We know you’re curious. Are we REALLY creating a film about mushrooms?
Why, yes, yes we are.
Our very own Louie Schwartzberg, Dr. Paul Stamets in collaboration with Dr. Andrew Weil, are joining Jedi forces to create an artistically-shot, scientifically-sound, life-affirming film about mycelium, the incredible, intelligent network at our feet that has the proven ability to restore our ecosystem, repair our health and resurrect our symbiotic relationship to nature.
Fantastic Fungi aspires to be an educational, inspirational and ultimately critical film that explores the uses and benefits of fungi as alternatives to allopathic medicine, as a solution to our gravest environmental challenges, and as a tool for consciousness expansion. The research, discoveries and antidotal evidence we’ve gathered is astounding, particularly when shared through Louie’s lens.
Okay, cool. But Why?
We believe that our generation has a very important responsibility. We must find sustainable, scalable solutions to some of our planet’s most pressing challenges. Our health and our environment are in grave danger. And they are intrinsically linked; each relies on the other to heal.
Mycelium is an intelligent life force – an underground network that transfers the right nutrients to the right plants to ensure optimal vitality and nutrient density. The Mycelium network is a superhighway of vital “information” between the natural world and it helps detoxify, purify and recycle soil to ensure plants can grow in the most nutrient-rich conditions. When the life activity of mycelium is compromised – perhaps over farming, pesticide poisoning, drought, or other environmental conditions – this negatively impacts the health of the soil, which effects the nutrient density of our food. Over time, this has negative implications for our health. As we lose biodiversity, especially with fungi, we begin to unravel the very food networks that have given us life. If we repair the soil, we will improve the nutrient quality of our food supply, leading to improved health.
How can I help?
So glad you asked. First, keep coming back to this site for updates about our Kickstarter campaign, beginning in October 2014.
Next, here are 10 easy, earthy and fun things you can do today to ignite mushroom mania.
1. Become aware. Sit in nature and explore the ground with your hands. Dig into the soil and unearth the fragrant mycelial lenses.
2. Become informed. Identify 10 edible mushrooms that you can name.
3. Share knowledge. Teach this new discovery to children. Go for a walk in the woods, and point out that mushrooms come from invisible network just below the surface of the soil and that these fungi create the very soil that give us life. Be sure to explain that some mushrooms are NOT safe to eat!
4. Be a mentor. Explain to a child the meaning of symbiosis, and how we live in a symbiotic relationship with nature.
5. Become a gourmand. Prepare and share a meal with wild, hand-picked mushrooms. Find a delicious recipe (start here) and surrender to the fragrant, mouth-watering culinary delight. Share your mushroom knowledge over dinner.
6. Grow your own. Buy a mushroom growing kit and create an edible landscape that enriches your soil.
7. Become an locavore. Shop at local farmer’s markets and support organic farming.
8. Become a naturalist. Visit your natural pharmacies, alternative healers and vitamin shops for natural alternatives to pharmaceuticals.
9. Become curious. Google “mycelium for the environment”, search TED.com, visit FungiPerfecti.com, and whet your appetite at Mycophilia.com, to name just a few. There’s no end to the amount of information you will discover if you’re curious.
10. Become Inspired. View mushrooms like you’ve never seen them before here and here.
I love this amazing filmmaker!
Thank you thank you thank you for all you do!!!!
Gosh, thank YOU. Making us blush…
I have always been fascinated by mushrooms. It’s my dream to grow my own. I found what looks like a reishi ganoderma mushroom growing beneath a tall fire tree across my house. Was thinking of making tea out of it but hesitated because i don’t know how to distinguish edible mushrooms from poisonous ones.
This topic so speaks to my heart. The films are utterly amazing and I cannot find the right words to convey the beauty of it all. I could stare at this all day! Thank you & bless you for doing this! Our earth needs our help!
Hello, I was wondering whether the film (and the other nature films) are available with French subtitles for possible showing at an environmental film festival in France.
Please let me know,
I would love to see a “making of” how you got some of those shots of mushrooms growing!
I came to this website because some friends did not believe some of the shots were from the excerpt from “Fantastic Fungi” going around Facebook right now.
It has 12 time lapse shots (and some live action of narrator Paul Stamets)
The first shot starts with lots of small plants then one mushroom shoots up.
The 11th and 12th are a waterfalls.
Some comments are about the lighting not changing and background leaves not moving.
Anyway – any comments from someone who knows about the filming would be greatly appreciated by all.
Some mushrooms pop up and decompose in a very short amount of time and would be ideal candidates for time lapses. I’m sure Louie has his secrets though, like all artists. :]