamb knows everybody, and everybody knows Steve Lamb. As he pedals his memoir, “The Smuggler’s Ghost: When Marijuana Turned a Florida Teen Into a Millionaire Fugitive,” we learn how he garnered local fame decades ago—and how he intends to keep it.


Ethan Payne, Director
Jodi Cash, Director
Jodi Cash, Writer
Jodi Cash, Producer
Gresham Cash, Producer
Ethan Payne, Editor
Jake Gee, Editor
Ethan Payne, Director of Photography
Jake Gee, Director of Photography
Gresham Cash, Composer

Director Statement

We met Steve Lamb in 2016 while working on a piece for The Bitter Southerner. From the moment he started recounting his adventures, pointing out where he’d once buried millions in cash and where he’d stashed bales of marijuana, we knew we’d met an exceptional character. But at the time, we didn’t realize the breadth of the story being told.

To capture Steve’s life is to barely hang on, to reach for focus just as he steps out of frame towards the next thought, the next thing that grabs his attention. It was an exercise in relinquishing control. In chasing a character without knowing where he was going. In letting him lead.

We were drawn to Steve by his warmth and charisma. He was willing to share the spectacle of his life in a place we thought we knew. Both of our own families have deep roots in Florida; it’s where some of our most precious memories are harbored. Our time with Steve was a rediscovery of this place, with all of its mystery, hilarity, contradiction, and earnest enthusiasm.

As the story evolved beyond a recounting of Steve’s wild youth, we changed with it. We investigated his sense of time, and we questioned our own. We joined Steve in looking for the green flash.

Director Biography

Jodi Cash is a journalist from Atlanta living in Barcelona. “The Green Flash” is an extension of her story, “High Times and Low Tides at Reefer Beach,” which was published on The Bitter Southerner, featuring photos by Ethan Payne. Her work has also been featured in Hidden Compass, Scalawag, Paste, Kinfolk, ArtsATL, and Georgia Health News. She co-founded The Seed & Plate, which features stories about community through the lens of sustainable agriculture. In 2019, she published “Concrete Jungle: A Foraged Fruit Cookbook,” in collaboration with the Atlanta-based nonprofit of the same name. She’s a 2024 Hidden Compass Pathfinder Prize finalist. “The Green Flash” is her first film.

Ethan Payne is a documentary filmmaker and photographer based in Atlanta, Ga. His work has been featured in Pitchfork, Stereogum, Oxford American, Southern Foodways Alliance, and The Bitter Southerner. His short films have been included in festivals internationally, winning several awards. In 2022, his film “We Dance” played Tribeca and won awards in additional festivals throughout the year. In 2021, he received the Director’s Spotlight Award for “We Travel” at the Ouray International Film Fest, as well as the Short Stories Award at the Washington DC Intl Film Festival and Best Short Documentary at the Berlin Independent Film Fest. His short “Lou” won Best Editing at the Ouray International Film Fest. In 2022, his short “Bright Morning Stars” won the Judge’s Award at Boone Docs. This is his first feature-length documentary film.