Biological Control is a documentary about sustainable winegrowing in California. We plan to document the progress of the 2010 growing season at major California winegrowers like Joseph Phelps, Cain Vineyards, Spring Mountain Vineyards, and Constellation Wines, and provide a unique look into the farmer's relationship to the land, the season, and the natural environment.

The film follows the collaboration between California winegrowers and research scientists from U.C. Berkeley as they explore ecological and sustainable approaches to pest control. Researchers Houston Wilson and Albie Miles work with farmers to use flowers, rather than chemicals, to control pests. By planting flowers in between rows of grapevines, they hope to attract beneficial bugs like wasps, ladybugs, and spiders, that naturally control the pests that feed on and destroy grapes. While it may seem counterintuitive - the idea that by attracting even more bugs to your field, you can keep pests out - Houston and Albie hope to prove that this form of biological pest control is both a sustainable and economical alternative to chemical pesticides.

Wine, as with all food, is an expression of the unique qualities of the land and the season in which it was grown. The winegrowers and researchers in this documentary view insects as a part of the land, part of the diverse ecosystem that produces our food. We hope that this documentary presents the cultivation of grapes and the process of winemaking, with its emphasis on locality and seasonality over yield, as a potential model for other food systems.

Biological Control is currently in production and we need your support. To find out more about how you can help, please visit the donate page.

Biological Control is an independent documentary made possible by your contributions. Your support means the world to us and it allows us to continue to tell a vital and important story about the journey from soil to bottle. The researchers and winegrowers featured in this documentary provide proof that there are ecological alternatives to conventional farming practices that are better for the environment, better for business, and better for human health and quality of life.

We are currently in production and we need your support in order to continue to shoot through end of the growing season. If you would like to donate, a tax-deductible contribution can be made to our production fund through our fiscal sponsor Fractured Atlas.

Click here to donate.

"Biological Control" is a sponsored project of Fractured Atlas, a non-profit arts service organization. Contributions on behalf of "Biological Control" may be made payable to Fractured Atlas and are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

The Filmmakers:

R.J. Glass
R.J. Glass is a New York based Director and Cinematographer. Originally from San Francisco, he attended the Tisch School of the Arts at New York University and received a degree in Film and Television. R.J. works primarily in commercial production and post-production. As a cinematographer, his clients include Gucci, J.C. Penney, New York Cares, and Nike. As a post-production supervisor his clients include Microsoft, USA Networks, Royal Caribbean, Jose Cuervo, Stouffer's, and Stride. He is currently the staff editor at Hornet Inc. in New York. R.J. is producing and directing "Biological Control," a documentary about sustainable winegrowing in California vineyards. The film documents a collaboration between research scientists from U.C. Berkeley and California winegrowers in ecological approaches to pest control. His latest cinematography project, "The Big Fiddle," is being presented at the South by Southwest Film Festival in 2010.

Jonathan Yi
As a director/cinematographer, Jonathan's work has been showcased in such magazines as Creativity and VICE, and in 2006, Jonathan was honored at the MOMA at the AICP Awards for his work on "Sushi" for He has shot projects for Twisted Sister, Poison, Daniel Johnston, Mates of State and The Locust.

His client list in the advertising world includes Smirnoff, Visine, Kleenex, Jetblue, Stride, Trident, Kotex, Microsoft, Schick, Pepcid and many more.

Jonathan attended New York University's Tisch School of the Arts Film Program, where he won a "Faculty Commendation For Cinematography" for his work on the film "Bruno" directed by Sam Goetz. His own film, "Shift," which he shot, directed and produced has also won many accolades and played in many film festivals.

Emily Sheskin
An editor from post house and agency worlds, with motion graphic experience, Emily Sheskin has had work showcased in such magazines as Creativity and SPIN. Her client list includes Microsoft, JetBlue, Smirnoff, Nestle, Royal Caribbean, Stride, Trident, Huggies, JWT, WPP, CBS, and Viacom. In addition, her commercial edit career has allowed her to cut spots directed by Geordie Stephens, Matt Lenski, Fredrik Callinggard, Jonathan Yi, and Lauren Greenfield.

Emily attended New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Film Program where she directed her own short film “Betrothed” which received notice in festivals around the US. In 2008, she collaborated with Veena Rao (Mrs. Henderson’s Kids) and Benedict Campbell (Lloyd Neck) on The Art of Balance, which premiered at HotDocs in Toronto, and played at festivals in the US and abroad.

For questions about the project please send an email here.

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