UK: "Up in Smoke" coming to Cornwall Film Festival


If you're in the UK and missed the screening on More 4 in September of Up in Smoke then you have a chance to watch it at the Cornwall Film Festival in Newquay, Cornwall this weekend.

mountain in honduras that has been recently burnt for agriculture

The screening is in the Lighthouse Cinema on 5 November at 1155.

From the Cornwall Film Festival website:

"Slash-and-burn farming generates more carbon annually than all air travel put together. It sits at the crossroads of two of the greatest threats to global stability: accelerating climate change and diminishing food security. Up In Smoke follows Lostwithiel scientist Mike Hands, who has laboured for 25 years to find a solution to replacing slash-and-burn agriculture in equatorial rainforests. Slash-and-burn farming is practised by anywhere between 250 and 500 million farmers worldwide. In the tropics, slash-and-burning leaves the soil infertile, leading farmers to cut down ever more trees in order to grow food.  

Up In Smoke tells the story of Hands’s struggle to find out why the soil was losing its fertility. He became convinced the problem was a lack of phosphorous, a key nutrient, and discovered that the Inga tree, planted in rows interspersed with food crops, would act as a natural soil fertiliser while providing shade and blocking out weeds. Working with two Honduran farmers, Hands began the slow process of trialling the technique – overcoming a lack of funding, support and the farmer's initial skepticism. Filmed over four years in Honduras and the UK, this fascinating documentary presents a historic opportunity to address one of the most urgent issues of the present day. It parallels the farmers’ struggles with Hands’s attempts to get heavyweight political backing, as he tries to get the Inga tree and alley-cropping technique onto the agenda at the 2009 Copenhagen Summit."

It might be one of the most important films you watch this year.

Related links:

Honduras: "Up in Smoke" UK premiere


pineapples growing in fieldA very important film premieres on UK television tonight that could help transform tropical agriculture. "Up in Smoke" follows the exploits of Mike Hands, a scientist from Cornwall in the UK, who has been developing an innovative agroforestry technique called alley-cropping in equatorial rainforests for 25 years.