Posts Tagged ‘Screening’

An article about Diversidad from Dawson college student paper

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Here is an article that Alexia Armato wrote about Diversidad in the Dawson student paper The Plant:


Last week’s documentary screening at Dawson touched on an important topic that affects human societies’ at large, and the natural environment. Diversidad, A Road trip to Deconstruct Dinner, told the story of a journey that started in Montreal and continued through Cancun, Mexico.

15 Montrealers in the summer of the year 2003, after arriving in British Columbia by train, set out to cross the Unites-States by bicycle. Once at Mexico’s boarders, they would travel by bus to their final destination. September 10th to the 14th 2003 would inaugurate the 5th WTO (World Trade Organization) ministerial conference in Cancun. Their goal was to take part in the protest against WTO’s agreement on agriculture.

This agreement, if passed, would lower tariffs to allow the constant flow of goods, namely food, to travel between countries. Although this agreement seemed ideal, it would have a profound impact on the ecological effects of crops and the environment, as well as severely impact local farmers and workers.

The major treaty agreement on agriculture would cause countries to conform in specializing in one specific crop type, creating vast monocultures throughout agricultural landscapes. Monocultures; already prominent in our food production systems today, depletes biodiversity and aids in soil corrosion. Monocultures are also large magnets that attract insecticides, herbicides, GMO’s and Monsanto seeds.

This system would also increasingly affect local farmers and workers, as Stephan Verna, co-director of the documentary Diversidad, said that “this system leads to the death of the local market”. Local farmers are now competing with industrialized foods which are cheaper, due to the free trade agreement such as NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and the WTO agreement.

The protest against the WTO agreement gathered farmers, workers, visionaries and “soulutionairies” from around the world. Stephan Verna said that he and his crew learnt a lot about the production of food on this trip and they continue to learn about alternatives that support local farmers and environmental sustainability back home. Buying local foods from certified CSA farmers can “take the control out of the hands of corporations and place it into the hands of the people” as Verna said. Diversidad, as Verna puts it, “paints a portrait of alternatives” and indulges the audience with knowledge about the most important aspect to human survival; food. It makes you wonder where your food comes from.

Mexico bans GMO effective immediatly

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Well, this is big news for us as our film opens in a cornfield in the mountains of Oaxaca, where corn originated.

After Peru last year, Mexican authorities have placed a ban on genetically modified corn. Multinationals like Monsanto will not be able to sell their corn within the Mexican borders.

What is encouraging is that this came from lawsuits filed against the Mexican federal goverment and the biotech companies by community based organizations concerned with GMO contamination.

According to Environmental Food and Justice, Judge Jaime Eduardo Verdugo J. of the Twelfth Federal District Court for Civil Matters of Mexico City ruled that the genetically-engineered corn posed ”the risk of imminent harm to the environment.”  He also ordered Mexico’s Secretary of Agriculture and SEMARNAT (Secretaría de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales), equivalent to the U.S. EPA, to immediately “suspend all activities involving the planting of transgenic corn in the country and end the granting of permission for experimental and pilot commercial plantings.”

Such great news for us who visited Oaxaca at a time where they where being bombarded by GMO corn. I remember when we found ourselves in those small isolated communities in the Mountains and giving workshops, with the help of our friend Lale who explained in a very clear way what Genetic Modification was, and how it affects them. Proud that Stefan was so diligent, finding images to explain this technology.  These scenes never made it into the final film, but perhaps one day we’ll be able to share them as deleted scenes. In the mean time, we might think we played a very small part in this big scheme, but mostly simply happy for the good news.

To read more on this court ruling check out:

2 Screenings on World Food Day

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We are proud to have Diversidad screened on two Canadian campuses for World Food day. So what exactly is World Food Day? It is celebrated on the 16 of October every year in honor of the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN in 1945. The theme for 2013 is «Sustainable Food Systems for Food Security and Nutrition» which is very appropriate for our film.

The first screening will be attended by co-director Stefan Verna at Dawson college in Montréal. Screening is free, the event starts at 6pm, Auditorium 5B16. The screening is free for anyone. Organic Pumpkin pie and fair trade coffee and tea will be served! You can see more details on the facebook event page here. We are really excited that farmer Francis Madore will be present. He runs a local organic CSA farm Les Jardins d’Ambroisie near Montréal. We look forward to learning what he’s been up to, how the last season went and any specific local information relating to the issues in the film… we hope he enjoys it!

The second screening is part of Cinema Politica, a great ongoing documentary festival that runs in many cities around the world. Do check them out and see if they organize screenings in your city. They have been an early supporter of ours and we are extremely grateful. I’ve seen many films at Cinema Politica that I would have otherwise never had the chance to see. The screening is taking place in Charlottetown, PEI at the Atlantic Veterinary College, Lecture Theatre C, starts at 7pm and is also free (open for donation). Details on the facebook even page here.

Here is an interesting article by Lester R. Brown on the Huffington Post: 10 Things to know about World Food Day. This really makes you think about the situation of people around the world and what we as individuals can do about it. The very things we see happening in Diversidad: people striving to improve their eating habits and possibly change the world while doing so.

10 Years ago we arrived at the Mexican border

At the Mexican Border

On September 5, 2003 we had arrived at the Mexican border after biking over 3500km.

We’ll be releasing Diversidad, a Road Trip to Deconstruct Dinner online on September 14, the day the WTO Cancun negotiations collapsed 10 years ago to the day

It’s crazy to think that its taken us this long to get this film out to the public, but as they say better late then never.