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Inspiring documentary unearths the dramatic story of seeds. From creators of QUEEN OF THE SUN & REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN. Read more

Portland, OR Documentary
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Funded!

This project was successfully funded on December 20, 2013.

Inspiring documentary unearths the dramatic story of seeds. From creators of QUEEN OF THE SUN & REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN.

Portland, OR Documentary
Share this project

About this project

Visit the SEED: The Untold Story Website

Join us at SEED: The Untold Story Facebook Page

Sign up for the SEED Newsletter

THANK YOU!!! We made our initial goal of $85,000!

Our dream is to reach a STRETCH GOAL of $100,000. These additional resources will go toward the total budget for editing, animation, musicians, color correction, sound design, finishing up the last remaining shoots and making this film shine.

We’ve been inspired by the global response for this campaign, and hope that this film can be a catalyst to connect seed communities around the world.

Thank you for being a SEED ambassador!

- Taggart, Jon and the SEED Team

Rebecca Newburn of Richmond Seed Library shows her seed strength!
Rebecca Newburn of Richmond Seed Library shows her seed strength!

Seed is not just the source of life. It is the very foundation of our being. - Vandana Shiva

Dear Friends,

Welcome to our new Kickstarter Campaign. Thank you for your incredible support to bring this film to life. Kickstarter is all or nothing, meaning that we will need to meet our pledge goal by December 19th or the funds will be returned. This is the FINAL PUSH to complete SEED: The Untold Story. Together, with your help, we will finish this film in 2014 and plant a very big seed!

SEED will reveal the awe, wonder and hidden beauty of seeds. We have spent the last year filming an extraordinary cast of characters passionately dedicated to saving our planet’s seed diversity. Our humble thanks to all of the farmers, scientists, philosophers and seed collectors who we have met making this film. They are the visionaries and caretakers of many of the world’s remaining seeds.

In the past hundred years, 94% percent of our seed diversity has been lost.

SEED: The Untold Story, a feature-length documentary film, tells the harrowing and heartening story of humans’ 12,000-year relationship with seeds. As many irreplaceable seeds are nearing extinction, SEED unveils a David and Goliath battle for their future. The film follows an absorbing journey into “doomsday” seed vaults, the colorful dedication of seed savers, and the world of indigenous tribes, who strive to protect our sacred seed ancestry. SEED celebrates the mystery, power and essential nature of seeds. Entertaining and engaging, SEED will ignite the imagination of audiences, inspiring them to be part of a brave new movement dedicated to safeguarding our world’s sustainable future.

The beauty of the seed is out of one you can get millions. The beauty of the pollinator is that it turns that one into the millions. - Vandana Shiva

Vandana Shiva’s above quote inspired us to make SEED. This will be the third film in a trilogy that began with our award-winning films Real Dirt On Farmer John & Queen of the Sun. These films explore our fundamental connection to the natural world and how seeds, pollinators and small family farmers are all endangered.

Academy-Award Winning Actress Marisa Tomei, after seeing Queen of the Sun, was inspired to help and joined SEED as Executive Producer. She strongly believes that seeds are sacred and that they need our protection. We are honored that she is supporting this film!

From a kernel of corn to a grain of wheat, every seed carries within it the hope of the future. We can turn the issue of corporate control of our seeds around and bring back the diversity that our ancestors passed down to us. SEED will give light to that hope.

Help us finish SEED! If you choose to back this project, click on the green button to the right of the video. We have listed some great rewards and hope you enjoy them.

Every dollar contributed here is deeply appreciated. Please donate to our campaign and like a seed, spread the word to everyone you know through facebook, twitter, e-mail, and most importantly face-to-face! 

Thank you! 

