Sandy McLeod • USA • 2015
Building seed banks that will stand the test of time.
Agriculturist Cary Fowler, director of Global Crop Diversity Trust and co-founder of Norway's Svalbard Global Seed Vault, has spent his life's work seeking to safeguard biodiversity. Since humans evolved beyond hunting and gathering and became agrarians some 10,000 years ago, plant diversity is facing existential decline. The pursuit of profit in industrial agriculture and the myopic focus on high-yielding crops has left the United States, for example, with just 7% of the vegetable crop options it sustained just a century ago. The challenge of feeding the planet's growing population, combined with the dual threats of crop disease and climate change, demands the consummate reinvention of our global food system. In the meantime, Dr. Fowler travels the world collecting seeds.
A fascinating character study of one man's efforts to avert global starvation, Seeds of Time whisks the spectator into the pressing project of building seed banks that will stand the test of time. Sandy McLeod's first feature documentary premiered at SXSW - South by Southwest, Berlin, CPH:DOX, Seattle, and Portland EcoFilm Festival, where it won Best Film.