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Free Range Child: Raising Children Connected To The Earth & Their Food

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"As a child, one has that magical capacity to move among the many eras of the earth; to see the land as an animal does; to experience the sky from the perspective of a flower or a bee; to feel the earth quiver and breathe beneath us; to know a hundred different smells of mud and listen unself- consciously to the soughing of the trees." -Valerie Andrews

Over Grow the SystemFilms For Action present Free Range Child: A documentary and media project that examines the connection between a child's development and her or his connection to the natural world and to food production.  It celebrates the lives of families and their support networks, both rural and urban, who are engaged in linking children with nature, and savours the bounty of precious moments of discovery, magic and growth that spring forth from these connections.

Partnering with children, parents, farmers, and professionals, we seek to better understand the contemporary circumstances that create alienation between children and the natural environment and the effects of this disconnect on their development.  Conversely we'll also examine the discourse and examples surrounding the raising of our children with access and engagement to natural and agricultural environments and how they are affected. We hope to learn how technology interacts or interferes with these connections and most significantly, what children, themselves, can teach us about the natural world and their place in it.

"Our Children no longer learn how to read the great book of Nature from their own direct experience, or how to interact creatively with the seasonal transformations of the planet. They seldom learn where their water come from or where it goes. We no longer coordinate our human celebration with the great liturgy of the heavens." -Wendell Berry

Syd Woodward is a west-coast based artist, specializing in media production and curation. He is also a photographer, filmmaker, and blogger and the founder of Over Grow the System, an online nexus for sustainability activism . His work is committed to deepening our relationships with and roles in building a greener future.  Free Range Child is inspired by the wild and young people he picks blueberries with, and by those small ones he wanders through the trees with.  As part of an on-going exploration of contemporary agricultural and remote communities, the time spent with children in these places fuels and renews Syd's hope for the future and it is his goal to galvanize that hopeful spirit in the rest of us.

With Over Grow They System as his platform, Syd will dive into this topic through film, photography and text, with the aim of producing a feature film by 2016.


If you are interested in helping this project grow, please consider making a donation here.
 

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Why join Films For Action?

Goal: To rapidly transition to a just, ecologically sustainable, holistic way of living as fast as possible.

We believe the first step to achieve this goal should be an information delivery network that can amplify the impacts of all our efforts 1000 fold. 

Although Films For Action is centered around film - its true objective is the transformation of the world. This means moving away from the unsustainable paradigm we have now to a regenerative paradigm, as fast as humanly possible.  

Film is the medium of delivery -- the catalyst, the metabolizing agent to speed up, amplify and multiply the effects of every transition movement on the planet. And of course, "transition" contains it all - social justice, ecological regeneration, true democracy, egalitarian economics, universal empathy, less cultural insanity and more happiness and well-being.

All of these movements need a media ecosystem that supports this transition, rather than the media we have today which marginalizes it, ignores it, sanitizes it, suppresses it, or actively fights it. There is certainly good coverage across many different news outlets, and the quality and depth varies, but in terms of volume, the good stuff is easily lost in the deluge of superficial concerns.

Watch any network TV channel for 24 hours or read the newspaper for a week, and you will see what we mean. The dominant narratives which drive the national debate and become "common knowledge" is more often superficial, focused on symptoms rather than root causes, and reinforces the conventional "two sides" within the status quo. The lies and spin promoted by figures in power become well known, while voices that challenge and expand the range of debate rarely get heard. But most importantly, the level of repetition and volume of coverage is what counts. What gets covered day after day, and what gets covered once and is forgotten, or not covered at all? That's why we need a media movement that's dedicated to elevating the voices that aren't getting heard. We need media alternatives that make social change its primary focus. That's why Films For Action exists.

Ultimately, we're just one star in this growing constellation of new media, but we aim to do our part by cultivating the best video library dedicated to transition online, and we hope you'll join us