Taggart Siegel, Jon Betz and the SEED Team

OUR GOAL

Our goal is to have SEED: The Untold Story complete in 2014.  After a year and a half, filming is 90% complete. We are now ready to edit- distilling hundreds of hours of footage to craft a story that challenges and inspires. The funds we raise will go directly towards the last film shoots and all of post-production. Reaching this goal will allow us to pay for travel and filming costs, to bring on a full-time editor, musicians, animators, a sound designer, and be able to pay for color-correction and costs for the on-line edit. Our funding goal is considerably less than the total cost for this project. If we exceed our goal, these additional resources will go toward the total budget and making everything about this film even better.

Your donations to SEED: The Untold Story are TAX-DEDUCTIBLE through our non-profit Collective Eye Films. We’ll send out e-mails with your receipt at the end of the campaign. Feel free to contact us with any questions.

A farmer holds basmati rice after harvest in Dehradun, India
A farmer holds basmati rice after harvest in Dehradun, India

FEATURED IN THE VIDEO

We are very grateful for everyone who is a part of SEED. Here is a short list of those interviewed in the above trailer: (In order of appearance)

Bill McDorman (Native Seeds/SEARCH), Joe Simcox (World Botanical Research Associates), Jane Goodall (Roots and Shoots), Marisa Tomei, Diane Ott Whealy (Seed Savers Exchange), Will Bonsall (Scatterseed Project), Gary Paul Nabhan (Author/Ethnobotanist), Leigh Kuwanwisiwma (Hopi Nation), Jeffrey Smith (Institute for Responsible Technology), Andrew Kimbrell (Center for Food Safety), Fred Justesen, Vandana Shiva (Navdanya/Seed Freedom), Jere Gettle (Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds).

AND there are many cameos in the trailer by so many incredible seed savers. Many of these and more will be in the finished film.

THE FILM TEAM

Directors Jon Betz (left), and Taggart Siegel (right).
Directors Jon Betz (left), and Taggart Siegel (right).

TAGGART SIEGEL (DIRECTOR/PRODUCER/CAMERA)

For 30 years, Taggart Siegel has produced and directed award winning documentaries that present vital perspectives rarely seen in mainstream media. QUEEN THE SUN: What Are the Bees Telling Us? (2010) received critical-acclaim during its theatrical and broadcast release and garnered over 10 international awards. REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN (2006, PBS Independent Lens) tells the story of a maverick visionary farmer. Winner of 31 international film festivals awards it was broadcast worldwide and theatrically released worldwide. Siegel is also known for his PBS films, including ITVS Independent Lens SPLIT HORN: Life of a Hmong Shaman in America, (2001) and Chicago Emmy-Nominated BETWEEN TWO WORLDS (1984) about a Hmong Shaman documented over 15 years. BLUE COLLAR AND BUDDHA (1989) captures the struggles of Laotian Buddhist refugees. HEART BROKEN IN HALF (1991) is a film about Chicago gangs. Additionally, he is the director of feature length fiction film SHADOW OF THE PEPPER TREE and BODY MEMORIES (1994). Siegel was the producer and cinematographer for the National Geographic film DISENCHANTED FOREST about orangutans in Borneo, narrated by Brooke Shields. He recently completed a short documentary about Tibetan spiritual teacher Lady Palmo with the Dalai Lama. He is the Executive Director of Collective Eye Films, a non-profit media production and distribution organization based in Portland, Oregon.

JON BETZ (DIRECTOR/PRODUCER)

Jon Betz is an award-winning independent documentary filmmaker. He was the producer and editor for the multi-award winning QUEEN OF THE SUN: What Are the Bees Telling Us? critically- acclaimed during it’s U.S. theatrical release and heralded by The New York Times as “Revelatory! A Critic’s Pick” His previous film, MEMORIZE YOU SAW IT, is an intimate autobiographical documentary journaling his time as an aid worker living with former-child soldiers in Eastern Uganda. Betz recently co-directed a short documentary about Tibetan spiritual teacher Lady Palmo with the Dalai Lama. Betz’s films strive to dig deeply into spiritual, emotional and ethical issues and bring pressing social and environmental issues to the screen. Betz is a graduate from Rhode Island School of Design. He is the Director of Collective Eye, Inc. a  non-profit media production and distribution organization based in Portland, Oregon.

