Great Pla/ns 

Documentary short film, 39 min, 2023

GREAT PLA/NS is an audiovisual journey across the Great Plains, capturing stretches of the landscape from North Dakota to the Texas Panhandle – from loss of topsoil and environmental degradation to thriving communities, wildlife, and harvest celebrations; while being in conversation with 50+ regenerative farmers across the region working on newly rooted agricultural futures.

The film portrays an extremely productive, locally formed agricultural landscape that has a global impact. Often associated with large agricultural machinery, center-pivot irrigation systems, high tech farming, grain silos, feedlots, and trains transporting grain to distant ports in the Gulf of Mexico and the west coast; a landscape that, despite its similarity, is also incredibly diverse.

The landscape footage is juxtaposed with a thematic audio collage from over 50 original interviews with regenerative farmers: farmers of large and small family farm operations, vegetable farmers, crop, grain and cover crop growers, and indigenous farmers and ranchers, as well as community leaders, grass roots science organizations, and conservationists.

Great Pla/ns connects people focused on: rebuilding the soil, transformation of farming practices, transformation through science, policy transformation, local food production and access to food, education projects, food sovereignty, revitalization of rural communities, and rural conservation practices. 

Film Credits:
Written and Directed by Janna Bystrykh
Drone recording: Demir Purisic, Ximena de Villafranca, Bradley Kraushaar
Audio: Mason Brown; Interviews: Janna Bystrykh, Clemens Driessen, Forbes Lipschitz, Lisa Swanson Faleide; Editor: Clemens Driessen
Post-Production Research: Jasmine Labeau, Marvin Unger
Post-Production: Jelle Homburg, Richard John Seymour

Cast (by state):
North Dakota
Dr. Cynthia Lindquist, Paul Overby, Mary Podoll, Lisa Swanson Faleide, Mark Watne.

South Dakota
Kelsey Ducheneaux-Scott, Julie A. Garreau, Erin Gaugler, Bryan Jorgensen, Dr. Jonathan Lundgren, Darin Michalski, Crystal Neuharth, Doug Sieck.

Keith Berns, Clay Govier, Jacob Miller, Kent O. Miller.

Angela Bates, Clint & Corinne Cox and daughters, Gail Fuller, Dr. JohnElla Holmes, Kate Johnson, Donna Pearson McClish, Michael Thompson.

Jimmy Emmons, Cody GoodKnight, Electa Hare-Redcorn, Nicol Ragland, Steve Rhines.

Jeremy Brown, Brent Carlson, R.N. Hopper, Billy Tiller

Also interviewed:
North Dakota
Gabe Brown, Danielle Finn, Gene Goven, Matt Leaf, Lindsay Ostlie, Diane Overby, Heidi Ziegenmeyer

South Dakota
Drew Gaugler, Kari Jo Lawrence, Jessica Michalski, Cutler Michalski, Levi Neuharth, Cindy Zenk

Brian Brhel, Del Ficke, Edgar Hicks, Kerry Hoffschneider, Roric Paulman

Lance Feikert, Randy Couts

Kara Goodnight, Jeff Goodwin, Jim Johnson

Sarah Brown

The production of this film has been supported by:
Creative Industries Fund NL
Cultural Geography Group/Wageningen University
Van Eesteren-Fluck & Van Lohuizen Stichting
Harvard GSD
International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam
Rural Imaginations Project

Screenings (past and future)
October 7, 2023: Architecture Film Festival Rotterdam, Rotterdam NL
August 17, 2023: Noorder Zon, Groningen NL
April 3, 2023: Pakhuis de Zwijger, Amsterdam NL 
November 6, 2022: Keilekollectief, Organised by IABR (Preview), Rotterdam NL
August 25, 2022: Conference Rural Imaginations UvA (Preview), Amsterdam NL

Organise a screening?
Are you a cultural or agricultural institution, a school of (landscape) architecture or urban design, a professional organisation or an association related to (landscape) architecture, urban design, agriculture, regenerative practices and/or food systems and you would like to show “Great Pla/ns” to your audience?