Films

 

Together, these films paint a broad picture. Like farming, film is a labor of love. Up Up! Farm is a film collection with 17 hours of documentaries by 13 independent filmmakers (including Greenhorns) about the future of farming, featuring young farmers around world.

The Greenhorns | To Make A Farm | Brookford Almanac | Sourlands | The Perennial Plate | Farm Hack Profile | Our Land | American Meat | The Sharecroppers | Rural Route Shorts | Tune For The Blood | Pig Business | Future Farmers in the Spotlight | Planting Justice | Polyfaces (Trailer) | Hanna Ranch | Betting the Farm | Brunswick | Root Hog or Die

 


Director: Severine von Tscharner Fleming

Running Time: 46 minutes

About the film:

The Greenhorns documentary film, completed after almost 3 years in production, explores the lives of America’s young farming community – its spirit, practices, and needs. It is the filmmaker’s hope that by broadcasting the stories and voices of these young farmers, we can build the case for those considering a career in agriculture – to embolden them, to entice them, and to recruit them into farming. The production of The Greenhorns is part of our grassroots nonprofit’s larger campaign for agricultural reform. We are an activist organization that does much else besides. (46 min)

About the director:

Severine is a farmer, activist, and organizer based in the Hudson Valley of New York. She is the director of The Greenhorns, a documentary film  and grassroots organization working to ”recruit, promote and support” the growing tribe of new agrarians. Greenhorns runs a weekly radio show on Heritage Radio Network, a popular blog, young farmer publications, podcasts and many dozens of mixers, Seed Circus and educational events for young farmers, aspiring farmers and families all around the country.

Now in our 6th year, The Greenhorns is best known for our documentary film, “The Greenhorns” cut from 380 hours of footage. Both in making the film, and travelling to screen it, Severine has delighted in connecting with hundreds of young farmers in this movement, learning about innovations, collaboration and challenges faced by this next generation of entrepreneurial farmers. Greenhorns actively works to provide venues for networking, bon fires, beer and online communication within a large and growing! network.

 

Director: Steve Suderman

Running Time: 73 minutes

About the film:

Named one of the ten most popular Canadian films at the Vancouver International Film Festival, To Make A Farm asks: what might the future of local food and farming look like? This beautifully photographed documentary explores the lives of five young people who have decided to become small-scale farmers. VIFF calls To Make A Farm “exceptionally hopeful, giving us a close-range view of humanity along with a detailed portrayal of the nuts and bolts of agriculture.” (73 min)

About the director:

Steve grew up on a farm in western Canada. He studied Mathematics and Computer Science and taught high school before pursuing filmmaking in 2002. In 2008 he completed his first feature-length documentary Over Land, which followed his family’s experience of having to leave the family farm. It premiered at Les Rencontres Internationales du Documentaire de Montréal (RIDM), and went on to screen both nationally and internationally. Dr. Christina Stojanova calls Over Land “A private philosophical contemplation on what it takes to remain human when the very foundations of your existence are shattered, and a powerful public statement against the dehumanization of twenty-first century capitalism” (Splice Magazine).

Film’s Website: http://tomakeafarm.ca/

 

Director: Cozette Russell

Running Time: 41 minutes

About the film:

Luke and Catarina Mahoney are young, first-generation farmers living their dream of running a biologically diverse farm and organic dairy in New Hampshire. As with many first-generation farmers, they lease their land as they work to build a successful business. Hardship strikes when they learn the lease on their farm will not be renewed and they are forced to look for new land in a new community. Brookford Almanac is a cinema verité documentary that follows a year in the Mahoney’s lives as they tirelessly work the land, raise their family, and pursue their dreams of farming. (41 min)

About the director:

Cozette Russell first fell in love with documentary film when she watched Robert Flaherty’s Nanook of the North in Mr. Schiot’s 5th grade class. Later, she studied filmmaking at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Her cinematic interests explore the relationship between people and land. She is currently the program coordinator at the Film Study Center at Harvard University and she lives with her husband and creative partner Julian Russell in Lee, New Hampshire.

Film’s Website: http://brookfordalmanac.com

 

Director: Jared Flesher

Running Time: 77 minutes

About the film:

In the Sourlands of New Jersey, a rampaging deer herd, invasive plants, and wholesale habitat destruction threaten the local ecosystem. Farmers in the surrounding valley battle against high land prices, high property taxes, and increasingly erratic weather patterns. A group of local engineers searches for new ways to save energy and stop global warming. Pay close attention,and the challenges facing this community look a lot like the challenges facing ecosystems, farmers, and energy visionaries everywhere.

