"When you put beauty in a place that has none, that’s a game changer."
South Los Angeles. What comes to mind is gangs, drugs, liquor stores, abandoned buildings and vacant lots. The last thing that you would expect to find is a beautiful garden sprouting up through the concrete, coloring the urban landscape. As part of an urban gardening movement taking root in South LA, people are planting to transform their neighborhoods and are changing their own lives in the process. Calling for people to put down their guns and pick up their shovels, these "gangster gardeners" are creating an oasis in the middle of one of the most notoriously dangerous places in America.
"CAN YOU DIG THIS" follows the inspirational journeys of four unlikely gardeners, discovering what happens when they put their hands in the soil. This is not a story of science and economics. This is a story of the human spirit, inspiring people everywhere to pick up their shovels and "plant some shit."
Help us bring "CAN YOU DIG THIS"
to your city.
Simply check the map for an existing event in your area and reserve your tickets today. if there is no screening nearby you can become the captain of a new event in your town. Gathr screenings can only happen when we reach our ticket goals so be sure to get the word out to friends, family as well as urban farming and agriculture groups in your community.
Click to request to host your own screening or to be notified of upcoming screenings.
Host A Community Screening
Want to host a community screening at a non-theatrical venue? It could be a local garden, school, library, museum, place of worship or other type of community venue. gathr can help you purchase the right public performance license (price varies by audience size) and dvd or blue-ray to do so. You can make the screening part of an event for your organization with speakers and more, and even raise money for your organization through ticket sales.
Delila Vallot – Director
Delila Vallot is an actress, dancer, and director, born and raised in Hollywood, California. In her career, she has worked with some of the most well-known choreographers to date, including Vince Patterson, Jaime Rogers, and Debbie Allen, and has performed in such shows as CSI: Cyber, Saturday Night Live, and The Academy Awards and films including RENT, COYOTE UGLY, and THE SINGING DETECTIVE. She made her feature directorial debut in 2013 with the suspense thriller TUNNEL VISION. This will be Delila’s first feature length documentary.
Rafael Marmor – Producer
Rafael Marmor is the founder of Delirio Films. His first feature documentary BLUE BLOOD, for BBC’s Storyville, was released theatrically by Warner UK and nominated by The Evening Standard for Best British Film of 2008. After a short digression producing an indie feature for Boaz Yakin, Rafael jumped back into the feature documentary world as a producer on Alma Har’el’s BOMBAY BEACH, which won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2010 Tribeca Film Festival. He next produced NO PLACE ON EARTH, which premiered at the 2012 Toronto Film Festival and was released in theaters nationwide by Magnolia Pictures in Spring 2013. He followed quickly on its heels with THE SHORT GAME, which won the Audience award at the 2013 SXSW film festival and was picked up by Netflix as their first Original Film. Most recently, he was a producer on THE GREEN PRINCE, which won the audience award at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Marmor is a graduate of Cornell University.
Christopher Leggett – Producer
Christopher Leggett is a recent partner in Delirio Films. He started his career as a producer at NBC Universal Sports, where he covered the 2010, 2012, and 2014 Olympic games as well as created and produced the documentary series AGAINST THE TIDE. As a partner in Delirio Films, Leggett produced the 2013 feature documentary THE SHORT GAME, in partnership with Academy Award winners John Battsek and David Frankel. That year, Leggett also premiered a short film at the Tribeca Film Festival entitled SET UP PUNCH, starring Elijah Wood and Alia Shawkat. Leggett followed up with his second narrative film entitled FLOCK OF DUDES starring Ray Liotta, Hillary Duff, and Skylar Astin, which is slated for a 2015 release. In 2015, Chris will wrap production on Alma Har’el’s newest feature documentary film LOVE TRUE.
John Legend – Executive Producer
Ohio-born John Legend is a critically acclaimed, multi-award winning, platinum-selling singer-songwriter. His work has garnered him nine Grammy Awards, an Academy Award, a Golden Globe Award, the BET Award for Best New Artist and the special Starlight Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame, among others. Legend’s debut album, Get Lifted, was released in December of 2004 through Columbia Records. The critically acclaimed album spawned the artist's first hit single, "Ordinary People," and scored Legend multiple Grammy Awards in 2006, including Best R&B Album, Best New Artist and Best Male R&B Vocal Performance. His follow up albums, including 2006’s platinum-selling Once Again, 2008’s Evolver, and 2013’s Love In the Future, feature collaborations with such artists as Kanye West, will.i.am and Raphael Saadiq and won him another Grammy, Best Male R&B performance, and a #1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 chart among other awards. Most recently, Legend won his first Academy Award, first Golden Globe Award, and won the 2015 Critic’s Choice Award for his song "Glory," that he wrote and performed with Common, for the film SELMA. Legend also serves as one of the principles for Get Lifted Film Co., a film and television production company based in Los Angeles.
