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We’re zipping our bags and heading for Paris.
 
This trip we will be filming Vandana and others during various events at the much anticipated U.N. Climate Conference, COP21.
 
You will likely know by now that the large peoples’ marches—which would have drawn tens of thousands calling for action on climate change–have been banned following the November 13 attacks. This is a tragic set back for those who face the worst impacts of climate chaos yet are barely represented in the official negotiations. Their voices are usually best heard in the streets.
 
French authorities have arrested several climate activists under an emergency ruling against meetings of more than two people promoting a “political message.” But holiday shopping and sports games can go on.
 
None of this is stopping numerous activities happening outside of the official talks. And while our world leaders focus–as usual–on emissions reductions and market solutions, we’ll be with a contingent of organizations bringing to Paris a message of hope.
 
Here it is: The solution to global warming lies under our feet. Properly managed, healthy soils can cool the planet and feed the world. 
 
We need to transition away from industrial agricultural practices–that contribute almost half of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions–to ecological practices that regenerate the soil’s capacity to take in excess carbon and produce healthy food.
 
Here’s a brilliant video produced by the Center for Food Safety that makes the point clear.
 
 
 
The choice between agro-ecology and agro-industry–at the heart of a growing global movement including Vandana’s work–is absolutely key to the issue of climate change.
 
Food systems also play a significant part in human rights, social disruption and war.
 
In 1984, Vandana was awakened to the high human cost of industrial agriculture when 30,000 people lost their lives in the Punjab, one of India’s most fertile states. Sent to study the roots of the conflict by United Nations University, she discovered the following: Though the Green Revolution was sold to India as a means to prosperity, the new agriculture actually created a cycle of debt. First, chemical agriculture depleted soil fertility and overused water. Second, with increasing amounts of expensive inputs required–fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides–food production shifted into the hands of industrialists. Punjab’s small farmers were pushed off their land into poverty. 
 
As desperate farmers became increasingly squeezed, they rose up in protest. The government responded by sending the army into a sacred Sikh temple. Soon afterwards, Prime Minister Indira Gandhi was killed. And so the tragic cycle of violence began.
 
In Syria, a massive drought between 2006 and 2009–powered by climate change–was compounded by similarly misguided agricultural policies. This contributed to the crisis of displacement and terror playing out now.

In Paris, not only will we be filming with The Seeds of Vandana Shiva in mind, we’ll also be helping the team at Regeneration International with their powerful message. We should add they are generously supporting our trip.
 
Back home, our editors will be completing the first cut of Dr. Shiva’s life story of activism!

We’ll send an update when we return from Paris in a few weeks. In the meantime, follow us on Facebook and Twitter where we will be posting news when we can!
 
Follow social media updates from Seed Freedom and Regeneration International too. And if you are moved to post about the intersection between our food choices and climate change, and even war, feel free to use the following hashtags: #RegenerativeAg #SoilNotOil #SeedsOfVandana #COP21.
 
P.S: Cinematographer Loreto di Cesare took the pic on our banner. He filmed with us in at Navdanya in 2014 and just completed a new doc himself, featuring Vandana. Revolution: Food. Check it out!

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We want to thank EVERYONE who donated to our Summer 2015 Fundraising campaign. Not everyone supported this project through Kickstarter, we received donations by way of the donation tab on this website as well as through other means. To those donors: We won’t publish your name unless you would like us to add them to the list below. We’d be happy to do so, just let us know!

