Archive for the ‘Press’ Category

Reap what you sow

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

The Colorado Springs Independent gives a stellar review for anticipating audiences at the Indie Spirit Film Festival:

They may show work from all over the place, but one of the best things about film festivals can be their connection to the host community.

Take the Indie Spirit Film Festival, happening this weekend at Colorado College. The 2011 lineup will span horror, shorts, documentaries and big-festival films, such as Charlie Casanova (shown at SXSW). The opening-night film, On the Ice, is a nail-biter set in Barrow, Alaska. But as in all three previous years, the festival also will include some Colorado-focused productions, including one film in particular that has a tie to Colorado Springs.

What’s Organic About Organic? filmmaker Shelley Rogers traveled around the country exploring what goes into the making of organic products. Among others, she interviews Andy Grant of Grant Family Farms in Wellington, which offers a popular community-supported agriculture program in town.

Though it revolves around a well-covered subject, Rogers’ 59-minute documentary feels refreshing. Unlike many of its competitors, What’s Organic About Organic? isn’t about how American society is doomed; instead, it looks at the possibility of improvement, taking advantage of the farmers’ good humor as they explain what growing organic really means. And it shows these men and women up close as they look over their land, making theirs a personal fight to stay afloat as they compete against mega-farms in other states.

“It’s a call to action,” says Megan Andreozzi Harris, Grant Family Farms’ Colorado Springs CSA representative. “Yet it’s unique because it presents the problem and solution in a one-on-one way.”

In its fourth year, Indie Spirit has proven unique in and of itself. The Independent Film Society of Colorado’s brainchild is the youngest of Colorado Springs’ three major, established film festivals. The others rely on distinct themes, but Matthew Stevens, Jim Turner and Chris Loud have organized Indie Spirit around a loose idea.

“While the Pikes Peak Lavender Film Festival and the Rocky Mountain Women’s Film Festival are wonderful, they are also specific,” says Stevens, director of operations. “We saw a gap that needed to be filled so that the three of us could keep Colorado Springs well-rounded.”

With more than 120 films, Indie Spirit aims simply to draw enthusiastic movie fans into theaters with the filmmaking community. And our city has responded well. For three years in a row, audiences have doubled in size. Now in its fourth year, organizers are aiming to double again.

“We had six or seven hundred audience members the first year, then it grew to 1,300, then to 3,000,” says festival director Jim Turner. “We’re aiming for 6,000 this year.”

What’s Organic About Organic? is a classic Indie Spirit choice, says Stevens. In fact, the film will show twice during the festival, “because it’s an important topic that’s covered in a pleasant way.”

And whether organizers would say so or not, the farmers in it have something in common with the film enthusiasts bringing it here: They keep gaining traction despite competition from big business.

“The festival is growing in so many directions it’s hard to remember everything,” Stevens says, adding, “There are more awards this year, more filmmakers coming this year and more milestones.”

Food documentary connects Colorado local organic farm with grassroots agricultural movement

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

The Lyons Recorder dishes the deets on the Front Range tour:

Grant Family Farms teams up with New York-film maker, Shelley Rogers, to bring What’s Organic about Organic? to Colorado and Wyoming for a screening tour along the Front Range. What’s Organic about Organic?, the Our Planet award winner in the Los Angeles Going Green Film Festival, takes a unique look at organic farming and how the industry is being shaped as the demand grows.

Shelley Rogers believes this documentary film is “a call to action for a public that is increasingly concerned about their food choices.” The tour will also serve in the film’s Screen & Green campaign, which aims to partner with local nonprofit organizations nation-wide and encourage the audience to take the next step beyond watching the film and become an engaged participant in the organic food movement.

Rogers and Andy Grant, owner/farmer of Grant Family Farms and featured in the film, will be holding post-screening discussions to provide a local perspective and context for the film’s message. Grant has been farming in Northern Colorado his entire life and Grant Family Farms was the first farm to be Certified Organic by the State of Colorado in 1988. He now has a diverse operation of over 2,000 acres and is committed to developing a sustainable Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. Grant predicts the farm will provide for over 6000 members with fresh, organic, local produce for the 2011 season.

What’s Organic About Organic? dives into the challenges that arise when a grassroots agricultural movement evolves into a booming international market and reveals what’s at stake in creating and maintaining meaningful standards for organic production. As more organic products crowd supermarket shelves, citizens are left to question what it really means to be ‘organic.’ “What’s Organic About Organic? takes the discussion beyond eco-label shopping,” said Rogers.

“This film will show audiences that the decisions they make in the grocery store and the policies set by our government should not be just about personal preference, but they should embody a means of supporting an agricultural system that produces healthy food, develops market opportunities for regional food systems, and safeguards our environment for future generations.”

“We all can be part of the answer to the world’s problems,” said Florida Organic Growers’ Executive Director and coproducer of the film, Marty Mesh. “We want to see this film be a piece of that solution by helping people understand that the choices they make are important.”

The film’s Front Range screening tour will begin in Cheyenne on April 10th and continue through Fort Collins, Boulder, Denver and culminates its tour in the Colorado Springs, Indie Spirit Film Festival April 14th – 17th.

Screening Dates:
April 10th, Cheyenne, WY
April 11th, Denver, CO; FilmCenter/Colfax; The Denver Film Society
April 12th, Fort Collins, CO; The Lyric Cinema Café
April 13th, Boulder, CO; Nomad Theatre
April 14th, Denver, CO; Mercury Café; The ArgusFest
April 14th – 17th, Colorado Springs – CO; Indie Spirit Film Festival