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Development   /  Caroline Douglas

STANDING ON THE SOiLUTION

Rachel Ward takes us on a rural Australian road trip to probe the possibilities of the “regen” farming revolution.

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Impact areas

ENVIRONMENT

HEALTH & WELLBEING

Crew

  • DIRECTOR Sally Aitken

  • PRODUCER Bettina Dalton & Rachel Ward

Synopsis

DURATION: 85 MINUTES

Film director and actress Rachel Ward is the last person you’d expect to join a farming revolution.

Following the birth of her first grandchild, Rachel is confronted head-on by the impact of our climate crisis as the Black Summer fires descend on her farm.

Faced with the realisation that she could no longer offset responsibility for the perils that threaten our planet she discovers that across Australia, and around the world, a quiet revolution is underway. 

In this triumphant film, she voyages from her own wilful ignorance about the ecological impacts of conventional agriculture, to championing a movement to restore the health of Australia’s farmland, food and climate and in doing so the wellbeing of the farming communities that sustain the nation, and ourselves.

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14.30% funded
  • $910,000.00

    FUNDING GOAL
  • $130,100.00

    FUNDS RAISED
  • 6

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Donations

Lisa Blundell $10,000.00
Lindy Shelmerdine $10,000.00
The Yulgilbar Foundation $75,000.00
Ian Darling AO $25,000.00
Macdoch Foundation $10,000.00
Anonymous $100.00

Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

2020 has seen Australia ravaged by catastrophic fires and Covid lockdown. It has been a great contemplative time for many of us. Feeling vulnerable as humans gives cause to consider where our food comes from, the future of our children and our planet’s sustainability. Australian landscapes are desertifying, our waters noxious with chemicals, our soils depleted and our per capita carbon footprint 3x the global average. But could a solution to radically change this paradigm be right under our feet?

Impact

What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

The film puts regenerative agriculture under the microscope and into the spotlight - and will leave the audience unquestioning that we all have “skin in the game”. Driven by the personal stories of our own Australian farmers, we hope to inform and inspire viewers with the very real and hopeful benefits of regenerative agriculture - restoring soil health, drawing down carbon, improving the water cycle - and galvanise them to take responsibility and take action for the future of our planet.

Outcomes

What outcomes does the project hope to achieve from making this documentary?

We aim to have the film and its associated Impact campaign raise awareness of the positive effects of regen agriculture, to inform existing farmers and the consumer public. We hope for a wider understanding and embracing of regen farming practices and its benefits. Ideally this awareness and consumer response will lead to public policy incentives as part of the Governments drought relief and climate change strategy. With a wider more mainstream acceptance of regen knowledge and best practice, students should be able to access not only the film but also associated information on its educational resources. The project aims to draw connections between farming practices and our personal and ecosystem health translating into proactive consumer choices that support the economic growth of regen farming.

Ultimately, the project aims to return our highly degraded agricultural landscape and soils to health, hold water on the land, get our carbon cycle pumping again and slow climate change!

Stakeholders

How will partnerships with this project help inform the project development?

Our exploration of regenerative agriculture has led us to approach (and, sometimes, be approached by) and engage with a diverse collective of individuals and organisations, including existing networks of regen farmers as well as more traditional regional Australian networks, scientists, health practitioners, vets, entrepreneurs, a number of businesses involved in sustainability and the food supply chain and numerous industry groups. We will continue to work with a broad array of stakeholders to contribute to the film’s narrative, as well as an Impact Producer to maximise participation of relevant organisations as well as audience reach.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

What actions does this project hope for its viewers after seeing this film?

Continue to educate themselves on the regenerative agriculture practices and, more broadly, the climate crisis.

Start a dialogue within their own network about the real and hopeful benefits of regenerative agriculture e.g. in conversation and through sharing social media.

Proactively increase “farm to plate” awareness as consumers - where food is coming and what’s going into it - and have desire to match their purchasing dollars with their ecological values.

Create school gardens where students can actively witness and document regenerative practices and soil health.

Private sector exploration of potential carbon trading opportunities for farmers.

Increase exploration of regenerative agriculture by politicians and policymakers at every level of government, including possible incentives for regenerative farmers.

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

In terms of release, we aim for theatrical screenings, including fan forced film screenings and events, in both urban centres and rural districts Australia-wide at indoor and outdoor community spaces, educational institutions and other sectors, including successful application to national and international film festivals/social change events. This would be followed by television broadcast and/or VOD viewing.

We hope for viewers to start a dialogue within their own networks - to generate further discourse and understanding around regenerative agriculture - and inspire and convince the farming community, consumers and governments alike to make the change.

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