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Addie Sievers • Adriane Weller • Alain Jakubowicz • Alexander Carrington • Alexandra J Matthews • Alicia Bay Laurel • Alicia Kennedy • Amy Rosner • Andi McIlwee • Andrew Gilman • Angela Austin • Angela Bennett • Angela Duane • Angela Ocone • Ann Korijn • Anna Falkiner • Anne Browne • Anne McCauley • Anthony Smith • April Theriault & Ken Eros • Aron Primack • Artem Zuev • Arthur Kornhaber • Av Singh • Barbara B. Powers • Barbara Bogard • Barclay Hope • Becky Mundt • Betty Flanary • Bill & Robin • Billy Becket • Bob Banner • Bridget Malmstedt • Brittany App • Bronwyn Quigley • Bruce Dowd • Bryan Moss • Cantor Rebekah Mirsky • Carlos • Carol Castanon • Carol Gunby • Carol S Royce • Carol Starkey • Cathleen Lynch • Cherami • Cheryl Bray • Chris Broad • Chris Rhone • Chris Sims • Christina Schneider • Christine L. Smith • Cindy Mitchell • Cindy Ray • Claire • Corwynn Beals • Cossette Drossler • Dana Elizabeth Whitaker • Dana Stephens • Danuta Karpinska • Daphne Buckingham • David Edwards • David Nassi • David Whiteing • Dawn Hawk • Debbie & Kenneth Anderson • Debi Hron • Deborah • Dee Tvedt • Denise & Sven Kielhorn • Diana Cohen • Diana Paul • Diana Petrauskas • Doney Kerr • Donna Robertson • Dulanie La Barre • Efram Wolff • Elaine Landry • Elene Gusch • Elizabeth Farnsworth • Elizabeth Waldron • Ellen Sklarz • Elna Brunckhorst • Emily • Eric Benchimol • Erik Homme • Erika Gorman • Fannula Batefan • Fatima • Forever in Search • Frank Edwards • Gilligan Joy • Gloria Dalcerri • Gordon Johnson • GrayEminence • Greg Hamilton • Grobet Anne Marie • Helen Boehning • Hilary Gaire Woodhouse • Ho Wai • Holly DeGroot • Holly Million • Isabelle Yao • J.B. White • Jacob Pries • Jacqui Simpson • Jade Sherer • James • James Burke • James Webster • Jamie & Asunta Fleming • Jana • Jane Parkes • Jane Spiller • Janet Levin • Jean Poll • Jeannette Rothweiler • Jeff Hutner • Jeff Sojka • Jennifer Frey • Jim Churchill • Jo O’Connell • Jo Slee • Joan Bancel • Jodi Koberinski • John • John Adair • John Avildsen • John Brenner • John Karol • John Rodsett • John Wiercioch • John-Michael Dumais • Jon Rawlinson • Joseph & Betsy Young • Joseph Unger • Josh Tickell • Joshua Gobbell • Joy • Joy Golbere • Joyce Horn • Judith George • Judith Humburg • Julie Duggan • June Brockner • Justin P. Moore • KarenAnn Pizzorni • Kat Stephens• Katarina Johansson • Kate Wilson • Kathleen Kirilenko • Kathryn Speer • Kati & Mariano Santiago • Katrina Godshalk • Katrina MacLachlan • Ken Dittmar • Kenley Neufeld • Keoki • Kevin Matossian • Kirsten Stoltmann • Kris Stevens • Kristofer Young, DC • Larry & Christel Rogero • Larry Chambers • Laura Fish • Laura Maher • Leo Gullick • Leslie Emerson • Leslie McLaughlin • Lilith Rogers • Linda Brunner • Linda Gemmill • Lindajoy Joyful • Lorenzo Fioramonti • Loretta Wrobel • Lori • Lori Bennett • Lorraine Blumberg • Lucia Port • Luis Deveze • Lydia Becket • Lynette Berry • Lynn Fang • lyric • Maaike Aarts • Mareike Pflanz • Margaret Scsaszny • Marielouise Theill • Mark Katchuk • Mark R Brown • Mark Weissberg & Jo Lindt • Martha Fellows • Mary Ann Baier • Mary Dluzniewski • Mary Hannon • Mary Kerns • Mary Lydon • Matthew Fassberg • Matthew Page • Mattia Sacco Botto • Mehul Shah • Melody Eschete • Melody Meyer • Merran Singh • Michael Karman • Michele Fanelli • Micki • Mihoko Skabelund • Mike Overly • Mila Fairfax • Mildred Wilson • Miriam John • Mollie Mithaug-Cook • Molly Perry • Mona • Monica Boyle Pennell • Monique Ruchkall • Muin & Elyse • Nancy Callihan • Nancy Hughes • Nancy Shaw • Nancy Whitney • Natalie du Toit • Neil DeGroot • Nell Cox • Nicky Whiteing • Norman Anderson • Pamela Sophiajohn • Patricia Sobrero • Paul Brown • Paula Winograd • Penny O’Regan • Peter Nelson • Rachael O’Reilly • Raoul Heusbourg • Renee Mandala • Renee Roth • Rhonda Silver • Richard La Plante • Richard Pearce • Richard Shawver • Rob Fresco • Robin Baskind • Robyn Norwood • Ron Polito • Rose Souders • Rose Welch • Rowan Lommel • RueAnn Glass • Ruth Boydell • Sachin Bapat • Sally Lever • Sally Oesterling • Sandra Jeitziner • Sankrant Sanu • Santana Jimenez • Sara H. Lappi • Sarah Sheshunoff • Shabnam • Shamroc • Shannon Rowan • Shari Keller • Sharmila Mali • Shelley • Shelly Winney • Shiv Kumar • Siobhan McDevitt • Sooz Fassberg • Sooz Glazebrook • Stephen Marconi • Steve Sprinkel • Stuart Valentine • Stuart Williamson • Sue • Susan Boland • Susan Haymer • Susan Moore • Susanna Richards Fassberg • Teresa Duncan • Terry & Bev Huntsberger • Terry Gehr • Theresa Volini • Thom McFadden • Timothy Flinn • Tom Shulman • Tony Lambert • Tracey Allen • Tracy • Vanda J Gerhart • Velvy Appleton • Victor Green • Victoria Johansen • Vinod Kumar • Virginia Castelbranco • Vivian Taube • Wayne • Janice Tate • William Maher • William Scoble • Wolfgang • Yvonne England • Yvonne Hartman • Zach Lewis

