Seed Documentary Press Release

Seed Documentary Press Release


NEW YORK, NY—Seed is the source of nearly all of our food. But massive changes in the past 100 years threaten seeds and by extension our entire food supply. If similar threats endangered the water we drink or the air we breathe, there would be a mass uprising. But seeds are tiny. They go unnoticed. A new film aims to change that.

Open Sesame—The Story of Seeds is a documentary by filmmaker Sean Kaminsky that explores our longstanding relationship to seed with emphasis on current challenges and opportunities. For example:

  • Extinction. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), 75% of seed diversity was lost in the 20th century alone.
  • Food Safety. Healthy seed means healthy food. GMOs are present in upward of 70% of processed food and they pose serious health threats.
  • Ownership. To paraphrase one of the film’s subjects: “Whoever owns seed controls food.” Today just ten companies control two-thirds of the seed market and this percentage increases every year.

This documentary tells the story of seed through the eyes of their champions, how we got to where we are now and what we can do for a better future. Its subjects include Gary Nabhan, Percy Schmeiser, Vandana Shiva, Jeffrey Smith, Diane Ott Whealy and Manitoba locals such as Tabitha Langel and Janine Gibson. Kaminsky explains the project further.

“My grandma grew up on a farm. She collected old seed catalogs and I loved reading them as a kid. Seeds fascinate me. I’m also passionate about healthy food as a human right. When I learned about the threats to our seed supply I got angry. I decided to make a film that would excite people about something that many people don’t think about. Seeds are amazing and mysterious. I want to bring them to life visually and raise awareness about the serious issues they face.”

Most people unless they garden or farm aren’t aware of the risks facing our seed supply. This film seeks to change that by empowering people to take seed back into their own hands in ways both small and large.

Watch Open Sesame The Story of Seeds on our homepage, watch on Amazon on digital rental or DVD.


Sean Kaminsky is an award-winning Canadian filmmaker and writer living in Brooklyn, NY.  He has produced documentary programming for networks ranging from HBO to PBS to Sundance Channel and his work has screened at over fifty festivals world-wide.


Notable Subjects In The Story of Seeds


Emigdio Ballon (Four Bridges, New Mexico)

Micaela Colley (Organic Seed Alliance, Washington State)

Matthew Dillon (Seed Matters)

Charles Eisenstein (Author of ‘Sacred Economics’)

Jim Gerritson (Organic Seed Growers Trade Alliance, Plaintiff ‘OSGATA v Monsanto’)

Jere Gettle (Baker Creek Seeds)

John Glavis (BoTierra Biodiversity Farm, California)

Ken Greene & Doug Muller (Hudson Valley Seed Library, New York)

Jeanette Hart-Mann (Seed Broadcast, New Mexico)

Eric Herm (Author ‘Son of a Farmer’ Texas)

Frederick Kaufman (Author ‘Bet the Farm’, New York)

Josh Kilmer-Purcell (Star of ‘The Fabulous Beekman Boys”, New York)

Jack Kloppenberg (Open Source Seed Initiative, Wisconsin)

Tabitha Langel (Tall Grass Prairie – Canada)

Pamm Larry (

CR Lawn (Founder, Fedco Seeds)

Sophia Maravell (Brickyard Educational Farm, Maryland)

Nick Maravell (Nick’s Organic Farm, Maryland)

Bill McDorman (The Rocky Mountain Seed Project/Seed School)

Frank Morton (Wild Garden Seed, Oregon)

Gary Nabhan (Acclaimed author, Arizona)

John Navazio (Organic Seed Alliance, Washington State)

Chrissie Orr (Seed Broadcast, New Mexico)

Diane Ott Whealy (Seed Savers Exchange. Iowa)

Lorrin Pang (Hawaii)

Nancy Redfeather (Kohala Center, Hawaii)

Walter Ritte (Hawaiian Activist)

Eli Rogosa (Heritage Grain Conservancy, Massachusetts)

Percy Schmesier (Saskatchewan farmer who sued Monsanto)

Vandana Shiva (Navdanya)

Jeffrey Smith (Institute for Responsible Technology)

Madhavi Sunder (Author ‘From Goods to a Good Life: Intellectual Property and Global Justice’)

Ira Wallace (Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, Virginia)

Rowen White (Sierra Seed Cooperative, California)

William Woys Weaver (Acclaimed Food Author)

Rachel & Dave Zuckerman (Full Moon Farm, Plaintiffs ‘OSGATA v. Monsanto’, Vermont)