• Written and directed by filmmaker Andréa Gema, The Last Seed is a cinematic journey through Africa’s modern-day food and agriculture crises.

    The film explores profound themes such as seed sovereignty and the delicate balance between humanity and the planet through a coherent narrative adorned with evocative music, mesmerising dance rituals and captivating visuals.

    The Last Seed was produced by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation in collaboration with the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa, Biowatch South Africa, and PELUM Tanzania.

    Andréa Gema is a South African filmmaker with over a decade of experience in the film and advertising industry. As is demonstrated with her documentary feature film debut, Andréa has a special talent for telling complex stories in a restorative and engaging way.

    Having volunteered with multiple NGOs throughout her life, Gema jumped at the opportunity to use her film skills to bring awareness to Africa’s food crisis, both for local and international audiences.

    Jan Urhahn, the documentary’s executive producer, is the coordinator of the Food Sovereignty Programme at the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung in Johannesburg, South Africa. He focuses on various topics such as farmworkers’ rights, the impact of hazardous pesticides, seed ownership, and alternatives to the Green Revolution, such as agroecology.

    The documentary’s producer, Refiloe Joala, serves as the food sovereignty programme manager in the Southern Africa Regional Office of the Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, also based in Johannesburg. Her interests lie in understanding the changing agro-food systems, particularly within the context of growing corporate control in Southern Africa. Joala also works on promoting seed sovereignty and advocating for farmworkers’ rights in the region.

    Famara Diédhiou, the film’s second producer, has over 15 years of professional experience working mostly in rural development in African countries. He has focused on establishing community seed and cereal banks and organising women’s groups for urban-rural partnerships. As a programme officer based in West Africa under the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), Diédhiou is actively involved in various networks to advance the food sovereignty struggle and promote African-driven solutions.

    The Last Seed

    The Last Seed focuses on the struggles and triumphs of African small-scale food producers as they navigate the complex web of science, politics, and economics surrounding the corporate capture crisis. The documentary is interspersed with interviews and soundbites that provide illuminating insights into the perilous state of our food systems and the critical need for change.

    Despite the challenges, there is hope. Meet the agroecological farmers who embrace sustainable and adaptable agricultural practices with wisdom and resilience. Their testimonies offer a glimpse of a better way forward. As the film reaches its crescendo, it leaves us with an uplifting finale. Senegalese women rise up with unwavering determination to protect their seeds and indigenous knowledge for future generations.

    The Last Seed poses profound questions for our time: what have we lost, and who can show us the path to a more harmonious relationship with our planet?

    The film has already won awards at several international film festivals, including the Colorado Environmental Film Festival, Cine Paris Film Festival, Beyond Border International Film Festival, and Western Canadian International Film Festival, among others. It continues to travel the globe, shedding light on the seed struggle in Africa and has been accepted by various film festivals, including the Minnesota International Film Festival, the Environmental Film and Screenplay Festival in Los Angeles, and the Africa International Human Rights Film Festival.

    The crew: 

    • Written and directed by: Andréa Gema
    • Executive Producer: Jan Urhahn (Rosa Luxemburg Foundation)
    • Producers: Refiloe Joala (Rosa Luxemburg Foundation) and Famara Diédhiou (Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa, AFSA)
    • Offline Editors: Andréa Gema, Luke Housdon
    • Online Editor: Luke Housdon
    • Cinematography: Nick Burton Moore
    • Original Soundtrack: Gean Burrell
    • Sound Mixer: John Claassen
    • Art Direction: Grant Franck, Quite Franckly Studios
    • Animator: Claire Bowden
    • Illustrator: Lize-Marie Dreyer
    • Colourist: Daniel de Villiers
    • Sound Design: Dave Houston

    Watch the trailer for The Last Seed

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    Written by Sarah du Toit for Cape {town} Etc.

    Feature image: Screenshot / thelastseed.org