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Pomona College Presents New Film Festival About Food and Farming

"The Garden" movie poster

Pomona College presents Rooted: 2010 Food & Farming Festival, with the theme of “provoking a thoughtful conversation about the state of local, national, and global food production."

The festival consists of four feature films and will be followed by a dialogue about today’s food system and the issues discussed in the movie. All screenings will begin at 7:30 p.m. and be shown in the Pomona College Smith Campus Center’s Rose Hills Theatre (170 E. Sixth St., Claremont). Contact: (909) 607-1765 or e-mail Bowen Close.

Thursday, Jan. 28 – Fresh

Fresh is the first of four films in Pomona’s Food and Farming Film Festival, featuring movies that pose questions about our food system – how and where food is grown, transported, prepared, and disposed of in today’s society. Fresh, produced in 2009 by Anna Sofia Joanes, celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing the food system. Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of agriculture into an industrial model, confronted some of the consequences, and is forging healthier, sustainable alternatives.

Wednesday, Feb. 10 – Double Feature: The Garden and Homegrown Revolution

The Garden, a film by Scott Hamilton Kennedy and an Academy Award nominee for Best Documentary in 2008, is the second of four films in Pomona’s Food and Farming Film Festival. It follows a group of community farmers in a blighted part of Los Angeles as they fight developers and city hall to save their community garden, home to towering trees, cacti, tropical fruits, and innumerable vegetables, herbs, and flowers. The farmers are mostly immigrants from Latin America, where they feared for their lives if they challenged authority. The film follows them as they organize, fight back and demand answers.

The Garden will be preceded by the short film Homegrown Revolution (15+ min.) about the Dervaes family, living in Pasadena, and their work transforming their home into an urban homestead. They harvest three tons of organic food annually from their 1/10 acre garden, while incorporating back-to-basics practices, solar energy and biodiesel.

Thursday, March 4 – The Gleaners & I

Voted the best documentary of 2001 by the National Society of Film Critics, Agnès Varda's universally acclaimed 'wandering-road documentary' focuses on gleaners: those who scour already-reaped fields for the odd potato or turnip. Her investigation takes her to forgotten corners of the French countryside, and to off-hours at the green markets of Paris.

L.A. Weekly reviewed it as "a protest film that's part social critique, part travelogue, but always an unsentimental celebration of human resilience." According to The New Yorker,  “Varda's photographic eye is much in evidence, and her narration is both shrewd and whimsical. When she leaves a camera on accidentally, she uses the unintended footage to create a "dance of the lens cap," a filmic gleaning that acts as a perfect grace note”

Wednesday, March 24 — Our Daily Bread

In Our Daily Bread (2006), Austrian filmmaker Nikolaus Geyrhalter examines the world of industrial food production and high-tech farming methods. He looks into the places where food is produced in Europe, and how it is produced—such as conveyer belts, immense machinery and the like—minus any commentary, so that the audience can come to their own conclusions.

Premiere magazine praised it as, “Outstanding! Provocative! Eccentrically lovely and frequently horrifying...[it] deserves to find an audience of hungry cinephiles." According to The New York Times, it is “Devastating! A must-see!"

The film series is sponsored by the Pomona College Public Events Committee, the Sustainability Integration Office, and Pomona for Environmental Activism and Responsibility (PEAR). For additional information, call (909) 607-1765 or e-mail Bowen Close