This festival, and the process that preceded it, reflects an aspiration for a global exchange of ideas between those working at the frontiers of agroecological transitions; the science, the practice and the social movement.
The films on display represent the culmination of a complex 10 month process that sought to put the power of digital storytelling into the hands of agroecology research networks across 10 countries. This process didn’t collect professionally produced submissions — it sought to develop localised capabilities for place-based, digital storytelling.
Curatorially, this festival reflects a belief in the power of user-generated content, with the festival representing a united effort by farmers and others working with them to exchange grassroots innovation and research in agroecology. These are not glossy promotional films, but rather a celebration of the power of low-tech filmmaking skills in the hands of real people telling their own stories from the field: Progressive, authentic and deeply rooted to the contexts in which they were created.
The film selection goes beyond simply conveying findings of farmer-centred research, offering a deeper portrait of the people, work and ideas within the Collaborative Crop Research Programme today. The films emerged from a wide range of voices from across various networks in three continents. From farmers and extension workers, to community mobilisers and academics, their stories tell an exciting story of the changing face of agricultural research and development.
In the spirit of inclusivity and commitment to diverse voices, we strove to celebrate local language communication, while also ensuring that all films were then available in English, Spanish and French, the 3 main languages of the network.This involved extensive behind the scenes translation work.
The hope is that this process has built not only a collection of short films that will be of use to other agroecology practitioners around the world, but that through the 10-month training and feedback process which birthed these films, new capacities now exist within these networks to leverage the power of digital storytelling to build collective voice, amplify local efforts.