ITVS’s Indie Lens Storycast releases the new short documentary The Seed Saver by director John Picklap. The Seed Saver explores a young Korean-American farmer’s mission to save heritage seeds from her native land. Adopted by an Irish-Catholic family on Long Island as a baby, Kristyn Leach grew up outside of Korean culture. When she moved to California, she started growing food from East Asia, and it helped her connect to her Korean identity for the first time. We follow Leach through a growing season as she battles the natural environment to protect her rare soybeans that were given to her in Korea. Along the way, we meet the community of people Kristyn works with and what inspired her to devote her life to this work.
“To give someone a seed requires a little bit of trust. It’s so personal and you care so much about it where you just want to make sure you do a good job,” said Leach in the film.
The Seed Saver will be released as part of a series of three standout, standalone short documentaries about women. Jewel’s Hunt explores a Native Alaskan girl balancing an age-old tradition with modern life, and The Last Trap Family follows a Rhode Island “fishermom” keeping the family business afloat.
In the southwest German city of Freiburg, there is a successful co-op of some 260 people who are participating in successful organic vegetable gardening and sharing the costs and risks. Whatever the harvest, good or poor, it’s distributed to all members. Cucumbers are allowed to be bent, carrots entwined, the occasional lettuce smaller than average. Seasonal, totally organic growing, 100% original seed, local food production, solidarity economics, collective property and education are some of the many hallmarks of the work that they are doing. (more…)
Woodlanders is an online film series that seeks to document the work of people who care for and depend on forests for their livelihood and well-being throughout the world. They are up to 21 episodes now, and each episode focuses on a person or culture who has a sustainable relationship and/or livelihood with a forest. The topics covered range from Chestnut nurseries to oak swill basketry to woodland mushroom cultivation.
Click HERE to read more about the project and please consider donating to the patreon fund if you like the work that these wonderful filmmakers are doing.
A team of divers, photographers and scientists set out on a thrilling adventure to document the disappearance of the world’s coral reefs, this documentary is the result of 3 years work and hundreds of hours of underwater footage. Corals are a fundamental part of the planetary and oceanic ecosystem (supporting 25% of marine life) as well as being exceptionally beautiful. A temperature increase of just 2 degrees Celsius may not seem like a lot in the air, but for marine life this is like living with a constant fever. The damage done to the corals in the oceans due to climate change is scary, profoundly moving and motivating. Coral reefs are dying at an unprecedented rate, but it’s not too late to save them. Do do so however we need to act right now to lower our ocean’s temperature by reducing carbon emissions in the air and working towards clean energy solutions. This is something that each and every one of us has a responsibility to undertake in any way that we can. (more…)
A new documentary tells the tale of the hunters waging war against an invasive swamp rodent species, the nutria, in Louisiana. There is a government bounty on the heads (or tails) of the 20lb, orange-toothed critters – $5 for each severed 12-18in tail collected. Nutiva grazing habitats adds to coastal erosion in a region whose land is already vulnerable to hurricanes. The rodents, introduced to the region for their fur in the days of the fur trade are undermining the land for the people who live there.
The documentary explores the context of nutria in Louisiana explaining the role they play in a range of areas from ecological destruction as well as their role in the economy as a food source and clothing resource. The film premiers on Wed Nov 15, 2017, 7:15 PM at the IFC Center, NY. and you can read a full review HERE.
Evolution of Organic, according to its filmmakers, “brings us the story of organic agriculture, told by those who built the movement. A motley crew of back-to-the-landers, spiritual seekers and farmers’ sons and daughters rejected chemical industrial farming and set out to explore organic alternatives. It’s a heartfelt journey of change – from a small band of rebels to a cultural transformation in the way we grow and eat food. By now organic has gone mainstream – split into an industry oriented toward bringing organic to all people, and a movement that has realized a vision of sustainable agriculture. As interviewee Kelly Mulville says, “Creating health in the soil creates health in the ecosystem creates health in the atmosphere – and it all cycles around.””
All that, and Severine makes a cameo!
This year’s EcoFarm Conference, which also features incredible speakers, farmer mixers, and even dancing, takes place January 25-28 at the Asilomar Conference Grounds. Online registration is now closed but onsite walk-in registration begins Wed, Jan 25 – Sat, Jan 28 starting at 7am.
In 1967 Les Blank and Skip Gerson were hired to work in Thailand on a documentary about the B52 Bomber. There were some problems getting access to the planes. Weeks went by with Les and Skip on payroll, but with nothing to shoot. So they began traveling around the country shooting whatever they found interesting. Recently, editor Ben Abrams, and producer Harrod Blank (Les’ son) elaborated upon this gentle, short film.
Disillusioned by a cultural story of consumption and alienation, a newly married couple are called to action. Carrying with them their unborn child, they embark on a year-long journey around the UK, searching for the seeds of an alternative culture and with it hope for the future.
we the uncivilized: A Life Storyresonates deeply with our sick and nagging sensation that our world of strip malls, fossil fuels, and convenience is not nourishing– in any sense of the word– to the people who live in it. The film is a “grassroots documentary project” that speaks to and with activists, artists, permaculturalists, and others seeking alternative ways of living with each other and within nature.
You’ve probably heard of Vandana Shiva–Indian author, environmental activist, and founder of Navdanya. Now comes a new documentary film about her life titled The Seeds of Vandana Shiva. Watch the trailer below:
To help fund this film, please consider a donation.
Ryan Wirick, a documentary filmmaker is looking for help supporting and funding his new feature-length documentary, The Need To GROW, a “solution-packed journey into the lives of those working to fix our broken food system in the US. It focuses on SOLUTIONS (activism, permaculture, farmer’s markets and many many more), to localize food and regenerate our planet’s dying soil.”
The Kickstarter expires in two weeks and still has $20,000 left to go.
Ryan writes, “What we have made with this film is the furthest thing from a boring talking-head-style documentary of doom and gloom. It’s a story-driven, funny, dramatic, informative roller coaster with unexpected twists and turns that is ultimately hopeful and inspiring.”