Swine Country: A Community Polluted Fighting For Change

Raleigh, North Carolina | Film Feature


Swine Country Documentary Team

1 Campaigns | North Carolina, United States

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This campaign raised $17,565 for production. Follow the filmmaker to receive future updates on this project.

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For decades, activists in eastern North Carolina have been fighting to clean up the pollution and corruption from large-scale hog and poultry farming. As the planet warms and legal protections vanish, can they save eastern North Carolina from disaster? And can they do it before the next hurricane?

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About The Project

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Mission Statement

Our film is the story of black, white, and Latino activists working together for political change. The Environmental Justice movement started in North Carolina, built on the legacy of the Civil Rights Movement. It is fundamentally about their potential to change politics, narratives, and lives.

The Story

Swine Country: A Community Polluted Fighting For Change is an unflinching look at the pollution and destruction left by the hog and poultry industries in eastern North Carolina, and activists' fight to hold them accountable. We listen deeply to our characters—organizers, farmers, scientists—and quickly learn that these aren't the quaint hog farms they remember from their childhoods. Instead, they're factories that raise thousands of animals in massive barns. And with 10 million pigs in North Carolina, concentrated almost entirely in the state's coastal plain, the waste isn't just piling up—it's running downstream.


Eastern North Carolina often only appears in the news when a hurricane hits, but poor people and people of color "Down East" live in a state of constant crisis. In 1999, Hurricane Floyd killed more than 50 people and millions of pigs, turkeys, and chickens, a tragedy that could never have reached that scale without lax regulations and deep racial and economic segregation. In the 18 years since Floyd, the industry has only grown and consolidated. The air and water are polluted with animal waste. People are getting sicker. By the time Hurricane Matthew hit in 2016, no changes had been made to the system and that disaster happened all over again.

The industry is always searching for the next place to do their business-as-usual. They've enlisted politicians to ease regulations, open new markets, and pass the buck to taxpayers to clean up their messes. Activists, however, refuse to lose this fight. Whether it's black-owned family land from Reconstruction or a cherished hunting spot, everyday people in southeastern North Carolina have too much to lose if this industry gets its way. Can an alliance between farmers and environmental justice activists take on the powers who profit from their suffering: the meat industry? And can they do it before the next storm?


Swine Country started as a collaboration between REACH, an environmental justice organization in Duplin County, and co-producers Sol Weiner and Tom Clement. When they made the 20-minute Swine Country: The Fight For Clean Air and Water in Duplin County in 2012, they were inspired by the energy people across the state and country had for cleaning up Big Ag. That momentum has only grown since then. Groups like REACH and the North Carolina Environmental Justice Network have been working tirelessly to raise awareness and change laws, and not a moment too soon. The Trump administration has committed to giving big business carte blanche to pollute vulnerable communities. In response, more people than ever are coming together to find political solutions to environmental injustices. At a time like this, we need the activists in Swine Country to show us how to stick it to the powers-that-be and make real change.


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Costs $1,650

We will be spending days and weeks at a time on the road and in eastern NC! We don't mind—we just need some help to get there.

Hard Drives

Costs $1,800

Hard drives are the film stock of the digital age. We have to store and back up our footage multiple times to ensure it's safe.


Costs $1,400

Whether it's a meal for the team or filming with our characters over lunch, we've got to keep everybody fed for long days of shooting!

Sound Crew

Costs $1,950

On particularly hectic shoot days we will need an extra person dedicated exclusively to capturing sound.

Second Cinematographer

Costs $2,500

There's never just one angle to a story. Hiring a second cinematographer will help us make a more comprehensive and visually appealing film.

Production Assistants

Costs $2,625

Logistics on a documentary set get complicated! We will need help from a PA for 15 days of shooting


Costs $2,500

High-quality cameras help us cover all of the stomach-churning details of this story


Costs $1,300

Whether it's a hotel, motel, or Air BnB, we'll need a place to lay our heads at the end of a long day of filming!

Cash Pledge

Costs $0

About This Team

Tom Clement is a director of photography (DP) and editor based in Washington D.C.. Since 2013 he has worked as a freelance DP and editor for several D.C. and New York production companies and ad agencies. Additionally, he produces content directly for documentary, non-profit, and corporate clients. Beyond his commercial work, Clement offers his skills in shooting, editing, and producing pro bono for non-profit production company, Stone Soup Films, which donates professional marketing content to underfunded frontline non-profits in the D.C. metro area. To see work samples please visit www.clementcinema.com.

Sol Weiner is an oral historian and documentary producer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. Originally from San Antonio and Dallas, Texas, his film, audio, and writing work focus on racial, economic, and environmental justice organizing in the U.S. South. In 2012, Weiner co-produced his first documentary film, Swine Country: The Fight For Clean Air and Water in Duplin County, North Carolina as an undergraduate at Guilford College in Greensboro, where he received a B.S. in Community and Justice Studies. He also holds an M.A. in Folklore and American Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. His writing has been featured in Scalawag, Bit + Grain, North Carolina Folklore Journal, NC Food, and Southern Things.

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