Films by local Filmmakers | Climate Change | Economics|Energy | Food | Food / Health | Water | Transportation

Films by local filmmakers:

"Bringing it Home"(2013) filmakers Linda Booker and Blaire Johnson tell the story of industrial hemp - its myriad valuable uses that could be a boon to the U.S. economy, and it's unfortunate designation as illegal to grow in most of the U.S. Grown in 31 other countries, it's applications include building materials, textiles, food products, auto parts, bio-plastics and more. They show the first permitted hempcrete house in Asheville, North Carolina, illuminating its non-toxic, energy efficient, mildew, fire and pest reistant qualities. This 52 minute film will get you excited about eating, wearing and building with hemp. to find or host a screening, or find out how you can take action to make industrial hemp legal, go to

"Within Reach" (2012) Durham filmmaker Derek Rowe chronicles one couple's 6500 mile bike-packing journey to visit and document 100 sustainable communities in the United States and discover what sustainable living is. Follow their decision making process as they experience these rather diverse communities. You might possibly be drawn to one yourself, or at least to ecplore this movement to create healthy, sustainable, supportive communuties all across the country.

"Harvest of Dignity" (2011)-focuses on the lives and work of farmworkers in North Carolina, providing an in-depth portrait of the people who harvest our food today. It combines interviews with North Carolina farmworkers, advocates, faith leaders and educators, documentary photos and interviews collected by Student Action with Farmworkers interns and clips from the original Harvest of Shame documentary -the 1960 film by North Carolina-born journalist Edward R. Murrow. The 2011 film was produced in collaboration with the North Carolina Farmworker Advocacy Network (FAN) and its Harvest of Dignity campaign to improve conditions for North Carolina field and poultry workers. In Spanish and English with subtitles. Support was provided by the North Carolina Arts Council and Oxfam America.

"Growing It Here, Growing It Now" (2011) explores the knowledge, passion, and collaboration of gardeners, both young and old, who nurture and raise their own crops in an urban environment. Filmed at the verdant site of two thriving, side-by-side community gardens in Carrboro,NC, eight gardeners relate their unique connections to the soil and why it is important to produce one's own food. The youngest, five-year-old Liana, speaks knowingly of the growth cycle of plants, while Bob, who grew up with a Victory Garden in World War II, freely shares his abundant gardening experience and advice with newcomers. Contact filmmaker Daniel Smith at commoncurator [at] gmail [dot] com to show this film to your group.

Other films:


Carbon Nation (2011) - documentary movie about climate change SOLUTIONS. Even if you doubt the severity of the impact of climate change or just don't buy it at all, this is still a compelling and relevant film that illustrates how SOLUTIONS to climate change also address other social, economic and national security issues. You'll meet a host of entertaining and endearing characters along the way.

An Inconvenient Truth (2006) – a documentary about former Vice President Al Gore’s campaign to education citizens about global warming via a comprehensive slide show (paraphrased from Wikipedia).


We're Not Broke (2011) -is the story of how U.S. corporations have been able to hide over a trillion dollars from Uncle Sam, and how six fed-up Americans from across the country, take their frustration to the streets…and vow to make them pay.

The Economics of Happiness (2010) – this documentary describes a world moving simultaneously in two opposing directions. On the one hand, government and big business continue to promote globalization and the consolidation of corporate power. At the same time, all around the world people are resisting those policies, demanding a re-regulation of trade and finance—and, far from the old institutions of power, they’re starting to forge a very different future. Communities are coming together to re-build more human scale, ecological economies based on a new paradigm – an economics of localization.

Inside Job (2010) -the first film to expose the shocking truth behind the economic crisis of 2008. Through extensive research and interviews with major financial insiders, politicians and journalists, inside job, traces the rise of a rogue industry, and unveils the corrosive relationships which have corrupted politics, regulation and academia.


Crude (2009) - One of the largest and most controversial legal cases on the planet. An inside look at the infamous $27 billion "Amazon Chernobyl" case, CRUDE is a real-life high stakes legal drama set against a backdrop of the environmental movement, global politics, celebrity activism, human rights advocacy, the media, multinational corporate power, and rapidly-disappearing indigenous cultures.

Crude Awakening: The Oil Crash (2006) –This documentary examines our dependence on oil, showing how oil is essential for almost every facet of our modern lifestyle, from driving to work to clothing and clean tap water. A Crude Awakening asks the tough question, “What happens when we run out of cheap oil?” Through expert interviews, the film spells out in startling detail the challenges we would face in dealing with the possibility of a world without cheap oil—a world in which it may ultimately take more energy to drill for oil than we can extract from the oil the wells produce.

Energy Crossroads: A Burning Need to Change Course (2010) – This award-winning documentary exposes the problems associated with our energy consumption. It also offers concrete solutions for those who want to educate themselves and be part of the solutions in this decisive era. The film features passionate individuals, entrepreneurs, experts and scientists at the forefront of their field bringing legitimacy and expertise to the core message of the piece.