We can’t wait to let you know when the film is complete!

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WITH YOUR SUPPORT WE MADE OUR GOAL. Yes! We leave for India on Sunday, where we will begin by interviewing Vandana’s childhood friends, teachers, and son.
We will also visit Gandhi’s Ashram and film gatherings of organic farmers atNavdanya and Indore (in Central India) where many say the modern organic movement began.
The story of the organic movement as we know it today has deep roots in India and actually features an Englishman. In 1905 an agricultural developer named Albert Howard–from Shropshire–was dispatched to the colony to teach Indian farmers how they should farm.
Instead, this Western scientist discovered that the indigenous farmers could teach him far more: He went on to famously document the benefits of organic agriculture for the Rodale Institute and other organizations, and is well known for stating that “the health of soil, plant, animal and man is indivisible.”
Howard advocated for agroecology long before the advent of GMOs and the corporate control of our food systems.
Today Indore is a center of food culture in India. With Dr. Shiva we’ll visit organic farmer’s markets, including the Sarafa Bazaar, a night market famous for its vegetarian street food.
Edible treats not withstanding, we see excellent footage ahead.
Thanks to our donors and Kickstarter backers, in Delhi we’ll film at the Bhoomi Festival, source archival material, and look for an artist to help us with animation and graphics:
Here’s a picture of the Hindu Goddess Durga in the Madhubani style of Indian art. Durga is the embodiment of the warrior woman: She tears down demons and difficulties to build anew. Many describe Vandana as a manifestation of Durga…an idea we explore with her in the film.

 The Kickstarter campaign ends this Saturday, September 19 and you can still pledge. Every dollar over and above our initial goal will go directly into the project and we have a wish list! You could be rewarded with any one of the following, which all make great gifts.

And more! See our Kickstarter page for other rewards.
In the meantime, we’re excited to be able to get back to the film. We’ll send out rewards as soon as we return!

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Great news! Our Kickstarter campaign is 94% funded with 9 days to go.
 
We are nearing the home stretch: If you have yet to pledge to The Seeds of Vandana Shiva, please do so now. We invite you to join us in our mission to tell Vandana’s life story.
And if we go over our goal, that’s OK too! We still have some distance to go to finish this film and we’ll put all contributions to excellent use. For example, down the line we’ll be looking to post-production costs: new edits, an original score, sound editing and color correction, not to mention promotion of the completed film.
 
