Fear does not incite change: Kiss the Ground associate producer Grace Moore
Grace Moore, the associate producer and millennial spokesperson of Kiss the Ground, talks about creating an interactive model of a documentary film, and more
Kiss the Ground, Netflix’s recent documentary on climate change is an optimistic narrative geared towards seeking feasible solutions to the crisis through regenerative farming practices. Its utopian spirit marks it out from other documentaries on the issue and their urgent, frequently threatening tone. Talking about fear being prevalent in conversations around climate change, the twenty-two-year-old associate producer and millennial spokesperson of the documentary, Grace Moore says, “Fear doesn’t incite change, fear doesn’t incite passion”. Moore explains that Kiss the Ground’s foremost challenge was in the attempt to go against the grain of the dominant narrative on climate change.
When asked how the utopian spirit became pivotal to the film, Moore notes that there was an energy coming into the film that they wanted to align with and each of the stories they encountered reiterated the inspirational idea they began with. “Kiss the Ground says if you change your ways through a few simple steps as a consumer, as a farmer, as someone who may not hold any political power, every single person can make a difference through regenerative agriculture,” affirms Moore, who adds that we are aware of the issues but people also want to know how they can be part of the solution.
Taking us through her tryst with environmental films, Moore recalls her early days at college when she worked in an environmental film and began watching many documentaries on the subject. Inspired by the rousing energy of Josh and Rebecca Tickell’s 2014 documentary PUMP, Moore found her calling in making environmental films. “Kiss the Ground was an excess of all my passions combined,” admits Moore, who also owns a deep passion for farming.
Working closely with the Tickells, Moore was actively involved in creating the coherent and compelling whole of the documentary from its pre-production and fundraising to the editing. Moore, the youngest person associated with the film, serves as its millennial spokesperson. “The average age of the American farmer is fifty-five and a lot of these agricultural stories do not really land on the youngest generation, my generation that is going to make the most change,” Moore points out. She adds that her role as a millennial spokesperson will encourage many young people to join the movement of regenerative agriculture advocated by the film. “We are the ones inheriting the Earth as it is now, and we are going to steer it in whichever direction we decide to,” she asserts.
Kiss the Ground is not merely content to raise awareness, the team is striving to create an interactive model of the documentary through outdoor screenings at farming communities. “Kiss the Ground is a film but it is also a movement,” Moore claims and explains how they have made different cuts of the film including exclusive farmer cuts and educational cuts to facilitate crucial education about regenerative farming. The documentary is translated into twenty languages. The team of Kiss the Ground is presently working on a television series wherein each episode will follow the individual journeys of the characters who briefly appeared in the documentary.
Moore affirms that the story of the living culture will come alive when people from different parts of the world adapt the story, change it, promote it and tell it through their own lens. She is hopeful that the movement will soon expand to countries like India, which are predominantly agricultural societies.
The young environmental activist and filmmaker shares her views on how documentaries will change in the post-COVID-19 world. Moore believes that collaboration between global and local production houses will guide the way as travel will not be a part of documentary filmmaking in the foreseeable future. “For instance, if we want to film in India, we will reach out to a local production company, guide them to film what we need, receive the footage, and work on how we can turn it into a story and create cohesive content,” she concludes.