The message of cautious hope presented in the film is just as universal: To start solving complicated environmental problems, we need to forgo quick fixes and start restoring the natural world — and people’s connection to it — from the forest floor up. (77 min)

About the director:

Jared Flesher is an award-winning reporter, photojournalist, and documentary filmmaker. His articles have been published by The New York Times Online, The Wall Street Journal Online, The Christian Science Monitor, Grist, The Huffington Post, the Columbia Journalism Review, New Jersey Monthly, Inside Jersey, Edible Jersey, and many other publications. Jared’s first feature documentary, The Farmer and the Horse, was released in August 2010. It has aired more than 40 times on PBS in New Jersey and is distributed nationally by Chelsea Green Publishing and Passion River Productions. His latest film,Sourlands, was released in June 2012 and has screened at film festivals, universities libraries, and other great places throughout the United States. Sourlands is distributed nationally by Chelsea Green Publishing. Jared graduated magna cum laude from the University of Richmond with a degree in journalism.

 

Director: Mirra Fine & Daniel Klein

Running Time: 8 minutes

About the film:

The Perennial Plate is a two-time James Beard Award winning online weekly documentary series dedicated to socially responsible and adventurous eating.  Chef and Activist, Daniel Klein and Filmmaker Mirra Fine are traveling the world exploring the wonders, complexities and stories behind the ever more connected global food system.

About the directors:perennial_plate_direct

Daniel Klein – After learning to cook at his mother’s bed and breakfast, Daniel went on to work and train at many of the world’s top restaurants. After graduating from NYU, Daniel also pursued a career in film.  He has directed, filmed, edited and produced projects on various issues including the development industry in Africa ( “What are we doing here?”) and oil politics.  Daniel is a 2013 James Beard Award winner and the founder of The Perennial Plate.
Mirra Fine – James Beard Award winning Filmmaker and Vegetarian, Mirra has never cooked at any fancy restaurants.  However, she has worked at some of New York’s top marketing firms, (including J Walter Thompson and Kirshenbaum Bond), and for the City of New York. She is a graphic designer and freelance writer.  She films and co-produces The Perennial Plate series. Mirra became a vegetarian as a result of the first episode of the show.

 

Farm Hack Profile

Running Time: 3 minutes

About the film:

Farm Hack is a farmer-driven community to develop, document and build tools for resilient agriculture.

 Film’s Website: http://www.farmhack.net

 

Director: Severine von Tscharner Fleming

Running Times: 39 minutes

OUR LAND Episode 1: The Solution to Polution is Life (10 min)

OUR LAND Episode 2: Distribution (6 min)

OUR LAND Episode 3: Adaptive Seeds (5 min)

OUR LAND Episode 4: Access to Grazing (10 min)

OUR LAND Episode 5: Dry Land (8 min)

About the film:

The food system is broken. How do we fix it? Our Land is a web series of short films about the food system, and efforts to change it.

About the director:

Severine attended Pomona College and University of California at Berkeley, where she graduated with a B.S. in Conservation/AgroEcology. She co- founded the Pomona Organic Farm, founded UC Berkeley’s Society for Agriculture and Food Ecology, and is a proud co-founder of the National Young Farmers Coalition.

Film’s Website: http://ourland.tv/

 

Director: Graham Meriwether

Running Time: 84 minutes

About the film:

American Meat is a pro-farmer look at chicken, hog and cattle production in America. Beginning with a history of our current industrial system, the feedlots and confinement operations are unveiled, not through hidden cameras, but through the eyes of the farmers who live and work there. From there, the story shifts to Polyface Farms, where the Salatin family has developed an alternative agricultural model based on rotational grazing and local distribution. Nationwide, a local-food movement of farmers, chefs, and everyday people has taken root… But could it ever feed us all? (84 min)

About the director:

Graham Meriwether is a documentary journalist who serves as the director at Leave It Better, a film production company committed to telling solutions-oriented stories about environmental challenges. Graham studied at the University of Colorado at Boulder and is based in New York City. where he has been focused on directing and distributing the film American Meat. In 2010, Meriwether founded the non-profit organization, Leave It Better Foundation, whose mission is to empower youth to heal our environment.

