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Vineyards are making a new splash in Bordeaux, France and Napa Valley, California. These renowned wine regions are now producing high cancer rates in the children who inhabit them. In France’s premier sweet wine region of Sauternes, leukemia rates in children are a whopping 500 percent higher than normal. A 2016 government report identified Napa County as having the highest cancer rates in California’s children during 2015. Concerned families in Napa and Bordeaux are now asking the same question: Is it the pesticides?
Across the globe agricultural communities stand at a cross roads questioning pesticide impacts. Glyphosate, a primary toxic ingredient of the widely used herbicide Roundup, is now found in breast milk, cotton clothing, wine and many conventionally grown food products. In the United States, Atrazine, another toxic herbicide used on corn and soy bean crops, is commonly found in water supplies of agricultural communities who use it. Beyond human impact, a global epidemic of bee colony collapse disorder has been linked to the use of Imidacloprid, the worlds most widely used synthetic insecticide. Questioning why agricultural toxins are filtering into so many facets of our daily lives, the documentary will travel to Washington D.C. to reveal a decades-old flawed regulatory practice that continues to allow pesticide manufacturers to wreak havoc on children’s health and the environment.
The good news for vineyards and food farms is that solutions exist. A growing movement of organic, biodynamic and regenerative agricultural practices are positively affecting the cultural landscape of wine and food. From cover crop rotation and reduced tillage that enrich healthy soils to natural weed and insect management practices that promote biodiversity, Children Of The Vine will highlight farming practices that do not sacrifice the health of children and the environment all in the name of making delicious food and a great bottle of wine. Children Of The Vine’s ultimate goal is to create an honest and inspiring story that supports the transition to a more just and viable food system. Children Of The Vine is seeking financial contributions to begin production by the summer of 2017.
Brian Lilla, Director / Producer, is an award winning documentary director living in Napa, California. From 2008-2011 Lilla directed Patagonia Rising which investigated the impacts of a proposal to build five large scale dams in the heart of Patagonia, Chile. The film enjoyed an award winning festival run before it was released on Net-Flix, The Discovery Channel and other international television outlets. After an aggressive outreach campaign, Patagonia Rising informed and impacted the Chilean governments unanimous decision in 2013 to not build the proposed dams. Lilla now focuses attention on his local agricultural community crushed by pesticides and cancer.