Fuel (2009)- Fuel Unveils a curtain of deception covering America's dependence on foreign oil as it explores one possible solution to the coming energy crisis. Made from vegetable oil, 'biodiesel' fuel is an economically sustainable, environmentally sound alternative already widely used in Europe. It has the potential to reduce dangerous green house gases, boost America's sagging economy, and reduce our dependency on foreign oil.

Gasland (2010) - In the debate over energy resources, natural gas is often considered a "lesser-of-evils". While it does release some greenhouse gases, natural gas burns cleaner than coal and oil, and is in plentiful supply—parts of the U.S. sit above some of the largest natural gas reserves on Earth. But a new boom in natural gas drilling, a process called "fracking", raises concerns about health and environmental risks. “Gasland” is Josh Fox’s Sundance award-winning documentary on the surprising consequences of natural gas drilling. Fox's film—inspired when the gas company came to his hometown—alleges chronic illness, animal-killing toxic waste, disastrous explosions, and regulatory missteps.

The End of Suburbia (2004) The modern suburbs have ultimately become an unsustainable way of living. They were originally developed in an era of cheap oil, when the automobile became the center of the way people lived and an era when people wanted to escape the inner city to a more pastoral or rural way of life. The suburbs are not only dependent upon cheap energy, but also reliable energy. The reliability of energy is becoming less so as demonstrated by the multi-day blackouts in various parts of the country. Part of the problem of getting out of the suburban mentality is that a generation has grown up believing it to be a normal way of life, and a life of entitlement.

The Power of Community (2007) - When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990, Cuba's economy went into a tailspin. With imports of oil cut by more than half, and food by 80 percent, people were desperate. This film tells of the hardships and struggles as well as the community and creativity of the Cuban people during this difficult time. Cubans share how they transitioned from a highly mechanized, industrial agricultural system to one using organic methods of farming and local, urban gardens. The film opens with a short history of Peak Oil, a term for the time in our history when world oil production will reach its all-time peak and begin to decline forever. Cuba, the only country that has faced such a massive reduction of fossil fuels, is an example of options and hope.

White Water, Black Gold (2011)-follows David Lavallee on his three-year journey across Western Canada in search of the truth about the impact of the world’s thirstiest oil industry. Both government and industry spokespeople deny any cause for concern, but in the course of his journey Lavallee, backed by university scientists, makes a number of discoveries that challenge that assessment and raise serious concerns for Canada and the United States. This film is a sober look at the untold costs associated with developing this major oil deposit, and raises important questions about how much environmental damage we’re willing to tolerate to feed our oil appetite.


David vs. Monsanto (2009) - Imagine that a storm blows across your garden - and that now, without your knowledge and without your consent, foreign and genetically-manipulated seeds are in your vegetable patch which you have nourished and maintained for many years. A few days later, representatives of a multi-national corporate group pay you a visit at home, demand that you surrender your vegetables and file a criminal complaint against you requesting a fine a $20,000 USD against you - for the illegal use of patented and genetically-manipulated seeds. What's more: The court finds for the corporate group!

Deconstructing Supper (2002) - Renowned chef John Bishop leads viewers on an eye-opening and engaging journey into the billion-dollar battle to control global food production. Starting with a gourmet meal in his five-star restaurant, Bishop travels the world -- from farmer's fields to biotech laboratories to supermarket aisles -- on a personal quest to find out what our food choices are.

Dirt the Movie-narrated by Jaime Lee Curtis--brings to life the environmental, economic, social and political impact that the soil has. It shares the stories of experts from all over the world who study and are able to harness the beauty and power of a respectful and mutually beneficial relationship with soil. But more than the film and the lessons that it teaches, DIRT the Movie is a call to action. "The only remedy for disconnecting people from the natural world is connecting them to it again."

Food, Inc. (2008) - The rock stars of the ethical eating movement — Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser — weigh in on all that is wrong in America’s industrialized food system. Methinks my son summed up this film best: “Sometimes the scariest films are the ones that are real.”

Farmeggeddon (2010) - the story of a mom whose son healed from all allergies and asthma after consuming raw milk, and real food from farms. It depicts people all over the country who formed food co-ops and private clubs to get these foods, and how they were raided by state and local governments.

Food Fight ( (2008) - An amusing account of modern American agricultira; policy and food culture that sprouted a counter-revolution among veggie-obsessed Californians.

Fast Food Nation(2006)- Don Anderson is the Marketing Director and inventor of the "Big One" for Mickey's restaurant chain. An independent research reports the presence of cow's feces in the Big One. So Don is sent to Cody, Colorado, to verify if the slaughterhouse, main supplier of Mickey's, is efficient and safe as it appears. During his investigations he discovers the horrible truth behind a simple hamburger- that the mass production system involves exploitation of workers as well as the animals.