 

Director: Jonathan Shepard

Running Time: 19 minutes

About the film:

The Sharecroppers is a short documentary film by Jonathan Shepard. A brief exploration into a world that most city dwellers have never seen, The Sharecroppers explores the quiet struggles of America’s chicken farmers as they struggle to provide for themselves and their families. Essentially forced into upgrading their farms, these farmers have no choice but to perpetuate a never-ending cycle of debt – on pain of bankruptcy. (19 min)

About the director:

“Because I don’t have a degree in filmmaking, or a crew, or any contacts in the film industry to speak of, I’ve had little luck in applying for grants. Maybe that will change now that The Sharecroppers has traveled the film festival circuit a little, but it’s hard to say. I’ve paid for everything out of pocket. The Sharecroppers cost me about $10,000 to make, no small price for a broke graduate student. Basically, I saved up a bunch of money and worked my tail off to do it.” “The Sharecroppers also had a great impact, and no one has been better at getting the word out than than the chicken growers themselves. They’ve used it in public communications to help defend a new, more stringent set of USDA rules that protects contract farmers. I was lucky enough to be able to screen a copy to the head of the USDA’s Packers and Stockyards Administration. The heads of several contract poultry growers’ associations have called me to thank me for doing this work and shining a light on the darkness of the industry. Thousands of people have now seen the film. It’s really been very gratifying.”

Film’s Website: http://thesharecroppers.blogspot.com/

 

Director: Alan Webber

Running Time: 90 minutes

About the film:

Rural Route Shorts is a collection that was created to highlight works that deal with unique people and places outside of the bustle of the city. Taking in a Rural Route program is like choosing the road less travelled, and learning something new about our constantly amazing world.

Since 2002, the Rural Routes has been centered in New York City, where both founders (originally from Iowa) met working in the film industry. Whether screening in New York, or on one of our many tour dates, our content is more relevant than ever, tackling some of the most important topics of the day within the slow food movement, global warming/environmental arena, and life sustainability symposium. (90 min)

About the director:

Alan Webber (Festival Director) hails from Elkader, Iowa, where he started making VHS movies at an early age. Upon moving to New York, he obtained his M.A. in Media Studies from the New School while apprenticing under director Hal Hartley. Alan’s short films include: Day is Done, Hawkeye Fever and Adventures of the Brooklyn Hipster Superhero along w/narrative music videos for rock bands Japanther,Federation-X, The Silver Jews, and Akron/Family. Through 2008-2009, he traveled to all 7 continents screening the RRFF while vlogging. He currently spends his time screenwriting for potential feature projects.

 

Director: Anne Cottringer

Running Time: 90 minutes

About the film:

The average age of a UK farmer is 58 years. Traditional family farms are increasingly under threat.  Tune for the Blood follows the lives of a new generation from family farms in rural Herefordshire over a year as they face challenges of farming and keeping their communities alive in the modern world.

They order bull semen online, they negotiate volatile markets, and they deal with financial and personal fallout from bovine TB. Through it all, their strong respect for tradition and a deep connection to the land shines through. The film celebrates that connection, underscoring it with a original music by internationally acclaimed bassist, Danny Thompson.

These fresh and authentic young rural voices, with their passion and humour, breathe life into some of the pressing issues of the countryside at a time when food security is high on the agenda and the place of the family farm in modern agriculture is being debated. (90 min)

About the director:

A graduate of the Royal College of Art, Anne has worked as a lighting/camerawoman for many broadcast programmes. Her highly praised documentaries include, Hell to Pay, Mother Courage, and Tune for the Blood.

Richard Branczik – Cinematographer

A cameraman for thirty years, Richard Branczik has worked on numerous documentaries, dramas, music videos and corporates. His broadcast work has included such diverse subjects as torture in Namibia by the apartheid South Africa regime, the work of Colombia’s Public Prosecutor in his fight against the cocaine cartels, and South African jazz legends the Manhattan Brothers.

Richard Urbanski — Editor

Richard Urbanski is a film/video and sound editor, with many years experience working on both documentaries and fiction. In addition to his film and video work, Richard is a web designer and multi-media developer.

