PolyCultures: Food Where We Live is a feature-length documentary movie that portrays the diverse communities around Northeast Ohio coming together to grow a more sustainable and equitable food system. PolyCultures is firmly rooted in the idea that local food is good for the health of individuals, communities, local economies, and the environment. To balance the advocacy perspective, it features many national and international experts who place area food production in the bigger picture of sustainability. The term “polyculture” refers to the ecologically-minded technique of growing a diversity of crops/animals on one farm, but it also represents the documentary’s participants coming from very different backgrounds to arrive at similar conclusions and take coordinated action. The aesthetic is a mix of “agrarian” camera techniques portraying post-industrial Cleveland and surrounding farmland, symbolizing the ground-level nature of this movement.
PolyCultures was produced by LESS Productions in conjunction with the New Agrarian Center from 2006 to 2009. The movie officially premiered at the 2009 Cleveland International Film Festival, where the number of screenings was doubled due to audience demand.