Sustainable: A Documentary

See the Film



The Film

A vital investigation of the economic and environmental instability of America’s food system, from the agricultural issues we face — soil loss, water depletion, climate change, pesticide use — to the community of leaders who are determined to fix it. Sustainable is a film about the land, the people who work it and what must be done to sustain it for future generations.

The narrative of the film focuses on Marty Travis, a seventh-generation farmer in central Illinois who watched his land and community fall victim to the pressures of big agribusiness. Determined to create a proud legacy for his son, Marty transforms his profitless wasteland and pioneers the sustainable food movement in Chicago.

Sustainable travels the country seeking leadership and wisdom from some of the most forward thinking farmers like Bill Niman, Klaas Martens and John Kempf – heroes who challenge the ethical decisions behind industrial agriculture. It is a story of hope and transformation, about passion for the land and a promise that it can be restored to once again sustain us.

The Filmmakers

Matt Wechsler and Annie Speicher are the storytellers at Hourglass Films behind “Sustainable”. The film is a passion project for them, combining their roles as food activists with their talents as documentary filmmakers. “Sustainable” was screened at 20+ film festivals around the world and recently won the 2016 Accolade Global Humanitarian Award for Outstanding Achievement. Their past work includes the 2012 New York Emmy-nominated documentary “Different is the New Normal”, which aired nationally on PBS and was narrated by Michael J. Fox. They are currently working on a new film called “Right to Harm” about the health effects of factory farming on rural Americans. The film is set to premiere in 2018.


  • Tue

    Kewaunee CARES Screening (Sturgeon Bay, WI)

    7:00pm Crossroads At Big Creek | FOLLOWED BY Q&A WITH DIRECTOR MATT WECHSLER
  • Fri

    Dairy Creek Community Food Web (Forest Grove, OR)

    7:00pm FG City Auditorium
  • Tue

    Food Literacy Center (Sacramento, CA)

    5:00pm Central Library Galleria | FOLLOWED BY Q&A WITH DIRECTOR MATT WECHSLER
  • Thu

    Harvest Market (Champaign, IL)

    6:00pm Harvest Market | FOLLOWED BY Q&A WITH MARTY TRAVIS
  • Tue

    21 Acres Screening (Woodinville, WA)

    6:30pm 21 Acres
  • Sat

    Belleville Downtown DocFest (Ontario, Canada)

    12:30pm CORE Centre | TICKETS
  • Tue

    Friends of Family Farmers (Portland, OR)

    6:30pm Holocene
  • Mon

    Brooklyn Bridge CSA Screening

    7:30pm 3B Brooklyn
  • Wed

    Brasserie Bread Screening (Sydney, Australia)

    6:30pm Brasserie Bread
  • Sat

    Environmental Film Festival Australia (Melbourne)


Host A Screening

Screening Licenses

Small (Up to 75 people):              $200 + shipping
Large (Over 75 people):                $300 + shipping


Book Your Screening

If you’re all set for your screening, please email these details to

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Let us know if you can’t find the answers you’re looking for below.

I’m looking for a copy to keep in my k-12 school, university, or library. Am I on the right page?

No. This would be an educational license. Click here to order an educational DVD with public performance rights.

Does the screening license include the movie, or do I have to get a copy separately?

Yes, the license includes a DVD or Blu-ray disc and permission for a public screening. Other formats are available upon request.

Can I charge admissions or ask for donations?

Yes! You are welcome to sell tickets and use the film as a fundraiser.

Can I use my screening license for more than one screening?

Licenses are for single screenings only. If you are hosting multiple screenings, please contact us to work out a bulk discount.

Can the filmmakers or any cast members come to our screening?

Hopefully! We love attending the screenings and ask for you to cover travel costs and a small honorarium.

Take Action

National Food Policy

How we produce and consume food has a bigger impact on Americans’ well-being than any other human activity. The food industry is the largest sector of our economy; food touches everything from our health to the environment, climate change, economic inequality and the federal budget. Yet we have no food policy — no plan or agreed-upon principles — for managing American agriculture or the food system as a whole. The food system and the diet it’s created have caused incalculable damage to the health of our people and our land, water and air. That must change. A national food policy would guarantee that:

● All Americans have access to healthful food;

● Farm policies are designed to support our public health and environmental objectives;

● Our food supply is free of toxic bacteria, chemicals and drugs;

● Production and marketing of our food are done transparently;

● The food industry pays a fair wage to those it employs;

● Food marketing sets children up for healthful lives by instilling in them a habit of eating real food;

● Animals are treated with compassion and attention to their well-being;

● The food system’s carbon footprint is reduced, and the amount of carbon sequestered on farmland is increased;

● The food system is sufficiently resilient to withstand the effects of climate change.

There are precedents for such a policy. Already a handful of states are developing food charters, and scores of U.S. cities have established food policy councils to expand access to healthful food. Brazil and Mexico are far ahead of the United States in developing national food policies. Mexico’s recognition of food as a key driver of public health led to the passage of a national tax on junk food and soda. Think of the food system as something that works for us rather than exploits us, something that encourages health rather than undermines it. That is the food system the people of the United States deserve.