At a recent Summit during the Sundance Film Festival, Food Tank and 360 Communications presented a program dedicated to the intersection of food systems, the environment, and the arts. Panelists discussed the power of storytelling to drive change and the new documentaries emerging to spotlight solutions for eaters and the planet.

“Every problem has a solution,” says Josh Tickell, one of the filmmakers behind “Common Ground,” a new documentary that profiles farmers across the United States using regenerative agriculture practices to heal the Earth. “And so if a film isn’t conveying a solution, we’re in the old paradigm of environmental documentary storytelling.”

Wild Hope,” for example, is a multi-episode series that follows changemakers around the world working to reverse biodiversity loss. “Abundance,” tells the story of the college students who mobilized at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic to connect farms with surplus produce to food banks. And “Gather” portrays the growing movement of Native Americans to reclaim their spiritual, political and cultural identities through food.

For many of the filmmakers behind these documentaries, their goal is to energize and inspire viewers to take action.

“The series was never supposed to be a series,” says Jared Lipworth, Executive Producer of “Wild Hope” and Head of HHMI Tangled Bank Studios. “It was an anchor for a movement. And the movement was to get people to get activated.” On the series’ website, audiences can find action items tied to the theme of each episode.

And the team behind “Common Ground” is using momentum around the film to help build support for regenerative agriculture. They are currently offering resources to help consumers eat more sustainably and are pushing forward a movement to regenerate 100 million acres of land in the U.S.

Some speakers, including Sanjay Rawal, the filmmaker behind “Gather” are also excited for the documentaries that have yet to be made. “We need to find ways to get cameras into kids’ hands…and tell them that what they’re doing is going to be critical for their movement.”

Read the full article about documentaries on food system solutions by Elena Seeley at Food Tank.