Food & Farming



Re-Greening the Desert

50 min. | 2012 | V-Pro
FILM MAKERS: Rob van Hattum & John D. Liu

Saturday, March 1 2:30 pm | Theatre 2

For more than 15 years, cameraman and ecologist John D. Liu has been working on his worldwide mission to green deserts and to restore biodiversity. It all started in 1995 when Liu filmed the Loess-plateau in China. He witnessed a local population that turned an area almost the same size as The Netherlands from a dry, exhausted wasteland into a green oasis. From that moment on, Liu has been travelling all over the world to convince and inspire government leaders, policy-makers and farmers with his film material and knowledge. Liu diligently spreads the message that permacultural restoration of ecosystems is not only possible, but also economically very meaningful.



50 min. | 2011 | McNabb/Connolly
DIRECTOR: Anthony-Masterson

Sunday, March 2 1:30 pm | Theatre 1

Currently, the average age of farmers in North America is over 55, so it’s critical to encourage more young people to take up the plow. GROW! profiles a new crop of idealistic young farmers who have turned to the fields for a more fulfilling life, driven by a strong desire to grow and distribute food locally and in a more sustainable manner. To start farming, they often must borrow, rent or manage farmland in order to fulfill their dreams. Some begin as apprentices, working with experienced farmers to learn the basics before venturing out on their own. GROW! takes an engaging look at this new generation of sustainable farmers through the eyes, hearts and minds of 20 passionate, idealistic and fiercely independent young growers. They speak of both the joys and the challenges involved in tending the land. They also clearly present what motivates them, and what it takes to be successful as a farmer. The film provides inspiration to all viewers to support this new crop of sustainable farmers through the food choices we make every day.
film website

BEST AMERICAN DOCUMENTARY, Rome International Film Festival; BEST FEATURE, Colorado Environmental Film Festival

MoreThanHoney-1w More Than Honey

91 min. | 2012 | Eye Steel Films
DIRECTOR: Markus Imhoof

Sunday, March 2 3:00 pm | Theatre 1

Sponsored by The Bee School

Over the past 15 years, colonies of bees have been decimated throughout the world.  “Colony Collapse Disorder” is still spreading from beehive to beehive. We have good reason to be worried; many plant species, including our food crops, require bees for pollination. Should we blame pesticides or even medication used to combat them? What about parasites such as varroa mites or travelling stress?  So far, it looks as though a combination of all these factors may be implicated. The camera flies from the US, where massive bee-factories-on-wheels travel by truck between fruit regions, to China, where the bees are gone and legions of  labourers  pollinate blossoms by hand. The film ends on a hopeful note with lessons about the importance of biodiversity.  Exquisite cinematography of the bees  in flight and in their hives, reveals a fascinating and complex world.
film website

BEST DOCUMENTARY, German Film Awards; BEST DOCUMENTARY, Santa Barbara Film Festival


Island Green

21 min. | 2013 | NFB
DIRECTOR: Millefiore Clarkes

Sunday, March 2 | 12:30 pm | Theatre 1

Prince Edward Island has long been famous for its spuds and red mud. But in the last 50 years since industrialized farming took root, this small, predominantly agricultural island has seen cancer and respiratory illness rates rise to the highest of anywhere in Canada. Is there a link? Rather than dwelling on PEI’s worrisome monocropping practices, Island Green dares to ask: What if PEI went entirely organic?
film website


Seeds of Freedom

30 min. | 2012 | Gaia Foundation
DIRECTOR: Jess Phillimore

Saturday, March 1 12:30 pm | Theatre 4

Seeds of Freedom charts the story of seed from its roots at the heart of traditional, diversity-rich farming systems across the world to being transformed into a powerful commodity used to monopolize the global food system. The film highlights the extent to which the industrial agricultural system, and genetically modified (GM) seeds in particular, goes hand in hand with loss of biodiversity and related knowledge; the loss of cultural traditions and practices; the loss of livelihoods; and the loss of food sovereignty. Seeds of Freedom challenges the mantra — promoted by the pro-GM lobby — that large-scale, industrial agriculture is the only means by which we can feed the world. It shows how small-scale farmers feed 70 percent of the world, using less land and water. They protect the soil, and their practices lead to more crop resilience as the climate changes.
film website

Hands in the Dirt_Still Hands in the Dirt

14 min. | 2013 |
FILM MAKERS: Mik Turje & Javier Ojer

Sunday, March 2 12:15 pm | Theatre 1

Two young farmers in Richmond, BC are ready to realize their dream of finally running their own farm. But as local farmland is rapidly sold off for development or dumping, they must fight to preserve a way of life and a food secure future for BC future generations. Meanwhile in nearby Vancouver, backed by a flurry of green branding and new technology, small urban farming operations are experiencing unprecedented attention and success. By following the tension surrounding the dumping on one piece of Agricultural Land Reserve land in Richmond, the film jumps into the roiling controversy common to peri-urban areas the world over – farmland versus development. But it also asks city dwellers – who have the most at stake – to evaluate our priorities.
film Facebook page

FoodScraps-still-Jan2014 v1 A Second Life for Our Food Scraps

10 min.| 2013 |

Saturday, March 1 1:15 pm | Theatre 2

What can we do with our food waste? In Metro Vancouver, we send over 1 million tonnes of “municipal solid waste” to the landfill, 40 percent of which is food waste.  Starting in 2015, food scraps will be banned from our garbage stream. This film shows what a group of concerned citizens in our community have done to build awareness of this issue and provide a solution for recycling our food scraps today.


22 min. | 2012 |
DIRECTOR: Zachary Maxwell

Saturday, March 1 | 12:40 pm | Theatre

Fourth grader Zachary Maxwell’s parents believed that the hot lunches served at his school were both nutritious and delicious.  Zachary knew that the online menu did not accurately represent what was really being served at his school. To prove his point, Zachary started sneaking a small HD camera into the lunchroom to gather insider footage.  He also researched the claims being made about the city’s public school lunch program. This entertaining film has charmed audiences at many festivals.
film website

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