Urban farming film depends on public’s vote to air on PBS

Omaha, Neb.—Tues., June 24, 2014—Crowdfunding has been called the future for film, but a new documentary brings a whole different meaning to the phrase, “made possible by viewers like you.”

The film Growing Cities was created almost exclusively through crowdfunding. Now its filmmakers are reaching out to the public once more. This time, they’re seeking funding to broadcast nationally on PBS this fall.

“We’ve been accepted by American Public Television to reach a guaranteed 80% of PBS markets,” said the film’s director, Dan Susman. “But we’re responsible to secure all funding for the broadcast, including all the editing and conforming the film to PBS standards.”

With additional marketing made possible by a successful campaign, the film could reach nearly 100 percent of PBS viewers across the country.

“It would be millions of homes—essentially every home in the country that has a television,” Susman said.

Growing Cities is the first documentary about urban farming across America. In it, Susman and his co-producer, Andrew Monbouquette, travel the country, visiting everything from rooftop farms to backyard chicken coops. The film has a distinctly positive approach, focusing on what these urban farmers are doing to answer the growing need for sustainable food sources, and on the sense of community that grows hand-in-hand with these gardens.

An official selection at more than 25 film festivals both nationally and abroad, Growing Cities has also screened in more than 200 communities worldwide.

“Obviously we’d love to see the film on public television,” Susman said. “We’d love to have folks of all ages catch it while flipping channels, and maybe get inspired to start a garden—or even just plant one seed.”

But ultimately, Susman said, the public decides. Since Kickstarter is all or nothing, the project must meet its goal of $30,000 by July 9 for the filmmakers to receive any of the funds pledged.

“If this Kickstarter is successful,” he said, “we believe this is the chance to spread the good food movement further than ever.”

Learn more and support their Kickstarter at www.kck.st/1kDfhgP.


KS-digitalpostcard: © Growing Cities. Caption: Growing Cities must raise $30,000 by July 9th to air on PBS this fall.

KS17: © Growing Cities. Caption: Chicago’s City Farm grows on vacant lots in the city and provides fresh produce to local residents.

KS16: © Growing Cities. Caption: A truck farm in Portland shows just one of the many urban farmers featured in Growing Cities.

Website : Nebraska Independent Film Project: Growing Cities