One of the world’s most precious resources is at risk.

OPEN SESAME: THE STORY OF SEEDS, from award-winning filmmaker M. Sean Kaminsky, is a timely and compelling documentary film illuminating what’s at stake and what can be done to protect the source of nearly all our food.

Seeds provide the basis of everything from fabrics and food to fuels. In fact, they’re as essential to life as the air we breathe or the water we drink, but given far less attention. Certainly, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN, FAO approximately 90 percent of the fruit and vegetable varieties that existed one hundred years ago no longer exist today. Hence, Heritage grain is near extinction and seeds that were lovingly nurtured over decades — or even hundreds of years — are lost forever. More troubling, seeds have also shifted from being common heritage to sovereign property. For instance, corporations are co-opting seed genetics and hiding behind patent law in the process. Therefore, corporate-owned seed accounts for 82% of the world-wide market today, allowing transgenic seeds (or GMOs) to spread exponentially.

As a result, OPEN SESAME looks at the extraordinary challenges that seeds face today, placing our food supply at risk and threatening our farms. Additionally, the film tells the story of seeds by following the challenges and triumphs of some of the most tireless stewards and advocates. OPEN SESAME introduces viewers to a diverse range of individuals whose lives center around seeds. This includes, farmers, renegade gardeners, passionate seed savers, artists and activists, who are all working tirelessly, planting the seeds of information and inspiration to tell the story of one of our most precious resources.

It’s not too late…yet.

The documentary film doesn’t only focus on seeds, loss of biodiversity and modern agriculture, but solutions to tackle such issues. Saving seeds is critical for the future of a thriving planet and so the film is positive and hopeful in that sense. Therefore, the film goes in depth to provide steps that anyone can take to help.

OPEN SESAME encourages people to learn more about purchasing seeds, gardening and growing. Similarly, their website provides a number of books and resources to help people get started. For example, learn about myths regarding genetically modified seeds, biotechnology, tracing seed dollars and so much more. Kaminsky highly recommends Seed Savers Exchange seed saving resources which provide a multitude of helpful tips.

The creators of OPEN SESAME began a campaign to help continue the making of the film. They believe that educating people and telling this story is vital in order to save seeds. Therefore, the campaign called for donations that would help pay for ongoing interviews as well as pre and post production.

OPEN SESAME: prominent elements

The film focuses on six feature interviews from a variety of professionals, ranging from authors and educators to environmentalists and much more. Additionally, there are two DVD bonus features: interview with Vandana Shiva and M. Sean Kaminsky. Shiva is a notable author, environmental activist and food sovereignty advocate. While Kaminsky is the filmmaker of OPEN SESAME. Also, deleted scenes.


Vandana Shiva, Author, Environmentalist

William Woys Weaver, Author, Food Historian

Bill McDorman, Co-founder of, Educator

Gary Nabhan, Agricultural Ecologist, Ethnobotanist

Diane Ott Whealy, Co-Founder of Seed Saver Exchange

Ken Greene, Founder, Hudson Valley Seed Library 


Catalog #: TMR-DV-124

Running Time: 82 minutes + extras

Genre: Documentary

Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1

Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1

Language: English with Closed Captioning

“This film is a seed in its own right and can play a seminal role in planting ideas that bring together food security, food sovereignty, human rights and the consumer right to know”

— Wayne Roberts, former manager, Toronto Food Policy Council

“Captures the passion and emotion of a movement” — Theodore Poulis, Dreamriver Press


Open Sesame: The Story of Seeds – Trailer from TDC Entertainment on Vimeo.

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