Community garden documentary screens on campus

D.C. residents are growing fresh produce side-by-side in community gardens, according to a film shown at an Office of Sustainability-sponsored event Tuesday night.

Through the words of children, retirees, immigrants, volunteers and educators, the documentary “A Community of Gardeners” explores the impact of seven community gardens on the lives of the people who tend to them.

The documentary, which is still a work in progress, is the first in a planned series of film screenings by the Urban Task Force at GW this fall.

Cintia Cabib, the director and producer of the documentary, presented the film and discussed the filmmaking process with the audience of about 100 students and University community members in Funger Hall.

“My goal in making this documentary was to show people the multiple benefits of community gardens,” Cabib said. “It’s not just a place to grow fresh foods and vegetables, but also an outdoor space for children, a space of healing, a place where immigrants can grow food from their native countries, and a safe haven for people living in dangerous neighborhoods.”

Cabib spent three years filming the documentary.

“I needed two seasons to visit all the gardens, one of which opened up last year,” she said.

The grassroots nature of community gardening was the inspiration for the documentary, Cabib said.

“As a filmmaker, I’m always looking for new ideas,” she said. “I became intrigued by what motivated people to start a garden and what it offered for the community at large.”

The filmmaker also praised GW students for starting a community garden on campus, which is located across from Amsterdam Hall, but said that there should be more awareness about sustainability efforts.

“One thing that really draws people to youth gardens is an educational component,” Cabib said. “If people are aware of these sustainable practices, more students will volunteer and want to grow their own fresh produce.”

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