‘The Pollinators’ generates buzz at the Student Union Theater 

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‘The Pollinators’ film, directed by Peter Nelson, screened at the Student Union Library on Tuesday. The film addresses issues with the current agricultural and environmental climate and how farmers try to plant more diverse crops, among other methods, to save the soil and bee population.  Photo by Eric Wang / The Daily Campus

‘The Pollinators’ film, directed by Peter Nelson, screened at the Student Union Library on Tuesday. The film addresses issues with the current agricultural and environmental climate and how farmers try to plant more diverse crops, among other methods, to save the soil and bee population. Photo by Eric Wang / The Daily Campus

EcoHouse hosted a screening of “The Pollinators” last night at the Student Union Theater. “The Pollinators” follows beekeepers around the country during pollination season of different crops. Throughout the documentary, the beekeepers and other bee experts explain to viewers why the bee population is declining, how American agriculture has evolved over time and how it affects the bee population. 

“Our community is made up of first and second year students who share a common passion for the environment, sustainability and a desire to find solutions to climate change,” Thomas Hayes, EcoHouse Faculty Director said to the audience before the screening. 

One of the main focuses of the documentary is how the bee population is declining. During the film, different solutions are proposed to fix the problems such as using less pesticides, having beekeeping move to urban environments and having consumers eat seasonal fruits and vegetables. 

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I hope we can change the way people look at the natural world.

“I think it’s a story that a lot of people won’t know about how dependent our food system is upon managed honeybees and how important that is to our everyday lives and I hope we can change the way people look at the natural world,” Peter Nelson, director and cinematographer of “The Pollinators” said. 

Nelson is a cinematographer who is best known for his work on films like “Art & Copy” and “Pipe Dream.” He has also done work for TV series such as “American Experience” and “Independent Lens.” 

“Pollinators are really important and I used to have a beehive that I did in high school and I want to learn more about them and how and how bees are doing,” Lily Orr, a second-semester natural resources and environment master’s student said. 

Since its premiere on Feb. 28, 2019 at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival in Missoula, Montana, the film has been screened all over the United States as well as in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom. Nelson has won multiple awards for “The Pollinators” including the Gala Prize for Environmental Filmmaking at the Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival and the People’s Choice Award at the ReadingFilmFest which he shared with the film’s executive producer, Sally Roy. 

After the movie was over, Roy and Nelson took questions from the audience. Questions ranged from what a sustainable supermarket would look like to if Roy or Nelson reached out to the Environmental Protection Agency when making the documentary.  

“Since we made this film, the EPA has had a transformation.” Roy said. “This is not for the better.”  

Both Roy and Nelson mentioned their goal of having “The Pollinators” screen in as many states as possible for Earth Day week since it will be the 50th anniversary of the holiday. 

If you are interested in hosting a screening of “The Pollinators,” you can request your town or city to host one through Demand Film’s website. For any updates regarding the film, follow @pollinatorsfilm on Twitter or @pollinatorsfilm on Instagram.   

If you are interested in getting involved with EcoHouse, they are currently holding a fundraiser called Ignite, a national crowdfunding resource opportunity in which different teams at the University of Connecticut compete against each other in challenges for cash prizes. The most recent challenge has been seeing which group can get the most number of student donors.    


Ian Ward is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at ian.ward@uconn.edu.

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