Symphony of the Soil-Bio-Deborah-Koons-Garcia

Deborah Koons Garcia- Director, Writer, Producer

Deborah Koons Garcia has called Northern California home for over thirty years, with her production company based in Mill Valley, CA. She has made fiction, educational and documentary films. For the last fifteen years she has focused primarily on films about agriculture and the food system.

 Ms. Garcia directed the groundbreaking film, The Future of Food, which premiered at Film Forum in New York City. The Future of Food (2004) examines the alarming issues surrounding the rapidly increasing corporate domination of our food supply. It is the first major film to cover the history and technology of genetic engineering and the complex implications of releasing such crops into the food environment and food supply. The Future of Food helped jumpstart what is now called the food movement and the continues to play widely all over the world in theaters and at film, food and farming festivals and conferences and at thousands of community-organized screenings. Her latest film, Symphony of the Soil, which is currently in wide release, was designated a Critics’ Pick by the New York Times and was shown at the United Nations in New York City on World Soil Day which launched the UN International Year of the Soils.


Vivien Hillgrove – Editor

Vivien Hillgrove has more than 41 years of experience as an editor for both feature films and documentaries.  Her documentary credits include seven films by Lourdes Portillo including “La Ofrenda:The Days of the Dead”,”The  Devil Never Sleeps”,  “Corpus: A Home Movie for Selena” and “Senorita Extraviada”, which won a special jury prize at Sundance and the 2002 International Documentary Award; “First Person Plural” and “In the Matter of Cha Jung Hee” by Deann Borshay-Leim for POV and Independent Lens for PBS (also served as co-writer), Also for Independent Lens she edited “Beautiful Son” and “Heart of the Sea”(Independent Lens – audience award); Award winning “Homeland, Four Portraits of Native Action”. She edited Deborah Koons Garcia’s last film, “The Future of Food”.

John Chater- Director of Photography

John Chater is a freelance Director of Photography. John graduated in 1991 from the University of Surrey with a first class BA in Photography. Since starting out at the documentary department of the BBC in London 18 years ago, John has worked on hundreds of broadcast documentaries and filmed in over 30 countries. After moving to the US in 1992, he continues to work on films for PBS, HBO, National Geographic, Discovery, BBC and UK Channel 4. Films that he’s been involved with have won numerous television and film festival awards.


Todd Boekelheide- Composer

Todd Boekelheide started working in film in 1974 as a member of the staff at American Zoetrope, Francis Ford Coppola’s production company in San Francisco.  In 1976 was an assistant editor on “Star Wars”, and edited picture and sound on “The Black Stallion” 2 years later.  He then began music studies at Mills College in Oakland. Thereafter he specialized as a rerecording mixer, and won an Oscar for mixing the music on “Amadeus” in 1984.  His scored feature films, include “Dim Sum” and “Nina Takes a Lover”, as well as numerous documentaries, notably “Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse” and “Ballets Russes.”  In 1999 he won an Emmy for his score for the documentary “Kids of Survival: The Life and Art of Tim Rollins and the KOS.”  In 2007 he was nominated for an Emmy for his score for “Boffo! Tinseltown’s Bombs and Blockbusters,” and in 2010 he was nominated again, this time for the score for “Blessed is the Match.” Up-to-date credits information can be found at his website.

Will Kim – Animator

Will Kim was born and raised in LA, California and he also spent his childhood in Seoul, Korea where he was introduced to painting and drawing. Will grew up with a passion and dream of being a painter. Kim is now a full-time Assistant Professor of Art at Riverside City College (Riverside Community College District) and a Los Angeles based filmmaker/artist. Will Kim received an MFA in Animation (Film, TV, and Digital Media) from UCLA and a BFA in Character Animation (Film and Video) from California Institute of the Arts (CalArts.) In recent years, he also taught at CalArts, Community Arts Partnership and Sitka Fine Arts Camp as an animation instructor. Kim has received awards including Chuck Jones Award in Animation 2009 and UCLA Spotlight Awards. Kim’s work has showed in over 100 international film/animation festivals and auditoriums including Directors Guild of America (DGA) Theater, Academy of TV Arts and Sciences Theater in Hollywood, The Getty Center, The USC Arts and Humanities Initiative, and Museum of Photographic Arts San Diego. For more on Will’s work, please see his website.

Sarah Gorsline- Post-Production Coordinator & Associate Producer

Sarah Gorsline is a filmmaker, editor and artist who was born in Boston and raised on the North Shore of Massachusetts. She attended Sarah Lawrence College in New York with a focus in filmmaking and creative writing before moving to the Bay Area of California.




Jessy Beckett- Production Manager & Associate Producer

Jessy Beckett is passionate about creating social change in our food system. She holds a Masters in Community Development from UC Davis and a BA from Sarah Lawrence. She is excited to have contributed to this project for the last five years.





Bio-Soil-Ignacio-ChapelaIgnacio Chapela- Narrator & Advisor

Ignacio Chapela is a Professor of Microbial Ecology at the University of California, Berkeley.  He is also a Senior Researcher at GenØk, the National Center for Biosafety, Norway. He has worked as a biologist in various capacities with a large range of institutions including: indigenous communities in Latin America, public education and public research institutions (in Mexico, Wales, the US, Norway, costa Rica and Venezuela), private industry (in Switzerland), public policy national and multinational bodies (UNDP, Panamerican Health Organization, World Bank), and multiple foundations and think-tanks. In ecology, he is committed to the synecological approach to story-telling, just as he is committed to the local approach to ecological policy-making.  How to perform synecological research on microbes has been his life-long occupation.

Kate Scow

Kate Scow joined the faculty of University of California Davis in 1989 and is Professor of Soil Science and Microbial Ecology in the Department of Land, Air and Water Resources. She is Deputy Director of the Agricultural Sustainability Institute and Director of the Russell Ranch Sustainable Agriculture Facility. Scow received her MS and PhD degrees in Soil Science (Agronomy) from Cornell University in 1986 and 1989, respectively.  She studied biology at Antioch College (BS 1973) and also ecology and evolutionary biology at University of Chicago and Harvard University.  Scow’s research program, spanning the molecular to field scale, investigates the role of soil microbial communities in providing ecosystem services in agroecosystems and remediation of polluted ecosystems.  Investigations are on-going on determining relationships between soil microbial diversity and greenhouse gas emissions and contributions of microbial communities to the resistance and resilience of soils to environmental disturbance.  Scow also leads a project in central Uganda involving farmers, scientists, extension specialists, and NGOs in developing novel approaches for enhancing vegetable production and market access for smallholder farmers. She has published over 160 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters.

Fred Kirschenmann

Dr. Frederick L. Kirschenmann, a longtime national and international leader in sustainable agriculture, shares an appointment as Distinguished Fellow for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University and as President of Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture in Pocantico Hills, New York. He also oversees management of his family’s 2,600-acre certified organic farm in south central North Dakota. His recent book publication list includes; Cultivating an Ecological Conscience: Essays from a Farmer Philosopher.