Dragonlight Films, an award-winning production company that specialises in producing documentary and corporate films, is announcing that it’s in production for an independent, environmentally important, documentary feature film, Six Inches of Soil. Directed by Colin Ramsay and Produced by Claire Mackenzie, the film will tell the untold story of Britain’s agroecological movement. It centres on both new entrant and established farming pioneers who are leaving behind conventional agriculture to build a future that focuses on the health of the soil and increases biodiversity. The film will follow their often challenging journeys and will examine the whole ecosystem of food and farming including how they access land and create robust business models.
As well as Colin and Claire, Six Inches of Soil includes a small but highly creative production team of agroecological farmers and food campaigners including: George Young, Dr Lucy Michaels, and James Murray-White. To raise funds to push ahead with production in 2022, the team is launching a Crowdfunder on 1st March 2022.
UK’s broken food system
With a compelling narrative, engaging animations and interviews with leading figures, the film will tell the story of the UK’s broken food system. It will offer a provocative ‘focusing moment’ for wider public debate giving farmers confidence to adopt nature-friendly practices, consumers the impetus to rethink food choices, and aims to create a groundswell of opinion resulting in policy change and funding for a British agroecological transition.
The lead characters will meet with both conventional and regenerative farmers across the country, including Jake Fiennes, Head of Conservation, Holkham Estate, Norfolk and Stephen Briggs, who is a first-generation farmer and has been farming organically for 18 years at his 576-acre farm in Cambridgeshire. They’ll also have discussions with experts in the food and farming sector including Vicki Hird, Sustainable Farming Campaign Coordinator and author of Rebugging the Planet and Henry Dimbleby, author of government commissioned National Food Strategy. Characters and additional nature friendly farming experts will be announced in the coming months.
Agroecology through a British lens
Colin Ramsay, director, Six Inches of Soil says, “This project is a labour of love for the whole team. Farmers in the UK are becoming increasingly aware of how modern tillage and chemical input practices have damaged and depleted our soils. As the saying goes, despite all our accomplishments, we owe our existence to a six-inch layer of topsoil and the fact it rains. We want to highlight these issues and look at agroecology through a British lens, showing the unique challenges but also the huge rewards this method of farming presents. We hope that by communicating clearly and accessibly why our food system is broken and how agroecology can help to fix it, we can help to be part of a transformation to the UK’s food-buying choices.”
Claire Mackenzie, producer, Six Inches of Soil adds, “After a year of pre-production research, visiting farms, talking to agroecology experts and inspirational organisations throughout the UK, as well as creating partnerships with oranisations including the Soil Association, Nature Friendly Farming Network (NFFN) and Sustain, we’re ready to move into the second stage of our documentary film journey. Personally, I want more people to hear from the farmers that I’ve met over the last year, many of whom are happier in their work because of their reconnection with the soil and their land and the formation of strong and close communities of likeminded people who are all supporting each other on this intrepid journey.”