SAVE THE FARM- Coming to VOD
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
AWARD WINNING DOCU SHORT ‘SAVE THE FARM’
RELEASED FOR THE FIVE YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF THE EVICTION OF THE SOUTH CENTRAL FARMERS IN LOS ANGELES
Featuring Daryl Hannah, Julia Butterfly Hill, Alicia Silverstone, John Quigley and More
LOS ANGELES (May 19, 2011) – June 13, 2011 marks the five-year “anniversary” of the eviction of the farmers from the South Central Farm in downtown Los Angeles. The award-winning documentary short film SAVE THE FARM, directed by Michael Kuehnert, will be released on digital platforms on June 7, 2011 to commemorate the needless destruction of an important environmental and cultural oasis.
The South Central Farm (SCF) sprung up on an abandoned industrial area of approximately 14 acres in South Central Los Angeles. The land had been acquired by the City of Los Angeles in 1986 from developer Ralph Horowitz for $4.7 million. The land was left undeveloped for years until Mayor Bradley (following the Rodney King riots) bequeathed it to the community. Doris Block, the President of the Food Bank, then founded the farm. For fourteen years the farm provided local, organic food and medicinal remedies for 350 families, as well as, to thousands of area residents.
In 2004, Horowitz, a partner in the company Alameda-Barbara, which originally sold the land to the city, sued for breach of contract for failure to honor a clause in the original right of repurchase agreement. The courts ruled against Horowitz three times. Soon after the city sold the land back to him, in a deal that was initially undisclosed to the public, it was later revealed to have been for the amount of $5 million. On January 8, 2004, Horowitz issued an eviction notice to the gardeners to leave the farm by the end of February of the same year. In response, the South Central Farmers filed a lawsuit seeking to invalidate the sale of the property. The farmers lost the lawsuit, but they were able to obtain an injunction that allowed them access to the land for two more years- until Horowitz evicted them in February of 2006.
The events of SAVE THE FARM took place during June of 2006, as Horowitz tried to reclaim the land, believing that control of the property should be “market driven”. Filmmaker Michael Kuehnert arrived at the farm just as it was about to be bulldozed and as the gardeners were still trying to raise the $16.3 million required to buy it back from Horowitz- a figure that was three times the initial amount for which he had purchased the plot. The farmers were joined by environmental activists such as Julia Butterfly Hill and John Quigley. They initiated a tree-sitting vigil with the collective efforts and support of actors Daryl Hannah, Alicia Silverstone, Amy Smart, Martin Sheen, Danny Glover and Laura Dern who were also joined by musicians such as Willie Nelson, Tom Morello, Joan Baez, Ben Harper and many other creative talents, musicians and politicians.
The farmers struggled valiantly to raise funds to meet Horowtiz’s extortionate price under the continued threat of forced eviction by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. On June 7, 2006, the Annenberg Foundation announced that it would provide $10 million toward the acquisition of the farm through The Trust For Public Land. The farmers successfully raised the $16.3 million. However, Horowitz turned down the offer (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/South_Central_Farm – cite_note-offermade-7). Ultimately, the County Sheriff’s department surrounded the farm and arrested over 40 people, including Daryl Hannah and John Quigley.
For director Kuehnert, the situation with the farm and this film underscores a more global problem: “For me the urban farm is a solution to our surpassing peak oil, our issues with obesity and health, sustainable food supplies, our debates about land use. The South Central Farm is a model for sustainability; reversing the effects of greenhouse gases by taking oil out of the food cultivation and distribution equation while providing people a way to sustain themselves in this time of rising food and oil prices affected by increasingly volatile weather patterns.” As of May 2011 the land remains an empty lot.
SAVE THE FARM tells the story of the largest urban farm in the United States, 14-acres sitting right in the middle of South Central Los Angeles. For 14 years, over 350 families had cultivated this farm, feeding themselves and thousands in their community local, organic food. When the city sells it to a developer in a closed-door meeting, activists and celebrities stage an 11th hour tree sit to save the farm. As the 5-year anniversary of the eviction approaches, director Michael Kuehnert demonstrates how a local community can come together to fight to save a farm they have come to depend on for their survival. www.savethefarmmovie.com | Facebook | Twitter | Trailer | Clips | Art
TRT: 31 minutes
Catalog: CLS 1129 | Genre: Documentary
ABOUT CINEMA LIBRE:
Cinema Libre Studio is a leader in distributing social-issue documentaries and features by passionate filmmakers. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the Cinema Libre team has released over one hundred films including the Sundance Audience Award‐Winning FUEL, THE END OF POVERTY, and Oliver Stone’s SOUTH OF THE BORDER. The studio is developing John Perkins’ best‐selling memoirs, CONFESSIONS OF AN ECONOMIC HIT MAN, into a major motion picture.
For screener and interview requests contact: press (at) cinemalibrestudio (dot) com
For screenings, grassroots and educational use contact: screening (at) cinemalibrestudio (dot) com