Earth Seasoned: #GapYear
Diagnosed with learning difficulties, Tori finds her greatest teacher in nature, spending a "gap year" living semi-primitively with four other young women in Oregon's Cascade Mountains.
Directed by Molly Kreuzman
Produced by Wandering Wolverine Productions
Cinematographer: Michelle Alvarado
Editor: Gary Lundgren
Original Music: John Morgan Askew
Animation: Patrick Neary
Earth Seasoned...#GapYear is the inspiring story of five young urban women who spend a gap year between high school and college living semi-primitively in a remote mountainside wilderness in Oregon. Told mainly through the story of Tori Davis, a teenager with learning difficulties, the film chronicles the group's four seasons in the woods as part of the Caretaker nature program. As the seasons succeed, the group has to adapt to what the wilderness provides and to what it withholds.
"A poignant meditation on humanity's lost communion with the natural world, and how restoring it can revive our sense of wholeness and purpose." Sir Ken Robinson, Prof. Emeritus, Education, Univ. of Warwick
Through lyrical live action footage and smartly paced animation, the film reveals how separately and together the girls learn ancient skills of craftsmanship and teamwork and forge deep powers of resilience and self-reliance. Earth Seasoned has essential messages about talent, compassion and community and about the real conditions for human flourishing.
Grade Level: 5 - 12, College, Adults
US Release Date: 2018
Copyright Date: 2017
DVD ISBN: 1-941545-98-X
"Tori's story is every person's story. Earth Seasoned: #GapYear shows how full presence in the natural world can help young people, and people of all ages, discover not only the gift of nature, but the special gifts we can give in return to our fellow human beings and to all the creatures on this earth. This is a deeply moving, brightly illuminating and extraordinarily hopeful film."
Richard Louv, Author, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder
"Touching, inspiring, and sobering, Earth Seasoned beautifully illuminates what happens to our sense of self, our connection to non-human nature, and our relationship to other humans when we slow down and use our brains and bodies in the ways we are built to do. This film holds lessons for all of us. A great addition to courses in psychology, environmental studies, women's studies, outdoor recreation, and disciplines in which instructors wish to challenge their students to reflect on what it means to be fully alive."
Dr. Britain Scott, Professor of Psychology, University of St. Thomas, Co-author, Psychology for Sustainability
"Earth Seasoned: #Gap Year movingly demonstrates the social, emotional and intellectual educational power of hands-on, developmentally appropriate and meaningful 'learning-by-doing' experience. We see, first hand, that 'education' means so much more than what is generally taught in school today or how so many educators, testers and much of the wider society define it!"
Dr. Diane Levin, Professor of Education, Wheelock College, Author, Beyond Remote-Controlled Childhood: Teaching Young Children in the Media Age
"A terrific video to show the connections of special needs students and the benefits of the outdoor and experiential learning. Earth Seasoned demonstrates the positives of teens taking a time out in nature and unplugging devices in order to live in the present."
Dr. Carrie Jones, High School Division Director, National Science Teachers Association (NSTA), Science teacher, Middle Creek High School
"Beautifully crafted and often deeply moving...A poignant meditation on humanity's lost communion with the natural world, and how restoring it can revive our sense of wholeness and purpose...Earth Seasoned is also an implicit condemnation of how our dominant social systems, and especially education, can generate deep problems of personal identity and belonging for which our children too often blame themselves."
Sir Ken Robinson, Professor Emeritus of Education, University of Warwick, Author, Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That's Transforming Education
"I love how Earth Seasoned weaves together the powerful threads of gender, coming-of-age, and the extraordinary, under-told lessons of the power of nature. This is a tender, magical and important tale for our times."
Florence Williams, Author, The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier and More Creative
"Artistic and unobtrusive...In telling the story of these caretakers, the film innocently critiques the speed, isolation, and efficiency of modern life. For, as the film's central figure, Tori, comes to recognize, it is through slowing down, committing to meaningful relationships, and living in harmony with the natural world, that one can discover the true self, and ultimately find gratitude, and love."
Paul Stonehouse, Associate Professor and Program Director, Adventure Education, Green Mountain College
"Earth Seasoned is simply wonderful. Heartwarming, educational, and inspirational, it reminds us of not only the importance of nature, but how necessary it is for us and our children to reconnect with who we truly are, beings of nature. This is a must see for all educators, healthcare practitioners, parents - and perhaps everyone else."
Dr. Eva Selhub, Resiliency Expert, Physician, and Consultant, Author, Your Brain on Nature: The Science of Nature's Influence on Your Health, Happiness, and Vitality
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DVD includes SDH Captions for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, and scene selection.
The Film's Website
Excellent 20-page Discussion and Facilitation Guide
Awards and Festivals
Best Feature, Nederland Film Festival
Jury Grand Prize, Regional Feature Film, Klamath Independent Film Festival
Audience Award, Jefferson State Flixx Fest
Ashland Independent Film Festival
Port Townsend Film Festival
Environmental Youth Forum, California Film Institute
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... more Reviews
"This film is a vivid example of how healing nature is and the critical role it plays in the social and emotional learning of children. Beautifully done...an amazing film."
Leesa Carter, Executive Director, Captain Planet Foundation
"I think the program is fantastic and important. There's an intense sense of positivity, something which is profound...moving and beautiful."
Matt Ross, Writer and Director, Captain Fantastic
"Earth Seasoned is about human community and community with nature as the healing ground for resilience...This film is for everyone who seeks healing by finding their place in life's larger patterns of interdependence."
Louise Chawla, Professor Emerita, Program in Environmental Design, Faculty Affiliate, Community Engagement, Design and Research Center, University of Colorado Boulder