If you’ve ever gardened (or even if you haven’t), you understand that worms are great for your soil: they gobble up organic matter, and poop out nitrogen-rich “castings” that feed your plants. They’re also a great composting solution if you’re low on space: a small bin and some red wiggler worms can take care of the organic matter for most small households (and, once again, you’ve got plant food).
The growth of deserts, mainly through deforestation, increased animal grazing, and climate change, has created greater food insecurity for some of the world’s most impoverished people. In Senegal, an innovative program funded by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is using native acacia trees as a weapon against expanding deserts and drylands… while also creating agricultural and economic opportunities.
Lucy Walker’s Oscar nominated Waste Land is just another documentary about a Brazilian-American artist who travels to his birthland to create portraits of garbage pickers out of recyclable materials.
But it’s much more than that. Waste Land is about hope, collaboration, the environment, finding dignity through poverty, and the redeeming qualities of trash. (All those human spirit-y things I never like much under less felicitous circumstances—though I do like trash.)
This is a segment from a BBC documentary THE JOY OF STATS where Professor Hans Rosling uses an awesome visual display to neatly demonstrate the rise of living standards around the world over the past 200 years. The boon in infographs (as seen over at GOOD) has resulted in some eye-pleasing work, but I find…
Documentarian Hamid Rahmanian lifts the veil on a segment of Iranian society with inspiring profiles of four independent women coping with poverty, repression and physical brutality. At Tehran’s unique Omid e Mehr rehabilitation center for women, Nazila, an aspiring rap singer; Samira, a 14-year-old with a drug addiction; and Mitra and Sussan, who have endured insults, beatings and rape at home, learn the importance of self-esteem, personal expression and tools to take control of their lives.
You may take access to fresh, organic produce for granted: if there’s a nearby farmers’ market or high-end grocery store, you likely have you pick of fruits and vegetables grown by organic standards. However, if you live in a food desert, or have a tight budget, such items likely strike you as luxuries. Farmers and food activists around the US not only recognize the presence of regions where fresh food is scarce; they’re also building organizations and even working farms to address unequal access to high-quality produce in these neighborhoods and communities. Here are a handful of groups not only growing produce, but also working to ensure it gets to those suffering from food poverty.
Sundance Channel is proud of one of our alumni!
Former Production Assistant Landon Van Soest left us several years ago when he received a Fulbright Scholarship to Kenya. While on his Fulbright and in the ensuing few years Landon and his filmmaking partner Jeremy Levine followed several people whose lives were gravely changed by two “poverty alleviation” projects funded by the UN and an American philanthropist.
We’re very proud to announce that Landon and Jeremy’s film GOOD FORTUNE is having its New York premiere next week at the prestigious and always politically impactful Human Right Watch International Film Festival.