Climate change, wars, growing populations and the degradation of soil threaten the future of food. One of humanity’s biggest challenges, it’s a crisis that many are faced with even today.
Quorn, the meat alternative pioneers, launched an initiative in September 2021 called the Pioneers Film Fund which invited filmmakers to come together and help shine a spotlight on this problem.
Since then, three winners were selected and awarded £15,000 each to create a short documentary that showcased creative solutions to tackling the food crisis.
What is the Pioneers Film Fund?
Launched by Quorn, the Pioneers Film Fund was created in association with planetSHINE, a film company and sustainability voice agency, to inspire a conversation about the future of our food.
planetSHINE is a platform that raises questions about how to grow food more sustainably, what that means for our diets and how we will need to adapt to meet the demands of a growing population with shrinking agricultural land.
The Pioneers Film Fund invited filmmakers to shine a spotlight on the food crisis.
Three winners were chosen and were fully funded by Quon to create an 8-12 minute documentary highlighting sustainable food solutions and the challenges faced by those leading the way in this important work.
Speaking of the initiative, Gill Riley, Quorn Marketing Director, comments: “We are passionate about supporting future pioneers in the race to solve the food crisis and are greatly inspired by and grateful for the efforts made by those featured in each of the winning films.
“Our hope is that by raising awareness of their unique approaches through the Pioneer’s Film Fund, we’re bringing important conversations on the future of our food to the forefront.”
What are the documentaries?
Here’s a quick overview of the documentaries:
The Catastrophe Garden
Created by Dan Ashby, Lucy Taylor and Ed Cartledge, the documentary follows the University of Sheffield’s attempt to grow food from waste mattresses in Syrian refugee camps without the use of soil.
The project has given 3000 Syrian refugees the opportunity to become hydroponic farmers and revealed that hydroponics can be successful without expensive laboratory equipment.
Experts have calculated that these gardens cut related carbon emissions in half compared to growing food using traditional methods, and it only uses a third of the water.
The Farm Under the City
This documentary by Lewis Coates, Brett Chapman and Jordan Carroll showcases the innovative new approach to growing food called bioponic vertical farming.
This method allows 100% of plant transpiration (essentially, the process of water movement through a plant) to be recovered and reused inside the system.
In fact, it uses 95% less water than traditional farming and 20% less water than a normal enclosed hydroponic growing system.
What’s more, crop cycles are a lot faster too as key elements including humidity and temperature can be controlled.
The documentary shows how a business run by Lewis takes food waste from local restaurants, cafes and businesses and uses organic recycling methods such as worm farms and hot composting to grow micro-herbs and vegetables beneath the streets of Sheffield.
The Ocean Greens
This documentary by Scott Bradley and Natasha Hawthornthwaite sheds light on farmers harvesting seaweed along the UK’s coastlines.
It explores how seaweed is a sustainable food source and its role as a carbon store which could make it a key component in the fight against climate change.
Sophie Corrigan from the Marine Biological Association explains during the film: “By 2050 we’re going to have to provide about 70% more food than we are currently so we’re going to have to turn to sea-based sources and make sure it’s sustainable.”
Where can you watch them?
You can watch all three documentaries on WaterBear, a free streaming platform that features award-winning documentaries and shorts dedicated to the future of our planet.
Learn more about WaterBear’s mission: Free Eco Documentaries And Tree Planting From WaterBear.
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