A perfect storm is brewing as agriculture pioneer Cary Fowler races against time to protect the future of our food. Since he first raised the alarm about decreasing agrobiodiversity in his 1990 book, Shattering (co-authored with Pat Mooney), Fowler has worked tirelessly to save and protect the world's food resources. He was key in establishing the Svalbard seed bank, a repository of genetic resources carved into a remote northern Norway mountain.
His efforts are critical. Agricultural crop diversity has declined dramatically – less than seven percent of the diversity in U.S. vegetable crops remain that existed a century ago. Seed banks crumble, crop failures produce starvation and rioting, and the accelerating effects of climate change affect farmers globally. Indigenous Peruvian farmers are among those suffering these effects, as they work to save over 1,500 varieties of native potato. With little time to waste, both Fowler and the farmers are on passionate, personal journeys to save one resource we cannot live without: our seeds.
"SEEDS OF TIME stands out as truly exceptional...it's just riveting filmmaking, a story swiftly and beautifully told." Margaret Mead Film Festival
Director Sandy McLeod will join us for a talkback after the screening and Marie-Ève Levert, the Manager of the Bauta Family Initiative for Canadian Seed Security, will attend, to discuss the initiative and field questions.
Sandy McLeod is an Academy Award nominated independent filmmaker, with experience in most of the major areas of filmmaking. Her directorial debut was in music videos, when she directed a series for VH1 called The Sixties. Her next film was Doll Day Afternoon, a short film she directed for Saturday Night Live. The film went on to be shown in museums nationwide, including the Boston Museum of Fine Art, the Walker Art Center, and the Dallas Museum of Fine Art. She worked with Jordan Cronenweth and Jonathan Demme to establish innovative textural elements of the landmark film Stop Making Sense. Then she conceptualized and directed a Talking Heads’ music video, which was featured at the New York Film Festival and is now part of the permanent collection in New York’s Museum of Modern Art. An AIDS music video that she directed is also part of MOMA’s permanent collection. She was the production designer of “Swimming to Cambodia,” a one-man show by Spaulding Gray. A further collaboration with Jonathan Demme resulted in a documentary for Channel 4 called, Haiti, Dreams of Democracy. Sandy has been a long-time collaborator with John Sayles as second unit director. She is a member of the Directors Guild of America. She directed an Academy Award nominated short documentary called Asylum–a film about a Ghanaian woman who sought political asylum in the United States to escape female genital mutilation. The film also won a Gracie and was nominated for an Emmy. Seeds of Time is her first feature length documentary film.
Fascinated by agriculture policies and their impact on food sovereignty, Marie-Eve studied Canadian seed governance as part as her Master in Public Administration at the University of Ottawa. She joined USC Canada in 2017, and has been involved in the early stage of The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security as the author of their report on The Market for Organic and Ecological Seed in Canada. Marie-Eve is active in the organic community. She currently serves as a member of the Organic Value Chain Roundtable (OVCRT). The OVCRT is a forum that brings together the Organic industry and the federal government to discuss sectoral issues. She also co-authored the 2014, 2015, and 2016 chapter on Canada in IFOAM’s annual publication The World of Organic Agriculture. Before joining USC Canada, Marie-Eve worked as the Director of International and Regulatory Affairs at the Canada Organic Trade Association where she oversaw trade missions in the U.S., Europe and Asia, and worked on the development of policy strategies in the interest of the organic sector. Marie-Ève is based at USC Canada.