Sustainable Agriculture

Clementine Theatre, Harrisonburg VA.  hosted by Friendly City Food Coop

Adams State College, sponsored by BE WELL Colorado and HEALTHY LIFESTYLES.

Kent State, Kent Ohio, Kent Free Library, Earth Week series

Missoula Montana, Community Food * Agriculture Coalition

Farm to School. Org

Food Security Partners



Sustainable Agriculture South West
Colorado/ New Mexico

San Luis Valley Local Food Coalition

Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA

Real to Real Films

Indie Films

Sustainable Living Fair, PA.

Earth Day Celebrations too numerous to keep track of.

Whole Foods sponsorship for public screenings

Farm Bureau sponsorship for public screenings.

Unitarian Church, Durango Co, fundraiser for Food Bank.  Study on Ethical Eating.

The Documentary Channel/ PBS Broadcast affiliates - airs regularly.

Indy Flicks

Official Selection for National Interfaith Conference on Sustainability, Berkeley, CA. ( tba)
Aldo Leopold Centennial CelebrationAldo Leopold Centennial Celebration 2009
October 9, 2009 4pm

Sanchez Farm
1108 Arenal Rd. SW, Albuquerque

4:00pm: Family Farm Activities
7:00pm: Outdoor Film Showing, Opening with Local Shorts, including “Stories of Wolves-The Lobo Returns” by Elke Duerr
7:30pm: Outdoor Film Screening: Heart & Soil
Guests are encouraged to bring picnic blankets and dinner.

Does what you eat affect global warming?  Are small scaled farmers the new super-heroes?  Can growing local organic food save the Earth?  “Heart & Soil,” a 45 minute family documentary, offers hope for our planet.  This uplifting movie clips along with the pace of barefoot children and frolicking livestock, taking us on a journey into the rich landscape and lives of small scale farming, the bustling energy of farmers’ markets and farm to school programs.  Filmed in the rugged Four Corners Area of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico, “Heart & Soil” has been called “a love song for farmers,” those stalwart keepers of the earth who speak with passion on diverse topics including animal husbandry, soil science and climate change.  “Heart & Soil” also touches on the darker side of agriculture: the corporate extractive system that produces—not only most of the food we eat—but global warming.  FREE

For more information: 505-314-0398,

Documentary Film Blog Review by Lou Mindar on June 2, 2009:  In a sense, Heart and Soil is a propaganda film.  The director, Mara LeGrand, set out to make a film to promote sustainable agriculture.  I’m all for sustainable agriculture, but I’m opposed to propaganda.  Even so, LeGrand crafted her film in such a way that I found myself enjoying it.  I knew from the start that LeGrand had an agenda, but she didn’t force her agenda upon the audience.  Instead, she told the story of farmers in the southwest who are using sustainable agricultural practices to produce food, earn a living, and heal the land.  What’s not to like about that? I was afraid that Heart and Soil might veer off course and start to bash corporate farming.  However, she never did.  She just stuck to her story – the story of the farmers – and let her viewers decide for themselves how they feel about sustainable agriculture.

Mara's Response:

I've always said I wouldn't make a propaganda film, unless someone paid me to do so.  Of course, HEART & SOIL, was an unpaid work of love.  I wanted to mention that HEART & SOIL seems to cross barriers of political  and religious view points, as it's popular down south with Baptist groups.  It's been shown at Unitarian - ethical eating study groups, Buddhist groups focused on compassion for all of life and now it's being selected for an international conference of Inter-faith groups, studying sustainability.  In addition, of course the film is popular with those involved with the local food movement and people promoting healthier communities and farm to school programs.  I even heard back from the owner of a packaged food corporation, who commented that  they found it "tasty".

I'm glad Lou thinks I stuck to my story rather than propagandizing, because the film actually started out as a 10 min.  TV piece about my local farmer's market. .  As I kept going deeper into the roots of the farmer's lives,  it grew as it took on a life of it's own,.   I worked hard to serve the story and not  even add narration - so as not to be offensive or ram ideology down anyone's throat. Even the  film's name developed because of what the characters voluntarily offered, without prompting from me.  The characters in the film were so pure and non egocentric in their offering, I can't imagine propaganda is a word any of them know.

Additionally,  I've been a vegetarian most of my life, yet the film has a strong emphasis on animal husbandry.  Because raising animals for meat  is a way of life for most of the world,  I felt the most important contribution local farmers make, is giving their animals a good life, and a fearless, quick death, so I braved that subject, even though it wasn't my preference.   At a screening in Boulder a man in the audience commented that we didn't need meat to get all the protein we need, so why kill animals when we could get  it from vegetables and grains.  I told him that was a different film subject, that he and I  could consider making, but it wasn't what this film became. In New York, a  professor from Columbia was undone to see deer ( actually Elk )  in a film about agriculture.  "We can legally shoot those varmits, if they get in our garden," she said.  I reminded her that the Voice Over footage of  Elk jumping the fence,  was about the direct correlation of bio-diversity  on the health and sustainability of the eco-system.

As a story teller, and documentarian the first thing I need is a subject, then a theme and a particular twist develops.   I begin with objectivity and innocence, consequently I'm seeing like an unbiased audience might.  Then  as I develop insight I begin to weave threads of the  story together.  I don't see film making as unbiased news reporting ( if that even exists anymore)   I see it as an opportunity to appeal to a broad audience and to educate, entertain and inspire in an honest, non dogmatic way.

I'm glad Lou enjoyed HEART & SOIL -- after all.  It's been on a roll from coast to coast that has exceeded what I imagined for my first do it all yourself film.  Now, how about a Hershey bar or some Lays potato chips dipped in a garden fresh herb chevre?

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