Interview with Filmmaker Dena Seidel (FIELDS OF DEVOTION)

FIELDS OF DEVOTION, 29min., USA, Documentary
Directed by Dena Katzen Seidel, Micah Seidel
Across America, small family farms are racing against climate change. Unpredictable weather and new diseases are destroying the very crops they depend upon. In New Jersey, when a devastating disease wipes out farmers’ fields, growers turn to scientists for help. Fields of Devotion follows the unique relationship between farmers and scientists as they work together over a decade to develop disease and climate resistant food crops.

Told from the perspective of the farmers and scientists in the field, Fields of Devotion shares the detailed science steps for developing disease resistant food crops and that farmers need. This is a story of hard work, collaboration and innovative solutions for a rapidly changing world.

Get to know filmmaker Dena Seidel:

1. What motivated you to make this film?

I like stories of how science can positively impact society.
I was introduced to this plant breeding science during the 2020-21 pandemic and it was a story I could film, documenting the science-in-action, while in New Jersey when we could not travel.

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

three years

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

inspirational, hopeful

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

communicating the science process

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

grateful and interested

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

age 16

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

The Wizard of Oz

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

can’t think of anything

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


10. What is your favorite meal?

fish tacos

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

I am currently making a film about scientists who study underwater volcanoes


By matthewtoffolo

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

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