Home #Hwoodtimes Interview with Josh & Rebecca Tickell About Their Documentary Film “Regenerate Ojai”

Interview with Josh & Rebecca Tickell About Their Documentary Film “Regenerate Ojai”

By Virginia Schneider

Los Angeles, California (The Hollywood Times) 03/16/2023

Academy Award-winning Actor Laura Dern narrates the new documentary film, Regenerate Ojai, by Josh and Rebecca Tickell, exposing shocking truths about pesticide exposure there and in Ventura County where more than 5 million pounds of agricultural pesticides are sprayed annually.

Watch the short film at www.RegenerateOjai.com

Dern’s own mother, Actress Diane Ladd, an Ojai Valley resident, has experienced the damaging effects in her life. Ladd has worked with fellow community members since 2019 organizing in the Ojai Valley to force a community conversation and action. This includes a petition, and community town hall meetings in Ojai asking for steps to reduce pesticide spraying in the area.

Regenerate Ojai

More than a million pounds of these pesticides are linked to cancer. EWG Environmental Working Group posted online, “By the numbers, the hazards are obvious. Hundreds of thousands of people living and working in areas from Ojai to Oxnard could see their health damaged from the use of millions of pounds of pesticides in the county each year. Overexposure to pesticides has been linked to increased risk of cancer, respiratory problems and harms to developing children.”

Regenerate Ojai calls for a public pesticide notification system via text (as used by other state and county agencies), for farmers to investigate switching to Organic growing methods, and for schools to use their buying power to buy directly from local and organic and regenerative farmers thus safeguarding the health of students, teachers and staff.

The Hollywood Times had the opportunity to speak with directors Josh and Rebecca Tickell about their eye-opening documentary about overexposure of pesticides.

According to an Environmental Working Group analysis of pesticide use data for the county from 2015 to 2020. More than a million pounds of pesticides linked to cancer are used in the county each year, on average.

The county’s farm fields grow a produce-aisle assortment of labor- and pesticide-intensive crops – strawberries, celery, lemons, raspberries and more. Tens of thousands of farmworkers live and work in the county to support Ventura’s annual $2 billion agriculture economy. Much of the county’s population of 846,000 faces the potential health risks associated with pesticides drifting from the fields, whether they work in agriculture-related fields or not.

Policies currently in place to protect public health relies primarily on voluntary compliance from applicators on the amount and type of pesticides used, method and timing of application, and weather conditions, such as wind speed and direction, at the time of pesticide spraying.


About Big Picture Ranch

Nested in the Los Padres National Forest in Ojai, California sits The Big Picture Ranch – an organic avocado farm that also operates 24/7 as a soup-to-nuts film studio. Big Picture Ranch has a bold mission, to use filmmaking to reverse climate change before it is too late. Their film Kiss the Ground (Netflix) narrated by Woody Harrelson introduced the world to the concept that we could reduce carbon in the atmosphere to pre-industrial levels through improving soil health.

This is the only film studio completely dedicated to producing content that will help eradicate and reverse climate change. The studio is run by husband-wife filmmaking team Josh and Rebecca Tickell.

The Tickell’s and their studio are known for their pedigree of award-winning, activist and star-studded eco-documentaries including FUEL (Winner Sundance Audience Award 2008), The Big Fix (Festival de Cannes) and most recently Kiss the Ground, which launched at the Tribeca Film Festival and garnered over 75 major film festival awards before landing on Netflix.

Their film, ON SACRED GROUND the first narrative feature about Standing Rock starring David Arquette, William Mapother, Mariel Hemingway, Kerry Knuppe, David Midthunder, and Irene Bedard is in select theaters on Watch It Now, Apple TV, Amazon and Google Play.