On March 26, Fields of Devotion was shown to a packed house and won the Best Short Documentary Award at the 2023 Garden State Film Festival. This is the second award for the film, which was awarded Best Climate Film by the New York Science and Nature Feedback Film and Screenplay Festival in late 2022.
In attendance at the Garden State Film Festival’s Awards Ceremony were the film’s associate producer Xenia Morin, SEBS associate teaching professor; co-director and cinematographer Micah Seidel; and featured scientists James Simon, SEBS Distinguished Professor and plant breeder, and Lara Brindisi, doctoral student in the plant biology graduate program.
Diane Raver, director of the Garden State Film Festival, said “we were honored to award Fields of Devotion, a beautiful film featuring the real impact of Rutgers science on New Jersey farmers, our festival’s Best Short Documentary Award. We pride ourselves in presenting important stories that celebrate excellent work going on in our state.” Fields of Devotion was directed by SEBS science communication researcher, Dena Seidel.
On March 25, Fields of Devotion was screened at the Princeton Environmental Film Festival in collaboration with Rutgers Masters Gardeners of Mercer County. The screening was followed by a panel discussion and an enthusiastic audience Q&A session.
The film has been accepted into the Farm to Film Fest in Iowa and has just received an Honorable Mention from the Sci-On film festival in Nevada. Fields of Devotion will be available later this Spring via Kanopy streaming service, often available through public libraries, for those who wish to see the film.
Read more about the award-winning film, Fields of Devotion, which follows the unique partnership between local farmers and Rutgers plant geneticists who painstakingly isolated genes for disease resistance in commercial basil, a high-profit crop that small family farmers depend on.
This article was published by the SEBS/NJAES Newsroom on April 5, 2023.