MARISA TOMEI (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER)

Marisa Tomei is an Academy-Award winning American stage, film, and television actress. She came to prominence in 1992 with MY COUSIN VINNY, for which she won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.  She received Academy Award nominations for her performances in IN THE BEDROOM and THE WRESTLER. Tomei is actively dedicated to humanitarian causes including VDay, a global event to raise awareness about violence against women and girls. She recently hosted “reclaim REAL food” in Hollywood to bring attention to the quality of healthy food and the importance of labeling our food. After seeing the filmmaker’s QUEEN OF THE SUN, Marisa Tomei came on as Executive Producer for SEED: The Untold Story. Their passions are aligned to create an entertaining and gripping film about the future of our seeds.

MUSIC IN VIDEO

We are also grateful to the following musicians, whose music is featured in our Kickstarter video. They are all incredible musicians! 

Jimmy FreeJami Sieber,Martin Watkinson, and Mark Orton.

ABOUT COLLECTIVE EYE FILMS

Collective Eye Films is a non-profit Distribution and Production company that distributes over 80 compelling environmental and social documentaries that explore untold stories of our time. Our mission is to create positive change in society by unearthing stories that make a difference.

BE PART OF THE SEED COMMUNITY

Sign up for the SEED E-Newsletter

SEED: The Untold Story Facebook PagePre-Release Website

Visit Collective Eye Films our non-profit Production & Distribution Company

Queen of the Sun: What are the Bees Telling Us? Official Website

A glimpse at a few of our gifts!
A glimpse at a few of our gifts!

Risks and challenges

SEED is being made through our non-profit Collective Eye Films where we created REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN and QUEEN OF THE SUN: What are the Bees Telling Us? Making films independently is always a huge challenge, from financing to completion, but we are committed to finishing SEED in a timely manner, and this is why we’re asking for your help.

We are excited about giving these fun gifts for your pledges and are eager to deliver these gifts promptly according to their estimated delivery dates. We’ll keep you posted with our Kickstarter updates and hope you join us on this exciting adventure!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

FAQ

Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.

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Rewards

  • You selected
    Pledge $5 or more

    100 backers

    A heartfelt THANK YOU from all of us. Plus we’ll keep you updated on our progress with great seed stories as we make the film. (Donations are Tax-Deductible.)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    284 backers

    A surprise packet of organic BAKER CREEK HEIRLOOM SEEDS and a heartfelt THANK YOU! Plus, we’ll keep you updated on our progress with fun seed stories as we make the film. (Donations are Tax-Deductible. Seeds ship to US and Canada only.)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    185 backers

    Wear SEED with pride! Receive a 1” SEED PIN and surprise seed packet. Plus, enjoy an exclusive DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of extended interviews from the heroes of the film. Also, a beautiful set of digitally-delivered PHOTOS and a SPECIAL THANKS on our official website for SEED. (Donations are Tax-Deductible. Seeds ship to US and Canada only.)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $35 or more

    59 backers Limited (41 left of 100)

    Seeds need soil! Get a DVD of "DIRT! The Movie" from our friends at Common Ground Media and a surprise seed packet. Plus, enjoy an exclusive DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of extended interviews from the heroes of the film. Also, a beautiful set of digitally-delivered PHOTOS and a SPECIAL THANKS on our official website for SEED. (Donations are Tax-Deductible. Seeds ship to US and Canada only.)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    39 backers

    Watch the SPECIAL ONLINE SNEAK PEEK SCREENING of SEED before it comes out on DVD! The link will stream for a 24-HOUR window. The directors Taggart and Jon will host an online Q&A after the screening for the first 100 viewers to sign in. (Or more if we can figure it out!) PLUS get everything included in the $25 pledge! (Donations are tax-deductible.) (REWARD A)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $50 or more

