SEED: The Untold Story
SEED: The Untold Story
SEED: The Untold Story
SEED: The Untold Story
SEED: The Untold Story

SEED: The Untold Story

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Directed and Produced by: Taggart Siegel & Jon Betz
Executive Producers: Marisa Tomei, Marc Turtletaub & Phil Fairclough

Released: 2016 / 94 min. + 58 min. classroom version
Language:   English, Spanish, French, Italian 

View the 52-Page Educational Discussion Guide


Few things on Earth are as miraculous and vital as seeds, worshiped and treasured since the dawn of humankind. SEED: The Untold Story follows passionate seed keepers protecting our 12,000 year-old food legacy. In the last century, 94% of our seed varieties have disappeared. As biotech chemical companies control the majority of our seeds, farmers, scientists, lawyers, and indigenous seed keepers fight a David and Goliath battle to defend the future of our food. In a harrowing and heartening story, these heroes rekindle a lost connection to our most treasured resource and revive a culture connected to seeds.

SEED features Vandana Shiva, Dr. Jane Goodall, Andrew Kimbrell, Winona LaDuke and Raj Patel.
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  • Winner - ENVIRONMENTAL AWARD - Sheffield Doc/Fest
  • Winner - GREEN PLANET AWARD - Rhode Island Film Festival
  • Winner - BEST DOCUMENTARY - Nashville Film Festival
  • Winner - BEST IN FESTIVAL - Princeton Environmental Film Fest
  • Winner - ECOHERO AWARD - Portland EcoFilm Festival
  • Winner - BEST DOCUMENTARY - Lunenberg Doc Fest
  • Winner - AUDIENCE AWARD - Lunenberg Doc Fest
  • Winner - HONORABLE MENTION - Cine Eco Portugal
  • Winner - AUDIENCE AWARD - American Conservation Film Festival
  • Winner - BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY - United Nations Film Festival
  • Finalist - Social Impact Media Awards (SIMA) for Feature Documentary
  • Official Selection - BEST OF FESTS - IDFA 


Highly Recommended by Video Librarian


"Filmmakers Taggart Siegel and Jon Betz’s documentary about contemporary agriculture points out that 94 percent of seed varieties have disappeared during the last century, while financially and politically dominant biotech chemical companies such as Dow and Monsanto have taken near-complete control over the nation’s seed supply. Seed argues that industrial farming has created environmental hazards while also threatening the health of the population through genetically modified foods and the pesticides used to keep crops free from insects. The film profiles efforts made by small farms to remain independent of corporate encroachment, and it features numerous interviews with experts—including, somewhat surprisingly, primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall—who comment on this state of affairs. Featuring an imaginative visual style and carefully layered storytelling that does not dumb down the complex subject, Seed is presented here both in its full-length version and an hour-long abridged edition. Highly recommended. Aud: H, C, P. (P. Hall)" - Video Librarian

Academic Reviews

"The word 'interdisciplinary' may be overused, but this exceptional work offers a captivating blend of science, culture, economics, legal and ethical studies. Seed: The Untold Story offers mountains of somber scenarios based on sobering facts and industrialized agricultures current behavior. Still, the film is dynamically presented with undercurrents of hope. The production value is superb, with meticulous research, creative camerawork, attention-grabbing animations, and a pounding, progressive score.”  - Education Media Reviews Online, Michael J. Coffta, Business Librarian, Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania

Press Quotes


"The most essential, illuminating and enraging film since Food, Inc."  - NYC Movie Guru

"A superb documentary... visually stunning...A model of scientific insight, story-telling and cinematic panache that reminds us that the future of life under capitalism is guarded at best." - Rec.Arts.Movie.Reviews

"Engaging and polished...a handsome and nutrient-rich look at efforts to preserve food-system biodiversity." - The Hollywood Reporter

"[SEED] is a gorgeously made film, put together with as much care as it’s subjects devote to saving the remaining varieties of seeds.” - Los Angeles Times

“Rare documentary from filmmakers who are not just capable but also in love with their craft...a wonder..." - Village Voice 

“This film takes what might seem like a mundane subject matter and turns it into a political and social issue chock-full of characters who could be pulled from a Robinson Crusoe Adventure Book...A film that offers exquisite surprises." - Missoulian Independent

“A boldly creative and ethically robust documentary about protecting the food supply." - Spirituality and Practice

“The frightening beauty of SEED is the clarity with which it defines the mission of seed-savers – maintaining agricultural diversity for future generations, whatever the world they inherit; it’s bluntly persuasive.” - Film Journal International
“A visual song. Betz and Siegel take things that most people see as mundane… and make them sensuous, dazzling and stunning. It’s hard to make an imperfect thing that has come from the ground look as precious as the rarest of gems, but that’s what this film does.” 
- Leah’s Movie Low Down
“This film stands out as one of the most important films to screen at this year’s [Sheffield Documentary] Festival. This film is elegantly structured…a delicate balance between doom and gloom and hope for the future. With compelling storytelling and illuminating the passion and solid scientific evidence behind the argument presented in the film. Highly Recommended” 
- Kino-Eye

“Ingredients of a classic tale: A beautiful, yet vulnerable protagonist, murder and devastation, corrupt villains, unsung heroes and an unshakable hope." Vue Weekly
“A call to arms about the need for seed diversity…takes audiences on a gorgeously filmed and creatively animated adventure…seen through the eyes of a colorful cast of characters.” 
- Idaho Mountain Express