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Brooklyn Farmer

Brooklyn Farmer

A film by Michael Tyburski
27 minutes, color, USA, 2013
DVD includes: Closed Captions, Chapter Markers, Bonus Scenes

File under: All Films, Environment, Home Video, Sustainability, Urban Studies

Synopsis

“Brooklyn Farmer” explores the unique challenges facing Brooklyn Grange, a group of urban farmers who endeavor to run a commercially viable farm within the landscape of New York City. The film follows Head Farmer Ben Flanner, CEO Gwen Schantz, Communications Director Anastasia Plakias, Farm Manager Michael Meier, and Beekeeper Chase Emmons as their growing operation expands from Long Island City, Queens to a second roof in the Brooklyn Navy Yards. The team confronts the realities inherent in operating the world’s largest rooftop farm in one of the world’s biggest cities.

Reviews

“Highly RecommendedBrooklyn Farmer covers organic urban rooftop farming as a business. Audiences are convincingly offered a perspective on the cost of farm labor’s exposure to pesticides versus the increased cost of organic vegetables. One urban rooftop farmer cites that “small scale organic farming is un-controversially good.” Further, the director gives reasons as to the benefit of urban farming in plain language citing aesthetics, supply chain reduction and human health. Moreover, the original score by Matt Abeysekera enhances the production value. Viewers are given informative and legible text throughout segments that further serve to educate.” EMRO

*** Recommended. “Michael Tyburski’s documentary short looks at the mission of Brooklyn Grange, a cooperative consisting of NYC-based organic “urban farmers” who haul more than a million pounds of soil up to a suitably sturdy, sunlight-surrounded rooftop in the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Their goal: to create one of the largest metropolitan roof-farms ever—complete with chickens and beekeeping (using a hive evicted from its former home, a fire hydrant)—with produce going directly to nearby markets. What is most interesting here is that the interviewed crop-growers are entrepreneurial young professionals from backgrounds in finance and non-profit management, who are seeking to make a more positive, sustainable change in the world.” Video Librarian

“This title has been recommended for young adult readers. Both rural and urban teens may be inspired to try their hands at organic gardening.” Booklist

“For years, I’ve relied heavily on documentaries  to help my students understand how broken our present corporate food system is. Enter ‘Brooklyn Farmer,’ an inspiring, invigorating portrait of what urban farming can and should be. Upon watching, my students immediately reached for their shovels and began digging.” David Silver, Associate Professor, Media Studies, Environmental Studies, and Urban Agriculture, University of San Francisco

“‘Brooklyn Farmer’ masterfully demonstrates the promise of sustainable development in America’s most urban setting – New York City. Driven by youthful exuberance and ideals of wholesome food production, through the adaptive reuse of rooftops these young “urban guerrilla pioneers” show how urban gardening can reduce the carbon footprint, lessen urban heat gain, and increase national food security. Its not hard to imagine how such fiscally sound urban food industries could rapidly expand throughout American cities as a principal source of fresh produce.” Nicholas Zaferatos, Professor of Urban Planning and Sustainable Development, Huxley College of the Environment, Western Washington University

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Awards

  • Winner Audience Award Best Short Documentary
    Ashland Independent Film Festival
  • Winner Jury Award Best Documentary
    Marin Short Film Festival
  • Winner Best Short Documentary
    Destiny City Film Festival
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More Reviews Shored Up

More Reviews – Shored Up

“The Risky Business of Building on Sand” Maureen Nandini MitraEarth Island Journal  Read the full review here

“Ben Kalina’s ‘Shored Up’ is a powerful and profound treatment of climate change as both a global and local issue. Its careful and penetrating analysis of the impacts of rising seas on local beach communities, and the complex political and economic issues that are emerging as a result, move us beyond sobering predictions about the future to a better understanding of the specific problems and challenges that are already emerging as a result of climate change. The film is professionally-produced and highly entertaining, featuring an engaging soundtrack and interviews with a wide range of relevant individuals, from people devastated by Hurricane Sandy to climate scientists, local politicians, and even surfers. The film thus manages to be both educational and entertaining. Highly Recommended.” Ben Redekop, Associate Professor and Chair, Department of Leadership and American Studies, Christopher Newport University.

“The film touches on, but does not dwell over, the troubled political fault lines that so quickly polarize many environmental debates.  The director provides ample space for both sides of the argument to be heard and helps the viewer to understand the many facets of this debate while coming to their own conclusions. ” Scott Mackenzie, Global Policy Review

“‘Shored Up’ leaves no sand grain unturned; every perspective is brought together to capture wisdom and ironic lessons as New Jersey and North Carolina grapple with accelerating sea level rise before and after Hurricane Sandy. It is a gripping tale about human nature and how we try to prevail over the tremendous forces of nature that can be episodic and terrifying at times. ‘Shored Up’ portrays how all of us, even taxpayers who live far away from the U.S. East Coast, are a part of this story. At the heart of the film are the wise and insightful comments by surfers, artists, mayors, scientists, and coastal residents. Understanding the causes of sea level rise presents challenges for deciding long-term solutions while communities struggle with short-term ‘fixes’ for coastal erosion and storm surges of today.” Brenda Ekwurzel, Senior Climate Scientist, Union of Concerned Scientists

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Shored Up

Shored Up

A film by Ben Kalina
84 minutes, color, USA, 2013
DVD includes: Closed Captions, Chapter Markers, Subject Selections

File under: File under: All Films, Environment, Home Video, Homepage, Sustainability

Synopsis

When Superstorm Sandy devastated the East Coast, it was a wake up call to a new reality. “Shored Up” takes us to the heart of this climate change controversy, following communities in New Jersey and North Carolina where politics, economics and science collide. Beginning 3 years before Sandy hit and following the debates over beach replenishment and other attempts to hold back the sea, “Shored Up” is a convincing call for action along our coasts. As the oceans rise and storms flood our towns and cities, we have a choice to make: do we continue to develop as we have in the past, ignoring clear risks and danger? Or, do we allow science to guide our policies for the future…before it’s too late?

Reviews

“Highly Recommended.  ‘Shored Up’ excels at showing the conflicting interests at play. It provides a great overview of the effects that climate change is having on coastal communities and provides a disturbing portrait of how those who have economic interests in these areas have their heads in the sand, so to speak.”

EMRO  Read the full review here

“Recommended. ‘Shored Up’ features an impressive array of interviewees on all sides of the issue, but clearly represents the view that this problem—exacerbated by climate change—will only worsen, and that serious fact-based discussion should become an urgent priority among decision-makers and the general public.”

Frank Swietek, Video Librarian Read the full review here

“Efforts to restore beaches with costly sand-reclamation projects are wiped out when devastating storms hit the region. Experts debate questions of who should finance beach-replenishment projects and the wisdom of continuing to develop and build houses on endangered coastal regions. This thought-provoking video sparks discussion for environmentalists and those directly affected by beach erosion.”

Booklist Review  Read the full review here

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