    101 backers

    Grow your DVD collection! Receive the award-winning QUEEN OF THE SUN: What are the Bees Telling Us? (subtitled in 16 languages) PLUS a SPECIAL THANKS credit on our website and ALL of the rewards in the $25 Pledge! (Donations are Tax-Deductible.)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    161 backers

    Hooray! You’ll receive a copy of SEED: The Untold Story, signed by the directors, upon it’s DVD release! PLUS the award-winning QUEEN OF THE SUN DVD and a beautifully designed Farmer’s Market TOTE BAG. All of this in addition to the rewards included with the $50 Reward (A) level! (Donations are Tax-deductible.)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    50 backers All gone!

    Start your living spice-rack! You’ll receive a copy of SEED: The Untold Story, signed by the directors, upon it’s DVD release! PLUS receive a hand-selected set of 7 different Heirloom HERB GARDEN SEED packets by Seed Savers Exchange. You’ll get a Special Thanks on our website and ALL of the rewards included in the $50 reward (A) level and a beautifully designed Farmer’s Market TOTE BAG! (Donations are Tax-deductible.)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    50 backers All gone!

    Get ready for HOT summer color! You’ll receive a copy of SEED: The Untold Story, signed by the directors, upon it’s DVD release! PLUS Receive a hand-selected set of 7 different HEIRLOOM FLOWER SEED packets from Seed Savers Exchange. You’ll get a Special Thanks on our website and ALL of the rewards included in the $50 reward (A) level and a beautifully designed Farmer’s Market TOTE BAG!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    20 backers All gone!

    Celebrate SEED DIVERSITY through SEED ART! You’ll receive a copy of SEED: The Untold Story, signed by the directors, upon it’s DVD release! PLUS receive a set of 5 beautiful heirloom seed packets from Hudson Valley Seed Library. Each packet is custom-designed with stunning contemporary art that matches that seed variety. You have to see these to believe them. You’ll get a Special Thanks on our website, ALL of the rewards included in the $50 reward (A) level and a beautifully designed Farmer’s Market TOTE BAG!

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    18 backers Limited (7 left of 25)

    Get your nails in the dirt! You’ll receive a signed copy of SEED: The Untold Story, upon it’s DVD release. Plus receive a hand-selected set of sixteen HEIRLOOM VEGETABLE SEED PACKETS from Seed Savers Exchange to start next year’s garden. You’ll also receive a beautifully designed Farmer’s Market TOTE BAG and a copy of QUEEN OF THE SUN on DVD! You’ll get a Special Thanks on our website and ALL of the rewards included in the $50 reward (A) level. (Donations are Tax-Deductible).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    15 backers All gone!

    The entire BIODIVERSITY TRILOGY DVD Collection, signed by the producers/directors Taggart Siegel and Jon Betz! This includes the award winning films: QUEEN OF THE SUN, REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN, and signed SEED DVD upon it’s release.

    PLUS receive a signed copy of either the book “Uncertain Future: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Seeds” by Claire Hope Cummings or “Seed Underground” by Janisse Ray.

    You’ll also receive a beautifully designed Farmer’s Market TOTE BAG, Special Thanks on our website and ALL of the rewards included in the $50 reward (A) level. (Donations are Tax-Deductible).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    16 backers

    You’ll be part of the film! Your name will be included in the CREDITS in SEED, and you’ll receive signed films by Taggart Siegel including award winning films: QUEEN OF THE SUN, REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN, SPLIT HORN, BETWEEN TWO WORLDS and SEED upon DVD release.