Fresh (2009) - Down with the corporate behemoths of the American food economy who threaten the country’s food security, livelihood of small farmers, and our choices as consumers. This doco features fresh thinking from urban farming activist Will Allen and sustainable farmer Joel Salatin.

Home Grown Revolution - In the midst of a densely urban setting in downtown Pasadena, radical change is taking root.For over twenty years, the Dervaes family have transformed their home into an urban homestead. They harvest nearly 3 tons of organic food from their 1/10 acre garden while incorporating many back-to-basics practices, as well as solar energy and biodiesel.

Nourish: Food + Community (2010) -with beautiful visuals and inspiring stories, the Nourish award-winning PBS special traces our relationship to food from a global perspective to personal action steps. Nourish illustrates how food connects to such issues as biodiversity, climate change, public health, and social justice. A 45 minute film with 11 shorts.

Nourish Shorts (2011) A companion to the longer Nourish film, this engaging collection of 54 short films (1-3 min) explores such themes as Farm to Fork, Cooking and Eating, Food and Health, and Edible Education.

The Future of Food (2004) - Deborah Koons Garcia reveals the unappetizing truth about genetically modified foods: Do you really know what you’re dishing up for dinner?

The Garden (2008) - A group of mostly working class, Latino South Central L.A. fought the good fight — and they’re still at it — for the basic human need to grow food (and save their community garden), in this Academy Award nominated film.

The Real Dirt on Farmer John (2006) - A flamboyant farmer turns his family’s dying farm into a thriving CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). Bonus: He flaunts a feather boa while driving his tractor.

Urban Roots (2010) - directed by Detroit-native Mark McInnis is a documentary that tells the powerful story of a small group of unique individuals involved in Detroit’s urban agricultural movement. The film follows the inspiring stories of several agricultural programs, each one designed to address a specific issue. Not only are the organizations amazingly productive and emotionally driven, but the people tilling the soil and picking the harvest have fantastic stories to tell.


A Delicate Balance (2008) – This documentary predominantly explores the effects of animal protein on the human body and the environment. It will leave each person fully informed as to some of the causes of illnesses and offers ways of improving human health.

Planeat – This visually stunning film from filmmakers Shelley Lee Davis and Or Shlomi tells the story of the scientists, farmers and chefs tackling one of the greatest problems of our age: Western culture’s love affair with meat and dairy. Through an extraordinary personal and mouthwatering culinary journey we discover the wide range of medical and environmental benefits of eating our veggies.

Lunch Line– This deeply affecting film from filmmakers Mike Graziano and Ernie Park follows six kids from one of the toughest neighborhoods in Chicago as they set out to fix school lunch – and wind up at the White House. Their unlikely journey parallels the dramatic transformation of school lunch from a patchwork of local anti-hunger efforts to a robust national feeding program.

Vanishing of the Bees – Narrated by Oscar-nominated actress Ellen Page, this cautionary tale from filmmakers George Langworthy and Maryam Heinen reveals the mystery of the disappearing bees, and the links to industrial farming and our attitude toward the natural world. Starring in this real-life drama is a commercial bee farmer who sounded the alarm when his bee colonies collapsed and his business was decimated.


Blue Gold: World Water Wars (2009) - This award winning documentary directed by Sam Bozzo is based on the book Blue Gold: The Fight To Stop The Corporate Theft Of The World's Water by Maude Barlow and Tony Clark. The film examines the problems created by the privatization and commoditization of water. Contains 30 minutes of bonus material, including deleted scenes and an interview with the filmmaker.

Tapped (2010) - Is access to clean drinking water a basic human right, or a commodity that should be bought and sold like any other article of commerce? Stephanie Soechtig's debut feature is an unflinching examination of the big business of bottled water - a behind-the-scenes look into the unregulated and unseen world of an industry that aims to privatize and sell back the one resource that ought never to become a commodity: our water. From the plastic production to the ocean in which so many of these bottles end up, this inspiring documentary trails the path of the bottled water industry and the communities which were the unwitting chips on the table.


Who Killed the Electric Car? (2006) - With gasoline prices approaching $4/gallon, fossil fuel shortages, unrest in oil producing regions around the globe and mainstream consumer adoption of the hybrid electric car, this story couldn't be more relevant or important. This documentary investigates the death and resurrection of the electric car, enlightening audiences with its story, place in history and in the larger story of our car culture and how it enables our continuing addiction to foreign oil. This movie calls to task the officials who squelched the Zero Emission Vehicle mandate, but all of the other accomplices - government, the car companies, Big Oil, as well as consumers, who turned their backs on the car and embraced the SUV.

Thanks to Tom Fletcher who compiled this list.