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Documentary about young farmers fighting corporate corruption in Hawaii and their attempts to create local sustainable food systems.
What will it really take to feed the world?
What will it really take to feed the world?
643 backers pledged $36,227 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Island Earth- Sustainable Farmers in Hawaii

$36,227

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WE HAVE REACHED OUR GOAL BUT YOU CAN STILL CONTRIBUTE TO MAKE THIS PROJECT EVEN BETTER!

"When we make the switch from consumers to producers, we no longer depend on the very systems we attack and we come true revolutionaries. Food and shelter will always conquer bullets and words. " 

Permaculture Founder Bill Mollison

All profits from this film will go towards supporting education and to those families who've been directly affected by pesticide exposure.

Movie art by Kelsey Brookes
Movie art by Kelsey Brookes

Making Change

This documentary is about a growing movement of people who are fed up with an industrial agricultural system that is reliant upon fossil fuels and chemicals.

By sharing Hawaii's struggle, we aim to create a film which can be used to inform and inspire people to go beyond the issues and the activism and actually participate in taking back our food supply.

In addition to the film, we are proud to be partnering with The Ecology Center to provide you with the educational resources to build community and grow the change we all want to see in the world.

Beyond the GMO Debate

The Hawaiian Islands are now home to more genetically modified crop experimentation than anywhere else in the world. Most of the companies producing these seeds also produce the chemicals they are sprayed with. While it is argued that the dangers of genetic modification are neglegable, many of the pesticides which they are grown in concert with have long been proven to be harmful to public and environmental health.

Many local farmers feel that GMOs are a potentially valuable tool for combatting year-round insects and plant diseases without pesticides and think that to judge the technology with chemical farming is unfair. Other farmers want to ban the practice altogether, in fear of uncontrolled cross-contamination of their organic crops through pollen drift.

People on both sides of the debate agree is that the pesticides, long used in industrial agriculture, have been toxic to public and environmental health and our culture's the reliance on fossil fuels to grow our food is unsustainable in a peak oil economy. 

The main point of contention is that many feel the companies are using more pesticides with GE seeds, while some say that GE technology is creating a lessor need for them.

I’m not taking side about GMOs in this film because I am not a scientist, what I am taking a stand for is the untapped potential of local and diversified agriculture. 100 years ago, 1 in 3 people were farmers, today it is less that 1 in 60. Whenever you outsource any part of an industry to large corporate interests you are going to sacrifice quality for efficiency and convenience. We have a large problem with unemployment in my generation and more and more of us are seeing the connection between our health the quality of the food we eat. Because of this, we are seeking to take back our power by growing our food. 

Industrial Agriculture

As a result of agricultural practices developed during the Green Revolution, we have become more efficient at producing large quantities of food. However these gains in productivity have come with a number of rising economic, environmental and public health costs.  

Whether you are consuming an apple, a beet, a berry, or a cow, you are ultimately what your plants and animals eat. The health of humans is directly related to the health of our soils. Many of the gains reported by industrial agriculture are the result of farming practices which exhaust soil health and invite weeds, pests and disease. 

Nature creates stability in its ecosystems through an intricate web of species interdependency. As long as we rely primarily on vast monocultures (endless acres of corn and soy) we are fighting nature. This fight creates a dependency on fossil fuel and chemicals for our food.

Hawaiian Food Security

Because they live on islands with limited resources, the Hawaiians have become canaries in the coal mine for food issues that are affecting the entire planet. Hawaii currently imports 80-90% of their food supply from elsewhere in the world. Because of this, Hawaii is home to some of the most expensive food prices in the United States. Food shortages are becoming more common across the islands as extreme weather events like hurricanes disrupt the Pacific shipping routes. 

Less than two centuries ago, native Hawaiians fed their large population through some of the most historically sustainable agricultural practices ever documented. Today, with rising prices and lack of access to healthy food, Hawaiians are galvanizing at a local level to grow nutritious food in their neighborhoods.

Real Solutions

In nature, diversity equals resiliency. In the wild, you won't see a landscape of one kind of plant. Only by mimicking the diversity found in nature will we be able to lessen our dependency on monocultures which tax our planet and our health. Practices like agroforestry, composting, and rotational grazing will restore our lands and watersheds. 

Despite their disagreements over genetic modification, farmers, scientist and politicians on both sides of the GMO debate in Hawaii agree that a return to diversity and local food production with less pesticides is the key to a safe and strong future.

