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Backlight: Rise of Vertical Farming

Dir. Geert Rozinga

Dutch TV vpro - 2017

Duration: 47 minutes

Language: English

The most obvious and immediate question concerning life in cities would be of course how to provide food for its citizens. Increasingly, our methods for food production are also being forced to adapt and become more intelligent under the great demand. Shipping food thousands of kilometers around the world is ineffective, often socially and politically damaging to those further down the supply chain, and has a hugely negative environmental impact.


Many cities are experimenting with alternatives, to provide locally grown food for its citizens from within the city itself. “The Rise of Vertical Farming” is a great documentary on this concept of smart urban agriculture. These techniques make efficient use of small space by placing the field into a third dimension, and growth chambers can control the exact temperature, lighting, CO2, humidity, nutrients, and water supply to plants to allow for a vast away of products to be produced in any location.


The doc follows various companies as they navigate the market on a variety of scales as they try and reinvent the model of food production to cities. The film also stands for a great example of activism through entrepreneurship, as many of the companies come from grass roots initiatives of local people wanting to take greater control over the source of their food.

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