Film’s Website: http://www.tunefortheblood.co.uk / Watch the Trailer

Director: Tracy Worcester

Running Time: 54 minutes

About the film:

Pig Business is our feature length documentary film which investigates the rise of factory pig farming – an industrialised system that  abuses animalsthreatens the future of human health by overusing antibiotics, sickens nearby residents with toxic stench, pollutes streams, rivers and the sea and destroys rural communities.

This farming system often operates where labour is cheapest, animal welfare and environmental standards lowest and corporate subsidies highest. Pork produced this way floods every mass retail market in the world at the expense of small scale, high welfare pig farmers. The resulting profits line the pockets of just a handful of massive corporations and their powerful lobbyists.

The film encourages consumers to only buy pork from sustainable small-scale, farms where the animals are  raised outdoors (or indoors with natural light, fresh air and deep bedding) where they can express their natural behaviour. These farms rarely use antibiotics because the pigs are healthy and content, do not pollute, and they conserve biodiversity, landscapes and rural communities. (54 min)

About the director:

Since working as a volunteer with Friends of the Earth in 1989, Tracy Worcester has been active in supporting the Food Sovereignty movement. She focuses on shifting power away from giant corporate and banks towards citizens and communities. Between 1996-1998 she ran a market garden selling organic vegetables via farmers markets, local stalls and veg boxes delivered to local homes. She has been networking, fund raising, writing, making documentaries and public speaking and making to promote a more local economy particularly in relation to food. Her films include Is small still Beautiful in India, The Politics of Happiness in Bhutan, Pig Business. Pig Business, now in 21 languages, has been broadcast around the world, screened at the House of Commons, EU Parliament and on Capitol Hill. She is now working on a consumer outreach campaign called, The Pig Ask. Through a diverse range of partners in 35 countries sending out her three minute video to their supporters, she hopes to inform millions of people about the true cost of cheap pork and asking them to pledge to use the power of their purse to avoid factory farmed pork. With high welfare labels being more expensive, she suggests reducing meat intake and going to a farmers market.

 

Director: Joris van der Kamp

Running Time: 37 minutes

About the film:

Future Farmers in the Spotlight is an ongoing film project through which the film makers want to show that – despite the many difficulties that young starters face to get into practical agriculture – a number of young passionate people all over Europe have managed to set up or take over sustainable farming initiatives. Many of these young agricultural entrepreneurs develop new and innovative concepts to market their produce, explore niche markets, diversify economic activities, start “new” relations with consumers and make use of innovative ways to get access to land and capital.

The Future Farmers in the Spotlight films aim to inspire and encourage especially young people and young farmers to set up one’s own innovative and viable farming initiative. The films give insight in the diversity of existing viable farming concepts and share the young farmers’ motivation, his/her ideas and ideals, information about opportunities and difficulties young farmers face when starting or taking over a farm. (37 min)

About the director:

Joris is a trained Soil Scientist. He discovered his love for the media film only during the production of the Future Farmers in the Spotlightfilm series. Next to the production of Future Farmer Films, Joris also teaches and consults in the field of composting, soil fertility management and sustainable agriculture. The believe that we can make our food system more sustainable is the driving force behind the activities he performs. Joris is passionate about real food & cooking and hopes to become part-time farmer in the near future.

Email: joris@future-farmers.net

Twitter: @jorisvanderkamp

Juliane Haufe

Juliane studied Environmental Science and is no professional movie-maker either. After working as an expert in the field of Life Cycle Analyses she decided to realize her long-felt dream of becoming a vegetable grower and to act within the local community. Juliane followed a part-time training in bio-dynamic agriculture at Warmonderhof (NL) and gained practical experience on a range of different farms. Next to producing the Future Farmers in the Spotlight film series, Juliane works in an organic shop and is preparing to start her own farm.

Email: juliane@future-farmers.net

Film’s Website: http://future-farmers.net/

 

Director: Gavin Raders

Running Time: 8 minutes

About the film:

Planting Justice is a non-profit organization based in Oakland, CA dedicated to food justice, economic justice, and sustainable local food systems. They bring community members together to create replicable, energy- and water-efficient gardens that demonstrate how it is possible to grow a complete nutritional diet right where 80% of U.S. residents live: in the city. The Planting Justice model enables empowers economically disadvantaged communities to transform empty lots, paved backyards, and grass lawns into productive organic gardens that serve as living classrooms for community members to practice Urban Permaculture and bio-intensive gardening techniques. The organization has built over 250 edible gardens in the Bay Area and created 10 living wage green jobs for men transitioning out of prison who work as permaculture designers, landscapers and grass roots organizers. (Shorts, 8 min)

About the director:

Gavin Raders is a co-founder and Executive Director of Planting Justice, a social justice activist, and a permacuture demonstrator/teacher. Before his stint as an intern at the Regenerative Design Institute, he studied cultural anthropology at UC Berkeley, and organized on a range of environmental and human rights issues both on campus and off.

