Potato Biodiversity Film Released

Published online: Jan 14, 2019 Articles
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“Opening the Earth: The Potato King” is a documentary about Peruvian Julio Hancco, one of the few remaining true guardians of biodiversity left in the world.

Of the film’s acceptance to the festival, O Films founder Eric Ebner says, ‘This is a huge milestone for the film and our team. We are honored to have the world premiere at one of the most prestigious film festivals in the United States.

This project has been a labor of love and the message it spreads is so important to every one of us. We can’t wait for the world to see it.

Julio Hancco lives in the Andes Mountains, at an elevation of 14,600 feet, and he is a monument to an ancient time. As a child, he was passed down 60 varieties of native potatoes from his ancestors, which he has cross-bred into over 350 varieties. He cannot read or write, has no running water, and uses no modern farming equipment. Yet he manages to grow more varieties of potatoes than most modernized nations on our planet.

This biodiversity originates from his culture and its rich agricultural traditions passed down from the Inca Empire.Now, modernization is threatening this way of life and all the strengths that come along with it.

The youth are emigrating to the big city and leaving behind their villages, agricultural abundance and ancestral traditions. Julio Hancco is getting old, losing the strength to carry on his farming practices. He has no one to pass his knowledge on to. Will his culture survive? Or will it all be lost with the last Potato King.

“Opening the Earth: The Potato King” is an O Films production in association with the Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development (AASD). The AASD has been working with agriculture communities over 15,000 feet in the Andes Mountains of Peru for over 10 years.

Santa Barbara local Paul J. Lynch of Cage Free Productions acts as a writer and producer of the film. Cage Free Productions is a B- Corps based in Santa Barbara California, using storytelling to actualize change around the world.O Films is comprised of volunteers and our work relies on funding.

“Our goal is to promote this message as far as possible but we cannot do that without community support.” To donate to the future of this project please visit openingtheearth.com .