This week we are at the Heirloom Seed Expo, a fantastic event attended by thousands that takes place every year in Santa Rosa, California. Last evening we screened our promo reel before Vandana’s appearance at the Seed Summit panel. It was both gratifying and humbling to receive big applause for our work.
Last week we attended a mind-blowing Soil Not Oil conference organized by the indefatigable Biosafety Alliance. Featuring an impressive gathering of scientists and activists we came away secure in the knowledge that the science is clear: Regenerative food systems are the solution to ecological devastation, poverty, hunger and climate change. Contrary to the messaging of Big Ag and Big Food, agriculture created by an industry focused on product and profit is not the solution, but a major cause of these problems.
 
In case you have not visited our Kickstarter page, you may have missed our great new rewards:
 
For $50 you will receive a pack of 10 cards featuring the Zulu word ubuntu. Sometimes described as “I am because you are,” ubuntu expresses a social and spiritual stance of respect, concern and compassion for one’s family and community. With this pledge you will also receive an early link to the finished film.
And for $35 you will receive a signed copy of Vandana Shiva’s seminal work, Soil Not Oil, recently reissued by North Atlantic Books. In the book she condemns industrial agriculture as a recipe for ecological and economic disaster and champions small, independent farms for their greater productivity, potential for social justice and ability to restore biodiversity essential for the health of the planet. It is a fascinating read that explains how a world beyond dependence on fossil fuels is not only necessary, but possible too.
Let us remind you that all rewards above $25 include an early link to the film!
Here’s Satish Kumar on why The Seeds of Vandana Shiva is so important:
Satish Kumar on The Seeds of Vandana Shiva

Thank you so much to our supporters so far. We’re looking forward to sending you news of our filming trip in India–if we reach our Kickstarter goal, we’ll be en route on September 20th.

Don’t forget to follow our Facebook and twitter feeds, for news about the film and Vandana’s work.

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By the time you read this, we will be on the road to Northern California, where we’ll be attending two big events in support of The Seeds of Vandana Shiva.
We’ve already passed $20K with 16 days to go of our Kickstarter campaign. $10K more to raise–we think we can do it! A gentle reminder: We don’t get a penny unless we reach our goal. If you want to help us share the story of Vandana’s extraordinary journey to prominence, please pledge here now.
In fact on our Kickstarter page you will see that we’ve posted brand new rewards: Seed Savers Exchange has put up a full-fledged membership with extra benefits and The Omega Institute is offering registration (with meals and private accommodations) for their Seeds of Change Conference in mid October. Yes, Dr. Shiva will be there as well.
The moral support we continue to receive for The Seeds of Vandana Shiva has completely inspired us and we’re more than ready to get back to the film. And while we don’t want to short-change the priceless assistance of our brothers-in-arms throughout this campaign, it seems that the project resonates particularly strongly with women.
By way of example, last week this popular post on our Facebook page was shared widely and reached more than 43 thousand people.
The Organic Consumers Association posted about the project on Facebook this morning and instantly racked up more than 2,000 “likes.” We’re looking forward to meeting Director Ronnie Cummins at the Heirloom Seed Expo next week. If we reach our Kickstarter goal, we’ll be filming him with Vandana and other eco-activists on their Pilgrimage of the Soil in India soon.
 
But first we’ll be at the Soil not Oil Conference in Richmond, where we’ll screen our promotional reel before Dr. Shiva’s Keynote Address: Here’s the poster, which you can click through for more information.

 

We’ll be back to news about filmmaking soon!

 

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We are moving into the second week of our Kickstarter campaign for
The Seeds of Vandana Shiva and so far it’s been an incredible ride.
 
First of all, we’ve surpassed 9K of our 30K goal, with 25 days to go. We’re delighted to be ahead of the curve! But we’re entering, possibly, the notorious Kickstarter mid-campaign slump, so we’re a bit nervous. If you are planning to support this film on its road to completion, this would be anexcellent week to kick in.
 
You’ve heard it before and it’s true: Every bit helps.
 
Our team and community are doing a great job of keeping the energy up. Last week our local farm-to-table restaurant, The Farmer and The Cookthrew a blowout community party for the project. Described by owner Steve Sprinkel as an “organicultural rave and teach in,” the event raised well over $2K for the film. On Saturday August 29, artist Kelly Luscombe-Bea is hosting a fundraising concert with virtuoso Paul Livingstone and his Arohi Ensemble: Paul is a gifted student of the beloved Ravi Shankar.
 