He comes to permaculture and ecological design through a social justice framework which recognizes the right of all people to peace, security, housing, healthy food, clean water, jobs and healthcare, and the rights of future generations to a just and livable world. For this to happen, he believes that Americans need to understand and respect the intimate connection and the shared fate we have with all people and all life on this planet, and organize effectively on the local level to come up with replicable and effective solutions to the range of hardships and oppressions we currently face.

 Film’s Website: http://www.plantingjustice.org/

 

Director: Lisa Heenan and Darren Doherty

Running Time: 9 minutes

About the film:

**PREVIEW** For the last 2 years Lisa and Darren have been filming a documentary on the renowned Polyface Farm, headed by Heinz Award winner, Joel Salatin, and it’s broad community of 5000 families within a 3 hour ‘Foodshed’ of this unique operation in Swoope, Virginia. (9 mins)

About the director:

Lisa Heenan and Darren Doherty are Australians, who for over 20 years have worked with farmers all over the world helping them to regenerate their farms, communities and most importantly soils. Having helped develop 1000’s of projects with over 1600 clients they have broad expertise & knowledge in the permaculture.

 

Director: Mitch Dickman

Running Time: 73 minutes

About the film:

Hanna Ranch is the story of three generations on a family ranch in rural Colorado, that centers on visionary eco-rancher, Kirk Hanna, whose fight carried on by his amazingly determined wife and two daughters. (73 min)

 Film’s Website: http://www.hannaranchmovie.com

 

Director: Jason Mann, Cecily Pingree

Running Time: 84 minutes

About the film:

Betting The Farm is the story of a group of Maine dairy farmers who–dropped by their national milk company–are suddenly confronted with the real possibility of losing their farms. Banding together, the farmers launch their own milk company. Farmers Vaughn Chase, Richard Lary, and Aaron Bell–along with their families–struggle to make ends meet as they get the company off the ground. But faced with slow sales and mounting bills, can the farmers hang together long enough for the gamble to pay off? Or will they be left worse off than before? (84 min)
Film’s Website: Betting the Farm

Director: Nate Simms

Running Time: 57 minutes

About the film:

Brunswick is a film about landscape change, told through the personal story of a farmer’s lifelong connection to his now-threatened land.  The film weaves together the plight of Sanford Bonesteel, an aging farmer in his 90s, with the dynamics of small-town politics as a residential development is planned on Sanford’s former land.

The film takes place in Brunswick, New York, a small country town facing the challenge of balancing  economic growth with the preservation of its rural character.  It is a story both specific to Brunswick and yet recognizable to rural communities all over the United States. (57 min)

About the director:

After spending several years as a still photographer, Nate Simms became involved in documentary filmmaking.  With film, he found a new medium for his ongoing interests in natural landscapes and land conservation.  Nate continues to focus particularly on land use issues in Rensselaer County.  A graduate of Middlebury College in Vermont, Nate has lived in New York’s Capital District for most of his life.
Nate has also authored a book of photographs on Rensselaer County, titled Focus on the Land. For more information on Nate’s book and his still photography, please visit: www.natesimms.com.

Film’s Website: http://www.brunswickfilm.com / Watch the Trailer

 

Director: Rawn Fulton and Newbold Noyes

Running Time: 56 minutes

About the film:

From early Colonial times, the rural hilltowns of New England have been home to generations of dairy farmers. They earned their living through a remarkably varied combination of seasonal activities and incessant daily chores — maple sugaring, plowing, planting, cultivating, haying, logging, clearing fields, building stone walls, mending fences, harvesting crops, cutting, splitting and stacking firewood, breeding, doctoring, trading and slaughtering their cattle, pigs, sheep, chickens and horses; while also daily milking & feeding their herds, mucking stalls, cooking, cleaning, tending home fires and raising their families. All the while they supported each other in tightly knit communities sustained by shared values, mutual needs, and respect for the land. (56 min)