Sustainable | 2016 Seattle International Film Festival
USA | 2016 | 96 minutes | Matt Wechsler
A vital investigation of the economic and environmental instability of America's food system, from the multiple crises we are facing—rising temperatures, drought, soil loss, chemicals, obesity—to the community of leaders who are determined to fix it.
"We want to feed people for thousands of years, not just 50 years." When American agriculture was industrialized, it would stand to reason that it would be able to sustain itself, but instead, the country faces a food crisis driven by profitability and a lack of consumer education. We over-farm in order to achieve the highest yield, and in turn the quality of the food goes down, chemicals enter our bodies, and health problems rise exponentially. But that doesn't mean agriculture is unsalvageable. Enter Marty Travis, a seventh-generation farmer and owner of central Illinois' Spence Farm, who has worked with Chicago's top chefs to pioneer a new sustainable food movement, keeping his business local, organic, and personable. To help educate where one's food comes from and how to fix our current economic and environmental instability, Sustainable uses Travis as a central point of orbit for a number of experts—scientists, farmers, authors, journalists—who look to the future; a shift away from America's obsession with corn and soybeans; cattle-raising methods that doesn't torture the animal during its lifespan; a pride in work where "measuring wealth is not about counting your dollars. Sustainable is a story of hope and transformation, about passion for the land and a promise that it can be restored to once again sustain us.
A writer and filmmaker from Chicago, Matt Wechsler has worked on a wide range of documentaries that have aired both locally and nationally, including Different is the New Normal, a film about a teen who refuses to be defined by Tourette's Syndrome, narrated by actor Michael J. Fox. He is the founder of Hourglass Films.
Sponsored by Cupcake Royale, Seattle Met
Director: Matt Wechsler
Principal Cast: Marty Travis, Greg Wade, Rick Bayless, Mark Bittman, John Ikerd
Premier Status: World Premiere