The nine films featured in the '9x9 Film Festival'—created by The Source Project and presented here on Common Dreams in partnership with /The Rules project—have been made for one reason: to help people understand the reality of what’s really happening to the world’s food and farming systems, and why.
As the likes of the World Bank and Bill and Melinda Gates foundation begin to transform the development sector into a business driven model, the positive stories and propaganda that support that model are dominating the story of development. By creating a short films that can then be easily watched and shared on various social media platforms, we are able to not only help counter an imbalance of misinformation within development media but also stimulate consciousness on issues that otherwise would pass unnoticed.
At the heart of all these stories is agriculture, a system, not only of food production but also one that maintains our ecosystem, our cultures, our health and the very survival of humanity.
Dr Debal Deb is possibly one of, if not, the most progressive scientists working in the field of agriculture. Having already saved over 1200 varieties of indigenous rice, Dr Deb continues to work, more or less un-funded. This film was a result of a speech he made in Kolkata on the opening of his new lab, enabling him to sequence plant DNA, publish it and therefore protect it for future generations.
From water tolerant (rice that will grow in 10 feet of water), saline tolerant (rice that can grow in the sea), to drought tolerant rice varieties that can survive without irrigation, Dr Deb not only conserves but also protects them from bio-piracy. His approach is a holistic one where he uses the field and the farmers to grow and protect these valuable varieties.