The negative impacts of industrial agriculture are everywhere. The increasing threat of genetically engineered food and the destruction of local communities can make us feel powerless to effect change. GAINING GROUND, a new documentary film by Elaine Velazquez and Barbara Bernstein, is an intimate view of rural and urban farmers embracing this challenge.
GAINING GROUND presents the personal stories of farmers and activists confronting the challenges of feeding their local communities sustainably grown food. The documentary interweaves experiences of Urban Tilth’s farmer-activists transforming corners of Richmond, California’s inner city food desert into vibrant community gardens; Sun Gold Farm, a small family farm in rural Oregon converting from commodity dairy to sustainably grown produce and Stalford Seed Farms in the Willamette Valley transitioning from growing grass seed to organic grains. As the film explores these paradigm shifts, it personalizes class, gender, race and environmental justice issues by rooting them within narratives of compelling individuals. While the film is sober about the obstacles to creating change, it points the way toward hope.
The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers and people featured in the film.
View the GAINING GROUND trailer
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“I loved this film – how it rooted big issues within the narratives of such compelling individual personalities.”
David Naimon, host of Healthwatch and Between the Covers, KBOO-FM
Filmmakers Elaine Velazquez and Barbara Bernstein have been creating film and radio documentaries for over thirty-five years. Their award-winning work has been broadcast on public television and radio, screened at international film festivals and distributed through broad grassroots networks.
GAINING GROUND ACROSS OREGON is made possible by a grant from Oregon Humanities and co-sponsored by KBOO-FM, Maryellen & Michael McCulloch, Multnomah County Office of Sustainability, Oregon Food Bank, Columbia Riverkeeper, Food Front, Food & Water Watch, Friends of Family Farmers, Village Gardens, Rethinking Schools, Food for Lane County, University of Oregon Food Studies Department, North Coast Food Web, Astoria Food Co-op, CREATE, KMUN-FM, CCA Regional Food Bank, Rockford Grange, Gorge Grown Food Network, Our Family Farm Coalition, Rogue Valley Food System Network, Oregonians for Safe Farms and Families and Rogue Valley Farm to School. Gaining Ground was funded in part by Bob & Ann Phillips, the Regional Arts & Culture Council, Whole Foods Market, and Jan and Steven Marx.