Occupy The Farm tells the story of a community’s fight to save public land for urban farming. When 200 farmers march to the gates of the last farmland in the urban East Bay near Oakland, they don't carry signs protesting University of California’s plans to build a shopping center. Instead, they carry tents, tools and 15,000 seedlings. They clip the padlock off the gate and march onto the fields. What happens next will change the fate of the land and introduce a new strategy for activism.

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Acclaim for Occupy The Farm

“The film is riveting from the start”
Occupy The Farm Remembers One of the Movement’s Successes
Ernest Hardy, The Village Voice, November 12, 2014

“Sweeps up the viewer in a fast-paced, character-driven narrative”
How Urban Farmers Used Occupy Tactics to Take Over the Gill Tract.
Sarah Burke, East Bay Express, November 5, 2014

“Empowering food for thought”
Occupy The Farm illustrates Berkeley’s battle with farmers
Michael Rechtshaffen, Los Angeles Times, November 16, 2014

“It’s more than a great documentary film. 

It’s another way of viewing your neighborhood and the world.”
Occupy the Land
Evaggelos Vallianatos, Huff Post Green, April 3, 2015

“Powerful and engaging”
Rachel Trachten, Edible East Bay, November 8, 2014

“See Occupy The Farm. It’s quite a story, with engaging personalities 

(even, in their way, the UC officials).”
All we are saying is give peas a chance
Chuck Jaffee, The Union, April 2, 2015

“It was motivating to see so many people from the community coming together”
A Fight for Turning Public Land into Urban Farming: Occupy the Farm, the Movie
Anna Brones, Organic Authority, November 26, 2014

“Through it all, Darling’s cameras were there, filming the farmers as they wheeled in tools, equipment, starts and chicken coops on the first day and began tilling the land. The film is beautifully shot”
Review: Documentary on ‘Occupy’ farming movement in Albany worth viewing
Damin Esper, San Jose Mercury News, December 3, 2014

“We’re so inspired by this story”
Greenpeace USA on Facebook, October 27, 2014

About The Film Occupy The Farm

On Earth Day April 22, 2012, I received a text: a couple hundred urban farmers were marching onto ten plus acres of fallow farmland and the site of a former agricultural research center known as the Gill Tract. The farmers hoped to stop development of a shopping mall and condo complex on the site of the former research station, and de-rail plans that threatened to remove the class one agricultural land from farming. The activists brought with them 16,000 seedlings, roto tillers, shovels and tents. Within a few hours, they’d planted an acre of vegetables, put up a big banner that read: Occupy the Farm, and set up a tent village to defend the crops.

The battle over the last large piece of farmland in California’s East Bay raged for months. This successful direct action altered the fate of this land owned by the University of California at Berkeley, sent urban agriculture into local headlines, and demonstrated how hopes for social justice can become a reality. This, the urban farmers announced, was “Occupy 2.0.”

We picked up our cameras that very first day and continued to follow the story over the next five months. And, we realized that these urban farmers succeeded because they physically reminded people of their fundamental connection to the land and the earth.

Our cameras “occupied” the occupation. We witnessed the dramatic and rapid evolution of tactics and strategy of both the farmers and their adversaries – officials from the University of California. As a result, OCCUPY THE FARM captures a significant and on-going conflict: the showdown between over-development and agriculture, as well as the contest of wills between a grassroots, consensus based action, and the more rigid power structure of California’s largest landowner. 

OCCUPY THE FARM reveals a new form of activism for the 21st Century.

The Filmmakers

My name is Todd Darling. I’m a veteran filmmaker. I’ve worked as a director and editor for MTV, worked on the broadcast of five Olympic Games, edited over 50 nationally broadcast television shows, covered a revolution as a free-lance journalist, and directed independent films. My directing and editing credits include the reality show “Laguna Beach” for MTV (2004-2006), the feature documentary, “A Snow Mobile for George” (2009) about a cross-country trip to Washington, DC, now available on NetFlix, and the 30 minute documentary short, “Black Rock Horse”, about one of Burning Man’s boldest art projects.

I am working with talented collaborators including: producer Steve Brown, who’s feature documentary “Spark: A Burning Man Story” about the dreams and challenges of Burning Man premiered at SXSW 2013; producer Carl Grether, the producer and editor of the recently completed “Edible City: Grow the Revolution” a feature documentary about urban farming and “food justice” in the Bay Area; and fellow editor/filmmaker Blake Hodges whose credits include the PBS show “Roadtrip Nation”, as well as extensive video work with Greenpeace, Sierra Club, Rainforest Action Network, and the ad agency M&C Saatchi.

I’m asking you to join me in helping to share this powerful story with the world. Please tell your friends, and stay connected through our email list, Facebook, or Twitter. Share your stories of activism and direct action. Bring your community together for a screening event of Occupy The Farm. It's a great way to get your community talking.

Todd Darling, Director

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If your questions are about media, theater bookings, or distribution, it’s best to reach out to us by email at one of the addresses below.

For press inquiries or speaking engagements, contact:

Todd Darling
occupythefarmfilm @ gmail.com

For television and digital distribution, contact:

Steve Brown
otf @ ignitechannel.com

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How to watch Occupy The Farm