Seed Warriors

By 2050 temperatures worldwide are expected to rise by at least 2 degrees. This will cause major losses in food production – as much as 30% in some places. How will we feed the world?


In the remote Norwegian town of Longyearbyen, just 1000 kilometres from the North Pole, politicians from around the world came to celebrate the opening of the world’s first global seed bank. After years of difficult negotiations and searching for the right spot, this was deemed to be the safest place on earth. Eventually, 4,5 million seed samples will be stored in this »Doomsday Vault« and ensure the continued existence of biodiversity.

But is the dream of global food security achievable? By 2050 temperatures worldwide are expected to rise by at least 2 degrees. This will result in a 30 per cent drop in production of food crops. By this time global food demand will have doubled. How will we feed the world?

In SEED WARRIORS we hear from the scientists behind this ambitious project and examine the reality of the fight against hunger.

In Kenya, where drought is a recurring problem, we meet Zachary Muthamia, the director of the National Seed Bank, who is using the limited resources available to him to preserve his country’s existing biodiversity and send copies of Kenya’s unique plant heritage to Norway before his energy eating generators die for good. And we meet Marianne Bänziger, one of the world’s leading experts on maize. She’s using the same biodiversity to develop non-genetically modified seeds that yield 20 to 30 percent more than existing seeds and thrive in conditions of drought.

But time is running out.


Mirjam von Arx

Producer, Director
Mirjam von Arx

After studying at the Ringier School of Journalism, von Arx worked for 18 years as an editor and freelancer for a number of German language magazines. In 1991, she moved to New York and together with Polo Hofer produced the road movie BLUESIANA. In addition to regular contributions to Swiss television, von Arx produced two documentaries for SF and Sat1. In 2001, she moved to London and started filming the documentary BUILDING THE GHERKIN. In 2002, she started her own production company ican films gmbh. In 2003, her first documentary ABXANG was theatrically released. In 2005, BUILDING THE GHERKIN (CH, DE, UK) followed. In 2006/7 she produced Thomas Haemmerli’s documentary SEVEN DUMPSTERS AND A CORPSE, with a theatrical release in 2007. The film won the Zurich Film Award 2007 and was nominated for a Swiss Film Award in 2008. Her documentary SEED WARRIORS was theatrically released during autumn 2010. VIRGIN TALES opened theatrically in June 2012 and amongst others, won the Zurich Film Award 2012. Von Arx latest feature documentary I’M ALIVE is currently being edited and will be completed in 2014.

Katharina von Flotow

Author, Director

Studied Film and Comparative Literature at the University of British Columbia and Geneva Film School (Masters). Directed a Film Festival for 6 years; was Head of Culture and Documentary, European Broadcasting Union and Executive producer for many international co-productions.

As of 2004, Man. Dir. of Flotow Productions Sarl, Geneva, with various productions, most recently BIKINI REVOLUTION for ARTE, TSR, AVRO, YLE; TV Catalonia, SBS.( 2007/8, Assoc. Prod.) and “DARWIN’S LOST PARADISE” for ARTE , SBS (2008, Author, Co-director).

Elia Lyssy


Elia Lyssy was introduced to the world of camera, lights and action at an early age due to his father being a director. Being able to hang around the sets and experiencing the camaraderie, craftsmanship and creation of a film he knew early on that he had found his world. After graduating from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in 1991, he started working in New York as an assistant and soon was able to join many an interesting film as cinematographer. He had the privilege to work on projects that have brought him all over the world, filming throughout the United States, in South America, Africa, Europe, Asia and New Zealand. He works in numerous formats ranging from HD to 35mm and speaks several languages. Elia Lyssy truly enjoys the collaborative aspects of film making and is always looking forward to embark on new and exciting ventures in the documentary and narrative field.

Janet Mccaig Taylor


Trained in the BBC, Janet Mccaig Taylor became a Chief Picture Editor in News and Current Affairs, working mainly on weekly programmes. She left in 1993 to edit a wider range of documentaries. Since then she has been working with many dedicated film makers and has edited documentaries in the USA, Switzerland and Turkey.

Adrian Frutiger

Original Score

Born 1971. Studied Set Decoration at the Zurich University of the Arts. Since 1991, Frutiger has composed soundtracks for numerous theatrical and TV productions; in addition he has contributed music to various music concepts, shows, animations and postproduction. He has been honored with 6 Awards for his film compositions.

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