    PLUS you’ll get a 21 seed packets of HEIRLOOM VEGGIES, FLOWERS, HERBS! All of this on top of a Special Thanks on our website and ALL of the rewards included with the $50 reward (A) level.
    (Donations are Tax-Deductible).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    2 backers Limited (23 left of 25)

    Receive a box of field-fresh summer produce, biodynamically grown by Farmer John Peterson of "Real Dirt on Farmer John" fame on his Organic Farm, Angelic Organics. As he says himself, "Love poems have been written about our veggies, they're that good." 10 x 12 x 16 Box. Shipped to via 2-day mail to you anywhere in the U.S. in August or September, your choice. PLUS you’ll receive the Signed Taggart Siegel Film's Queen of the Sun, Real Dirt on Farmer John and SEED: The Untold Story DVD upon release. DOUBLE PLUS Special Thanks on our website and ALL of the rewards included with the $25 Pledge! (Donations are Tax-Deductible.)

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $1,000 or more

    6 backers

    Come CELEBRATE with 2 VIP TICKETS to the opening PREMIERE. Your name will be included in the CREDITS in SEED, and you’ll receive signed films by Taggart Siegel including award winning films: QUEEN OF THE SUN, REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN, SPLIT HORN, BETWEEN TWO WORLDS and SEED upon DVD release.

    PLUS you’re invited to a special MASTER CLASS with Taggart and Jon (online or in-person) where we'll share personal insights on our filmmaking. In addition, you’ll get 21 HEIRLOOM SEED PACKETS, a signed theatrical MOVIE POSTER for SEED + all the rewards included in the $50 (A) reward level. (Donations are Tax-Deductible).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $2,500 or more

    1 backer

    Enjoy an heirloom feast! Enjoy an intimate DINNER with the DIRECTORS made by Taggart’s wife, Jenny (an amazing cook!) or at a fantastic Slow Food restaurant in food-famous Portland, Oregon. We’ll include you in the CREDITS in the finished film and you’ll get 4 VIP tickets to the opening PREMIERE.

    PLUS you’ll receive signed films by Taggart Siegel including: QUEEN OF THE SUN, REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN, SPLIT HORN, and BETWEEN TWO WORLDS. In addition, you’ll get 21 HEIRLOOM SEED PACKETS, a signed theatrical MOVIE POSTER for SEED, Special Thanks on our website + all the rewards included in the $50 (A) reward level. (Donations are Tax-Deductible).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $5,000 or more

    2 backers

    Be an ANGEL! We’ll SHARE A ROUGH CUT of the film with you, to get your personal feedback, and you’ll be an integral part of the experience of finishing this film.

    Also enjoy an intimate heirloom DINNER with the DIRECTORS made by Taggart’s wife, Jenny (an amazing cook!) or at a fantastic Slow Food restaurant in food-famous Portland, Oregon. We’ll include you in the CREDITS in the finished film and you’ll get 6 VIP tickets to the opening PREMIERE.

    ALSO you’ll receive signed films by Taggart Siegel including: QUEEN OF THE SUN, REAL DIRT ON FARMER JOHN, SPLIT HORN, and BETWEEN TWO WORLDS. And 21 HEIRLOOM SEED PACKETS, signed theatrical MOVIE POSTER for SEED, Special Thanks on our website + all the rewards included in the $50 (A) reward level. (Donations are Tax-Deductible).

    Estimated delivery:
    Ships anywhere in the world
  • You selected
    Pledge $10,000

    0 backers

    Be an ASSOCIATE PRODUCER for SEED: The Untold Story and make an incredible impact on the future of this film. Your NAME will be in LIGHTS in the film CREDITS along with Academy Award-winning Actress and Executive Producer Marisa Tomei.

    We’ll SHARE the final rough cuts of the film with you, and you’ll be part of the experience of finishing this film! Receive ALL of the rewards included with the $5000 Pledge level of your choice!
    (Donations are Tax-Deductible).

    *Kickstarter does not have a ‘pledge button’ higher than $5000. To make a pledge of $10,000 or more, please e-mail us at: seedproject (at) collectiveeye.org and we will delighted to speak with you.

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Funding period

- (37 days)