Your Support

Join us in creating a strong cinematic seed from which change can grow. 

Only with your help can this story be told. In the coming years, how and where our food is produced will directly effect our ability to survive on this planet

Your support will help me finish shooting and pay for an editor and producer to make this film as factual, good-looking and easy to understand as possible so that it may serve as a tool for organizations working to change the ways we grow and consume food in the US and around the world. 

All profits from this film will go towards supporting education and to those families who've been directly affected by pesticide exposure.

People Featured in the Film

  • Dr. Tyrone Hayes - Harvard graduate and Professor of Integrative Biology at UC Berkeley
  • Dr. Dennis Gonsalves - Inventor of the GMO Papaya, retired Director of USDA Pacific Basin Research Center
  • Dr. Lorrin Pang - Endocrinologist, Maui District Health Officer and consultant to the World Health Organization
  • Margret Wille - Lawyer and Councilwoman in the county of Hawaii responsible for their ban on GMOs
  • Richard Ha - Owner of largest tomato farm on the Islands (the farm is run on hydroelectric/renewable energy) and is a pro-GMO advocate
  • Dr. Ashley Lukens - Political Science professor and Director of the Hawaii Center for Food Safety
  • La'akea Caravalho- Former member of the Ho'okulea Voyaging Society and founder of Knowledge in Motion, currently taking care of his daughter afflicted with the pesticide linked illness Gastroschisis
  • Dustin Barca - Former pro surfer and MMA fighter running for Mayor in Kauai County
  • Geoff Lawton - World renowned permaculture practitioner and teacher from Australia
  • Rebekah Kuby - Landscape Designer for David LaChappelle and Sean Penn, former land manager at Hana Farms and founder of school garden installation and education non-profit "Grow the Change"
  • Paul Towers- Organizing & Media Director at Pesticide Action Network North America 
  • Alika Atay - Maui County organic farmer, member of SHAKA movement
  • Dash Kuhr - founder of 200-acre permaculture farm and education center HIP Agriculture
  • Hunter Heaivilin - The Asia Pacific Center for Regenerative Design, Partner at Pono Permaculture and Co-Director at The Green House Hawaii 
  • Drew Wilkinson - Permaculture Designer at Growing Together Edible Landscaping

Backer Gifts

 Limited-Edition Hand Screened and Signed Poster 

Featuring Art by Kelsey Brookes and Designed by Mark Tesi
Featuring Art by Kelsey Brookes and Designed by Mark Tesi

Island Earth Organic Cotton T-Shirt (available in XS to XL) 

Dark Blue Option
Dark Blue Option
Grey Option
Grey Option

Art by Kelsey Brookes Designed by Mark Tesi

Photos

all photos by Cyrus Sutton
all photos by Cyrus Sutton

Plywerk printing option- an environmentally-conscious company printing photography on bamboo

Learn More 

To learn more about this issue and how you can help the people of Hawaii visit these links.

Pesticide Action Network

The Ecology Center

Center for Food Safety

Permablitz Hawaii

Hawaii Seed

The Shaka Movement

Barca 4 Mayor

Babes Against Biotech

Collaborators on this Project 

Kelsey Brookes

Mark Tesi

The Ecology Center

Nahko and Medicine for the People

Elskavon

Chris Olivas

Leah Dawson

Cliff Kapono

Cliff Endsley

Shawn Pila

Natalie Jacobs

Chad Davis

Hugh Sandys

Reef

Leatherman

Music Featured in the Trailer

Nahko and Medicine for the People

Elskavon

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Risks and challenges

The film is currently 80% shot and 60% edited and as this project's director, writer and cinematographer I am confident in my ability to finish and deliver a quality film. However, because of the time-consuming nature of distribution deals and film festivals the exact release date cannot be guaranteed. We will keep everyone abreast of these developments and do our best to fulfill the rewards on or before the posted dates.

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    You will help ensure that this film gets made. We will add you to our newsletter with exclusive shorts films and tips on making change in your area.

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    A DVD to share with friends and family+ Island Earth 3" Die Cut Sticker + $10 level

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    Signed & Hand Printed Limited-Edition Poster + Island Earth Limited-Edition T-Shirt (available in XS to XL) in Heather Grey or Dark Blue on an Organic Cotton blank + $35 level

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Funding period

- (25 days)