Interview with Filmmaker Andrea Sparrow (THE TEMPTATION OF TREES)

THE TEMPTATION OF TREES, 43min., USA, Documentary
Directed by Andrea Sparrow
New Studies reveal that growing our existing forested lands to capture carbon, preserve biodiversity and protect water, animals and people is one of the best tools we have for fighting climate change and rebuilding a thriving planet. Experts with a deep understanding of forests, carbon and timber share the science and methods we can use to take a step toward a greener, healthier future.

The Temptation of Trees

Get to know the filmmaker:

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I’ve been making art and photography and writing about climate change and human impact on the planet for a long time. When my colleague, Ben Elkins, asked me to make a film with him about a small forest in Oregon, called the Elliot State Forest, I started reading the science and talking with scientists and conservationists about the forests, wood products and climate change. The issues were huge! The film quickly morphed from being about this tiny forest to talking about these big, valuable forests in our country that are being exploited in unsustainable ways.

2. From the idea to the finished product, how long did it take for you to make this film?

It took 2 ½ years. Covid definitely made things take longer.

3. How would you describe your film in two words!?

Protect forests.

4. What was the biggest obstacle you faced in completing this film?

Covid was a huge one. It made travel difficult and made interviewing people far more complicated.

5. What were your initial reactions when watching the audience talking about your film in the feedback video?

It was great to hear that people enjoyed the film and that they learned a lor from it. It seemed to bring an awareness to the issues for them and get them thinking about forests and how we use them. I feel like we accomplished what we’d hoped and I heard some ways I can improve in the next film.

Watch the Audience Feedback Video:

6. When did you realize that you wanted to make films?

About 5 years ago I got my first drone. I’d been a photographer for decades, but suddenly the moving image was so compelling and had this ability to communicate something different. I’d never considered film before that, but it set me on the path.

7. What film have you seen the most in your life?

I have a little girl, so there are a few Christmas films I’ve seen more times than I can count! The film “My Octopus Teacher” is one I have watched several times since it was released a couple of years ago. I think it’s brilliant.

8. What other elements of the festival experience can we and other festivals implement to satisfy you and help you further your filmmaking career?

The more exposure new filmmakers have to industry people, particularly in terms of distribution, the more helpful for furthering our films and our careers. I appreciate that you make an effort to get the film in front people who can be helpful in getting it to a larger audience. More of this type of thing could always be even better.

9. You submitted to the festival via FilmFreeway. How has your experiences been working on the festival platform site?

I find Film Freeway to be a great way to submit to festivals. You can put in the effort to make sure you have a great page for your film and all the supportive materials and then send it all out for each submission really easily.

10. What is your favorite meal?

Any meal shared with good friends, great food and lots of laughter!

11. What is next for you? A new film?

I have two film ideas in mind that I am pursuing. A friend in the industry has suggested a game based on some of the ideas we’ve discussed about protecting the planet as a whole, so I’m pondering that idea. And I will continue to travel to the Arctic to share imagery of changing climate from one of the most vulnerable parts of our planet as Executive Producer for The Arctic Arts Project.


By matthewtoffolo

Filmmaker and sports fan. CEO of the WILDsound Film and Writing Festival

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