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Can we imagine a city where people form relationships with the soil underneath their feet?

 

LITTLE CITY GARDENS is a nonfiction feature film that presents the magnetism and beauty of a farm that existed in San Francisco. It's a story about connections to land, place and each other, told through the poetic visuals of a working urban farm. It's about the powerful and compassionate relationship between people and land, found in the most unlikely of places.


“Urban farms like Little City Gardens are crucial for engaging city residents in a healthy food system. This film will be a beautiful portrait of what is possible.” 

-- Alice Waters, founder of Chez Panisse & Edible Schoolyard 


ABOUT THE FARM

Little City Gardens was a working urban farm in San Francisco from 2010-2016. While in operation, the farm grew vegetables, herbs, and flowers for restaurants, markets, and a CSA subscription program. It was an experiment in the economic viability of urban farming, and it offered ongoing dialogue about what kinds of supports are needed for urban farming to be a permanent and vital part of cities. 

Aside from work and function, the farm was just as importantly a place of experience and togetherness. It was a gesture of hope, possibility and creativity. It was an entry point into a deep, familiar relationship with the natural world.

The farm closed in December 2016, due to approved development of the land. The strong and intricate community that contributed their energy over the years, however, forever changed the place.



ABOUT THE FILM

There was something undeniably special about being at the farm. To walk through the front gate was to enter a very different kind of city space. There were colors, textures, smells, and rhythm; the farm had its own pulse. It was a welcoming, accessible place where people from all over brought their thoughts and inspirations, their worries and anxieties, and fed the soil. 

This film shows this place. Through intimate action shots and steady, poignant observations, LITTLE CITY GARDENS brings us into the rhythm of a farm in the city, from its peak state of active production to its ultimate dismantling and closure. Natural, ambient sound design, and an original music score shape and open up the space. Voice overs reveal to us three farmers' internal thoughts, luring each of us -- no matter where we live or identify -- into the profound experience of connecting with a piece of land, engaging with the city through busy hands, and existing in moments where solitude and togetherness, introspection and connection, are one and the same. This film is a moving portrait of an important kind of urban place -- one we desperately need more of. It is a rendering of what can be.

THE TEAM

Ben Grossman (Director / Producer): Ben is a filmmaker living in San Francisco. He writes screenplays and makes films. His short film, Come Full Circle, (48 min), showed at film festivals including The American Indian Film Festival, 2013. Little City Gardens will be his first feature-length documentary.

Caitlyn Galloway (Producer / Consultant): Caitlyn is an artist, farmer, trained sign painter, and longtime San Francisco resident. She was the co-founder of Little City Gardens, a working farm within city limits. She perpetually has her hands dipped in many projects, all of which are centered around her desire to help define a vibrant, healthy, interesting city.

Iva Radivojevic (Consulting Editor): Iva is a Brooklyn and Lesbos based filmmaker, writer, editor who spent her early years in Yugoslavia and Cyprus. Her films have screened at NYFF, SXSW, Rotterdam IFF, HotDocs, Museum of Modern Art (NYC), PBS, New York Times Op-Docs. She is the recipient of the 2017 Sundance Art of Non-Fiction Fellowship, 2015 Guggenheim Fellowship, 2011, 2012 and 2017, Princess Grace Special Project Award and Film Fellowship and was named one of 25 New Faces of Independent Film by Filmmaker Magazine.

Her debut feature-length documentary Evaporating Borders screened in over 70 festivals and received numerous awards worldwide. A follow up short film Notes From The Border was commissioned for the launch of Field of Vision. When not working on her own films Iva enjoys editing, cutting both documentary and narrative films. Her work MA premiered at the Venice Film Festival and Five Star, a film she co-edited won the Best Editing Award at the Tribeca Film Festival. All That Passes By Through A Window That Doesn’t Open, a film she co-wrote and edited, won the Regard Neuf Award at its premiere at Visions Du Reel and went on to win more prizes worldwide. She’s currently completing her new film Aleph, inspired by Jorge Luis Borges.

 

 

The film is currently in post-production. Please stay tuned for updates.

For more information:

 

Director: Ben Grossman 

Producers: Ben Grossman - bengrossman234@gmail.com

 Caitlyn Galloway - caitlyngalloway@gmail.com