Our social media mavens Rose Souders and Kathy Speer have been tweeting and Facebook posting since the campaign began: News about the film has reached 25 thousand people on Facebook and 38 thousand through Twitter. Our hashtag #SeedsOfVandana has been seen by over 420 thousand Twitteraccounts.
 
Seeds are sprouting. The world is becoming aware of this film. Here’s one of the most popular posts; click the image to share it on Facebook yourself!

 

Last week Sooz Fassberg–working on partnerships–secured public support for The Seeds of Vandana Shiva from The Organic Consumers Association,Food Tank and Edible Schoolyard Project. All three are powerful organizations in the movement for ecological food systems and we are honored to be associated with them.
 
We also acquired a few cool new rewards–click through to our Kickstarter to see what they are!
Here’s Debbie Barker, International Programs Director at Center for Food Safety on Vandana’s exceptional worth as an educator. We think it is qualities such as these that make Dr. Shiva such an excellent subject for a widely distributed documentary film.
Debbie Barker: Vandana Shiva is a magnificent speaker and educator.
Let’s get The Seeds of Vandana Shiva made: Please help us to reach our goal of $20K by this time next week!

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A veritable team of volunteers has been working overtime over the past three weeks to get this Kickstarter into your hands.
Without all the unpaid hours put into THE SEEDS OF VANDANA SHIVA–both via the global village and our hometown in Ojai–this project would never be where it is.

We’re humbled by how many people love the idea of this film and want it to happen. So many have already contributed in various ways–making connections, researching partnerships, planning fundraising parties, offering up their various and considerable talents and expertise. 

It does take a village. In our case the global village and our hometown.

Friends in Ojai have come together to organize a Kickstarter launch party at The Farmer & The Cook on Thursday August 20. Supported mostly by volunteers and donations, anticipate a local, organic and most excellent party. If you are in Ojai (or thereabouts) and on Facebook you can learn more and RSVP on this event page, otherwise feel free to email us here.

 
And there are two other events happening in Ojai during the campaign (which runs 35 days): One with tickets for an elegant dinner and incredible concert, another with potluck and planning for action. More on these later.
 
In September we’re attending the Soil not Oil Conference in the Bay Area–a big deal for the movement and Vandana will give the keynote address. We’ll screen our promo reel before her appearance. A week later we’ll be doing the same thing with her at the Heirloom Seed Expo–a long standing and thriving annual event which we should all know about.
 
Why don’t you pitch in as well? Please click through to the Kickstarter page and donate if you can.

With all good wishes and hopes that we meet our goal!

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What a busy few months it has been. We received a generous grant to edit THE SEEDS OF VANDANA SHIVA from the Logan Foundation and our wonderful editors are hard at work. We’ve also been working on the script and researching music, archival footage and Indian animation and graphics.

And we’ve been networking! From scientists, to farmers, to activists, to chefs, we’ve connected with many brilliant people working towards just and ecological food systems for all.

These individuals and the organizations they represent need all the messaging help they can get. Why? Because the strategic centerpiece of industry public relations is that large scale, chemically dependent agriculture is the only way to feed an increasingly crowded and hungry world. The truth is that appropriately scaled organic food systems produce superior nutrition and equivalent yields; they also do not deplete soil, pollute air, overuse water, destroy birds, bees and butterflies or mess with our health!

The problem is that government-supported Big Ag and Big Food have limitless public relations resources, putting agro-ecologists at a disadvantage. This is especially true in the developing world where there is relentless marketing of GMOs and widespread occurrence of corporate land grabs.

For this reason THE SEEDS OF VANDANA SHIVA will be much more than a documentary film; it’s also a strategy to support movement building. We have committed to sharing Vandana’s inspiring life story with organizations around the world–both big and small–to support their education, outreach and fundraising efforts. We need to collectively address agro-industry’s dishonest narrative with an alternative that offers solutions and hope.

We’ve forged over fifty alliances already, including with Seed Freedom, African Biodiversity Network, Center for Food Safety, Edible Communities, Global GMO Free Coalition, The Greenhorns, Rodale Institute, Soil not Oil Coalition and Seed Savers Exchange. With our newly minted promotional reel, we’ll be reaching out to a list of more than 150 additional organizations across the globe.

Speaking of the promotional reel, here it is!

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