Mike Jackson – Executive Producer
Mike Jackson is a partner and producer at Get Lifted Film Co., which he launched with John Legend and Ty Stiklorius. Get Lifted Film Co., who has an overall deal with Legendary Television, has sold television projects to networks including ABC, HBO, FOX, NBC, Showtime, USA, MTV and OWN. Jackson serves as an executive producer on WGN America’s original drama series, “Underground,” which premieres March 2016. Get Lifted has several feature projects in various stages of development and most recently Executive Produced two highly successful and critically acclaimed documentaries, Southern Rites, which premiered on HBO in May 2015 and Can You Dig This, which premiered at the 2015 LA Film Festival and won the LA Muse Jury Award. Jackson began his career at Grey Advertising in New York as a production coordinator responsible for publicity and opening nights of several Broadway shows, including “Chicago: The Musical,” “Jekyll and Hyde,” “Steel Pier,” “Candide” and “Barrymore.” Jackson founded Cojax Entertainment Group, an entertainment and management company that produced major events throughout Philly and New York, and represented several rising musical acts, including Oscar and Grammy award-winning recording artist John Legend. After CEG, he returned to filmed entertainment and produced projects for The Learning Channel, Interscope Records, the A&E networks, as well as two independent films, “The Lather Effect,” starring Peter Facinelli and Connie Britton, “Feel” starring Billy Baldwin, and Jada Pinkett-Smith's directorial debut, “The Human Contract,” based of her original script, starring Idris Elba and executive produced by Will Smith.
Ty Stiklorius – Executive Producer
Ty spent her career helping creative visions thrive. In 2012, she formed a partnership with Troy Carter and is now Co-President of Atom Factory. Ty manages artists John Legend, Meghan Trainor and Lindsey Stirling among others out of the Atom Factory Los Angeles-based offices. She is also a partner with Legend and Mike Jackson in Get Lifted Film Co., an LA-based television and film production company in partnership with Legendary Television. Ty’s work with Legend began with the formation of JL Ventures (JLV) in 2006. JLV focused on brand strategy, technology, business development and philanthropic opportunities that built from and enhanced Legend’s unique musical vision, business background and desire to do good in the world. Together they launched The Show Me Campaign with a mission is to break the cycle of poverty by giving every child access to a quality education. In her previous positions Ty has been a strategy consultant in the Media and Entertainment practice at LEK Consulting in Los Angeles, worked in business development at Ascent Media in Los Angeles and was a partner at talent management firm, The Artists Organization. Ty earned an MBA from The Wharton School of Business as well as a BA from The University of Pennsylvania. Ty is on the board of Women’s Campaign International (WCI), a US-based, nonprofit organization dedicated to increasing the participation of women in political and democratic processes worldwide. Ty is also on the board of Americans For The Arts, the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America.
Ron Finley - Executive Producer
Armed with a shovel, some soil and seeds, Ron Finley has come to be known as the "Gangster Gardener", and his unexpected tactics have made him one of L.A.’s most widely known activists. Frustrated by his community’s lack of access to fresh, organic food, Finley inadvertently started a revolution when he turned the parkway in front of his South Central L.A. home into an edible garden. When the city cited him for his plantings, Finley started a bureaucratic battle, gathering signatures and working with local officials until the archaic city ordinances were abolished. As a renegade gardener, he earned himself an invite to the annual TED conference. His TED Talk has been viewed by more than three million people to date. With so much momentum behind him, he began to focus his energy on The Ron Finley Project, which has ignited a horticultural revolution worldwide. His latest undertaking is a permanent space that serves as a garden, café, educational center, park and community gathering place. For a man who says his mission is world domination, Finley shows how planting one small seed can change the world. His message is simple. Just plant some shit.
David Andrew Sitek - Composer
Producer, songwriter, mixer, remixer, arranger, programmer and musician Dave Sitek is best known as a member of the groundbreaking band TV on the Radio. In addition to producing TV on the Radio’s albums, Sitek has also produced such artists as Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Santigold, Beady Eye, The Orwells, Kelis and many more. He is also one of the leading artists in the remix world – having remixed tracks from artists such as Beck, Nine Inch Nails, Usher, Bat For Lashes, Lykke Li, My Morning Jacket, and Florence + The Machine. Sitek was named Number One in NME’s Future 50 list of the most forward thinking people in music today.
Billy Mcmillin – Supervising Editor
Billy McMillin has been editing feature and documentary films for nearly a decade. Among his more notable films are the Academy Award nominee IRAQ IN FRAGMENTS, which won the best editing award at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival and WEST OF MEMPHIS for which he was nominated by the WGA for Outstanding Documentary Screenplay as well as the ACE Award for Best Edited Documentary. His last film THE SHORT GAME won the 2013 audience award at SXSW before becoming Netflix's first Original Film.
Asako Ushio - Editor
Asako Ushio is a graduate of San Francisco State University with a degree in Cinema. She started her career as an editor at the post house Cosmo Street and has since edited numerous shorts, commercials, short form documentaries and music videos. Her first feature length documentary was for American Masters called "Make A Noise" about Mel Brooks for which she was nominated for an Emmy in Outstanding Picture Editing for Nonfiction Programming. This will be her second feature length documentary.
Original score by David Andrew Sitek of "TV On the Radio." In creating the score, David recorded the natural ambience of urban gardens throughout South LA, incorporating those sounds into his music. The result is an entirely unique, dynamic symphony marrying nature with instrumental to create an organic atmosphere with more than a hint of magic.
Featuring all-new music from John Legend
Original song written and performed by Executive Producer John Legend.
Introducing the incredible talent of Sam Dew
Original song written and performed by Sam Dew and appearing on his break-out album Damn Sue.
Other songs include:
by Bobby Womack
by Minnie Ripperton
"Up Above My Head"
by Rhiannon Giddens
"Grazing in the Grass"
by Friends of Distinction