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"Edible Landscapes", the movie

A documentary film about food forests

About the project

« Edible Landscapes, The Food Forest Revolution » is a documentary film aiming to inspire people all over the world to learn about and plant food forests. Being the most sustainable way to grow our food in the context of climate change and increasing population, food forests also deeply reconnect us with nature, build resilient human communities and combine our food production with nature conservation.

Why this film?

The short film I did for National Geographic in 2018 all about food forests had 450 000 views on Youtube, and I received amazing support globally from gardeners, schoolteachers, students and environmental organizations. This clearly demonstrates that there is a deep interest in food forests, also known as forest gardens, and that a feature documentary film would be the most effective way of sharing more detailed information with a global audience.

In the past few years, the food forest movement has experienced explosive growth in many countries. Food forests have been planted in backyards, gardens, school grounds, commercial scale operations and even on rooftops. This film will feature different examples of forest gardens and interview many of the key people involved in forest gardening. By showing the potential of food forests, my hope is that every viewer will connect with the beauty and productivity of this carbon-negative farming solution, and, even better, plant forest gardens in every conceivable space.

More about forest gardens

Increasing food production by expanding conventional agriculture leads directly to large-scale deforestation which in turn is destroying biodiversity, damaging water cycles, and driving devastating climatic change. Rethinking forests as our food larder is the only way to simultaneously stop deforestation while providing food through a democratic supply chain. 

Martin Crawford in his forest garden in Dartington, UK

A forest garden or food forest is a plant growing system modeled on the structure of a young natural woodland, utilizing plants that bring direct and indirect benefits to people - mostly edible plants. Humanity has been producing abundant food in forest gardens since the dawn of civilization. The crops which can be produced include fruits, nuts, edible leaves, spices, medicinal plant products, poles, fibres, basketry materials, honey, fuelwood, fodder, mulches, sap products, etc.

The structure and diversity of forest gardens ensure that they are resilient to the impacts of climate change including extreme weather conditions like droughts and heavy rain. The beauty of forest gardens is that they are so perfectly suited to collective engagement, functioning as well in urban spaces as in rural ones.

What are the funds for?

Production costs include: crew fees, transportation, accommodation, equipment hire, legal fees, original soundtrack composition, subtitling/translation, film festivals’ submission fees and publicity. Pre-production has been self-funded.

There are 6 main shooting locations: a secondary school in France where a forest garden will be planted for food production and educational purposes, an international symposium about forest gardens where experts from around the globe will gather in the UK, an old natural forest in France, a commercial food forest supported by the government in Holland, a small forest garden on top of a roof in the UK, and a pioneering permaculture farm in Le Bec Hellouin, France.

Tree planting in an elementary school in France

        

22.000 euros is the minimum amount we need to make this film a reality -  to complete the filming process in these 6 diverse locations and the post production processes.

30.000 euros would enrich the reach of the film allowing us to add Sumatra as a shooting location. This island in Indonesia is home to some of the oldest forest gardens in existence, going back tens of thousands of years. Shooting there would give an extra depth to the film, as we could show the value of this system as a major food provider to generations of people.

About the project owner

                 

              Thomas                                        Romain                                               Christophe

My name is Thomas Regnault, and I am the script writer and director of this film. I’ve been professionally making music videos, short documentaries and music composition for 12 years.  For nearly 10 years I have been fascinated by patterns of food consumption and production. That led me to come across forest gardens which, with their high diversity and resilience, instantly appeared to me like the obvious solution to our problems of sustainable food production. I then attended several courses and visited many forest gardens. I have come to know the main actors of the forest garden movement in Europe and extended my interest to the history of how humans have interacted with forest ecosystems both before and after sedentarisation. I also have created my own forest garden in Brittany, France.

I am now convinced that this system is profoundly subversive and capable of responding to the major civilizational challenges of food production, while decompartmentalizing our too often opposing approaches to food production and environmental protection. It is this vision that I want to share in this film.                                          

Romain Guenard is Director of Photography for the film. With 10 years of experience in environmental documentary filmmaking, a passion for wildlife photography and a longstanding commitment to promoting sustainable living, Romain is the perfect DOP for this project.

Christophe Monier (The Micronauts) has been at the cutting edge of electronic music for the past 25 years. He will compose the original soundtrack of the film. I have worked with Christophe for the past ten years, so we have a deep understanding of each other’s work and will be able to blend music and visuals with great sensitivity. Christophe is very aware of the ecological crisis we are facing and is enthusiastic about contributing to a film on this particular subject.

I am currently in the process of recruiting the rest of the team: camera operator, drone operator, and editor/motion designer.

           

Who will speak in the film?

Martin Crawford (England):

Founder and Director of the Agroforestry Research Trust. Martin is one of the world's leading experts on forest gardens.

Geoff Lawton (Australia):

Director of the Permaculture Research Institute, he has dedicated his life to the promotion of permaculture through education and training projects around the world.

Geneviève Michon (France) :

An ethnobotanist and research director at the Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), she focuses her studies on the relationship between societies and forests,  especially how the world's farmers conceive and materialize their relationship to trees and forests.

Dave Jacke (United States):

Author of the reference book Edible Forest Gardens, since the 1970s he has studied and taught ecological design applied to the construction of houses, farms, and plantations in the United States and around the world.

Brigit Strawbrige Howard (England):

Bee advocate, wildlife gardener and naturalist. She writes, speaks, and campaigns to raise awareness of the importance of native wild bees and other pollinating insects. 

François Couplan (France):

Ethnobotanist and writer, specialist of the traditional uses of wild edible plants, which he has studied all over the world.

Fabrice Desjours (France):

Researcher and creator of "Forêt Gourmande", an 8-year-old forest garden located in Burgundy, France. He studies edible ecosystems and their resilience and promotes the results of his research through publications, training and the creation of edible ecosystems in public places and schools.

Maddy Harland (England):

Publisher and co-founder of Permaculture Magazine and Permamnent Publications, two platforms she has been using to promote permaculture and forest gardens for almost 30 years.

Wouter Van Eck (Holland):

Creator of the "Ketelbroek" forest garden. Wouter is a lecturer, trainer, and is involved in the Schijndel Forest Garden, a revolutionary 20 hectare forest garden for commercial production financed by the Dutch government.

Dave Richards (England):

An educator and permaculture expert, his work focuses on education for sustainable development in schools and local communities. He is the manager of a unique forest garden located on the roof of the Reading International Solidarity Centre (RISC) as well as about twenty educational gardens in schools and public spaces in Reading.

Perrine and Charles Hervé-Gruyer (France):

Founders and creators of the emblematic organic farm of Le Bec Hellouin in Normandy. They are the spearheads and face of permaculture in France. After conducting a study with INRA and Agroparistech to prove the effectiveness of their market gardening method, Perrine and Charles are conducting similar work on forest gardens, convinced of the potential of this system.

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