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Completion   /  Camilla Becket

The Seeds of Vandana Shiva

How did the willful daughter of a Himalayan forest conservator become Monsanto’s worst nightmare?

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Impact areas

ENVIRONMENT

HUMAN RIGHTS & SOCIAL JUSTICE

INDIGENOUS

WOMEN & GIRLS

Crew

  • DIRECTOR Camilla Becket

  • PRODUCER Paige Livingston

Synopsis

DURATION: 80 MINUTES

In her colorful sari and large scarlet bindi, Dr. Vandana Shiva is an arresting presence: She galvanizes crowds, advises government leaders, fields constant calls from the media—then retreats from big-city buzz to work alongside small farmers across the developing world.

Who is she? What is her mission? How did this woman from an obscure town in India become Monsanto’s worst nightmare; a rebellious rock star in the global debate about who feeds humanity?

The Seeds of Vandana Shiva tells Vandana’s story—the people, events, and circumstances that defined her life’s purpose—and how she rose to prominence in the food justice movement to inspire an international crusade for change.

The film also illuminates two visions for feeding an exploding world population: The first, a chemically dependent industrial model controlled by huge corporations. And the alternative, local food systems that restore biodiversity, mitigate climate change, build strong communities and feed the world.

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  • April 2020

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Issue Summary

A short summary of the issue the documentary is addressing

Dr. Shiva’s life story of eco-activism illuminates the environmental and social failures of a globalized and chemically dependent food system that destroys biodiversity and natural water systems, creates desertification, degrades soil, and releases up to 40% of greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.

At the same time, multinational controlled industrial agriculture also dispossesses small farmers and destroys local communities in ways that can lead to conflict and war.

By telling Vandana’s remarkable life story, this film seeks to inspire viewers to choose and to advocate for local, organic, and fair-traded food. How? Through the lens of key events, circumstances, and people in her life, the film builds the case for ecological and regenerative food systems that can mitigate climate change, restore biodiversity, support local communities and feed the world.

Impact

What is the impact vision statement of the documentary?

The Seeds of Vandana Shiva seeks to inspire viewers to:

Choose local, organic and fair-traded food.

Educate others about the interconnections between the climate, the environment, social justice, and food.

Petition policymakers to support small-scale, organic and regenerative farmers, and food and fibre producers.

Outcomes

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

Through the telling of one woman’s inspiring personal journey of lived social action, our goals are to:

In the immediate term, create a greater understanding of how the global food system impacts society, the climate, and the environment and to change viewers' behavior towards local, organic and fair traded food.

In the medium term, connect people to local and international organizations in the ecological food movement to help grow the movement’s membership, impact and reach.

And, in the long term, to help shift public policy—across community, state, national and international levels—towards climate change-mitigating, ecological and locally managed farming and food.

Stakeholders

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

During production, Navdanya and Regeneration International supported us with some in-kind travel and accommodation. We also received financial support from Patagonia and Organic Valley, plus product donations from Patagonia, Nutiva, KeVita, North Atlantic Books, Langscape Magazine, Lexicon of Sustainability, All Good Things Organic Seeds, Seed Savers Exchange, and The Omega Institute for our crowdfunding campaigns.

Our Advisory Board includes the International Director of Regeneration International, the former director of I-FOAM Organics International, the former International Director of the Center for Food Safety, the Editor of Resurgence and Ecologist Magazine, and the Director of Movements for Ecological Learning and Community Action.

Our Advisory Board has provided us with resources for research and three of our Board members appear in The Seeds of Vandana Shiva but other than that, the filmmakers have produced, directed and have final cut of this film.

Audience Engagement and Social Impact

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

As far as it is possible for you, buy locally produced, organic, regenerative and fair-traded food.
Become part of the regenerative food movement. There are already many great organizations already working in the trenches that you can join and support.
Know that whatever your interests and aptitudes—you can be a farmer, a food producer, a scientist, an artist, a parent, a teacher, a policymaker—there is a way for you to make a difference. Everyone can find a role to play in the ecological food web.
Find out from your elected officials where they stand on food, farming, the environment, and climate change. What policies exist in your locality that could be challenged and changed toward a more regenerative future of food?

Measurement and Evaluation

What is the projects indicators for success?

Our initial metrics already include promotional reel play numbers (to date over 25K), website visits, social media engagement (high) and newsletter open rates (also high). These serve as predictors of interest in the forthcoming film.

On release we’ll track attendance at community screenings, conferences, and educational institutions; also trailer views, newsletter sign-up rates, social media engagement, website visits, media reports and reviews, influencer shout-outs, digital downloads, and DVD sales. With our organisational partners, we’ll also track metrics to do with the film.

We will solicit feedback through audience surveys at screenings and track outcomes of specific outreach campaigns (for example, Patagonia’s Seed Savers Teach-In Tour). We will personally engage with audiences whenever we can, collecting stories for newsletters, social media, and future outreach initiatives.

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