The Suzanne and Federic Rheinstein Documentary Film Program

The Suzanne and Frederic Rheinstein Garden Documentary Film Program at the Garden Conservancy seeks to capture and to share the essence of something that is largely experiential—the beauty and stories of a garden. This presents unique challenges and requires an innovative and layered approach to create a multi-dimensional portrait of a garden, a living work of art. Our documentation program uses words and pictures, letters and notebooks, drawings and plant lists, along with stories, sounds, and experiences that have inspired garden creators. 

To document these gardens, The Garden Conservancy researches and collects a wide variety of materials, interviews individuals who play key roles in the evolution of each garden, and engages professional archivists, filmmakers, photographers, and others to assist in crafting as complete a story as possible.

Documentary film has been underutilized in preservation, and it is a powerful storytelling tool that communicates the values of a garden and provides a record for future generations, making this work even more essential. Our documentary film program aims to look at the profound connections between gardens and communities, the role of gardens in shaping cultural identity, and the ways in which gardens serve as repositories of collective memory and shared experiences.