By Claire Mackenzie, Producer, Six Inches of Soil
On Thursday 4th January, we headed to Oxford for the 15th Oxford Real Farming Conference (ORFC) to attend sessions from the packed programme of speakers and of course to host the first UK screening of Six Inches of Soil. ORFC is an event that attracts farmers, growers, activists, policymakers and researchers from around the world who are interested in transforming our food system.
The screening took place in the evening at Jesus College, Oxford as part of a panel session chaired by Rooted author and farmer Sarah Langford. Before the film started, Sarah spoke with myself and Director Colin Ramsay about why and how the film was made, as well as the challenges that come with making a feature length documentary. After the film had finished, following an incredible reaction from the audience, Sarah spoke with our three main characters, Adie, Anna and Ben about their experience making the film and their future plans. We then had a wonderful closing message about the importance of soil from lifelong peace activist Satish Kumar, who also stars in the film.
The venue was packed with people sitting on the floor and leaning over the balcony and there was laughter and cheers, as well as tears of hope with people saying the film made them feel empowered to go back and take positive action in their communities coming together to protect our soil.
Comments from those who saw the film that night:
“I really loved the film. What I thought was so good about it, not only did you present the problems really clearly, and it’s really important people understand what the problems with industrial agriculture are, but also in following those farmers and seeing how things change, I think it’s so encouraging that we actually saw the soil go from dead to live in three or four years. I think this is the message that we’ve all got to take. If we do the things that help the earth to restore, she will follow. I just think the film is awesome, well done.” – Anna Locke, Author of The Forager’s Garden.
“I absolutely love the film, it was so moving, it’s so important and it’s so brave of these three young farmers to be taking this punt if you like on something new. Also, I really loved the joy that it bought them and the happiness. Of course, I’m really interested in food and nutrition and understanding a bit more about food and where it comes from and how important that soil is and looking after the soil. And finding out you can eat beef that’s also carbon positive, it’s not just emitting methane gas. The whole combination of food and nature and community and people it’s just amazing.” – Claudia Bradby.
“It’s just a really lovely film, there’s a lot of passion involved there with the three on the farms. It just shows what farming can do and what regenerative farming can do. How we can build our soil and get things working again in this country. I got quite emotional at the end too! I felt really proud of them.” – Mike Roberts, Farmer.
“I absolutely loved the film, it made me cry, it made me laugh it makes me emotional just talking about it! It’s a real human connection in the stories, they were so passionate, so young and so full of hope and it gives me lots of hope to listen to it.” – Angela Wakefield, Environment Agency.